Here are some practical examples of successes stories that I architected
The majority of my experience has been in high-tech. In this fast-paced environment, it is very important to be agile and change with the industry. The most valuable component the company had was resources, and we had to balance them between opportunity cost and revenue-generating activity.
Winning New Customers
For a business to grow, you must continually find new customers (some call this "logo shopping"). When an opportunity presents itself, the strategy on how to approach the customer will impact the success (or failure).
We were approached by a major gaming company for structural board test tools for their next-generation product. The initial customer request was to participate in an a multi-week technical evaluation study of tools available in the market. The challenge for us was available technical resources to support the study.
Instead, we took a different approach. The overall test process of these gaming products in the market involved many different test vendors. I began working with one of the test vendors that complemented our tools and worked out a customer use model that aligned with the volume of product they needed to produce.
Additional, we looked at how the gaming company priced their products. The majority of the revenue was in the software and the hardware was basically sold at cost.
Re-aligning our structural test product cost with their gaming product cost and working in collaboration with one of their major vendors, we successfully won the business.
Re-Architecting a Mature Product
As general rule of thumb, a technology has a five (5) year life-cycle. However, there are exceptions to every rule.
I was managing a product line based on a 20+ year technology. The infrastructure in the industry helped prolonged it's life (as there was not an alternative that had the same rich ecosystem).
The challenge was working with a product line in the latent adoption stage. The impact was a 10% per year reduction in revenue due to when and how the tools were used.
After some exploration with the install base, we found a better way to license the product. By moving to an EDA (Engineering Design Automation) model and changed the licensing strategy from a perpetual to a temporary subscription model, we were able to stabilize revenue and improved forecast predictability. The first year impact was a 10% growth in revenue!
An additional benefit was the infrastructure we created around the renewal business. We could off-load the majority of the work from an expensive external sales team to an internal sales team. Working more efficiently, we freed up one man-year of effort without impacting revenue.
Wining Competitor's Customer
If at first you don't succeed...
We were working with a major telecommunication account on winning their structural board test business. After an initial review of the market tools available, an competitor was chosen.
Due to the potential size of the account, it made sense to keep in touch. After the initial deployment of the competitor's tools, it became very apparent that the management and infrastructure of the competitor company was too difficult to work with and created an opening to re-evaluate their vendor decision.
To change vendors, we had to address both the direct and indirect cost of making the transition. Additionally, our product needed to be simplified to create standard configurations of tool features that could scale across the company in a unified way.
The diffidence paid off and after some challenging negotiations, we successfully achieved a change in vendors.
NOTE: Their first order over > $500K!!