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MarketIntellibits
TM                  
June,  2006
Volume II   Issue 10

"Moving up the Supply Chain"
by Jack Miller


Value added. It’s the Holy Grail.  Commodity  producers seek this Holy Grail
in a number of different ways, and it’s not just the commodity producers .

There are some good ideas, and some bad ideas, and some ideas that
companies pursue because they don’t know what else to do.

I’ll let the reader decide which are good ideas and which are bad ideas, but if
you want me to help you figure out which ideas are good for you, give me a
call. But here’s a hint:  does it get you closer to the customer? Does it give
the customer what he or she needs, or is it a “push”?

Here, in no particular order are my “Top Ten Efforts to Move up the Supply
Chain”:

#10         Paper mills raise brightness

#9         Printers add digital printing capability

#8         Paper Company acquires large office supply retailer,  and then sells
the white paper mills

#7         Fine paper mills acquire merchants

#6         Printers add services like fulfillment and digital asset  management

#5         Mills add converting capabilities or acquire converting businesses

#4         Commodity mills that are no longer competitive seek new                  
products in specialties

#3         Specialty mill conducts workshop on new product development

#2         Paper mills experiment with eucalyptus to improve quality

#1         Printers invest big bucks in bigger, newer, faster presses

I’ve put these initiatives in the “Top Ten” primarily because I’ve seen them
tried often or in a big way. Some are big initiatives, some small. Some have
been tried by many, some by few. And some have tended to be successful,
while some have tended to be fraught with mistakes.  None of these
initiatives is inherently good or bad, but any effort that is not driven by
customer and market needs is likely to fail.

This little exercise might prompt you to ask a number of questions.

What good ideas are missing from this list?  

Are your efforts customer driven?

Are you customer centric?

Have you done the research necessary to really know what is important to
your customers?

Is there really a market for what you are trying to sell, and have you
identified your competitive advantage, or USP (unique selling proposition)?

Pira can help answer all of these questions. Call Jack Miller at 203 925 0326
or  email
 jack.miller@market-intell.com



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