Free yourself from bottlenecks

In the HBR article Break Your Industry’s Bottlenecks, Barrett Ersek presents the idea that every industry is constrained by a common bottleneck that plagues all the players in that industry. He observed that these bottlenecks generally fall into one of the following categories:

An outdated customer experience
Superfluous expense categories
Customer-borne risks
Disengaged employees

One key distinction is that a bottleneck is felt by the entire industry. This of course means that the firm that breaks the bottleneck has a great shot at prevailing with a formidable competitive advantage. This is precisely where our work within the category of process automation and improvement begins.

“We used to spend a couple of hours per organization, and there are a lot of them, in order to process 100–150 kids, cheerleaders, and coaches. We can now finish the process in an hour or less, using 2 people instead of 4 for the same work.”

Executive Vice President / Texas Youth Football Association

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What is your industry bottleneck?
How can technology be deployed to eradicate it?

THE BOTTLENECK:
An outdated customer experience
What to ask:

Has the customer experience in your industry remained unchanged for a long time? Does your current process require customers to do a lot of work or repeat non-value adding steps? How are other industries employing technology to streamline their CX? Could you do the same?

Learn how Photomadic pivoted from one-time sales to a recurring revenue model and grew into a national provider by upgrading their customer experience

BOTTLENECK:
Superfluous expense categories
What to ask:

What are the largest expense categories that are common in your industry? These typically come from real estate, labor and other production costs. Does your industry demand a lot of cash from your balance sheet? How could technology eliminate, or drastically reduce the cost?

Learn how the City of Houston cut $40M per year in superfluous expenses over 2 years by aggregating information about expenses across departments 

BOTTLENECK:
Customer-borne risk
What to ask:

Does buying your product require customers to assume significant risk? If your company were to assume that risk, would it change customers’ purchase decisions?

Learn how NRG Solar employed this strategy to generate $80M in new revenue and captured the residential solar market by storm

BOTTLENECK:
Disengaged employees
What to ask:

Does your industry suffer from high turnover or employee disengagement? As described in his book Free Agent Nation, Daniel Pink describes how more and more workers are opting out of a steady paycheck to become their own bosses and the firms who enable them are winning big.

Learn how First Crush Tastings tripled sales by employing this approach

What is your industry bottleneck?
How can technology be deployed to eradicate it?

THE BOTTLENECK:
An outdated customer experience
What to ask:

Has the customer experience in your industry remained unchanged for a long time? Does your current process require customers to do a lot of work or repeat non-value adding steps? How are other industries employing technology to streamline their CX? Could you do the same?

Learn how Photomadic pivoted from one-time sales to a recurring revenue model and grew into a national provider by upgrading their customer experience

BOTTLENECK:
Superfluous expense categories
What to ask:

What are the largest expense categories that are common in your industry? These typically come from real estate, labor and other production costs. Does your industry demand a lot of cash from your balance sheet? How could technology eliminate, or drastically reduce the cost?

Learn how the City of Houston cut $40M per year in superfluous expenses over 2 years by aggregating information about expenses across departments 

BOTTLENECK:
Customer-borne risk
What to ask:

Does buying your product require customers to assume significant risk? If your company were to assume that risk, would it change customers’ purchase decisions?

Learn how NRG Solar employed this strategy to generate $80M in new revenue and captured the residential solar market by storm

BOTTLENECK:
Disengaged employees
What to ask:

Does your industry suffer from high turnover or employee disengagement? As described in his book Free Agent Nation, Daniel Pink describes how more and more workers are opting out of a steady paycheck to become their own bosses and the firms who enable them are winning big.

Learn how First Crush Tastings tripled sales by employing this approach

Reduce costs. Increase value.

Authors of Blue Ocean Strategy introduce the concept of Value Innovation where they challenge innovators to imagine how the cost to the customer can be reduced while simultaneously increasing the value delivered. We leverage tools like Ersek’s X-Factor and Blue Ocean Strategy in our work with clients to develop the game changing strategy that will lead them to dominate their industry.

Download our e-book on Value Innovation

Discover how process automation can transform your business

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