Factors to Business Success [adapted from King, 2005]

Lionel Grealou Business Innovation Leadership Manufacturing 2 minutes

Manufacturers are managing the development of innovative products and services that are required to succeed in an increasingly competitive and distributed global marketplace. Ten critical factors determine the ability of today’s businesses to enable success:

  1. Strong leadership: the experience and skills of the top managers – the ability to define, lead, inspire and implement a vision.
  2. Effective management: energy, persistence and resourcefulness (the will to make the business succeed) of the top managers – keeping the ‘faith‘ in challenging time, motivating and energizing teams, bringing people together, leading from the forefront, etc.
  3. Differentiated value portfolio: a product (or service) that is at least a cut above the competition that doesn’t get in the way of people buying; there must be a compelling reason to buy; the product is great, the people love to provide service, the buying experience is easy and fun, etc. – having a compelling value proposition, continuously improving key differentiators against competitors.
  4. Informed and focused marketing: the ability to create a “buzz” around the product (or service) with aggressive and strategic marketing – making scarce marketing resources count, with as much homework about customers and their choices before investing in marketing dollars.
  5. Value-enhancing solutions and ‘trusted advisors: deal-making skills to sell the product at the highest possible price given a target market – enhancing customers’ perception of the value of a product (or service) and sometimes the power of one’s personality.
  6. Continuous improvement: the ability to keep developing new products (or services) to retain and build a customer base – considering gradual development based on improvements to the current product (or service) line and sold to the current customer base.
  7. Cost leadership: deal-making skills to keep costs low – keeping costs lower than competitors’ and continuing to look for cost reductions even when the business is profitable.
  8. Ethical business practice and people values: maturity to treat employees, suppliers and partners fairly and respectfully – trusting and respecting result in productivity increases in ways that may be difficult to see and quantify.
  9. Effective marketing promotion: superior location and/or promotion creating a connection between product (or service) and where it can be obtained – operating in both global and local markets to establish proximity and recurrence.
  10. Balanced portfolio: a steady source of business during both good economic times and downturns – over the long term, developing a product (or service) mix that will include winners during good economic times and other winners when times are tough. 

What are your thoughts?


This post was originally published on LinkedIn on 5 September 2015.

About the Author

Lionel Grealou


Lionel Grealou, a.k.a. Lio, helps original equipment manufacturers transform, develop, and implement their digital transformation strategies—driving organizational change, data continuity and process improvement, managing the lifecycle of things across enterprise platforms, from PDM to PLM, ERP, MES, PIM, CRM, or BIM. Beyond consulting roles, Lio held leadership positions across industries, with both established OEMs and start-ups, covering the extended innovation lifecycle scope, from research and development, to engineering, discrete and process manufacturing, procurement, finance, supply chain, operations, program management, quality, compliance, marketing, etc.

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