A value chain is the network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service providers and others which are involved in bringing a product or service to market. Understanding and effectively managing your value chain is critical if you want to build or scale your business. The right value chain supports the introduction of new products and enables a company to offer services to customers with optimal results. In this course you will be introduced to best practices, learn how value chains can support or enable innovations in products and services, and understand how your value chain can create a competitive advantage for your organization.
Learn How To
Determine what is the right value chain strategy for your business
Most of us think of innovations as new product features, new functionalities, or new offerings that customers value. But for any product to be successful, we must think of the value chain in which the product is created or manufactured. Although we use the term “product,” this applies to services as well, as often times there is a whole value chain that supports the provision of a service. What are some of the value chain innovations that could help make your innovative product successful? How would these innovations help to stimulate the cycle of additional product innovations?
Effectively introduce a new product or service
Value chains are an important consideration in any new product or service introduction. No new product introductions is straightforward: Your customers’ reactions can be different than expected, your competitors could create disruptions via marketing strategies or their own new product, and your manufacturing process may not be perfect. A sound value chain can enable you to adjust your own strategy in an agile way so that the new product remains successful. In addition, an efficient value chain can enable you to accelerate your prototyping, and allow you to fine-tune your innovations rapidly.
Innovate in value chains to support or enable product and service innovations
Value chains can help innovations and new product introductions in several ways. First, your value chain can break or make the introduction. Second, no new product introductions are straightforward. Your estimate of your customers’ reactions can be off, your competitors could create disruptions via marketing strategies or their own new product, and your manufacturing process may not be perfect. A sound value chain can enable you to adjust your own strategy in an agile way, leading to proper steering so that the new product remains successful. Third, an efficient value chain can enable you to accelerate your prototyping, and allow you to fine-tune your innovations rapidly.
Use your value chain to develop value-enhancing services for your customers
Innovative companies have made use of extended customer service as a means to create value for their customers. Learn how finding out the true needs of customers, serving under-served markets, creating comprehensive offerings beyond immediate products and services and going an extra mile are all ways to create value for customers.
Hau Lee, Professor of Operations, Information and Technology, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University