November 23, 2002
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - New Law of Demand and Supply
The gist of this book is right there in the title. Turning the old saw, Supply and Demand on its head, Kash suggests that organizations do the inverse: first, identify demand, thencreate the supply. While this may sound like a fairly basic theory, even common sense, the implementation, Kash tells us, is the hard part kind of like relearning how to walk. What the author does for us then is teach us how to reorient ourselves, step by step. And this is a man who knows what he is talking about! CEO of The Cambridge Group, a strategy-consulting firm, Kash has worked with companies from Merrill-Lynch to Gillette.
Why is this change in strategy so important? For a host of reasonsfrom the reduced life cycles of products and services, to deregulation, to increased competition as a result of globalization, to the ability of customers to compare prices and values at a keystrokethe market, Kash argues, has fundamentally and permanently changed from one that is driven by supply to one that is driven by demand. Kash then illustrates the Demand strategy with examples of companies that have used it successfully. While most companies have learned to listen to customer needs through market research, Kash offers an extended method. In addition to customer data, the Demand strategy includes Forces and Factors which involve analyzing the causal elements that are responsible for changes in demand, such as legislative, technological, political and demographics. Sounds smart to me. This is good advice for all types of organizations, big or small, and in fact, can benefit even the small company since small businesses are really searching for that toehold or springboard.
The Demand strategy is given six phases, of which, I really enjoyed Select your most profitable demand segment which encouraged me to look at my company, divide our services up by demand, and choose one of those sections which I thought we really excelled at and whose needs have not yet been totally met. To bring out another old saw: you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Really, it is not a matter of offering EVERY item or service you can think of to an audience of millions, instead, it is about figuring out what a specific section of that audience needs, and then tailoring our services to fit. Wow, what a relief. From that point, Kash helps us progress through the following phases to execution. And this really is the strength of the book Kashs ability to take a simple theory that may be crucial to the future financial success of your company and makes it do-able.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.