The Doctor Is In --Dickeson
In order to do that we must identify and optimize our core competence with the objectivity of solid data. What is it we do best and worst? Why is this? Equipment? Experience? Location?
Some jobs are dogs—trash jobs. With such jobs we don't need Jack Kevorkian to assist us to self-destruction. Some jobs are pussycats. If all our dogs were pussycats we'd build a house in Bill Gates' neighborhood.
Do we try to turn dogs into pussycats? We don't. We identify, cherish and foster our core competence knowing which is pussycat work—the market we serve best and that values us most. We gradually eliminate the trash, the dogs, the Kamikaze jobs. We steer our marketing machine like a Ferrari at a road rally until we finally emerge at the checkered flag.
Which Way to Go?
Without transaction costs applied to actual performance, we don't have a compass to point the path to our core competence. We've nothing but a packet of anecdotes—war stories that we tell from our selective memories around a hot stove in winter.
If we want to enter a new market, fulfill new or different needs, we first carefully define those needs and all of the nuances and peculiarities. Then we must ask what it takes to develop market competence. Next follows necessary research, development and testing.
Isn't this the secret of highly profitable printing companies listed in the ratio studies? "Profit" leaders find, develop and optimize core competencies using the statistical methods of actual job cost analysis.
Next time someone asks about your job cost system don't just respond with comment on your job cost estimating/pricing practices. Discuss the usages of your job cost analysis, benchmarks and resulting direction of your pragmatic marketing efforts.
—Roger V. Dickeson
About the Author
Roger Dickeson is a printing productivity consultant based in Sylmar, CA. He can be reached via e-mail: email@example.com.