Start Consolidating p26

Consolidating p26

Right now, it may help to show what a thoroughly customer-oriented management can do to keep a growth industry growing, even after the obvious opportunities have been exhausted, and here there are two examples that have been around for a long time. Without a very sophisticated eye on the customer, most of their new products might have been wrong, their sales methods useless.

But in case after case, industries have fallen under the shadow of mismanagement.

They were railroad oriented instead of transportation oriented, product oriented instead of customer oriented.

For companies to ensure continued evolution, they must define their industries broadly to take advantage of growth opportunities.

There are other, less obvious examples of industries that have been and are now endangering their futures by improperly defining their purposes. The Du Ponts and the Cornings have succeeded not primarily because of their product or research orientation but because they have been thoroughly customer oriented also.

I shall discuss some of them in detail later and analyze the kind of policies that lead to trouble. du Pont de Nemours and Company and Corning Glass Works. It is constant watchfulness for opportunities to apply their technical know-how to the creation of customer-satisfying uses that accounts for their prodigious output of successful new products.

Those behind the railroads are in trouble not because the need for passenger transportation has declined or even because that need has been filled by cars, airplanes, and other modes of transport.

Rather, the industry is failing because those behind it assumed they were in the railroad business rather than the transportation business.

They are not limited to the railroad business as such (though in my opinion, rail transportation is potentially a much stronger transportation medium than is generally believed).