By Stuart Slater, Sebastian Nokes
Following the high-technology bubble of the previous couple of years we're now witnessing the big cave in of such companies, mostly as a result of the failure in their company versions. worldwide businesses and funding enterprises have invested seriously in expertise companies. a lot of this funding is now of questionable worthy. the matter for executives accountable for such investments is the right way to hinder additional loss and get better price. Written by way of a global authority on company restoration and the administration of high-tech companies, this briefing bargains a confirmed resolution permitting you to salvage high-tech investments. It presents a realistic advisor to assessing the price of a high-tech corporation or department and if it is worthy saving, designing and enforcing a strategic restoration plan and making a conceivable company proposition.
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Additional resources for High-tech Turnaround: Restoring Value To Underperforming Technology Businesses (Management Briefings Executive Series)
6 Managing sympathetically. Orientation to customers’ needs Most high-tech firms believe that their product development efforts are geared to meeting a customer or market need, or are geared to overcoming weaknesses in competitors’ products. The belief is usually genuine: the problem is that the belief is based on management’s mistaken perceptions of customers’ needs. Identifying customers’ needs for high-tech products is notoriously difficult since customers are rarely able to specify their needs, particularly where new technology is involved.
There are obvious risks in being so closely associated with one customer or, in the case of a service company, with one supplier. If the relationship goes wrong for whatever reason, or the OEM’s business starts to fail, the firm is extremely vulnerable. Chapter 4 identifies major contracts ‘going bad’ as one of the causes of failure of high-tech firms. The key to success, therefore, is diversifying the risk so as not to be too dependent on just one customer. Some of the small high-tech firms set up in response to the liberalization of the telecommunications industry in the UK which thrived on the back of equipment supply contracts for British Telecommunications (BT) found few other opportunities to diversify their customer base, as BT still had a near monopoly position in the UK market.
Some of the most successful firms have deliberately developed custom or semi-custom products alongside standard products in order to be close to their customers. The identified needs of customers are then fed into their product development programmes. A secondary benefit of developing custom products is that the customer pays for the development work, the firm often later moving into semi-custom products on the back of customer 26 Product-market and competitive risk financing. Other ways in which firms keep close to the market are through user groups and in-house product support functions that gather first-hand information about customers’ needs.