Strategic platforms help us understand our business model and where we compete for customers, what our customers expect from us and how we go to market.
- S-V – Industry platform, where our enterprise competes using industry standard practices.
- S-IV – Market platform, where our multiple systems integrate with market systems.
- S-III – Single serial system platform, where we see the introduction of warranties as a competitive edge.
- S-II – Process implementation platform (of someone else’s system, like a franchisee).
- S-I – Product or service platform, where it’s all about the product.
As the organization grows from product to process to system, it ultimately ends up with multiple systems. The hallmark of an S-IV company is its ability to integrate those systems and subsystems. Internally, that integration inspects how work travels from one function to the next with a close eye on the capacity of each system and how that capacity impacts the capacity of its neighboring systems.
Until the organization emerges as S-IV, there is one system in its strategy often overlooked. That system is NOT internal, it is external. It operates like any other system, but it sits outside the company and it’s called your Market.
When the organization matures into S-IV, it finally has the capability to look outside. Prior to that, all energy is directed inside, on the product, process and internal systems. At S-IV, the company blossoms to look outside. That outside look is market responsive.
A market responsive strategy looks at the internal product or service offering through the lens of the customer, through the lens of the market. Adjustments are made in the product, not because of technical expertise, but because the market demands it. Car manufacturers took out ashtrays and installed cupholders. Why? Because the market demanded it. The market is mindful of gas mileage, but, at the end of the day, it demands cupholders.