Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive discussion of a change we all face and we are all creating, October 23, 2010
This review is from: How Companies Win: Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models No Matter What Business You're In (Hardcover)
How Companies Win by Rick Kash and David Calhoun is recommended reading for executives facing the need to grow revenues in a sluggish economy. Kash and Calhoun provide a comprehensive discussion of what is going on -- namely the shift from a world driven by your supply chain to one driven by a new demand chain. The demand driven world described by Kash and Calhoun explains why and how companies need to change their approach to win in the future.

Just about every company's strategy is based on the idea that demand is greater than supply and all that they have to do is be better than the competition and the money will flow. Kash and Calhoun make a strong argument that the economy has shifted with more supply than demand. This simple shift changes the whole basis for enterprise strategy, marketing strategies, products and services. The impact of this change and how leaders are using this reality to their benefit is the subject of the book.

While the book is targeted primarily at Marketing Professionals, I recommend this book for executives looking to understand how to move forward and capture the markets that matter. Line executives will gain an understanding of the importance of addressing different market segments. Technology professionals will appreciate the role that information plays in defining the demand driven enterprise. Others will find the author's arguments providing an interesting view on what is going on in a world where traditional notions of strategy and competitive advantage are under threat.

Strengths

The book is clear and comprehensive. The authors describe the process for creating a demand driven strategy and plans work. The results they achieve and sample deliverables. This discussion provides a clear view on the concepts they present and how they might apply to your company.

The book contains detailed discussions and case studies of leading companies like Best Buy, Hershey's, P&G and others. The cases cover both the decisions facing executives as well as the results they achieved. While case studies are common in business books the time, detailed and coverage are a strength of the book.

The book tackles complex issues that other actors assume away. I have read very few books that talk about issues like pricing, operational precision, etc. These discussions are helpful in taking a broader look at issues related to creating and demand driven organization.

The book considers the entire enterprise and its response to a demand driven world. The need to create a demand chain, new forms of marketing, the need for precision and operational excellence are all great points that make this a book that goes well beyond describing new ways of marketing.

The book is focused on providing a business based explanation of the challenge facing companies and its impact on top and bottom line revenue. While the book does advocate a set of techniques for becoming a demand driven organization, it never loses sight of the need to drive business results.

Challenges

The authors come from a Marketing background and the techniques in the book are marketing centric. However, the issues raised living in a demand driven world go beyond revising your marketing strategy. The authors know this and look to address the points in latter chapters, but there is room for additional material and insight into the operational, execution and other issues involved in becoming a demand driven organization.

The authors are consultants who have applied their tools with leading companies across multiple industries. At times, the book drifts into branding which detracts from the message. It does not happen often, but when it does its noticeable.

The consumer products and food industry are among the first to experience the reality of excess supply and therefore they represent many of the case examples. While the authors acknowledge business to business commerce, it is not the focus of the book. that does not mean that the concepts do not apply in business to business. It just means that the reader will have to work a little bit to apply these concepts to this situation.

Overall, this book uses a different view of the relationship between demand and supply to create new forms of strategy, new ways of looking at customers and markets, and new ways to execute in a tough business environment.

In a world that has changed we all need new ideas and new tools. Kash and Calhoun provide executives with the ideas they need to answer the question, where we go from here
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Mark P. McDonald
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Chicago, IL United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,250