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The Profit Zone: How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow's Profits Paperback – February 26, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For years, the prevailing wisdom in business was that profitability was a byproduct of market share; get the biggest piece of the market and profit will surely follow. But in the last 10 years, this formula has time and again proved itself wrong. Companies such as DEC, GM, Ford, United Airlines, Kodak, and Sears have all demonstrated that market share does not necessarily lead to profitability.

The Profit Zone looks at how profit happens in today's customer-driven economy. The authors demonstrate why market share often leads to a "no-profit zone" and identify 22 profit models that have helped dozens of companies consistently make money. Included are in-depth looks at companies--Disney, GE, Microsoft, Intel, Charles Schwab--that have successfully redesigned their businesses and dramatically increased the value of their companies. Instead of focusing on market share, these innovators first looked at their customers' needs and how they could profit from fulfilling them. The book considers example after example of how the profit zone works, from Disney's theme parks to Schwab's marketing and selling of mutual funds. The final chapter is a handbook that allows managers to apply the ideas to their own companies. Clearly written and immensely practical, The Profit Zone deserves a place on every manager's bookshelf. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Slywotsky (Value Migration, McGraw-Hill, 1995) and Morrison, partners in a management consultancy, offer a number of insights into corporate strategy, presenting a theoretical framework that crosses a number of enterprise sectors and employs a number of specific strategies. The authors point out that market share, once the sine qua non, can no longer be equated with profitability. For the authors, profitability today comes when organizations move from a value chain based on core competencies to one based on consumer priorities. This work has a textbooklike feel; besides defining 22 specific profit models, it details how a number of successful companies from SMH (Swatch and Omega watches) to Coca-Cola and Microsoft employ strategies either singularly or in multiples. If this book has a drawback, it is that the authors were unable to capture fully the pain and hard work that came about in the development and execution of a strategy. Definitely worth considering for business collections and a good choice for general collections.?Steven Silkunas, SEPTA, Philadelphia
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (February 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812933044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812933048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
In Part One, the authors argue that "market share is dead" as an overall strategy goal. Instead, to achieve sustained growth in profits and shareholder value, companies need a "customer-centric business design" which anticipates and addresses constantly shifting customer priorities. There is no single design which fits all circumstances. but the most effective designs will start with customer priorities.
In Part Two, the co-authors shift their attention to several "reinventors" who have achieved extraordinary success. Most are familiar: Welch, Hayek, Goizueta, Schwab, Grove, Eisner, Hatsopoulos, Barnevik, and Gates. However, and this is an excellent example of the book's unique and substantial value, Slywotzy & Morrison note that "the principles and techniques of reinveniting a company's business design to get it into the industry's profit zone...apply with equal force to small companies, to divisions of larger companies, and to the middle managers who run them. In fact, the reinventors we will be reading about in the future are already honing their skills at innovative business designs today." The authors then examine several smaller firms such as Madden Communications, Cardboard Box, Inc., and Clozaril Patient Management System.
In Part Three, the authors provide a "handbook" which explains in detail how innovation works.This book is relevant to all organizations (both for-profit and non-profit) which seek to increase their economic value. Non-profits must also make critically important decisions (such as those involving allocation of resources) if they are to achieve their objectives. The appendices provide additional guidance so that the reader can implement whichever of the book's ideas and suggestions are most relevant.
If optimizing your organization's profits is your destination, here's a map to get there.
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Format: Hardcover
A company paradigm shift must occur before profits can happen. Management must move away from product-centric thinking and migrate to customer-centric solutions. Re-Inventors know that customer-centric solutions help identify the business design modification and enhancements to invest resource, talent, and raw materials to build. Customer expectations, beliefs, and problems are constantly changing. Companies, who listen to their customers' needs and priorities are more likely to change processes to meet those customer needs.

Traditionally, companies have focused on selling more to anyone willing to buy products and services. The driving belief was growth was a function of capturing larger amounts of market share. This belief is not factually true. Many companies gained significant market share only to discover, they were not growing in profits.

The authors main argument is that market share does not equate always to profits because the customers needs and priorities are changing. This observed fact means companies not responding to the customer needs and priorities will loss market share even if they currently have massive market share. Failure to hear the customer needs and priorities will lead to the lost of profits: IBM (IBM had the market share in mainframes)yet faced decreasing trends in profits. IBM moved towards customer solutions. IBM mainframe business struggled (Read Who said Elephants can't dance) - IBM moved to solutions. IBM profits increased as they responded to the customer not the fact that they acheived market share. Market share is an indicator the company is meeting the customer needs not the reason to meet the customer needs. The egg before the chicken philosophy where meeting the customer needs produces the gold egg of profits.
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Format: Hardcover
This outstanding book has 12 incredible questions. Answer these questions and you will be as successful as Bill Gates, Jack Welch, and Roberto Goizueta, as this incredible book points out using them as examples! Here are a few samples to whet your appetite: (1) Who are my customers? (7) What is my current business design? (12) What is my company worth? In only 15 pages, you can answer these questions for yourself. What a great deal! I think you should quickly order this book and solve these problems for yourself. You'll be amazed how much you learn.
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Format: Hardcover
The Profit Zone is an intriguing read. This book is the precursor to Value Nets, but is still a great read. The book starts out by getting you focused on your customer, but quickly switches gears to ensuring that you are capturing profit for the value that you are providing. If your industry is changing quickly and margins are falling this book is well worth a read!
One of the most useful sections of this book is the one covering different profit models. The book covers 22 different profit models. For example, Product Pyramid Profit, which is basically having products tailored to customers desires that cover customer income and preferences. An example of this would be GM, which sells cars, but varies features and prices (Chevy to Cadillac) to cover a range of customer incomes.
One of the revelations of this book is that many of these profit models may have a five to seven year life (or shorter). Having a range of profit models allows the reader to see how to apply several profit models or understand transitions from profit model to another.
The Profit Zone is basically broken in three sections:
The first lays out the importance of the customer and the component that make up a business model. See Value Net review for more details, but basically value proposition, scope, profit capture and strategic control.
The second section is extremely useful in that is shows business that have due to changes in their industry or customers have had to recreate their profit model. Companies such as GE, Microsoft, Charles Schwab as well as others are used as case studies in business design reinvention.
The third section is a toolkit for apply "profit zone" thinking to your business.
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