A look to the future?


Here’s another book that’s really not about the job search, but IS about where business is going.  I figure that this is useful in terms of giving folks a look at what to expect from those doing the hiring.  Anyway, How Companies Win: Profiting from Demand-Driven Business Models No Matter What Business You’re In  by Rick Kash and David Calhoun is a survey of how things are changing from a classic “supply chain” model to a “demand chain” environment.

{this reflects} a fundamental shift in the relationship between supply and demand in the global economy.  It is a shift from a supply-driven economy to a demand-driven economy.  It is a shift that requires a new set of strategies and tools.
The centuries-old definition of demand is a simple one: quantity sought at a given price.  But experience has taught us that demand is much more complex: Demand is what customers possess in terms of the needs and desires – emotional, psychological, and physical – they want satisfied, and have the purchasing power to satisfy. For companies, demand is ultimately about profit. At the end of the day, whoever satisfies demand the best, profits most.

For the “general reader” there are at least fascinating looks into the inner workings of a dozen or so major name companies, in case studies largely drawn from programs implemented by the authors.  Frankly, at points much of this sounded like the authors “selling” their (proprietary?) analysis services which would allow their clients to figure out the “demand landscape” for their products and services and so determine the “demand profit pools”, which appear to be hidden demographics of existing or potential customers what can be sold to at far higher mark-ups than most.  Personally, this is the sort of stuff that creeps me out about MBAs, accountants, and lawyers, but what would the Star Trek universe be like without the Ferengis?

On the positive side, at least speaking as an out-of-work communications guy who’s a “digital native”, the degree of consumer tracking and internal and external message delivery required by this model implies an employment outlook much like what a lot of the Social Media gurus have posited … you can’t establish an effective “demand chain” without talking to and understanding your customers where they hang out (on the web), and this requires having a large number of trained and digitally-fluent bodies in place.  In many ways, this would be a natural companion to Baer and Naslund’s The NOW Revolution, as both books are a primer for managers to address the new customer-centric business models.  So, at least there’s some hope to take away from this.

As always, I get into a bit more detail over in my review.

One odd thing to note about this was that it came out without either an initial query or any press materials, and didn’t ship from its publisher (Harper) but from The Nielsen Company, of which co-author Calhoun is CEO … I think it’s interesting that this little blog here has gotten onto their radar (considering that I’ve applied for at least a half a dozen positions there, this is particularly notable to me)!

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