Value Innovations are a very useful concept pioneered by people in Competitive Product and Services Positioning. Analyzing the various of dimensions of Value of products or services as perceived by customers leads to competitive positioning that can lead to success.
McDonalds restaurants always sold very inexpensive coffee. However they wanted to compete with Starbucks in the Coffee department. They have introduced a new line of coffee products, somewhat more expensive than the ones they offerred before but less expensive than the ones at Starbucks. Starbucks was not serving the segment that was unhappy with the McDonalds coffee but did not want to pay Starbucks prices. They found innovation in Value. This can be value in the sense of Price, Quality, Speed of Service etc.
The same Value Innovations are applicable in Business Processes when it comes to Process Improvement. Customers are very used to paying different prices for Package Delivery all the way from Next Day to 3-Day to Ground Delivery. Their expectations are all the Value they want out of the delivery process. They fully expect to pay different prices for the different levels of service.
Credit Card companies have started authorizing applications instantly online, sometimes allowing them to apply in the context of an online purchase, allowing them to charge that purchase with the online authorization that happened just seconds ago.
Technlogy in the form of Business Rules Engines, Workflow Solutions, Online Credit Reports, Online Databases of various kinds, etc allow business processes to be designed to allow a number of Value Innovations to be added to the business process.
Business Process Improvement stands to benefit a great deal when combined with technology and Value Innovations. It offers the company to effect competitive strategy when it comes to products and services.
Something to think about when pondering process improvement!
To innovate is not to reform – Anonymous