In Six Sigma, reducing variation is principle #2. It’s noted that when planning for Six Sigma, variation is undesirable because it creates an uncertainty of achieving your desired outcome. If the desired outcome you’re seeking is always profitability – then anything that may deviate from that model should be evaluated.
Savvy companies know that in order to grow, more resources need to be applied to products and services that perform. Often, that means weeding out options that may be under-performing. The trouble is, some companies don’t have the data to know the difference. It’s important to develop a process for pulling data on the performance of your offerings. Sit down and take an objective look at how each category is performing, and make a commitment to decrease the offerings that are not up to par in each.
Now, many companies grow through the addition of more products and services. That can make sense if the rationale behind doing so is cohesive with their overall portfolio. That means leadership has spent time rationalizing decisions around not only product additions, but sunsetting older products or discontinuing services. The result of not doing so is an overly expensive operating model which makes it difficult to scale and optimize profits.
We all know it can be hard to say goodbye to “fan favorite” products. It’s critical to take a close look at every product’s rate of growth and margin. Each product in your portfolio should lend toward a leaner operating model and quicker profits. Also, consider what will happen to buyers of items you will no longer offer. Ideally, there is a way to transition them to other products to keep your numbers trending upward. As you commit to analyzing performance data, also give thought to the process and timeline behind actually cutting the product and managing customer transitions.
Cut poor performers, apply more resources to better performing offerings, and watch your scalability increase. For more tips like these, read our entire white paper Scaling Made Simple: 5 Tactics to Help Growing Companies.