Product Innovation is Key to Extending a Product’s Lifecycle

  • Comments: 11
  • Written on: August 22nd, 2011

It’s been over a month since my last post – inexcusable in the world of blogging.  I feel a little guilty about the extended absence so I wanted to write a post that explains the work that has kept me away from the keyboard.

Businesses make profits by selling products and services.  Over time, customers’ needs change and products and services that applied at one time become stale if they do not adapt.

Adapt or Die

For example, Arm and Hammer Baking Soda has been around for over 100 years.  100 years ago people did a LOT more baking than they do today.  100 years ago if you wanted bread, you baked it.  Baked goods requie baking soda in many cases, and a LOT of boxes of baking soda were sold as a result.

But in the last 100 years the living standard in the US has increased so sharply that people now buy most of their baked goods at the grocery store.  Most people who still make their own bread do so with pre-packaged mixes and bread machines.  There is not a lot of call these days the use of baking soda for baking.

Yet Arm and Hammer baking soda can be found in every supermarket isle and if you looked in your house, you will probably have a box somewhere.  Their product is still alive today because they INNOVATED and found new applications for baking soda in a modern lifestyle.

Arm and Hammer realized that baking soda absorbed foul odors in the ice boxes and refrigerators.  As a result, more than 100 years later they are selling just as many boxes and you probably have one in your house today.

Changing, improving and finding more applications for your products is critical if you want to remain relevant in a changing world.

Computer Repair Transitioning to the Digital World

Schrock Innovations’ products and services are no different.  Over the past 2 years we have worked to keep our products relevant to our customers’ changing needs.

  • We introduced the Schrock Desk Remote Online Support Service
  • We retooled our Preventative Maintenance Checkup to predicts and minimize repair costs
  • We offered new electronics recycling services to help our customers dispose of their old computers
  • We brought our Website Development division in-house to lay the groundwork for new digital products
  • Schrock started compartmentalizing product responsibilities to specific teams to improve service levels

Meanwhile, we have seen two of our competitors close their doors in an economy that only promises to become more challenging.

The driving motivation for Schrock Innovations over the next 2 years will be to increase the VALUE we are passing to our customers without increasing prices unnecessarily.

This is not a drive that is unique to Schrock Innovations.  For example, while many of Netflix’s customers are upset about a price increase in their service, if you look into the business mechanics of why they did what they did you will see that that price increase will allow them to deliver more than 2x the content they deliver right now at FASTER streaming speeds.  If Google+ is the Facebook killer, Netflix wants to become the cable TV killer.

The Next Generation of Schrock Innovations

With all of that said, Schrock is going to leverage what we are good at – local service and support – and apply our competitive advantage to new products and services.  Our customers are primarily concerned with:

  • Keeping their technology running properly
  • Staying malware and virus free
  • Preventing data loss
  • Buying computers for their VALUE rather than their specifications

The reason Schrock is doing well while some of our competitors are not boils down to one simple difference – innovation.  If a computer repair company’s objective is to fix computers that break or become infected they might do well for a while, but eventually there are only so many broken computers to fix.  Consumers NEED their computer repair company to create new solutions that solve – or prevent – problems.

I have been quiet for a while for a couple reasons:  First, I can’t keep my mouth shut when I am excited about a new product or service.  Second, the amount of planning and execution required to do what Schrock is planning on doing has soaked a TON of my time.

Over the next couple weeks I will let you know what is going on.  Our customers will LOVE it and our competitors will probably hate it 🙂

  1. used tires said on September 1st, 2011 at 1:10 am

    Nice to see you blogging here again Thor, hope you can make a few more posts during the month of September! Great to hear that Schrock Innovations is doing just that… innovating! Can’t wait to hear the details!

    -John

  2. Car Donation California said on September 6th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Innovation absolutely is key to staying relevant. Look at what Apple did in the past 15 years – going from a largely irrelevant player in the tech field to now being the 2nd biggest company in the world (only behind ExxonMobile). We’ll see if they can continue their pace without Jobs at the helm.

    -Jordan

  3. College Textbooks said on September 7th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    It is great to see you back and blogging again Thor! It is good to hear that even in this economy you are still going strong. It goes to show that you have got business down to a T. And know how to provide great service at an affordable price.

  4. Malignant Hypertension said on September 10th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Innovation absolutely is key to staying relevant. Look at what Apple did in the past 15 years – going from a largely irrelevant player in the tech field to now being the 2nd biggest company in the world (only behind ExxonMobile). We’ll see if they can continue their pace without Jobs at the helm.

  5. Coco Matin said on September 14th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Competition can kill your business and innovation is the key to survive. Survival of the fittest as they say and to be the fittest, you must be innovative.

  6. Zen Cart said on September 16th, 2011 at 6:01 am

    I completely agree that the only key to success in this domain is to chose the way of innovations, because I think it’s the only way to be ahead of your competitors. From your post I can see that you have find some new exciting solutions, so can’t wait to see them.

  7. Burn Candles said on October 24th, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Couldn’t agree with this more. The key part to innovation is listening. Listen to your customers and make changes that they want to see. It’s critical.

  8. Kayako said on December 6th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I think that’s obvious that the most sucsessful companies always choose the way of innovations, but this way is often very costly.

  9. gold equipment said on December 13th, 2011 at 3:25 am

    Every product having some defects when it was launched first time in the market.So the changes are made when it was launched again.This changes increases the life cycle of the product and we also called the maintenance phase of the product as our main motto is to increase the life of product.

  10. it support said on January 6th, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Prolonging the PLC of a product amounts to staving off the decline stage of a given product’s life cycle as that product contributes to overall company profitability. This might include such strategies as increasing investment to gain market share, innovation to improve a product, creating new uses for a product or recombining a product with new or other products to increase its utility thus prolonging the useful life of the product. (Church & Dwight Co., Inc., 2005) makers of Arm and Hammer baking soda and Morton International, (2005) makers of Morton Salt are very good examples companies that have continued to operate for decades by changing their products to fit new markets and adapting over time to fit new or changing customer needs.

  11. Petar said on February 8th, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Innovation was always a key to success.

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