Henry Ford famously said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Same holds true today in our industry. We ask our customer how we can help further. The answer we get is “give me faster horses".
Ford did not give faster horses as a product. Against all odds, he pursued an assembly line process and changed the product completely. It wasn’t about giving people what they wanted. It was about precisely knowing what customers truly needed without even them knowing about it. It makes perfect sense when we look back at it a century later. We even admire the courage it took to make such a bold statement despite the risk of alienating his customers. Even though we have this excellent example from the past, it still sounds counter-intuitive and risky to make such a move today.
Today’s rapidly changing environment has magnified the gap between what customers really want and need. “It works, don't change it” mentality has been dominating. Henry Ford was lucky because what he packaged as “new” could be sold the next day. Unfortunately in today’s world, what is new today could be sold last week. Hence, it creates this very illusion that visionaries are the predictors of today. In fact, what we see today were envisioned minimum five years ago. Exponentially advancing technologies create such a time delay that puts us behind meeting our customer’s true needs. As a result, we cannot distinguish what is truly “needed” and “wanted”.
We react to what is wanted and do absolutely nothing about what is actually needed by our customers. There are various reasons for this environment. Business has always been “usual” because elevator contractors do not always know what they really need, and power of fixture suppliers have been strong with resistance to change, and there has not been any life-threatening demand for technological needs from elevator contractors. So, everyone has been happy.
I can tell you with confidence that everyone is not happy. We just don't know about it.
Implementing new ideas in the elevator fixture sector has been unforgiving. Areas of improvements have been stagnant from order processing to technological applications. Risks are great, negative impacts are costly. The good news is that there are many ways to improve services and products to reshape the dynamics and create value to each project. We can start from the services that directly impact project lead times.
In short, busy is good. Busy is better when it is for the rights reasons. Today, we could re-shape the dynamics of the fixture order processing and potentially help by delivering the following;
What Henry Ford proposed set the course of future of its time. More highways and roads were built to make it feasible. There is a light at the end of tunnel; we do not have to build roads and bridges to order fixtures. All we have to do is keep an open-mind and learn more about what Monitor has to offer.