Business to Business Marketing Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2284 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 11  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business

Citrus Business Strategy and Product Launch Planning

Defining the most critical aspects of the O-Citrus laptop PC product introduction and continued marketing, distribution, competitive position, service and support is the intent of this plan. The unique value proposition of the O-Citrus laptop is its highly modular motherboard and components architecture, which makes build-to-order strategies highly profitable and quickly accomplished, while also significantly reducing enterprise customers" time to service and support the system. One of the systems' key differentiators is its low Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and due to the modular architecture, Mean Time between Failures (MTBF), which combine drive down Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for enterprise accounts. Enterprise accounts including Fortune 1,000 corporations' Information Technologies (it) departments are the primary target market, with specific configurations of the O-Citrus specifically created for additional market segments. As the supply chain planning and management is crucial for the success of this product introduction, the decision has been made to launch O-Citrus domestically first and then selectively expand into other regions of the world.

Market Segmentation Strategy

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The primary market segment that the O-Citrus laptop will be enterprise accounts looking to standardize on a highly modular and configurable laptop that is also easily serviceable by their own technicians. In addition to offering both Microsoft and open source operating systems, the O-Citrus will also be configurable with larger Hard Disk Drives (HDDs), additional memory, and support for disk drives that can be partitioned by operating system. Also included will be support for RAID 5 functionality for ensuring 100% data replication through the use of laptops as part of an enterprise storage network, which is a critical requirement for enterprise laptops in intensive development environments.

Term Paper on Business to Business Marketing Assignment

Additional configurations are planned for the 3D graphic artist and designer audience of enterprises, software development, and network administrators who require extensive support for troubleshooting TCP/IP-based networks. Underscoring all these segment-specific features is the customized Citrus BIOS and firmware that is optimized to the specific needs of each of these segments, giving enterprise customers exceptional system performance at a low cost.

In summary, the enterprise computing market is the primary target market, with the specific segments in this market being software development, graphics development, and systems troubleshooting and administration.

Defining the O-Citrus Core Competency and Unique Value Proposition

The core competency of O-Citrus is in designing personal computers including laptops, desktops and servers that are purpose-built to have highly modular designs that ensure the lowest TCO for enterprise customers. As these designs are modular, there is significant flexibility in their configurations. The unique value proposition of O-Citrus is in designing, producing and selling systems that offer enterprise customers the greatest flexibility in configuration and deliver the lowest lifetime cost of any comparable laptop, desktop or server. To support the core competency and unique value proposition, the supply chain is designed to ensure a very high level of transparency and visibility, further supporting the flexibility enterprise customers need in creating their custom configurations.

Supply Chain Planning and Management

The entire PC industry's viability is strongly correlated to profitable inventory turns made possible through tight integration to suppliers multiple levels deep in the supply chain. The high level of integration requirements necessary for the Citrus business model to consistently deliver product orders on time, in the right configuration, to the right location necessitates a multiple of systems working on synchronization with one another. The lessons learned from Dell Computer Corporation's extensive supply chain, noted here, need to serve as the model for the Citrus supply chain. Figure 1 graphically illustrates the Dell Computer Corporation supply chain requirements overlaid to their most critical it systems. One factor contributing to Dell's success in the enterprise market is their ability to align it resources to supply chain requirements, all in support of the company's mission.

Figure 1: Analyzing the network topology of Dell Computer Corporation

The most critical lessons learned for Citrus of studying the Dell Supply Chain systems is the role of the i2 Supply Chain Management system, the critically important DOMS (Distributed Order Management System), and the links to logistics companies, system integrators, repair, service and support providers, and distributors through EDI. In addition the links to 3rd party hardware and software suppliers, component suppliers, and OEM customers all form the foundation of Dell's supply chain, supplanted with critical enterprise-level systems as shown in Figure 1. Not shown in Figure 1 but equally important are the many customer service, pricing, customer relationship management (CRM), and pervasive use of the Dell Premier Page extranets. Dell considers Premier Pages to be a highly effective it strategy that has delivered major competitive gains in enterprise-class, small and medium businesses, and in many state, local and federal governments. While Dell is understandably reticent to discuss this major competitive advantage the company has, it did at one time quote the figure of 50,000 of these extranets being in existence, in 14 languages (Dell Press Release, 2000). For Citrus to succeed in the enterprise market, there needs to be a strong focus on how to create their own version of Premier Pages to better serve these customers. All of the applications and functions on the Pages need to be tightly integrated back to supply chain management, supply chain planning, logistics and fulfillment systems as Dell has successfully done.

Promotional Strategies

Citrus' promotional strategies focus on promoting the breadth of customization available to enterprise customers, specifically focusing on the most fundamental, which is Assemble-to-Order through Build-to-Order, Configure-to-Order and Engineer-to-Order. These varying levels of customization are critical for addressing the diversity of laptop needs in enterprise accounts. Figure 1, Product Customization Strategies Compared, shows the various approaches Citrus could potentially use for managing the breadth of customization requirements of enterprise customers. The columns in this table denote the specific channels which could be used for selling each type of configuration. The implications of promotional strategy by each of the columns have to do with strategy execution. For guided selling the promotional strategies would center on bundling popular components. For Sales Configuration, the focus would be on lowering per unit cost and for product configuration, the focus would be on very high margin opportunities as these would be highly customized configurations.

Figure 1: Product Customization Strategies Compared

Promotional strategies would also be defined by quote-to-order vs. guided selling strategies as well. Table 2, Comparing Citrus' Quote-to-order and Guided Selling Strategies illustrates the trade-offs from an internal execution standpoint of supporting these promotional strategies. This table shows the strengths and weaknesses of each of these very critical promotion and selling functions

Table 2 Comparing Citrus' Quote-to-order and Guided Selling Strategies

Quote-to-order

Guided Selling

Assemble-to-Order

Suited for volume purchases

Quotes should be automatically generated

Quote engine is more of an option selector

High volume, low margin products that require minimal assembly

New product introduction strategies that capitalize on rapidly declining pricing

Build-to-Order

Product interrelationships and model Bill of Materials created automatically for prospects

Taking advantage of pervasive integration with SCM, CRM and ERP systems when best practices have been attained.

Reports back key measures of supply chain performance so that customers' production, services and operations departments can in turn define their project plans.

Ideal for the online and indirect channels; requires product training however to get the most from this strategy

Guided selling makes the most sense here as a lead generation tool

Configure-to-Order

Citrus avoids Guided Selling strategies for these products as there is no data model and underlying constraint engine.

Engineer-to-Order

All items from Build-to-Order and the integration of CAD applications and PLM workflows.

Citrus avoids Guided Selling strategies for these products as there is no data model and underlying constraint engine.

Competitive Differentiation Factors

The O-Citrus laptop line will specifically be designed to have the highest MTTR and MTBF in the industry in addition to one if not the very lowest TCO, making the entire product family ideal for enterprise accounts. The modularity of the system itself, made possible by hardwiring the motherboards of the systems with high performance BIOS and firmware will also be a key differentiator. Secondly, the supply chain systems, specifically Distributed Order Management and the ability to quickly and profitably build custom configurations for enterprise accounts will be a differentiator relative to larger and slower competitors including HP and Lenovo. Thirdly, Citrus will publish every quarter a benchmark for every customer showing them their performance as a supplier and guarantee a specific level of performance to agree on metrics of performance. Enterprise PC and laptop purchasers have often wanted this level of accountability, and Citrus will supply this free to every enterprise customer to provide an accurate glimpse of overall performance.

Fourth, Citrus will also define its own internal benchmarks and reward employees when performance on these key performance indicators is at or above plan. Table 3 provides the key performance indicators (KPIs) that Citrus need to use internally to measure and monitor its performance. These need to pervade all processes within the company and be measured every month, with the results posted in the production… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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