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Tag Archives: product development

What do search, the customer decision process, and NYC taxi cabs have in common?

One would think that searching online, how customers select products to purchase, and NY taxi cabs have very little in common. Or, that it’s the start of a joke. Actually both statements are wrong—a quick look at NY taxi cabs reveals a lot about customer behavior.

As Duncan Simester—NTU Chair in Management Science and Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management—pointed out in his MIT Sloan Executive Education webinar, “Understanding the Customer Decision Process: Why Good Products Fail,” “Customers exhibit some basic behaviors when they make purchasing decisions: they search for information, they make inferences, and when they can’t search, they use observable information. But this process invariably means tradeoffs.” Continue reading

Bringing process innovation and creativity into operations

When was the last time you re-thought your operations processes? Are they still relevant?

Process innovation and creativity are key elements to successful operations strategies. Companies reluctant to rethink their operations processes can learn a lot from those companies that successfully applied process innovation and creativity to their value chain, including:

  • IDEO, a small design firm that has incorporated creativity into its design and development process, resulted in the company holding more than one thousand patents and produced the first commercial mouse, the first commercial laptop, and the first stand-up toothpaste tube.
  • McDonald’s Corporation, whose operations strategies include balancing certainty and discipline with creativity which resulted in franchises creating some of the icon’s most famous items, such as the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish, and Egg McMuffin.
  • CVS, where process design engineering principles were used to improve the pharmacy order fulfillment process.
  • And, of course, Procter & Gamble (P&G).

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