Blog Post

But... We're not a tech company

I see it over and over again. Companies that have been successful for years by developing and selling physical products are now faced with the difficult realization that their customers want (demand?) more. It's no longer sufficient to just make the world's greatest appliances or lawnmowers. Consumers now want to establish a relationship with companies; a relationship that can advise, direct and educate them. That can seem horrifying to a company that has mastered the art of injection molding or metal stamping. Beyond the question of "How do we do that?" is the equally frightening question "How will that make us any money?". This should not be an area to be avoided. Consumers will ultimately find a company that meets all of their needs (products and supporting service). If your company won't do it, they'll find one that will.

 It's really not that difficult to develop these solutions. First - figure out exactly what is needed by your customers. Spending time with them is a good start. A good ethnographic study will provide great insights as well. But regardless of how you get the information, it is critical that you first clearly define exactly what the need is, then determine the best solution to satisfy it. 

The solution does not have to come from an internal resource - in fact it is probably best to find a reliable developer on the outside that has a track record of creating successful solutions. Yes, this falls into the camp of Open Innovation - but that should not dissuade you. Work closely with them to make sure their result fully satisfies the need you've identified. 

Finally, gauge success on the level of customer interaction your new service receives. It might be very tough to put a dollar sign on what this interaction provides, but increased brand loyalty and positive buzz will absolutely drive increased revenue.

So... You're not a tech company. So what? Your customers are looking for tech solutions. Want to keep them? Figure it out, or watch them slip away.

 

Jerry McColgin, Founder and President

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When problems are difficult, we work harder.  When problems are impossible, we call Jerry.

Jerry's built a career on his ability to overcome the biggest, hairiest challenges they could throw at him.  Most of it comes naturally, but his B.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University and MBA from Ashland University have helped him to apply his gifts to business.

Jerry's first successes came during his 14 years working for Whirlpool corporation.  He started on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Clyde, Ohio, and worked his way up to corporate headquarters in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  His most impressive achievement during his stint at Whirlpool was leading a cross-functional global team in the development of refrigerators to be built around the world.  With all odds against them, the project came in under-budget, ahead of schedule, and exceeded all expectations.  In other words: he did good.

During his time at Whirlpool, Jerry realized he could help other companies achieve massive successes using the same techniques and processes he had learned in his work.  That's when he started his first company, McColgin Consulting.  Since then, Jerry has started 3 businesses, founded the Greater Indy Innovation Roundtable and Indiana Innovation Awards and generated tens of millions of dollars of revenue for the dozens of clients for whom he's worked.

Contact Jerry by email or on Linked In.