Mr Lumb is an approved Executive Consultant at Appleton Greene and he has experience in production, marketing and management. He has achieved a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt in Transactional Process Improvement. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Electronics; Consumer Goods; Retail and Telecommunications. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, or more specifically within the following cities: San Francisco CA; San Diego CA; Denver CO; Austin TX and Boston MA. His personal achievements include: Americas and EMEA regional business unit design and management for consumer technology products; global marketing management, strategic business planning and execution; global delivery of consumer and commercial technology products; new product category creation, multi-channel product lifecycle management and cross-functional organizational design and management. His service skills incorporate: strategic planning; product planning; portfolio planning; product lifecycle; go-to-market and organizational effectiveness.
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Sustainable business success is determined by continually delivering superior value to your targeted end customers directly, through business partners or through channels where your customers purchase. Whether centralized or distributed across the organization, product management is a systemic function that should provide: an in-depth understanding of your target market and competitors; your target customer segmentation; translation of those understandings into the customer required deliverables that deliver the customer’s desired overall experience with your company; and enables your business to consistently and continually execute on those deliverables across the product lifecycle. At the same time, the product management function also needs to concurrently and continually update the “long view” of your target markets and competitors’ evolution. To accomplish this, the product management function typically splits into two areas of focus: current execution and a future planning (long view) effort. The current execution portion focuses on the current product’s or service’s lifecycle from detailed definition and development to obsolescence in relation to your overall portfolio of products and/or services. The long view enables business planning, future strategy planning, identification of potential market and solution opportunities, and identification of required capabilities of your organization to evolve the business for sustained success in delivering next generation products or services. Sub-optimal business results typically reflect a breakdown of the product management function. These breakdowns can include: missed market or competitor opportunities or evolution; lack of common or complete customer understanding; lack of synchronized execution due to incomplete or missing communication flows; conflicting goals or metrics across the organization; mismatched accountability and control within and across the organization; unanticipated shortfalls in functional capabilities and/or conflicting processes and policies. The Product Management Innovation service focuses on collaborative identification and improvement of systemic and function-specific suboptimal business result root cause(s) impacting your current and future total customer experience.
The Product Management Innovation service focuses on the function of systemic product management. Note that “function” does not necessarily relate to a particular job title or organizational structure. Instead, the term “function” denotes the processes, policies and metrics that define and generate your organization’s deliverables to customers and associated internal actions that determine your customers’ current and future experience with your company. Almost all solution-producing businesses have 6 core vertical functions (Business Planning, Product Generation, Demand Generation, Order Capture, Order Fulfillment and Customer Satisfaction) that directly impact delivering a successful customer experience and associated revenues. The Business Planning function obviously focuses on the long term view while the remaining 5 functions are all about your revenue engine. The product management function spans across these vertical functions to provide long term and solution specific market, customer and competitor perspectives, and specific solution requirements and actions by function across the solution lifecycle to enable sustained success by your business. The Product Management Innovation service philosophy is driven by thinking “outside in” to provide a customer-centric mindset and then utilizes a hybrid Six Sigma approach for collaborative engagement, scaling the depth and breadth of the process below appropriately to the service option chosen.
Discovery – this phase focuses on establishing the context of the engagement and can include: your business’ goals and aspirations regarding the engagement; the current state of the customer experience with your company; current state of your business and how your key contributors/ management team view the current situation; what are the critical communications flows, metrics, processes, and policies affecting the current situation. Design – this phase includes: initial identification of the suspected problem(s) or challenge(s) impacting the delivery of your customer’s desired experience; definition of the desired future state goals. Measure – the measure phase is intended to provide validation of the problem(s)/challenge(s); collaborate on any refinements to the initial problem/challenge identification and desired goals. Analyze – this phase delves deeper into the problem/challenge focusing on collaborative identification of root causes. Improve – the improve phase focuses on collaboratively identifying and implementing key improvements to remove root causes and can include design, implementation of, or changes to: processes, policies, metrics, communications flows, structure and/or training. Control – this phase focuses on the effects of the key improvements and that they are producing the desired results vis-à-vis the engagement goals through collaborative monitoring and measuring the success of the improvements and potentially adjusting or modifying as necessary.
At the end of this process your team should be comfortable in that they actively participated in the effort as desired and appropriate, understand how the root causes and potential improvements were collaboratively generated, and feel pride of ownership in the results.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
Businesses must see their investments of time, money, and effort in existing, emerging, or newly viable customer-driven solutions overcome the risks and challenges to deliver sustained success and return significant financial reward. Ultimately sustained success is determined by the total customer experience across your solution’s customer lifecycle, not just “what’s in the box”, and is the result of your entire organization working in synchronization to deliver that superior total customer experience; i.e. through a deep understanding of customer requirements and desires, your organization delivers a best-in-class customer experience from initial awareness, through learning and use, and ultimately upgrade or replacement. The Product Management Innovation service delivers systemic design and improvement based on senior executive experience, cross-functional strategic and tactical product/product portfolio management knowledge, and a range of tools, skills and practical experience insights for companies or company business units that want to be market leaders with their existing product or service portfolio and/or create new categories of market-leading products and/or services. Our mission is to collaboratively work with your organization to enable successful delivery of profitable superior customer experience across the solution lifecycle by providing unbiased, experienced-based, and systemic product management expertise addressing processes, policies, systemic customer-driven metrics and business structure through advising and support, analysis, assessment and improvement, tools and training, as well as project oriented services.
The following list represents the Key Service Objectives (KSO) for the Appleton Greene Product Management service.
- Market Analysis
Market analysis is the foundation to your current and future business success and is part of the Business Planning function. This objective focuses on the effectiveness of your market analysis process and can include: information sources and resulting inputs; key contributors to the analysis process; the actionable quality of the outputs from this effort; effective time horizon boundaries; and timely cadence of outputs. There can be numerous sections addressed in a market analysis but in most cases the following 8 are used for an effective market characterization process, each with their own inputs, analysis process, and subsequent output. First is a general market description including market state (current and anticipated), the market ecosystem that surrounds this market today and how it might evolve, market sizing methodology, and trend identification. Next is a customer attributes section including the customer problem or desire, any current solutions that are in use today, unmet needs/drivers creating the new opportunity, how customers measure solution value, customer purchase habits, and anticipated customer evolution. Typically the next section is a customer segmentation process methodology addressing commonality that can be leveraged across multiple segments, key customer expectation or capability differences between segments, segmented customer usage models, segment sizing and prioritization, anticipated common or segment trends, and customer purchase process by segment. Following segmentation is a by-segment customer’s purchase analysis describing the channels and channel attributes where these segments purchase. In most cases this involves a multi-channel analysis describing: the channel type; key accounts and their capabilities; account expectations regarding their gross margins; account planning cycles and lead times; ease-of-doing-business expectations; service levels expectations; and expectations of your predictability. Next is the analysis of any seasonality in this market and how it could affect your business regarding product launch windows, promotional timing, and any anticipated revenue fluctuations. Sixth is an analysis of outside forces that could affect your market including: technology; commodity pricing; economic conditions (e.g. is your product a necessary purchase or discretionary purchase); regulatory changes; exchange rates; etc. Next is a description of any barriers to entry that would impact your potential success in this market. Typically the final section is an analysis of potential supporting players in this market that would reduce your risks or increase your success in this market. As you can see, your market analysis provides key information to your next release of products as well as strategic inputs into your long range planning process. The output of this objective is an unbiased SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely) assessment and potential corrective actions for your organization’s market analysis process. Consulting services for potential corrective actions for improving market analysis results can include: process creation or modification; policy creation or modification; creation or modification of tools, deliverables and communication flows; training delivery.
- Competitive Analysis
There is always competition facing your business either directly or indirectly impacting your success. If you feel you don’t have direct competitors this indicates one of two challenges for your business: does this market even exist if no one else is doing this solution (the assumption is that your market analysis does prove the existence or potential for a new solution category); or once you enter this new category, competition will not be far behind! This objective focuses on the effectiveness of your competitive analysis process, also part of the Business Planning function, and can include: information sources and resulting inputs; key contributors to the analysis process; the actionable quality of the outputs; and how the process ensures timely identification and potential responses to competitive trends and specific competitor moves. To a large extent, competitive analysis needs to be driven by how your segmented customers perceive the value of the competitor’s offering but also includes competitor business attributes that indicate their capabilities and future direction. Fortunately, in many cases, the internet has made gathering a portion of customer perceptions easier than it was in the past although these must be kept in the perspective of how qualitative versus quantitative this information really is and to deeply understand the customers’ perception of competitors requires a more holistic look than just a “vocal few”. The competitive analysis assessment can include: how effectively the analysis addresses the overall competitive landscape in your targeted market(s); the depth of understanding for the top 3 to 5 direct competitors regarding the customer experience they deliver; your analysis process of how those competitors may move forward and/or respond to competitive threats; what are your anticipated advantages over the key competitors; your process for assessing your business’ vulnerability to competitors and potential response. As with your market analysis above your competitive analysis provides key information to your next release of products as well as strategic inputs into your long range planning process. The output of this objective is an unbiased SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely) assessment and potential corrective actions for your organization’s competitive analysis process. Consulting services for potential corrective actions for improving competitive analysis results can include: process creation or modification; policy creation or modification; creation or modification of tools, deliverables and communication flows; training delivery.
- Solution Strategies
As a third part of the Business Planning function, the goal of the Solutions Strategy effort is to describe the “ideal” customer solution from your customer’s viewpoint. Solution Delivery, described below, uses this to determine specific products or product generations and their delivery timing. This objective focuses on the effectiveness of your solutions strategies process translating market analysis and competitive analysis results into the ideal total customer experience benefits your solution(s) should deliver and can include: information sources and resulting inputs; key contributors to the analysis process; the actionable quality of the outputs; and how the process ensures timely identification and potential responses to competitive trends and specific competitor moves. The solutions strategy assessment can include: segment selection process; completeness of your ideal customer experience specification process; business model and potential pricing analysis process; functional/organizational capabilities specification process; market readiness analysis process; opportunities and risks analysis process. The output of this objective is an unbiased SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely) assessment and potential corrective actions for your organization’s solution strategies process. Consulting services for potential corrective actions for improving solution strategies can include: process creation or modification; policy creation or modification; creation or modification of tools, deliverables and communication flows; training delivery.
- Solution Delivery
As noted above, Services Objectives 01 – 03 above focus on the Business Planning function and how the product management function supports anticipating the target market, competitor and ideal solution evolution over time to enable your organization to proactively adapt and stay relevant to target customers. The Solution Delivery Objective is all about your product management function’s ability to translate Business Planning outputs and solution-specific tactical customer research into actionable specifications, objectives and tactics for implementation and ultimately deliver of one or more immediate total customer experience solutions, and the supporting processes, policies and actions required the across that solution’s product lifecycle enabling consistent profitable delivery. The assessment can include: cross-functional planning processes for requirements gathering and trade-offs addressing solution definition, demand generation, purchase process, solution fulfillment, and customer satisfaction; the functional capability assessment process addressing requirements, ability to deliver and gap reconciliation process; ongoing customer experience communication flows across the vertical functions; assessment of strategies and processes that ensure synchronization across the vertical functions; alignment of the solution lifecycle to customer seasonality and the enablement of optimal processes and policies by lifecycle phase; the solution transitions process (obsolescence, pre-launch and launch) for profitably migrating from solutions in the market today to coming next generation solutions; indirect channel account planning; and identification of potential gaps and “white space” breakdowns between vertical functions during solution delivery and management. The output of this objective is an unbiased SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely) assessment and potential corrective actions for your organization’s solution delivery processes. Consulting services for potential corrective actions to improve solution delivery results can include: process creation or modification; policy creation or modification; creation or modification of tools, deliverables and communication flows; training delivery.
- Effective Metrics
The Effective Metrics objective focuses on the use of metrics to enable consistent successful delivery of your total customer experience. It is well understood that metrics drive behavior and so establishing a correct metrics system for customer experience is critical to sustainable success. As previous discussed, customers focus on the value an organization’s solution delivers based on their perception of the experience and unfortunately customers don’t care about an organization’s internal trials, tribulations, or costs that the organization incurs in that delivery. This means that your metrics set needs to include both a well-defined set of customer-driven effectiveness metrics and a corresponding set of internal efficiency metrics for a delivering superior customer experience while maintaining or increasing your profitability. These two sets of metrics need to be tightly interlocked and ideally cascade from the customer experience set into the internal delivery efficiency set. The challenge many organizations can have with metrics can include: the customer gets “lost” in establishing metrics; the metrics didn’t evolve with changing market and customer expectations over time; metrics reporting is more of a “grab bag” set of metrics than a cascading structure to enable context and subsequent drill-down for root cause diagnosis; lack of common understanding about what the defined metric indicates and how it is calculated; lack of governance allowing metrics to devolve into a set of “be interesting to also see” meaningless metrics that mask the critical few; metrics that only present isolated snapshots versus meaningful trends; conflicting metrics that cause conflicting actions between departments or functions; lack of anticipating the behavior or side effects the metric may drive; ineffective time sampling either delivering “noise” through oversampling or through delayed sampling missing a critical emerging trend. The Effective Metrics assessment can include: are the right metrics being reported to the right audience, is the sample rate correct; are the metrics customer-driven or “noise” that distracts; are the metrics showing trends or just a snapshot that may be aberration versus developing situation; do the metrics logically cascade to enable a “drill down” to actionable root cause diagnosis and correction; are the communication flows delivering the right actionable metrics to the right audience; is there an effective governance process for metrics creation and modification; and is the right owner held accountable for a metric. The output of this objective is an unbiased SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timely) assessment and potential corrective actions for your organization’s effective metrics process. Consulting services for potential corrective actions to improve metrics results can include: metrics definition or redefinition, development or clarification of how the metrics cascade; metrics process creation or modification; metrics governance creation or modification; creation or modification of tools, deliverables and communication flows; training delivery.
HP’s optical storage business unit desired to improve its performance by getting closer to customers to enable tailoring of solutions that matched regional customer experience expectations and improve profitability. Utilizing regional market and total customer experience analyses, HP’s business unit designed and transitioned its business unit model from a centralized global model to a global technology hub and 3 solution strategy/solution delivery-focused regional business units (Americas, APAC and EMEA). During this transformation, clear cross-functional roles, responsibilities, processes, information flows, and metrics were well defined and implemented. The end results were better regionalized products and processes optimized to deliver and did deliver superior performance in each region.
At the time, the consumer optical storage was an emerging hyper-competitive market. Utilizing a total customer experience execution model addressing the consumer’s lifecycle from awareness and purchase to repurchase or upgrade, HP brought their CD optical storage product line to a worldwide dominant market position (50%+ market share against significant competitors) through designing and implementing comprehensive demand generation strategies and tactics, solution strategies, and solution delivery processes that delivered explosive growth (>100% CAGR 3 years running) to exceed commitments for revenue and profit worldwide.
Seagate had the goal of developing their external and network attached storage business unit. Utilizing the market analysis, competitive analysis, and solution strategy and delivery processes, Seagate redefined their solution strategy and solution delivery processes to deliver new versions of Seagate’s FreeAgent flagship family, price-sensitive Seagate Expansion products families, expanded the product line to include Seagate’s first ever digital video product, and introduced a new SMB-focused BlackArmor network-attached storage and direct-attached storage solutions portfolio, including 24+ month roadmaps for each solution portfolio.
At the time, Seagate wanted to improve their SMB component storage business, focusing on improved ease-of-doing business experience and improving profitability. Utilizing market analysis to address the VAR channel customer purchase process, they enhanced the go-to-market planning process to deliver systemic marketing efforts and increased execution predictability to increase revenue and market share. Concurrently, using solution delivery analysis, Seagate improved their product transitions process to reduce returns, speed migration to more profitable new products, and gracefully manage channel product migrations for improved channel satisfaction.
As competition expanded in the mobile protection market space, OtterBox realized the need to improve their account planning and account management processes. Utilizing the market analysis process and analyzing channel/account management feedback, OtterBox redefined their account management process to better align with channel partners and enhance synergistic planning, streamline execution and increase revenue. This resulted in realigning shared and internal planning calendars, revamping the planning process to be inclusive of channel partners, improve collaborative launch processes, and determine marketing programs that capitalized on seasonality and product launch timing to increase revenue and market share.
More detailed achievements, references and testimonials are confidentially available to clients upon request.
This service is primarily available to the following industry sectors:
The goal of any for-profit business is to make money today and even more money tomorrow to meet shareholder expectations, enable investments for the future, and remain a relevant market participant. Since revenue growth is a key indicator of consistently meeting or exceeding customer expectations, ideally business strategies focus on increasing revenue while managing cost as a percent of revenue. To accomplish this, businesses look to the broad array of technology sector players for ways to significantly increase value and enable higher end customer solution price points, increase solution value at the same price for a competitive advantage, and/or reduce fixed or variable costs for the business. In addition to for-profit businesses, many technology sector businesses serve government (FedSLEd and military) and non-profit organizations either leveraging the same for-profit solutions or providing specialized solutions. As defined here, the technology sector spans from components and devices, to software tools, applications and infrastructure solutions. Additionally, many technology providers include consulting and support services required to utilize the technology delivered. The common theme for the technology sector is this is a non-consumer sector and instead purely business-to-business with attributes including: adoption driven by anticipated competitive advantage and/or cost savings; lower price sensitivity; longer and more complex sales cy