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Product Modification

Product Modification
Product Modification – Solid Strategy to Capture Untouched Market Segments There is a pressing need for business firms to bring about changes in the physical attributes of their existing products periodically, to retain the customer base as well as to tide over the competition in the market. A number of factors may prompt the manufacturer to modify his product. To make best use of the technological advancement for the benefit of the firm Modification in lieu of competition To regenerate a product suffering from sales decline Product Attributes: What could be modified; it may be anything, the color, size, material, functional features, styling and engineering, etc., or a combination of these could be considered for modification. Ultimately these modifications should result in products emerging with better quality, features and styling. Consumer goods are offered with a wide range and variety to appease the different taste of the consumers as well as to stand unique in the market; Bathing soaps, talcum powders and cosmetics to name a few. Even producers, who are involved in core industries like textiles and garments, come out with a range of products to cater to the specific requirements of the customers. Product modification is different from product specialization that applies to high end customers whose specifications are based on the end use of the product and the target market. For example, mélange yarn is a specialized product used for producing better color shades for knitted fabrics (hosiery sector). Product modification concentrates more on increasing the appeal of the product by presenting it with attractive and improved attributes like, better packing and features. Strategy to Improve Quality: The strategy of quality improvement aims at increasing the functional performance of the product- its durability, reliability, speed, taste, etc. The added advantages would be versatility, safety and convenience. The benefits of feature improvement includes, Builds company’s image Can aid in winning over the target market Gives free publicity for the firm Infuses enthusiasm in the internal environment of a firm, amongst the sales force and distributors Style Improvement: Style improvement aims at improving the aesthetic appeal of the product. Why do you think automobile manufacturers are in the process of introducing new models of cars every so often? It is a strategy that amounts to style competition rather than quality or feature competition. This kind of style modification has to be done after extensive market research to gauge the preference of the people in the target market and to avoid colossal monetary loss if in case there is a negative feedback from the market. Manufacturers of house hold products can always take the risk of going for small modifications in terms of texture and style as new features can be adapted quickly, dropped quickly and often made optional at the least expense. A firm has to mix and match its product modification strategies to maintain its competitive position and to keep itself abreast of the latest developments in the market...
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Corporate Investment Decisions

Corporate Investment Decisions
What forms the Basis for your Investment Decisions Profit seeking is the ultimate aim of corporate management and the finance manager acts as the anchor point of the management structure. He has to provide specific inputs into the decision-making process, with respect to profitability. Cost control: What are the Cost Centres? It is the finance manager’s responsibility to have an eagle’s eye on rising costs by continuously monitoring the cost centers of his organization. Production department where there is always a need for additional resources or inflow of funds, should be his first target of contol. Costs are incurred by each and every department of an organization,namely,the production,marketing,personnel and of course finance and accounting. It is a difficult task to control the rising costs. That is the reason why, big corporate companies go for annual budget formulation at the start of the year and reformulates the finance plan by comparing actual with the projected figures. This kind of evaluation helps the firm to fix responsibilities for various centers of operation. Resource Allocation A finance manager is the first person to recognize rising costs for supplies or production, and he can make immediate recommendations to the management to bring back costs under control. While cost control talks about allocating resources to different responsibility centers in the desired proportion, cost reduction focuses on conserving the resources. Cost reduction can be achieved through modifying product and process designs, cutting down throughput time, doubling labor productivity, mass customization, standardistion etc., Pricing: Price Fixation It is always a joint venture between marketing and finance departments when it comes to price fixation of products, product lines and services. Pricing decisions are important in that, they affect market demand and the company’s competitive stand in the market. Pricing strategies have to be evolved in the wake of existing competitor strategies and market preference. The demand forecast is the prerequisite factor of the production process and in-depth market analysis and understanding is inevitable on the part of the executives. Future Levels of Profit The finance manager is also responsible for charting out the future levels of profit, based on the relevant data available. He has to consider the current costs, likely increase in costs and likely changes in the ability of the firm to sell its products at the established selling prices. So, it becomes clear that, such market evaluation cannot be periodical, as the market is highly dynamic and has to be done in a day-to-day basis. Before a firm commences a project, its discounted future fund flow and expected profits must be ascertained which will serve as a basis for comparison. Risk versus Return: Investment decisions always are risky as the gestation period of invested funds is very long and not to return immediately. Further, the firm has to calculate the time period in which its initial investment can be recovered and the feasibility of the rate of return on its investment. Fund Management The finance manager is engaged in activities like, mobilization of funds, deployment of funds, and control over the use of funds and also he is to evaluate the risk return trade-off. Profit maximization is the fundamental objective of any organization and the finance manager plays a key role in restructuring the financial philosophy of a firm to take it to greater...
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