The Turnaround of H-P – Smaller Company Lessons


There was a great article last week in the WSJ – H-P Overhaul Shows Promise by Spencer Ante. I’ve summarized below some great takeaways to consider. It certainly inspired me to revisit the operational plan I’m executing in the businesses I’m scaling.

 Symptoms & Operational Actions
  1.  The sales force was struggling with proposals based on Oracle software. Quotes were taking days to produce. Way too complex. Consumers couldn’t find printers and PCs on its out of date web site. Moved to cloud solution. Deployed Salesforce.com and re-engineered the sales team to make it easier to buy technology and services. Redesigned the web site to optimize e-commerce. Built intelligence into the web site to recognize mobile versus PC customers.
  2. The company’s internal systems were hindering productivity. Wherever possible cloud solutions are now deployed including HR software from Workday.com. The objective is to help employees with administrative chores such as personal data.
  3. Business partners sell about 70% of H-P’s $112 Billion annual revenue. The relationship with H-P had become too complex. So H-P cut the number of specialists that resellers have to deal with, sent more business their way, and dropped quote times from a week to a few days.
  4. Another operational initiative focused on key customer accounts. H-P introduced an executive sponsor program, in which senior leaders help coach account managers on the company’s top 400 accounts. The coaching helps account managers package, price and close deals.
  5. Another improvement streamlined the sales process by revamping the pricing process and reducing the number of product lines.
  6. But despite all these improvements, there is more to do. As Spencer Ante who wrote the piece points out – H-P needs to form deeper relationships with the leaders of its customers, not just the technology professionals.

So as the leader of a private business employing say 10 to 200 people, ask yourself if any of this “leakage” is happening in your business?

Article link here.

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