At every phase of your business’ operation, it is key to align the product mix with customer demand to optimize the production process and grow revenue. Matching the right production flow with your product mix is crucial for maximizing profitability.
The product process matrix and SKU-level data from your products and competitors can provide a significant competitive advantage.
What is a Product Process Matrix?
The product process matrix merges a product lifecycle with the process lifecycle.
The product lifecycle covers everything from introducing products to market, growth phases, maturity, decline, and retirement. The process lifecycle is about how goods are produced. Aligning these two lifecycles creates more efficient production.
The product process matrix is vital for product management to make better decisions. By educating teams and stakeholders, you can help identify areas for improvement and your company’s competence to stay ahead of your competitors.
The Benefits of the Product Process Matrix
Using the product matrix produces several key benefits, including:
- Broader organizational processes. Companies can identify capabilities spanning across products and processes.
- Alignment between departments like marketing, operations, and sales. All groups can visualize how products align with the production process.
- Industry trend forecasting. Companies can anticipate challenges and respond strategically.
- New business opportunities. Insights from the matrix can uncover areas primed for growth.
The 4 Stages of the Product Process Matrix
The product process matrix helps to define the way goods are produced. Production generally falls into one of four quadrants.
|Low Volume |
|Low Volume |
|High Volume |
|Highest Volume |
|Jumbled Flow||JOB SHOP|
|Connected Flow||ASSEMBLY LINE|
Focuses on short-term, customized work with a low volume of unique products.
Improves productivity and economies of scale, producing multiple products in low volumes.
Streamlines production with fewer products in higher volumes for standardized products.
Achieves process innovations and high volumes, usually for commodity-based products.
The most efficient organizations align processes depending on where they fall within the matrix. This creates optimal efficiency. If companies need to move from one category to another for competitive reasons, it likely requires redesigning workflow and strategy.
How to Predict & Improve Sales with the Product Process Matrix
The product process matrix is a powerful tool for predicting sales trends and identifying areas for improvement that can impact profitability. Here are the ways using a product process matrix can directly impact your sales.
Discover Production Operation Efficiencies
The matrix clarifies an organization’s production options within its portfolio, helping companies understand their core competencies. Knowing whether their processes are optimized for customization, batch, standardized, or mass production helps align product mix.
Misalignments can hurt margins, so the product process matrix can highlight areas that need better alignment or retooling. Shifting products to best-fit production stages increases margins and leverages market opportunities more efficiently.
Each of the 4 product process matrix stages offer valuable insights. For example, job shop products may need more customization to increase value. Batch products have great potential for economy of scale.
Improve Resource Allocation
The product process matrix can help with resource allocation as well. By breaking down products into quadrants, companies can identify the most profitable products and those that are lagging.
Organizations can then invest in the rising stars, phase out aging products, and drop laggards. Such resource optimization helps grow revenue in line with customer demand.
Optimize Demand Forecasting
By mapping growth trends to the product process matrix, sales teams can also improve demand forecasting and overall profitability, highlighting areas where additional resources can grow sales. Operations teams can better plan productivity in different stages to ensure adequate supply for demand.
Gain Competitive Advantages
Comparing competitive information at the model level can also produce insights into opportunities and threats.
For example, an organization might segment current product offerings using the product process matrix and compare it to their competitor’s process flow to yield insights.
This might uncover that competitors have moved into assembly lines or continuous flows, revealing opportunities for products with more customization. Conversely, if competitors have kept product lines in lower volume batch production, there may be more opportunities to pursue higher volume for better economies of scale.
The product matrix provides valuable information for forecasting and implementing strategic improvements, boosting both the top and bottom lines.
Enhance Product Process Matrix Insights with SKU Metrix
When combined with a competitive SKU intelligence tool, the product process matrix presents an amplified opportunity to understand competitive movement, opportunities, and threats.
TraQline SKU Metrix can further assist in identifying industry trends based on the insights of the product process matrix. By analyzing product data across categories, you can see rising and falling SKUs with granular detail by product, brand, and retailer.
SKU Metrix’s product library provides insights for more than 30,000 SKUs for durable goods, including pricing intelligence for competitors updated weekly.
SKU Metrix delivers the competitive information you need to identify industry trends and stay on top of your competition. To learn more about SKU Metrix or the product process matrix, fill out the form below.