Why “focus” is so important to Fusion
Fusion has been operating as an independent company for over thirteen years, with over 50 consecutive quarters of profitability, and in that time one element of our strategy that has remained unchanged is “focus”. It has been a consistent mantra for the way we manage our business and make decisions and, I believe, it has probably been the key element. Let me explain what it is and why is has been so important.
According to Michael Porter (Competitive Strategy, 1980), focus is one of three generic strategies that a business can employ. It means to focus on one segment of a market to ensure you differentiate yourself or become a low cost leader in that segment. For Fusion, at first, we set out to be a BMC partner, with deep and broad expertise in the ITSM market in the UK. That remains part of our business and has allowed us to be both an efficient operator and differentiated from our competitors.
Today our focus has broadened somewhat, adding complementary elements. We are more of an ITSM services business, operating in a number of major geographies, including France and the U.S. We also provide product independent services as well as dealing in products like BMC. One downside of our initial focus strategy was that it limited our share of the global ITSM market but through broadening into closely related areas, we still retain a core focus.
Why has this focus strategy been so important of us? The first reason is to do with management. As managers, we are faced with many decisions – whether to invest in selling and delivering new products, whether to bid for new contracts and whether to hire new employees, for example. Our focus provides a framework or basis around which to make decisions easier. We only decide to do something if it consistent with our focus strategy.
Of course our focus strategy is great for customers. Customer know that our expertise is ITSM (often BMC related), where we have deeper and boarder skills than our competitors. We brand ourselves on being the biggest dedicated supplier in this niche segment. We know the market better and customers know us for being in the market.
Our suppliers know we are committed to them because it is our niche. We can train our people to work on a limited set of products, lowering costs and ensuring better training in one focus area.
Our employees also know they are working with the best company in the niche segment. They can be proud to be experts and turn their attentions on making us even better within that niche, rather than being distracted by other segments.
This focus strategy ensures we are more consistent in making profits, ensuring stable employment and avoiding making poor decisions on diversification.