Case Detail

Case Summary

HP Product Variety Management

Case Number: 5-310-511, Year Published: 2010, Revision Date: March 14, 2011

HBS Number: KEL571

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Authors: Jan A. Van Mieghem; Ilya Kolesov

Key Concepts

Complexity, Product Portfolio, Core Product Offering, Extended Product Offering, Product Breadth, Selection, Trimming the Tail


HP sells configure-to-order products. With millions of part combinations going into an order, the challenge is deciding which parts to keep in the portfolio to balance costs with revenues. The case explains how one would approach this problem before product introduction, but focuses on managing the existing portfolio.

Learning Objectives

Students will develop a systematic, data-driven approach to decide on the best product portfolio to sell for a configure-to-order business. Which SKUs are candidates for a “global core” product offering? For an extended offering? For elimination?

Number of Pages: 7

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Management, Manufacturing, Marketing, Operations, Strategy, Technology

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Global

Industry: High Technology, Computer

Organization Name: HP

Organization Department: Marketing and Supply Chain

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: VP of Sales

Decision Maker Gender: Female

Year of Case: 2009