Thinking about our clients, colleagues and trade association/ trusted partner contacts from across multiple industries and company sizes, four overarching themes emerge in response to the question, “What’s ahead for business?”.
- The customer experience: It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about manufacturing, logistics, healthcare or services, the customer experience is of paramount importance. This is quite different from customer service! The customer experience relates to how the customer feels after interactions with you and your firm. Whether you achieved perfect OTIF (on-time-in-full) or not, if the customer doesn’t want to do business with you, you haven’t achieved a superior customer experience. What will you do to up the ante?
- The holistic view: Although this is a common thread in our client conversations, it isn’t commonplace. It has become a “must” as the global marketplace is more interconnected than ever before, systems and technology are more connected with everyday interactions, and the customer and profit must go hand-in-hand. Clients who address a singular topic such as running a kaizen instead of looking at the holistic view of what will dramatically improve their business performance will be left in the dust. Are you looking at what your executives or Board are asking about or are you taking a step back to look at your business from the holistic view?
- Volatility is the new norm: The stock markets and business performance are becoming less and less related to one another yet both are volatile. There is uncertainty in global trade, government shutdowns, the impact of artificial intelligence and robots, natural disasters such as the California fires, what the disruptors such as Netflix and Uber will do next and much more. Are you thinking about how to create a resilient end-to-end supply chain?
- The Coming Power of manufacturing and supply chain:No matter your industry, you better pay attention! For example, according to a Healthcare Finance article, by 2020, supply chain expenses will eclipse labor as the new number one cost in healthcare. Also, according to a Chairman at the City of Hope, the cure for several types of cancer is within reach but will be cost prohibitive unless manufacturers figure out how to produce in volume and less expensively. Certainly, Amazon is turning the world upside down, creating an entirely new relevance to the art of maximizing service, inventory and margins simultaneously. Reshoring is on the rise, additive manufacturing is uniquely positioned to transform industries (customized, immediate products on demand), and bringing the customer closer to the source is a recipe for success. Do you still see manufacturing as outsourced to China or as a force?
Our most successful clients will be thinking about these trends to integrate into their strategy, their customer conversations and their employee and partner plans. Are you positioned to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the risks? If you would like an expert to assess your situation, contact us.