A Lean Approach to Change Management

Difficult economic times demand new ways of doing business. Planning is a challenge, but even greater challenges lie ahead when it is time to implement a transformative plan. Applying lean management techniques to managing change can reduce waste, increase efficiency and ensure that momentum is maintained toward a successful transformation.

Pulling the Capex Lever

Companies across all industries have room to grow in optimizing “return on capex.” The fundamental questions of how much to spend, what to spend it on, and how to transform the investment into real returns must be answered in a radically different way.

Better Decision Making with Proper Business Intelligence

As companies focus on growth and business development, the availability of quality information is crucial for making sound business decisions.

Thomas Kratzert, Michael Broquist

An effective strategy framework must include the level of industry predictability as a main dimension.

Ira Gaberman and Marieke Witjes

Getting the right mix of strategy and culture creates a formula for business success. Pursuing a strategy of innovation in a dynamic market can only succeed within an inquisitive culture where the workforce pushes boundaries and management encourages new ideas and constructive risk-taking. Similarly, pursuing a strategy of high-volume, low-cost processes can only succeed within a disciplined culture where the workforce operates in an efficient, … [ Read more ]

“Home-Grown” CEO

Business leaders who achieve extraordinary short-term financial gains for their companies often become celebrities. But how does a company secure long-term value for their shareholders, and how does this correlate with CEO leadership? More specifically, what do we know about the importance of effective succession management?

The Theory of Everything in Operations

Current thinking on operational excellence focuses mainly on improving performance while neglecting companies’ interoperability. The central tenet of A.T. Kearney’s Theory of Everything in Operations is that, to achieve operational excellence, organizations must improve performance within functions while promoting collaboration across functions.

Playing on the New Strategy Chessboard

Hundreds of schools of thought exist on strategy, but none is universally applicable. The Strategy Chessboard helps articulate clear choices in strategic approaches so you can make the right moves at the right times in the right situations.

Expanding the Profit Frontier

For businesses seeking to improve profits, the low-hanging fruit is obvious. Cut costs, improve sales performance, optimize the supply chain. But after that, is everything else out of reach? In challenging economic times, you can’t afford to draw such conclusions.

Hitting Back: Strategic Responses to Low-Cost Rivals

Successful low-cost competitors don’t just sap margins incrementally. What makes them so dangerous is their ability to redefine the entire competitive landscape. The low-cost competitor transforms its value chain to reduce prices drastically. With low costs as a pivot, it shifts the ground beneath larger, less flexible opponents and turns their mass and momentum against them. Responses often come too late to be effective, and … [ Read more ]

The Old Psychology of Internet Pricing

What if you could use the Web to return to the old-world traditional markets where merchants sized up every customer and quoted an exclusive price to each one? You can. Rather than eliminating sophisticated pricing strategies, the Internet actually empowers them.

Steve Mehltretter, Sean Ryan, Paul Schroder

Effective business intelligence relies on visibility and “actionability.” You need to be able to see information (the right information), and that information needs to lead to insights you can act on. It’s not enough to know whether a customer or product is profitable—you need to know why. Getting to the multiple dimensions of why requires business intelligence at the level of individual transactions and a … [ Read more ]

SKU Optimization: A Parable and 10 Provocations for Action

Many companies are trying to cut costs by reducing the number of product classifications (stock-keeping units or SKUs) they offer. Here’s a story of a typical SKU optimization effort and 10 provocations that companies can use to help achieve lower costs, fewer out-of-stocks, higher revenues and lower prices.

Internet Value Chain Economics

The Internet has left its mark on society – from online shopping and banking to YouTube videos and social networking. Beyond these societal trends, how does the economy of the Internet work? How is the industry structured, and which companies are the players? How do companies make money, and what are the prospects for growth?

Sustainability – A Product Life-Cycle Approach

There is a lot more to measuring a company’s total environmental impact than merely examining internal processes. It requires a product life-cycle approach to sustainability-from growing raw materials and production, to distribution, consumer use and product disposal.