Finance AVP Tampines Brand Strategy

As a Finance AVP Tampines, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Marketing Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance AVP Tampines it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

The Financial Executives Networking Group

Emerging Technologies In Supply Chain Management

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

One of the most misunderstood terms in technology is artificial intelligence. There have been several arguments of how this could result into a very disturbing concept for the human race. However, without knowing, the cognitive system is already in use and even appreciated by all who fear its effect. Some argue that it will cause several distortion especially unemployment. However, artificial intelligence are managed, maintained and even coded by humans. This is an employment means, instead of unemployment.

What this simply means is that artificial intelligence can help to improve human life and reduce stress. Here are the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Insight in Marketing and Business

Data is probably the most important raw material for the transformation of an economy to a digital economy. However, this raw data are hovering in the air untapped, unprocessed, and useless. It can be deployed for data mining, and processing of big data in a few minutes to provide information on business insights.

Fraud Detection

One of the movies that displayed to a high extent what Artificial Intelligence can really do is the 2012 BattleShip. Artificial intelligence can be deployed in the detection of fraud by data analysis of several fraudulent behaviors. The system can trace out links and possible direction, which a fraud is most likely to take through the application of artificial intelligence, which involves Data analysis of previous record deployed in a cognitive system to track, trace, and even be totally be aware of possible fraudulent action before they occur.

Speedy Input and Management of New Information

Over the years, companies are constantly seeking ways to manage date, speedily input them and also recover them when needed. This has go through different series of improvement from introduction of filing to several other storage methods. However, data can be imputed at a faster rate and also be fast in recovery, and arranging every single file accordingly without time wastage by the use of artificial intelligence.

Big Data Analysis

For every company, organization and even the government, decision-making is a very vital role to play. A single error could cost a lot or possible bring the organization to a ruin. There are possible millions of data that need to be analyzed to make sure that every single aspect have been viewed before decisions are taken. Big data analysis helps to extract, analyze and compress raw information to assist in decision-making.

Automated Systems

Since the evolution of the industrial sector, the improvement of technology has always recognized and work along side automated systems to improve works. Introductions of artificial intelligence in hotel bookings, tractors and factory machine are all speedily becoming automated with a lot of advantages as to minimizing waste, decreasing errors and improving production.

As business, begin to plan their improvement and growth; it has become paramount to introduce different measure that will assist in achieving this goal. Artificial intelligence has come to play that very pressing role that can transform the face of a business, a government and even an entire economy from just a regular way of getting things done to a more sophisticated means.

Online Focus Group Companies Sgp

Tops 7 Mistakes Executives Make When Digitizing The Business

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance AVP Tampines, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Impact Of Digitization On Society In General

According to John McCarthy, who is the father of Artificial Intelligence, an AI is "The science and designing of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent PC programs".

Artificial intelligence is a way of making a computer robot or a software think intelligently same as an intelligent human thinks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the concept of having machines "think like humans".

AI has a huge effect on your life. Whether you are aware or not, it has already influenced your life style and it is very much likely to grow in coming years.

Here are some examples of AI that you are already using in your daily life:

• Your personal assistant Siri - It is an intelligent digital personal assistant on various platform (Windows, Android, and iOS). It provides you an assistance whenever you ask for it using your voice.

• Smart cars - Google's self-driving car, and Tesla's "auto-pilot" feature are two examples of Artificial Intelligence.

• Recommended products or Purchase prediction - Large retailers like Amazon, recommend you the products, send coupons to you, offer discounts, target advertisements on the basis of the shopping you earlier had by a predictive analytics algorithm.

• Music and movie recommendation services - Pandora, and Netflix recommend music and movies based on the interest you've expressed and judgements you have made in the past.

Other simple examples of AI influencing our daily life are:

- Facebook provides recommended photo tags, using face recognition.
- Amazon provides recommended products, using machine learning algorithms.
- Waze (a GPS and maps app) optimal routes, all at the click of a button.
- Spotify knows my music preferences and curates personalized playlists for me.

As per Marc Benioff, AI is going to impact corporate world, employees will be faster, smarter and more productive. It will learn from the data. Ultimately, it will understand what customers want before even they know and it could be a game-changer in the CRM industry.

Salesforce already bought productivity, and machine learning startups RelatedIQ, Metamind, and Tempo AI in 2014.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in salesforce is not about time-travelling robots trying to kill us, or evil machines using humans as batteries in giant factories. Here we are not talking about some summer blockbusters, we are talking about the salesforce AI which will make your daily experience smarter, by embedding daily predictive intelligence into your apps.

So, what is AI?

AI is not killer robots; it is killer technology.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the concept of having machines "think like humans" - in other words, perform tasks like reasoning, planning, learning, and understanding language.

Customer focused AI: Salesforce Einstein
Salesforce is focusing on creating a platform for solving the customer problems across Sales, Service, Marketing and IT in a completely new way by using Salesforce Einstein.

Salesforce Einstein is built into the core of the Salesforce Platform. It enables anyone to use clicks or code to build AI-powered apps.

With Salesforce Einstein, we can have answer of these type of questions:

- Are you sure that you are servicing your customers by the right client?
- Are you sure that your customers are getting services on the right channel?
- Is it correct to say that you are offering the right item to the right customer at the right time?
- Is it correct to say that you are using the right channel for marketing your products at perfect time with best substance?

Salesforce Einstein is your data scientist

Einstein is like having your own data scientist dedicated to bringing AI to every customer relationship. It learns from all your data - CRM data, email, calendar, social, ERP, and IoT - and delivers predictions and recommendations in context of what you're trying to do.

AI has the ability to transform CRM using Salesforce Einstein

- Sales people can spend more time in visiting customers, not in entering data in CRM.
- Sales people can now better understand the customer requirement and when they need it.
- Sales people can close deals faster by predicting the next step for every customer.
- A service agent could suggest a solution to the customer even before he asked for it.
- Service agent can offer cross-sell at the right time to the right customer.
- Marketing user can easily reach to the right customer at the right time.
- Marketing user know who could be the best audience for each campaign.
- He can easily identify the customer requirement so he delivers the perfect content to every customer.

Salesforce Einstein enables everyone to discover new ways, predict outcomes so help in decision making, recommend next steps, and automates most of your activities so that you can spend most of your time in building strong relationship with customers rather than making entries in system.

What will AI give me that I didn't already have?

Predictive scoring -Predictive lead scoring gives each sales lead a score representing the likelihood it will convert into an opportunity. You also get the reasons

behind the score - for instance the lead source, the industry, or some other factor is an especially strong indicator that a lead will or won't convert.

Forecasting -AI can also be used to predict the future value of something, like a stock portfolio or a real estate investment. If you're a sales manager, AI can predict your quarterly bookings and let you know ahead of time whether or not your team is on track to meet its quota.

Recommendations - Anyone who shops online knows that AI makes suggestions for retail purchases, but it can also make smart recommendations for any other product or service category from business software to tax consulting to cargo containers. And AI can also recommend things other than products - for instance, which white paper you should email a prospect in order to optimize your chance to close a deal.

Who can use AI in the enterprise

Anyone in organization can easily use AI to analyze their data, predict and plan next steps, and automate their tasks and decisions. With Einstein's comprehensive AI for CRM:

• Sales can anticipate next opportunities and exceed customer expectations by knowing what a customer needs before the customer does
• Service can deliver proactive service by anticipating cases and resolving issues before they become problems
• Marketing can create predictive journeys and personalize customer experiences like never before
• IT can embed intelligence everywhere and create smarter apps for employees and customers

What is Machine Learning

Machine learning is the core driver of AI. It's the concept of having computers learn from data with minimal programming.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Managing Director Digitization Challenges

As a Finance Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Membership Costs & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

What Does It Mean To Be A Resilient Person

The Agile Solopreneur And Growing Business Needs

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

According to John McCarthy, who is the father of Artificial Intelligence, an AI is "The science and designing of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent PC programs".

Artificial intelligence is a way of making a computer robot or a software think intelligently same as an intelligent human thinks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the concept of having machines "think like humans".

AI has a huge effect on your life. Whether you are aware or not, it has already influenced your life style and it is very much likely to grow in coming years.

Here are some examples of AI that you are already using in your daily life:

• Your personal assistant Siri - It is an intelligent digital personal assistant on various platform (Windows, Android, and iOS). It provides you an assistance whenever you ask for it using your voice.

• Smart cars - Google's self-driving car, and Tesla's "auto-pilot" feature are two examples of Artificial Intelligence.

• Recommended products or Purchase prediction - Large retailers like Amazon, recommend you the products, send coupons to you, offer discounts, target advertisements on the basis of the shopping you earlier had by a predictive analytics algorithm.

• Music and movie recommendation services - Pandora, and Netflix recommend music and movies based on the interest you've expressed and judgements you have made in the past.

Other simple examples of AI influencing our daily life are:

- Facebook provides recommended photo tags, using face recognition.
- Amazon provides recommended products, using machine learning algorithms.
- Waze (a GPS and maps app) optimal routes, all at the click of a button.
- Spotify knows my music preferences and curates personalized playlists for me.

As per Marc Benioff, AI is going to impact corporate world, employees will be faster, smarter and more productive. It will learn from the data. Ultimately, it will understand what customers want before even they know and it could be a game-changer in the CRM industry.

Salesforce already bought productivity, and machine learning startups RelatedIQ, Metamind, and Tempo AI in 2014.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) in salesforce is not about time-travelling robots trying to kill us, or evil machines using humans as batteries in giant factories. Here we are not talking about some summer blockbusters, we are talking about the salesforce AI which will make your daily experience smarter, by embedding daily predictive intelligence into your apps.

So, what is AI?

AI is not killer robots; it is killer technology.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the concept of having machines "think like humans" - in other words, perform tasks like reasoning, planning, learning, and understanding language.

Customer focused AI: Salesforce Einstein
Salesforce is focusing on creating a platform for solving the customer problems across Sales, Service, Marketing and IT in a completely new way by using Salesforce Einstein.

Salesforce Einstein is built into the core of the Salesforce Platform. It enables anyone to use clicks or code to build AI-powered apps.

With Salesforce Einstein, we can have answer of these type of questions:

- Are you sure that you are servicing your customers by the right client?
- Are you sure that your customers are getting services on the right channel?
- Is it correct to say that you are offering the right item to the right customer at the right time?
- Is it correct to say that you are using the right channel for marketing your products at perfect time with best substance?

Salesforce Einstein is your data scientist

Einstein is like having your own data scientist dedicated to bringing AI to every customer relationship. It learns from all your data - CRM data, email, calendar, social, ERP, and IoT - and delivers predictions and recommendations in context of what you're trying to do.

AI has the ability to transform CRM using Salesforce Einstein

- Sales people can spend more time in visiting customers, not in entering data in CRM.
- Sales people can now better understand the customer requirement and when they need it.
- Sales people can close deals faster by predicting the next step for every customer.
- A service agent could suggest a solution to the customer even before he asked for it.
- Service agent can offer cross-sell at the right time to the right customer.
- Marketing user can easily reach to the right customer at the right time.
- Marketing user know who could be the best audience for each campaign.
- He can easily identify the customer requirement so he delivers the perfect content to every customer.

Salesforce Einstein enables everyone to discover new ways, predict outcomes so help in decision making, recommend next steps, and automates most of your activities so that you can spend most of your time in building strong relationship with customers rather than making entries in system.

What will AI give me that I didn't already have?

Predictive scoring -Predictive lead scoring gives each sales lead a score representing the likelihood it will convert into an opportunity. You also get the reasons

behind the score - for instance the lead source, the industry, or some other factor is an especially strong indicator that a lead will or won't convert.

Forecasting -AI can also be used to predict the future value of something, like a stock portfolio or a real estate investment. If you're a sales manager, AI can predict your quarterly bookings and let you know ahead of time whether or not your team is on track to meet its quota.

Recommendations - Anyone who shops online knows that AI makes suggestions for retail purchases, but it can also make smart recommendations for any other product or service category from business software to tax consulting to cargo containers. And AI can also recommend things other than products - for instance, which white paper you should email a prospect in order to optimize your chance to close a deal.

Who can use AI in the enterprise

Anyone in organization can easily use AI to analyze their data, predict and plan next steps, and automate their tasks and decisions. With Einstein's comprehensive AI for CRM:

• Sales can anticipate next opportunities and exceed customer expectations by knowing what a customer needs before the customer does
• Service can deliver proactive service by anticipating cases and resolving issues before they become problems
• Marketing can create predictive journeys and personalize customer experiences like never before
• IT can embed intelligence everywhere and create smarter apps for employees and customers

What is Machine Learning

Machine learning is the core driver of AI. It's the concept of having computers learn from data with minimal programming.

Machine Learning Applications In Finance

The Impact Of RFID and the Supply Chain Management

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

AI And Machine Learning Spell Radical Changes For Business

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors' actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn't adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word - of - mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian "burnt espresso" flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word - of - mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is 'the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK'. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café's in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), 'is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso - based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store'.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as 'The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as "The Traditional Italian Café". Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as "The best UK Coffee House" in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK's definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO'S USP:

The Caffe Nero's marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO'S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle - income group of people who are middle - aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European - style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental - style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), 'THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN'

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It's Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd - Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, 'Catching the Starbucks Fever', Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), 'Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?'

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

IT Senior Manager Joo Koon Machine Learning Advertising

As a IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and New Innovations & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as IT Senior Manager Joo Koon it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Relationship Between Innovation And Strategic Management

An Overview of Proper Supply Chain Management For Your Business

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

The Internet has an enormous impact on how people communicate, shop, and work. This technology has also created changes in how companies conduct business in the 21st century. One of the areas of business that is likely to see tremendous change in the coming years is supply-chain management. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve in ways that will enable enterprises to change the way they manage inventory, place orders with suppliers, and communicate critical information with each other.

While some of these technologies have existed for years, or decades in the case of radio frequency identification tags, the harnessing of the Internet to these technologies offers the potential for transforming supply-chain management. Improved supply-chain management also means improved inventory control and increased profits.

In 2001, Nike missed its revenue target by a significant dollar amount. The shortfall was explained in part by a failed supply-chain automation project. "Some estimate that new technologies could strip out more than $30 billion in excess inventories" (Fonstad). The term e-business - as distinct from e-commerce - can be used to describe the adoption of the Internet to accelerate the goal of supply-chain integration (Lee) Four emerging technologies and practices in e-business will have a dramatic impact on supply-chain management.

o Virtual marketplaces

o Radio frequency identification tags (RFID)

o Synchronized planning

o Supplier performance management

VIRTUAL MARKET PLACES

MetalJunction is the virtual marketplace owned by two of India's largest steel producers. Tata Steel and Sail Steel traded more than 5,000 tons of steel in March 2002. By March 2003, tonnage had increased to 43,000 tons per month (Mills).

What is a virtual marketplace and what are its applications to industry? Virtual marketplaces have many names such as e-markets, net market places, and electronic markets. These markets all have common characteristics.

o Reliance on the Internet

o Buyers and Sellers come together without an intermediary

o Neutrality (all buyers and sellers are treated the same)

o Information is provided about sellers and products

In its most fundamental form, a virtual market place brings together buyers and sellers through the internet. At its highest level, a virtual market place gives a purchaser and supplier the opportunity to re-engineer the sales administration process, improve forecasting and scheduling, renew its go-to-market approach, shorten its order-to-cash cycle, and enhance customer service (Steel24-7). Ideally, virtual market places are centered on a particular industry. Some prominent examples are steel, agricultural products, and automotive parts. In addition to providing information on vendors and general information about its products, a virtual market may also offer product specifications, side-by-side comparisons, technical papers, and market analysis.

Many challenges exist in setting up an e-marketplace. Primary among these are identifying the tools necessary to use the market, providing a secure environment, pricing, payment, and fulfillment. For an orderly marketplace, Internet protocols must be selected. The cost of the technology to access and engage in the market must not be prohibitive. Security and privacy must be adequate to ensure confidential transactions. Authentication and authorization of users from many organizations must be possible. Private communication must be assured.

Pricing policies may be set or bartered. A common example of bartering, or auctioning, is E-Bay for consumer products. Payment procedures can be predetermined or arranged between the buyer and the seller. Finally, fulfillment of orders must be insured. As in the case of traditional marketplaces, failure to deliver in a timely manner will result in firms losing market power and ultimately may lead to failure (McKnight).

A final issue of concern in virtual markets is jurisdiction and governing law. Virtual markets place its members in the global trading community. Since e-markets are a recent phenomenon, defining the legal system responsible for settling disputes is an evolving process. Current legal reasoning places jurisdiction in the locality of the market. In a virtual market, however, one must ask where the market actually exists. While the FTC has attempted to exert control over on-line transactions, a definitive ruling on the jurisdiction for international e-market places has not yet been made.

RADIO FREQUENCY IDENTIFICATION TAGS

In November 2003, Wal-Mart gathered together its 120 top suppliers to announce it would require radio frequency identification tags (RFID) on shipping pallets and cases of merchandise. Wal-Mart set a deadline of January 2005 for its top 100 suppliers. The remaining suppliers will had until the start of 2006 to meet the requirement (Sliwa).

A basic RFID system has three components.

o Antenna

o Transceiver

o Transponder (tag)

The antenna activates the tag, reads, and writes data to it. When an RFID tag moves past a reader, its information is transmitted to a host computer for processing. Most common RFID systems are passive and contain their own power source, have a short transmitting range, operate at a low frequency, and have a low cost. While RFID has existed since the 1960's recent technological changes have reduced the cost and allowed the technology to be used in more applications.

A common everyday use of RFID is the automatic reading of prepaid passes on toll roads. The advantages of RFID are many fold. For example, RFID is extremely fast, non-contact, does not require line of site, and can operate in a variety of weather conditions. In the case mentioned above, the benefits of RFID will go to Wal-Mart, while the costs are the responsibility of the suppliers. Kara Romanov, an analyst with AMR Research, Inc., estimates the start-up costs for a supplier who ships 50 million containers per year will run between $13 million and $23 million. These costs include RFID tags and associated hardware and software (Sliwa).

SamSys Technologies of Richmond Hills, ON and ThingMagic, LLC of Cambridge, MA are two leaders in the application of RFID to supply-chain management. Sam-Sys is dedicated to an open system environment that will not limit RFID to a single protocol or range of frequencies. This philosophy is based on the premise of many vendors and readers that will work seamlessly together (SamSys).

ThingMagic was founded in 2000 by five MIT graduates. It has developed low cost RFID systems. Presently, ThingMagic is developing and marketing protocol agile RFID tag readers (ThingMagic). In addition to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense (DOD) is a key player in RFID development and deployment. The Department of Defense has issued a new policy, which requires all suppliers embed passive RFID chips in each individual product if possible, or otherwise at the level of cases or pallets by January 2005. In February 2004, the DOD hosted a summit for its suppliers to discuss its RFID plans (Broersma). To quote Colin Cobain the Chief Technology Officer of Tesco Stores: "The question is not will RFID change the way you do business. The question is will you be ready" (ThingMagic).

SYNCHRONIZED PLANNING ACROSS THE SUPPLY-CHAIN

"Synchronized planning, in the form of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity plans, information integration, and direct linkages of ERP systems, is one of the most exciting developments in supply chain management in many industries" (Synchronous). Synchronized Planning involves key steps (Lee).

o Information integration

o Planning synchronization

o Workflow coordination

o New business models

First, information integration requires information sharing and transparency. It is the sharing of information among the members of the supply chain. Information exchanged may include inventory levels, production schedules, and shipment schedules. The benefits include better job scheduling and a reduction of the bullwhip effect. "The effect indicates a lack of synchronization among supply chain members. Even a slight change in consumer sales ripples backward in the form of magnified oscillations upstream, resembling the result of a flick of a bullwhip handle" (Chase 335).

Planning synchronization defines what is to be done with the information that is shared. This can include collaborative planning and joint design. The benefits are lower cost and improved service.

If planning synchronization is the "what" is to be done with shared information, workflow coordination is the "how" it is done. Operations that can be coordinated include procurement, engineering and design changes, and production planning. Benefits include early time to market, improved service, and gains in efficiency. Synchronized planning can lead to new business models. Not only can these new business models redefine workflow, they can lead to changes in responsibility for different parts of the supply-chain. A redefined supply-chain can jointly create new products and lead to expansion into new markets (Lee).

Synchronized planning, however, cannot be accomplished without a tight linkage of all companies in the supply chain. Channels of communication must be well defined and the performance of each member in the chain must be monitored. The integrated supply-chain must hold members responsible for their part in the process. As product life cycles grow shorter and shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain grows in importance. To ensure that the supply-chain is driven by consumer demand, and to decrease the bullwhip effect, synchronized planning is critical (Lee).

SUPPLIER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

As the supply-chains of different organizations become tightly intertwined, it becomes necessary to measure the performance of each member of the chain. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testified before Congress in February 2001 that businesses were unable to anticipate the economic slowdown of the last recession, overbuilding inventories despite significant supply-chain automation (Fonstad). Even the use of the latest technology, therefore, may not guarantee that a supply-chain is operating efficiently.

One way to answer the question of how well a supply-chain is functioning is to develop supplier scorecards. There are five steps in developing an effective scorecard (Golovin).

o Agree on what is important and how to measure it

o Use web based incident reports to communicate problems as they occur

o Engage in continuous supplier management

o Measure to prevent rather than react

o Use web based software that all suppliers can utilize without making expensive investments in software and training

It is important that the buyer and seller agree at the outset on what is important and how it is measured. This is critical because once decided upon, the supplier will optimize its work to the designated criteria. If just in time delivery is a priority, the supplier may concentrate on this aspect of the order to the detriment of other factors. In addition, benchmarks to measure supplier performance must be realistic and attainable.

Actual performance should then be consistently tracked against these benchmarks. The manufacturer and supplier should work together to develop benchmarks that are consistent with industry performance and product specifications. The use of web based incident reports is important in keeping track of problems as they occur. Incident reports should not be used only to track problems, but should be used to resolve the problem in real time. It is also important to measure the time it takes the supplier to correct the problem.

Continuous supplier management, sometimes referred to as supplier engineering, has become more important as manufacturers outsource more of their operations. A 90-day review cycle can be ruinous when you are manufacturing an innovative product. "Innovative products typically have a life cycle of just a few months" (Chase 337). A 90-day review cycle may come close to exceeding the competitive advantage of an innovative product. Effective continuous supplier management must be geared to specific periods and tolerances. This is then tied to web based incident reports that enable alarms to ring when products, or delivery, are out of agreed upon tolerances.

An effective supplier scorecard should be set up to prevent problems as opposed to reacting to them. The sooner you know there is a problem the lower the cost of resolving it and the greater the chance of preventing it altogether. The best scorecard not only measures events after they have happened, they continually monitor performance in real time. The use of automation is key to making this happen. For example, a system that matches invoices with purchase orders will catch pricing errors before a check is cut and a manufacturer's money is out the door. Utilizing web-based software not only decreases the cost of a supplier integrating with a manufacturer, it speeds up the integration process. Web-based software also enables suppliers both small and large to participate in the supply-chain.

The other four points listed above all rely on the ability of a manufacturer and a supplier to participate in the planning, sourcing, quality control, and delivery of a product. The Internet enables all members of the supply-chain to collaborate and work together as a team. Finally, by making supplier performance web-based, suppliers are able to participate in their own performance improvement (Golovin).

CONCLUSION

Supply-chain management is an interesting and complex subject. It goes to the core of new business methods in the 21st century. The near universal availability of the Internet is the enabling technology for changes in how the supply-chain of an enterprise is managed. The Internet also allows organizations to adopt new business practices and enter new markets. By harnessing the power of the Internet, supply-chain management will continue to evolve beyond the changes being implemented today.

E-business has been the logical outgrowth of e-commerce. E-business adopts the power of the Internet to accelerate the growth of supply-chain integration. While E-business has had a tremendous impact on supply-chain management, it also can be adapted to both front end and back end business operations (Lee). Improved inventory control and increased profits are two of the benefits of improved supply-chain management. As noted in the introduction, Nike missed its 2001 earnings targets due in part to the failed implementation of a supply-chain automation project. It has also been estimated that more than $30 billion dollars in excess inventories can be eliminated through improved supply-chain management. These real savings can be brought straight to the bottom line.

Four new technologies and business practices that harness the power of the Internet are virtual market places, radio frequency identification tags, synchronized planning (RFID), and supplier performance management. Virtual markets enable buyers and sellers to come together 24/7 in effect creating a store that never closes. The additional advantages of virtual marketplaces are the elimination of an intermediary, access to product and vendor information, and a neutral market where all buyers and sellers are treated equally. Virtual markets give both buyers and sellers the opportunity to re-engineer their sales administration process.

As noted above, RFID has existed since the 1960's, however, improvements in technology and paring RFID with the Internet has expanded this tracking method beyond its limited past in manufacturing plants. The three components of an RFID system are an antenna, transceiver, and a transponder (tag).

Synchronized planning when applied across a supply chain consists of collaborative forecasting and replenishment, coordinated production, inventory and capacity planning, information integration, and direct linkage of ERP systems. The four key steps in synchronized planning are information integration, planning synchronization, workflow coordination, and the opportunity to develop new business models. Key to synchronized planning is using the Internet for information sharing. The benefits of synchronized planning include better job scheduling and reduction of the bullwhip affect. The bullwhip affect magnifies oscillations upstream in the supply-chain caused by a change in consumer sales. Synchronized planning also defines what is to be done with shared information and how it will be done. As product life cycles grow shorter, efficient synchronization of the supply-chain rewards firms who seize its potential.

Supplier scorecards are a method of evaluating members of the supply-chain in increasingly intertwined organizations. As Alan Greenspan pointed out in 2001, many firms were unable to anticipate the last recession and continued overbuilding inventory despite having invested heavily in supply-chain automation. This statement underscores the need develop the tools to monitor the performance of firms up and down the supply-chain. The five steps to develop an effective scorecard are agreeing on what is important and how it will be measured, the use of web-based incident reports, engagement in continuous supplier management, measuring to prevent problems, and the use of web-based software. In rolling out these tools, it is imperative that both the buyer and the seller first agree on what is important and how it will be measured. The other steps flow from the first.

The Internet has had an enormous impact on the personal and professional lives of businesspersons. On the business side, the Internet has brought new life to existing technologies and offered businesses the opportunity to engage in the world marketplace. The harnessing of the Internet by business has enabled greater cooperation and information exchange up and down the supply-chain. The Internet has enabled businesses to improve the supply-chain by the way they manage inventory, place orders, and communicate critical information with each other.

Works Cited

Broersma, Matthew. "Defense Department Drafts RFID Policy." CNET News. 24 Oct 2003. 5 Dec. 2003.

Chase, Richard B., Nicholas J. Aquilano, and F. Robert Jacobs. Operations Management for Competitive Advantage. 9th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2001.

Fonstad, Jennifer. "From the Ground Floor: How to Manage Inventory on Demand." Red Herring. 31 May 2001. 5 Dec 2003.

Golovin, Jonathan. "Five Keys to a Successful Supplier Scorecard." Vigilance, Inc. 5 Dec 2003.

Lee, Hau L., and Seungjin Whang. "E-Business and Supply Chain Integration." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. Nov 2001. 22 Nov 2003.

McKnight, Lee W., Diana Anius, and Ozlem Uzuner. Virtual Markets in Wireless Grids: Peering Policy Obstacles. TPRC 30th Research Conference on Communication, Information, and Internet Policy., Oct 2002. Vienna, VA: Telecommunications Policy Research Conference.

"Mills Warm to Online." Steel Business Briefing. 1 Jul 03. 22 Nov 2003. SamSys. 4 Dec 2003.

Sliwa, Carol. "Wal-Mart Suppliers Shoulder Burden of Daunting RFID Effort." Computerworld. 10 Nov 2003: 1+. Steel24-7. 22 Nov 2003.

"Synchronous Planning Across the Supply Chain." Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum. 27 Jan 1999. 22 Nov 2003.

ThingMagic. 4 Dec 2003.

Strategy Innovation And Entrepreneurship

Strategic Planning Have You Ever Seen A Purple McDonald's Logo?

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for IT Senior Manager Joo Koon, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Advantages Of Digitization Of Records

Supply Chain Management (SCM) as defined by Tom McGuffog is "Maximising added value and reducing total cost across the entire trading process through focusing on speed and certainty of response to the market." Due to globalization and ICT, SCM has become a tool for companies to compete effectively either at a local level or at a global scale. SCM has become a necessity especially for manufacturing industry when it comes to deliver products at a competitive cost and at a higher quality than their competitors. Here are some of the reason SCM has become important to today's manufacturing industry:-

Competitive Edge through Core Competencies

Today's business climate has rapidly changed and has become more competitive as ever in nature. Businesses now not only need to operate at a lower cost to compete, it must also develop its own core competencies to distinguish itself from competitors and stand out in the market. In creating the competitive edge, companies need to divert its resources to focus on what they do best and outsource the process and task that is not important to the overall objective of the company. SCM has allowed company to rethink their entire operation and restructure it so that they can focus on its core competencies and outsource processes that are not within the core competencies of the company. Due to the current competitive market, it is the only way for a company to survive. The strategy on applying SCM will not only impact their market positioning but also strategic decision on choosing the right partners, resources and manpower. By focusing on core competencies also will allow the company to create niches and specialization of core areas. As stated in the Blue Ocean Strategy outlined by Chan Kim, in order to create a niche for competitive advantage, companies must look at the big picture of the whole process, and figuring out which process can be reduce, eliminate, raise and create.

As an example stated by Chan Kim, the Japanese automotive industries capitalise on its resources to build small and efficient cars. The Japanese automotive industries gain competitive edge by utilising their supply chain to maximise their core competencies and position itself in a niche market. The strategy works and now Toyota Motor Corporation, a Japanese company, is considered to be the number one auto car maker in the world beating Ford and General Motors of the United States.

Value Advantage

SCM has allowed business nowadays to not just have productivity advantage alone but also on value advantage. As Martin Christopher in his book, Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Strategies for Reducing Cost and Improving Service' states, 'Productivity advantage gives a lower cost profile and the value advantage gives the product or offering a differential 'plus' over competitive offerings.' Through maximizing added value and also reduce the cost in the same time, more innovation can be added to the product and process. Mass manufacturing offers productivity advantage but through effective supply chain management, mass customization can be achieved. With mass customization, customers are given the value advantage through flexible manufacturing and customized adaptation. Product life cycles also can be improved through effective use of SCM. Value advantage also changes the norm of traditional offerings that is 'one-size-fits-all.' Through SCM, the more accepted offerings by the industry to the consumers would be a variety of products catered to different market segments and customers preferences.

As an example, the Toyota Production System practiced in Toyota, evaluates its supply chain and determines what is value added activities and what is not value added activities. Non added value activities are considered to be 'Muda' or waste and therefore must be eliminated. Such non added value activities are overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transport, over processing, excess inventory, unnecessary movement, defects and unused employee creativity. The steps taken to eliminate waste are through Kaizen, Kanban, Just-in-time and also push-pull production to meet actual customer's demands. The Toyota Production System revolutionise the Supply Chain Management towards becoming a leaner supply chain system that is more agile and flexible towards meeting the end users demands.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Finance Senior Manager Brand Awareness

As a Finance Senior Manager, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Sme Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Finance Senior Manager it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Track The Latest Artificial Intelligence Trends And Leading News

Is Machine Learning Helping Marketers or Making Them Obsolete?

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

In the last century, the world saw a massive revolution of innovation.

Beyond modern marvels such as digital advancements and the evolution of the smartphone, artificial intelligence is gradually changing society and how people navigate their lives. Machine learning is gradually being integrated into nearly every aspect of life.

It's already used in machine translation, email spam filters, ATM check depositing and facial recognition - and that's just what an average person uses day-to-day.

Predictive intelligence is making businesses more efficient, effective and successful. B2B companies deploying predictive intelligence for marketing activities are closer to the holy grail of understanding each individual customer - and personalizing all content to their needs and interests.

Technology not far from artificial intelligence is making a significant impact on the marketing industry. In fact, 86% of marketing executives have already indicated they have seen a positive return on investment in marketing technology and predictive analytics. The future of B2B marketing will focus on predictive analysis and intelligence, and have a major impact on lead scoring and content targeting.

The Transformation of Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is essentially a points system used to determine where your prospects are in the buying journey. The idea is to look at customers uniquely for a better understanding of what they looking for, what you can provide them with - and if they're likely to make a purchase.

Manually scoring leads, with this helpful guide, can be an excellent introduction to the strategy of fully comprehending customers. Assigning this responsibility to your B2B marketing team brings consistency, reliability and focus to a personalization approach.

Beyond manual lead scoring lies predictive lead scoring. This is a proactive way to accelerate the sales process by determining which customers are ideal based on past behaviors and purchasing history.

This takes into account other technologies, such as CRM or marketing automation, and demographic information to predict whom sales and marketing should be nurturing closely. Still done semi-manually, this method uses the insight from traditional lead scoring and blends it with modern ways of working.

In terms of the future of B2B marketing, predictive lead scoring using predictive intelligence is yet one step further. This is even more accurate than basic lead scoring, because of its correlation between patterns discovered in both a company's first-party data and general third-party trends.

It has also become the standard for most companies, especially technology-based businesses. A 2014 study revealed 90% of users agree predictive lead scoring provides more value than traditional approaches. The comprehensive nature of looking at customers holistically and integrating that insight into how you communicate with them can fast track your marketing efforts.

Given that artificial intelligence can predict the status of hundreds of prospects in a matter of minutes, marketers have everything to gain by using this technology.

A recent Gartner study concluded that predictive intelligence is a must-have for B2B marketing leaders. Just as marketing automation is being adopted widely within the marketing industry, predictive lead scoring is likely to follow.

The immediacy of reaching customers, understanding their needs and effectively determining their value to your company has created a necessary place for predictive intelligence in lead scoring.

The Power of Personalized Content Targeting

Predictive intelligence, an important component of predictive analytics, is also critical in learning which pieces of content to target to which customers. After predictive lead scoring reveals where each customer is and might be headed in the buying journey, you can glean insights from predictive analytics for establishing the tone, material and style of content each prospect will respond to most fervently.

An algorithm that determines the factors influencing a prospect can also pull the appropriate content. Just as you would send additional white papers to a manually-scored lead with interest in more in-depth material, this algorithm identifies the many customers to whom whitepapers would apply.

Sending the right content is just as important as creating it in the first place. Predictive analytics also leads to informed idea generation and content development.

Using predictive analytics in your content marketing takes careful consideration, but can be done successfully if you know the right data points to use and what to integrate into your existing strategy.

Seeing what content receives the most engagement and is most worthwhile to your prospects helps you tailor future content to those interests. Even with predictive analytics on your side to help you gain incredibly beneficial insights, it still takes a human to use the insight wisely and proactively.

Marketing professionals who work based on data, emotions and customer connections are the whole package in targeting content most effectively.

A.I. and the Future of B2B Marketing

Although artificial intelligence is not quite at the point of thinking, processing and completing tasks at the speed of a human brain, developments in the science of machine learning are getting closer to a complete takeover of this technology.

The existing uses of artificial intelligence within marketing is a good indication that the future of B2B marketing is bright - and that lead scoring and content targeting will be perfected as the technology matures.

With an already efficient system of analyzing data from thousands of sources to make sense of a single customer, predictive intelligence is making it possible for even small B2B companies to grow at rapid rates and expand their potential faster than traditional methods.

What Is The Role Of Business Development Manager

Digitization Challenges And The Importance Of Branding

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Finance Senior Manager, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

Owning a business is a very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared. One of the most intimidating aspects of business is branding. The reason is because many people look at all of the big corporations such as McDonald's, Wal-Mart, and other types of businesses that have been around for a very long time, and think that they could never beat these guys out. The truth is that you are not necessarily trying to knock these guys out because they aren't trying to knock each other out. The purpose is to brand you enough to make a presence. When you make a presence for yourself, you draw attention.

It is very important for you to brand yourself for whatever marketplace you are trying to infiltrate. When we talk about branding, we are not necessarily talking about emblems or logos. You also have to take into account certain branding signatures that make businesses well known. For example, you might see a crowd of people go to a particular business because of a specific deal that they have on certain days (i.e. free drink with purchase of two hamburgers). Sometimes deals, discounts, and many other common methods of advertising can cause people to take notice.

So how do you create a brand strategy? You need to understand the totality of what separates you from the other competition. Don't concentrate on trying to be the top dog in the marketplace. Instead focused on what you can do to stand out from the crowd.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Information Technology Tools Digitization Process

As a Information Technology Tools, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Business Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Information Technology Tools it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Business Environment Consequences For Industries Impacted By Digitisation

Advances Its Supply Chain Strategy With The Web Methods

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) as defined by Tom McGuffog is "Maximising added value and reducing total cost across the entire trading process through focusing on speed and certainty of response to the market." Due to globalization and ICT, SCM has become a tool for companies to compete effectively either at a local level or at a global scale. SCM has become a necessity especially for manufacturing industry when it comes to deliver products at a competitive cost and at a higher quality than their competitors. Here are some of the reason SCM has become important to today's manufacturing industry:-

Competitive Edge through Core Competencies

Today's business climate has rapidly changed and has become more competitive as ever in nature. Businesses now not only need to operate at a lower cost to compete, it must also develop its own core competencies to distinguish itself from competitors and stand out in the market. In creating the competitive edge, companies need to divert its resources to focus on what they do best and outsource the process and task that is not important to the overall objective of the company. SCM has allowed company to rethink their entire operation and restructure it so that they can focus on its core competencies and outsource processes that are not within the core competencies of the company. Due to the current competitive market, it is the only way for a company to survive. The strategy on applying SCM will not only impact their market positioning but also strategic decision on choosing the right partners, resources and manpower. By focusing on core competencies also will allow the company to create niches and specialization of core areas. As stated in the Blue Ocean Strategy outlined by Chan Kim, in order to create a niche for competitive advantage, companies must look at the big picture of the whole process, and figuring out which process can be reduce, eliminate, raise and create.

As an example stated by Chan Kim, the Japanese automotive industries capitalise on its resources to build small and efficient cars. The Japanese automotive industries gain competitive edge by utilising their supply chain to maximise their core competencies and position itself in a niche market. The strategy works and now Toyota Motor Corporation, a Japanese company, is considered to be the number one auto car maker in the world beating Ford and General Motors of the United States.

Value Advantage

SCM has allowed business nowadays to not just have productivity advantage alone but also on value advantage. As Martin Christopher in his book, Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Strategies for Reducing Cost and Improving Service' states, 'Productivity advantage gives a lower cost profile and the value advantage gives the product or offering a differential 'plus' over competitive offerings.' Through maximizing added value and also reduce the cost in the same time, more innovation can be added to the product and process. Mass manufacturing offers productivity advantage but through effective supply chain management, mass customization can be achieved. With mass customization, customers are given the value advantage through flexible manufacturing and customized adaptation. Product life cycles also can be improved through effective use of SCM. Value advantage also changes the norm of traditional offerings that is 'one-size-fits-all.' Through SCM, the more accepted offerings by the industry to the consumers would be a variety of products catered to different market segments and customers preferences.

As an example, the Toyota Production System practiced in Toyota, evaluates its supply chain and determines what is value added activities and what is not value added activities. Non added value activities are considered to be 'Muda' or waste and therefore must be eliminated. Such non added value activities are overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transport, over processing, excess inventory, unnecessary movement, defects and unused employee creativity. The steps taken to eliminate waste are through Kaizen, Kanban, Just-in-time and also push-pull production to meet actual customer's demands. The Toyota Production System revolutionise the Supply Chain Management towards becoming a leaner supply chain system that is more agile and flexible towards meeting the end users demands.

Artificial Intelligence Market Analysis

Brand Positioning And Digital Strategy

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Information Technology Tools, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

International Supply Chain Management

Even the best marketing strategies need to be revisited, if not revised. Changes in the market environment can dramatically change the marketing mix and your product plans. Marketing strategy should be viewed as a process, which means that the best laid marketing plans will change sooner or later.

Strategic change can be caused by many forces; sometimes change is a threat while other times it can be an opportunity. It all depends on how your product or business is defined; additionally, how you react may be the biggest factor in your future success.

Sometimes the market evolves and the demand for an offering changes. For example, obesity is on a dramatic rise in North America; because of this people are becoming more "food label savvy" about calories, fat grams, sugar, carbohydrates, and protein. Fast food restaurants have had to respond with salad bars, better disclosure of nutritional information, and leaner products.

Another source of strategic change is technological innovation. As microprocessors increase in speed and processing ability, older personal computers quickly become obsolete. A more disruptive technological change might be the creation of the MP3 format and downloadable music. Music is now purchased one song at a time instead as albums of songs.

Occasionally, a market is redefined. This is often driven by competition or customer demand. Today, our fast paced culture demands a more personalized relationship with information, which has created wikis, blogs like this one, and the birth of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). This new information content business allows the reader or viewer to get "personalized content" when they want it and where they want it.

Also, marketing channels change. Today the internet has changed the relationship of customers with providers. No longer dependent on the provider for education on products and services, the new consumer is more informed and sophisticated than ever. In fact, the consumer is more powerful and will get what they want or they will find another provider.

For the marketing strategist, the challenge is to anticipate the changes and take control of their destiny. The alternatives of delaying action or getting surprised can mean business failure.

As former GE CEO Jack Welch said, "Change before you have to".

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

HR Managing Director Managing Logistics

As a HR Managing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as HR Managing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Track The Latest Artificial Intelligence Trends And Leading News

Brand Strategy - Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

When I was ten years old at a summer camp I was leading in the potato sack race. To check on my competitors I looked over my shoulder and suddenly tripped and fell. I came in last place. Even the slowest person, Marsh Mellow Matt beat me. It was humiliating. But in the end I gained a good learning experience.

When a bargain-brand product attacks your premium-brand space, is it still healthy to look over your shoulder? Will you trip over too?

In a robust economy it's relatively easy to maintain profitable growth of a premium-brand product. Conversely, in today's economy, the competitive forces are testing the best of us. We are entering a new paradigm of business and the days of conspicuous consumption are quickly receding. Since 2007 over 8 million jobs have been lost. We have chronic unemployment at 10%, or in reality its 17% when you add the people who gave up looking for a job. As fear, insecurity, and the need to be frugal enter the consciousness of consumers, companies are responding by introducing lower price bargain-brand products. What's a premium-brand to do?

There are three strategies a premium-brand can consider; (1) Introduce your own bargain-brand, (2) Innovate a new value product category (3) Or, maintain status quo. Let's consider the ramifications of deploying your own Bargain-Brand.

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

There's a saying, "Never fight a pig because you'll get muddy and the pig will enjoy it." The same goes for a premium-brand looking to protect its market share against a bargain-brand. Every day we see new bargain airlines, bargain consumer products, bargain cars, bargain food, and bargain electronics. Be careful of the panic reaction when you deploy short term tactics in price discounting and couponing. It may only deplete profits. You can hold the line, but can you afford customers who defect to lower price brands. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond."

Seek your uniqueness

There are no right answers, but a journey of discovery will help determine your strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness. In a recent book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, called, The Gift In You, this PhD. Researcher discovered there are seven layers of thinking processes in our minds. The seven layers of thinking processes are: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Math/Logic, Visual/Spatial, Music, Kinesthetic, and Linguistic. Starting from the most dominant thinking process, when a new thought enters our mind it will loop into the seven layers in a different sequential order. For example, someone who thinks first in music will be able to read between the lines to give meaning to it. While a logic/math dominant thinker performs pattern recognition in huge numbers and reasons in a precise order. We all see the world differently and think differently. We are all unique and so are our companies and the way we collective process our thinking. As such it's fruitless to be like someone else such as Steve Jobs. None of us can think like him and nor do we want to. We must learn to be ourselves by knowing our uniqueness and using it to your advantage.

Are you an elephant or a cheetah?

As Shakespeare once said, "To thine own self be true." In other words, do you have the competencies to compete as a Bargain-Brand?

When launching a new product you'll have to adjust and adapt quickly. Is your company a cheetah that can move quickly and adapt to consumer and market changes? Or, are you a slow moving elephant that makes decisions at a sluggish pace? A slow moving elephant should think twice when competing against fast moving bargain-brand cheetahs.

GM was slow to introduce Saturn to compete against the Japanese, but Intel was quick to respond to constant AMD attacks. At first, Intel's bargain-brand chips (Celeron) performed poorly, but they responded quickly to the market and beat AMD at their own game.

Will you divide and conquer yourself?

Julius Caesar's strategy to overcome the enemy was to divide and conquer. When launching a Bargain-Brand, you might be dividing your resources and placing your entire organization into a weak position. Without sufficient resources, people, and focus, both your premium and bargain brand products could become diluted and fail. If the Bargain-Brand fails then you'll have the added cost and time of cleaning up plus the cost and time to rebuild the Premium-Brand.

It cost GM $15 Billion to launch and maintain the Saturn division. Delta Airlines launched Ted Airlines and lost billions too. These two elephants didn't understand their uniqueness nor able to response quickly to market changes. Rather they copied the competition thinking that would satisfy the market.

On the other hand, fifty years ago, Anheuser-Busch was facing a low-price assault from regional players which opened up a whole new market category. Anheuser-Busch responded by opening up another company that was completely separate from the parent company; perhaps you've heard of Busch Beer.

Are you looking at your customers or just your competition?

The famous basketball coach John Wooden won more college basketball championships than anyone else. Part of his success was to never allow one player to be compared to another. Rather, each player was judged by his own skills, performances, and productivity. Companies trying to copy Bargain-Brands don't have the same competencies, people, collective thinking processes, and experiences like their competition. Look at Steve Jobs and his string of successful products; iPod, iPhone, iTunes, etc. Therefore, don't copy your competition, rather seek what is good for the customer and use your uniqueness to develop your product.

Know thy customer

This is a key time to study your customer to determine their true needs and the perceived value of your offering. Advances in Neuromarketing have discovered that traditional marketing research can fall short in truly understanding how a customer receives your message. Each year billions of dollars are spent on traditional market research and still 80% of new product launches fail. Neuromarketing will give you insight on the emotional needs of your audience and how they will perceive your messaging and marketing.

The power of Neuromarketing starts with the engagement of our seven senses; (1) Taste, (2) Smell, (3) Hearing (4) Touch, (5) Sight, (6) Humor, and (7) Intuition. To make it all work one must understand the power of association that directly impacts our emotional brain and how past experiences are recalled when we encounter a brand experience. Walk into a Whole Foods Store and you're bombarded with a cornucopia of beautiful food, fresh baked bread, brewed coffee, and desserts turned into art. You're flooded with emotions of mom, home, security, abundance, and happiness. The experience is frequently joyful and you're willing to pay premium prices for their products.

The power of association will engage our senses to recall positive experiences that we will tie to the brand. Called somatic markers, they represent a total compilation of emotions, negative associations, and positive associations. When a woman is given a light blue box with a white ribbon, the Tiffany brand and blue color evoke strong feminine emotions. When we think of a well branded product, such as Coach, Chanel, Harley Davidson and Tiffany, many of us experience an emotional and somewhat sensual positive response. A good brand tied to Neuro-marketing should offer:

o A great experience that exceeds customer's expectations
o A clarification of the value of the product
o A decision by the prospect to consider purchasing it

How we associate products with past experiences can determine our purchasing considerations. Mr Lindstrom in Buyology highlighted a few examples such as;
o Light blue for a woman can be associated with engagement, marriage, babies, and fertility. Pink is associated with luxury, sensuality, and being feminine.
o Color will increase brand recognition by 80% and represents up to 50% in the decision making process to choose a brand product.
o People will buy more out of love (53%) versus sex (26%).
o Be authentic, transparent, and real. We buy from people we can relate to.

Don't let your Bargain-Brand cannibalize the profits of your Premium-Brand.
If you decide on launching a Bargain-brand be sure you are capturing the right revenue. If one part of your target audience is not profitable with your premium-brand and your bargain-brand can capture that profit, then go for it. On the other hand, if your Bargain-brand is going to cannibalize your premium-brand profits then reconsider your options.

It's essential that your bargain-brand have a different perceived value, messaging, and pricing. Years ago Kodak came out with a bargain-brand film that had little distinction from the premium brand. Customers went for the lower price product cannibalizing profits from the premium-brand. On the other hand, when P&G purchased Luv's Diapers brand, it repositioned it as a bargain-brand. Their Pampers brand was given greater features and advertising thus creating a higher perceived value.

Must Develop a Difference in Perception and Value
If you offer a bargain-brand, then your goal is to offer two products with much separation in value and messaging. You'll want to consider using Neuromarketing research techniques. It is essential that the premium product maintain its true value benefits while the lower-price brand act and look like a bargain-brand one. By acting like a bargain-brand, you'll be able to cut costs on marketing, support, operations, and production and thereby creating the gross margin to compete effectively on price. You may want to use a hot button here to connect people to your article on Neuromarketing.

When Anheuser-Busch rolled out Busch Beer they created a whole new company and identity. They invested in new distribution, new trucks, and new sales people to ensure that the Premium-brand and Bargain-brand were not confused but optimized.

Don't recreate the wheel or build a new organization unless there's a market for it
GM invested $15 Billion in Saturn and it failed. Is your goal to market a Bargain-Brand or build a new company?

Consider your resources, sales volume, and gross margins. Your goal is to make a profit. If your Premium-brand cannot serve another large market, then a new organization, such as starting up a discount airline division or Busch Beer may be an answer. On the other hand, if your premium-brand can cover the market then re-consider your options. As I mentioned earlier, GM spent $15 Billion on the new Saturn division, when their existing product lines at Buick and Chevy reached the same target audience.

The Final Strategy to Consider: Innovate a new product category
A recent book called Blue Ocean Strategy stated that it is sometimes better to innovate a new product than to compete in blood thirsty waters or Red Ocean. Look at the crowded fields of electronic consumer products, automobiles and food. When you launch a new product in these categories how do you stand out?

Conversely, companies will innovate new products developing a new category where there is no competition; hence Blue Ocean. Years ago Sony launched the Walkman. Apple introduced the iPod and iPhone. An example in Blue Ocean Strategy was the Casella Winery from Australian who wanted to launch a new wine in a very crowded and snooty category.

A strategy based on innovation will look at different customers with shared commonalties. In the crowded wine business, more wineries did not think of looking for low budget beer drinkers. The Casella winery saw things differently and believed beer drinkers would want wine if the purchase decision was made simple and fun. Out came Yellow Tail wine in simple red and white versions.

A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both the buyer and the company. The innovation (in product, service, or delivery) must raise and create value for the market, while simultaneously reducing or eliminating features or services that are less valued by the current or future market.

The lesson I learned in the potato sack race was easy, keep your eye on the goal line not what your competition is always doing. John Wooden's success was doing the best he could possibly do every day. As you consider your premium brand, think about the best you can do every day with it. As any typical SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and PESTEL analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Environmental, Legal) you should consider:

Are you an elephant or a cheetah organization?
Will your Bargain -Brand cannibalize your Premium -Brand profits?
Do you have the resources to run two brands simultaneously at a profit?
Are you able to clearly define and communicate the different unique selling proposition for each brand?
Will the customer perceive the differences?
Will your current Premium-Brand cover this market? Or is the Bargain-Brand a new demographic?
Lastly, do you innovate a new product to create a new category and target audience?

As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "I don't react, I respond." Panic and fear should not be part of your tactics, but a well thought out response that optimizes your resources, strengths, and uniqueness in meeting the needs and wants of your customer.

Supply Chain Management Benefits And Challenges

Brand Positioning And Digital Strategy

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for HR Managing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Strategic Management Of Technological Innovation

Marketing strategy is the primary key to business success. The No. 1 reason businesses fail is that they don't make enough money. And the No. 1 reason they don't make enough money is that they don't adequately understand and practice effective marketing strategy. Marketing strategy offers these powerful benefits:

- Concentrating your resources and efforts on your greatest opportunities for success

- Sharpening your competitive advantage so that your business is superior to your competitors' in ways that matter to customers

- Increasing the income of the firm more effectively than any other way

- Uniting the leadership team to all pull in the same direction, maximizing positive results

- Giving your brand a clearer focus so that it will be better known in the marketplace

- Stimulating demand for your products and services

- Improving the effectiveness of messages you send to customers and prospects

- Strengthening your ability to understand and meet the needs of customers

- Ensuring that your business will survive and thrive far into the future

"Marketing strategy" is one of the top-10 search terms related to marketing, used by Internet searchers about a half-million times a month. Many people are obviously interested in learning more about marketing strategy. That's why this article has been written, the first in a series that explain marketing strategy in detail. The author, Buck Lawrimore, has provided marketing strategy to hundreds of business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes for more than 27 years.

Definitions of Marketing

"Marketing" comes from the Latin word merx or mercis meaning merchandise. Originally a market was a large open space where merchandise was displayed for sale, like pictures we've seen of large open marketplaces in Third World countries, or today's farmer's market. Originally "marketing" involved selling products in a marketplace. And that's still the core meaning. But professional marketing has evolved to such a high degree of sophistication, like computer science and medicine, that it involves much more than just selling in a marketplace.

The American Marketing Association, the largest professional organization of marketers in the U.S., defines marketing as follows:

"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

This definition makes no mention of generating sales and income, the primary aims of business marketing, perhaps in deference to the many nonprofit organizations which are members of the AMA and are more focused on "delivering value" and "managing customer relationships."

Another way to understand marketing is to view it as a mindset or orientation of the business or organization. The so-called marketing orientation means the organization as a whole is oriented to understanding and meeting the needs of customers. A company with this orientation is market-driven. It focuses its strategy and operations on understanding and meeting the needs of customers in a manner which is superior to competitors. Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and most successful companies in America, and it has a strong marketing orientation. SAS Airlines, FedEx and other leading companies around the world have a passion for understanding and meeting the needs of customers. That's how they became so successful, and that's how your organization can become more successful than ever before, whether you aim to be a world leader or just the best in your neighborhood at what you do.

Definitions of Strategy

"Strategy" comes from the Greek word strategos meaning general. Strategy defined by Webster's as "1 The science of planning and conducting military campaigns on a broad scale." More recently strategy has come to mean "skill in management" or "an ingenious plan or method."

There are two aspects or connotations to this idea of strategy. The first is, it's big picture. It involves consideration of all your available resources - people, money, time, physical resources etc. "on a broad scale." The second is, strategy involves winning some form of competition. Your opponent may be an enemy who is trying to defeat you, or a business competitor who is trying to get your customers to buy from them instead of from you, or an opposing athletic team in a sports event. In all these situations as well as your own real world, there is one key to all effective strategy. This is one of the most important things for you to learn from this book:

The key to all effective strategy is
concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities,
where your competition is weak.

Definition of Marketing Strategy

So then, effective marketing strategy could be summed up this way:

"Concentrating the organization's resources on its greatest opportunities
to better meet customer needs, outperform competitors, increase income,
and achieve enduring success."

Implied in this practical definition is the key idea that you have or will develop a niche or position in the marketplace which you can dominate or at least be a top player in, by building on strengths which distinguish you from your competition. Also implied is that you will be most successful if you concentrate on better meeting customer needs (via the marketing orientation) as a path to increasing sales, rather than just focusing on outbound communications or a sales force to persuade potential customers to buy.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan Ai Business Trade

As a Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Machine Learning Advertising & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

10 Sneaky Ways To Build Brand Awareness

Marketing Strategy Business Networking

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Marketing strategy is the primary key to business success. The No. 1 reason businesses fail is that they don't make enough money. And the No. 1 reason they don't make enough money is that they don't adequately understand and practice effective marketing strategy. Marketing strategy offers these powerful benefits:

- Concentrating your resources and efforts on your greatest opportunities for success

- Sharpening your competitive advantage so that your business is superior to your competitors' in ways that matter to customers

- Increasing the income of the firm more effectively than any other way

- Uniting the leadership team to all pull in the same direction, maximizing positive results

- Giving your brand a clearer focus so that it will be better known in the marketplace

- Stimulating demand for your products and services

- Improving the effectiveness of messages you send to customers and prospects

- Strengthening your ability to understand and meet the needs of customers

- Ensuring that your business will survive and thrive far into the future

"Marketing strategy" is one of the top-10 search terms related to marketing, used by Internet searchers about a half-million times a month. Many people are obviously interested in learning more about marketing strategy. That's why this article has been written, the first in a series that explain marketing strategy in detail. The author, Buck Lawrimore, has provided marketing strategy to hundreds of business, government and nonprofit organizations of all sizes for more than 27 years.

Definitions of Marketing

"Marketing" comes from the Latin word merx or mercis meaning merchandise. Originally a market was a large open space where merchandise was displayed for sale, like pictures we've seen of large open marketplaces in Third World countries, or today's farmer's market. Originally "marketing" involved selling products in a marketplace. And that's still the core meaning. But professional marketing has evolved to such a high degree of sophistication, like computer science and medicine, that it involves much more than just selling in a marketplace.

The American Marketing Association, the largest professional organization of marketers in the U.S., defines marketing as follows:

"Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders."

This definition makes no mention of generating sales and income, the primary aims of business marketing, perhaps in deference to the many nonprofit organizations which are members of the AMA and are more focused on "delivering value" and "managing customer relationships."

Another way to understand marketing is to view it as a mindset or orientation of the business or organization. The so-called marketing orientation means the organization as a whole is oriented to understanding and meeting the needs of customers. A company with this orientation is market-driven. It focuses its strategy and operations on understanding and meeting the needs of customers in a manner which is superior to competitors. Procter & Gamble is one of the largest and most successful companies in America, and it has a strong marketing orientation. SAS Airlines, FedEx and other leading companies around the world have a passion for understanding and meeting the needs of customers. That's how they became so successful, and that's how your organization can become more successful than ever before, whether you aim to be a world leader or just the best in your neighborhood at what you do.

Definitions of Strategy

"Strategy" comes from the Greek word strategos meaning general. Strategy defined by Webster's as "1 The science of planning and conducting military campaigns on a broad scale." More recently strategy has come to mean "skill in management" or "an ingenious plan or method."

There are two aspects or connotations to this idea of strategy. The first is, it's big picture. It involves consideration of all your available resources - people, money, time, physical resources etc. "on a broad scale." The second is, strategy involves winning some form of competition. Your opponent may be an enemy who is trying to defeat you, or a business competitor who is trying to get your customers to buy from them instead of from you, or an opposing athletic team in a sports event. In all these situations as well as your own real world, there is one key to all effective strategy. This is one of the most important things for you to learn from this book:

The key to all effective strategy is
concentrating your resources on your greatest opportunities,
where your competition is weak.

Definition of Marketing Strategy

So then, effective marketing strategy could be summed up this way:

"Concentrating the organization's resources on its greatest opportunities
to better meet customer needs, outperform competitors, increase income,
and achieve enduring success."

Implied in this practical definition is the key idea that you have or will develop a niche or position in the marketplace which you can dominate or at least be a top player in, by building on strengths which distinguish you from your competition. Also implied is that you will be most successful if you concentrate on better meeting customer needs (via the marketing orientation) as a path to increasing sales, rather than just focusing on outbound communications or a sales force to persuade potential customers to buy.

Accelerating AI For Local Businesses Smes

The Agile Solopreneur And Growing Business Needs

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Tools Bishan, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

International Supply Chain Management

The Artificial Intelligence market will expectedly be worth $153 billion in the near future. We are talking about digital revolution here. We are talking about path breaking technological ideas and implementation here. It is going to redefine the way in which humans are going to interact with machines.

Artificial Intelligence in Web Development: Is it even possible?

The stakes are high. The figures are impressive - to say the least. We have got engineers and marketers embarking on diverse plans with AI at the core. Why should developers be left behind? No credentialed web development company would ideally be unaware of the scope of Artificial Intelligence as far as web development is concerned. The consultants should not be unaware of the fact that developers around the world are looking at the possible integration of Intelligence and web development to bolster user experience.

Imagine sitting in front of one of those template designers that you have just signed up for. Expect your "AI designer" to ask you about your preferences with regard to branding, colors, content and layout. Once you have fed the answers to those questions, the template designer, based on the pre-programmed algorithms will automatically go on to create a website, which is the perfect combination of aesthetic and professional appeal.

How will Artificial intelligence go on to facilitate "communication"?

This is what AI can do for web development. Using the AI elements, a developer becomes better adept at catering to users' needs. Since It is known for understanding customer moods and preferences better, web developers will be in a better position to integrate elements that are going to append to the user experience - of course, so that they are more convincingly persuaded to make purchases.

Now, how does this Technique do this? How does it ensure that developers are better adept at catering to buyer needs? It does this with the help of cognitive analysis and situations. Chatbots, for example, have made it possible for web professionals to predict customer reactions. They facilitate better communication with the customers by making the whole (communication) process very simple and hassle-free. The next-generation internet users will actually find it easier to communicate with the website itself. There will be no communication barrier to contend with as such.

With the help of the statistical analysis marketers and other web professionals can actually minimize errors. Processing a large amount of information also becomes easier when communication is facilitated at such level.

So, which web development company are you consulting at the present moment? Are they duly aware of the immense opportunities that Artificial Intelligence has in store for the next generation web users? Do find out so that you can make an informed choice.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Sales And Marketing Director Business Strategy

As a Sales And Marketing Director, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales And Marketing Director it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Focus Group Interviews In Qualitative Research

Strategy - Brand Identity Guru Tips On Strategic Planning

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) as defined by Tom McGuffog is "Maximising added value and reducing total cost across the entire trading process through focusing on speed and certainty of response to the market." Due to globalization and ICT, SCM has become a tool for companies to compete effectively either at a local level or at a global scale. SCM has become a necessity especially for manufacturing industry when it comes to deliver products at a competitive cost and at a higher quality than their competitors. Here are some of the reason SCM has become important to today's manufacturing industry:-

Competitive Edge through Core Competencies

Today's business climate has rapidly changed and has become more competitive as ever in nature. Businesses now not only need to operate at a lower cost to compete, it must also develop its own core competencies to distinguish itself from competitors and stand out in the market. In creating the competitive edge, companies need to divert its resources to focus on what they do best and outsource the process and task that is not important to the overall objective of the company. SCM has allowed company to rethink their entire operation and restructure it so that they can focus on its core competencies and outsource processes that are not within the core competencies of the company. Due to the current competitive market, it is the only way for a company to survive. The strategy on applying SCM will not only impact their market positioning but also strategic decision on choosing the right partners, resources and manpower. By focusing on core competencies also will allow the company to create niches and specialization of core areas. As stated in the Blue Ocean Strategy outlined by Chan Kim, in order to create a niche for competitive advantage, companies must look at the big picture of the whole process, and figuring out which process can be reduce, eliminate, raise and create.

As an example stated by Chan Kim, the Japanese automotive industries capitalise on its resources to build small and efficient cars. The Japanese automotive industries gain competitive edge by utilising their supply chain to maximise their core competencies and position itself in a niche market. The strategy works and now Toyota Motor Corporation, a Japanese company, is considered to be the number one auto car maker in the world beating Ford and General Motors of the United States.

Value Advantage

SCM has allowed business nowadays to not just have productivity advantage alone but also on value advantage. As Martin Christopher in his book, Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Strategies for Reducing Cost and Improving Service' states, 'Productivity advantage gives a lower cost profile and the value advantage gives the product or offering a differential 'plus' over competitive offerings.' Through maximizing added value and also reduce the cost in the same time, more innovation can be added to the product and process. Mass manufacturing offers productivity advantage but through effective supply chain management, mass customization can be achieved. With mass customization, customers are given the value advantage through flexible manufacturing and customized adaptation. Product life cycles also can be improved through effective use of SCM. Value advantage also changes the norm of traditional offerings that is 'one-size-fits-all.' Through SCM, the more accepted offerings by the industry to the consumers would be a variety of products catered to different market segments and customers preferences.

As an example, the Toyota Production System practiced in Toyota, evaluates its supply chain and determines what is value added activities and what is not value added activities. Non added value activities are considered to be 'Muda' or waste and therefore must be eliminated. Such non added value activities are overproduction, waiting, unnecessary transport, over processing, excess inventory, unnecessary movement, defects and unused employee creativity. The steps taken to eliminate waste are through Kaizen, Kanban, Just-in-time and also push-pull production to meet actual customer's demands. The Toyota Production System revolutionise the Supply Chain Management towards becoming a leaner supply chain system that is more agile and flexible towards meeting the end users demands.

AI And Machine Learning Spell Radical Changes For Business

Marketing Strategy - What It Is, And Why It Is So Important ?

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Sales And Marketing Director, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Supply Chain Management Benefits And Challenges

What is it that makes some brands connect so well with their audiences? We could learn something about building brands for organizations by also asking, What is it that makes some people connect so well with other people? In many ways, organizations are like individuals. Each has its own specific "fingerprint" -- strengths, character, and personality -- that makes it unique and recognizable. It's how we get to know our friends and understand what it is about them that we like. In a world where no one has time to carefully weigh all available brand options, this fingerprint acts as shorthand to help us sort through the maze, a very real point of value at a time when it is increasingly difficult to tell one product or service from another. When an organization's brand fingerprint is clearly defined and articulated so that customers, shareholders, distributors, employees, and partners consistently feel they "know" the organization and know what to expect from it, magic happens.

This is when high emotional engagement occurs. This is when "raving fans" and customer loyalty are created. This is when organizations gain sustainable competitive advantage. Discovering and communicating this brand fingerprint helps organizations bring strategic focus to the power of their brand -- giving brands a meaningful and recognizable shorthand that helps cut through the noise and clutter to connect with people.

Brand fingerprint process

Following a process to help uncover the organization's brand fingerprint will ensure that the intangible attributes assigned to the brand -- assets like integrity and innovation -- are translated into a visual, tangible representation to which audiences can relate. The process has two phases, strategy and visual translation. It works like this:

Phase I. Strategy

Step 1. Finding your brand values, character, and personality
Step 2. Understanding the competitive landscape
Step 3. Determining your position in the marketplace
Step 4. Developing your value proposition

Phase II. Visual Translation

Step 1. Developing the brand mood
Step 2. Determining the key brand elements
Step 3. Developing the brand roadmap

Phase I. Strategy

The strategy phase can be compared to traditional methods of brand development and is based on core values. The difference here is that the exercises used in the facilitated sessions with company decision makers are designed not only to uncover brand values and attributes, but to gather information in a way that it will be useful for development of the visual translation of the brand. Pairing the creative team with decision makers at the very beginning of brand strategy development is essential in gathering input that will be critical to visual translation.

This is important since experts say that 80% of what we learn comes to us visually, and customers will most likely see brands long before they understand the strategy. There are many benefits of considering how the brand will be communicated visually at the strategy stage. Some of these benefits include: - translation of intangible company assets and attributes into tangible representations that truly reflect the company's core values - avoidance of possible disconnects when logos, websites, and print materials are developed - development of marketing materials that really communicate key messages - deeper understanding and long-term recall of brand messages by customer audiences - consistency of brand messages over time

Phase II: Visual Translation

The visual translation phase takes all of the information gathered in the strategy phase and translates it into a visual form that people can see and relate to -- the visible brand fingerprint. A clear and accurate brand fingerprint can communicate assets like integrity, zero defects, and innovation and make them palpable. Visible. Understandable. Audiences will know at a glance "who" the organization is, what it is saying to them, and why they should buy, react, or be moved. And it will be real, it will be authentic, and it will stand the test of time -- because what people see represents the synthesis of the brand strategy.

The benefits of developing the visual components of the brand directly from strategy exercises include:

- a brand mood that will communicate to customers on an emotional level, because the design is based on authentic aspects of the brand's character and personality - because the mood is a direct translation of strategy jointly developed by company decision makers and creative team, there are no unpleasant surprises at the design stage - the main visual components of the brand will look and feel "real" and will become the pillars upon which other marketing materials will be built - there will be no need for new themes, visual approaches, or deviations from the established visual translation. Brand equity builds with consistency. This is a cost-effective benefit.

Brand communication

Being true to the organization's authentic brand is how trust, loyalty, and sustainable relationships are developed between the organization and its audiences. Great graphics and cool animation aren't effective if they don't accurately communicate the company's character or brand. Something's amiss if the organization is not clear and consistent about how it is presenting itself in front of its publics. If the organization's brand and its image are not aligned, "brand schizophrenia" occurs, which significantly affects the quality of the relationship and level of trust with valued audiences, including customers and employees. Both lose trust in companies when they don't know what to expect. With brand strategy and visuals clearly articulated in a unique brand "fingerprint," organizations can make a real connection with their audiences. Once established, this connection enables them to communicate compelling value, promote long-term recall of brand messages, and foster the trust, loyalty, and emotional attachment that sustain relationships.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

Head Of Finance Punggol Digital Strategy

As a Head Of Finance Punggol, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Digitizing Services & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Head Of Finance Punggol it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Common Problems In Supply Chain Management

Marketing Strategy - How to Plan Your Advertisement

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

Do you ever think of selling your company one day?

Even if you don't believe you would ever sell your business, brand consistency, promise, experience and image are vital to the success of your company. I've heard it many times from small business owners that they can't make a significant investment in branding because of lack of funds. I've also heard entrepreneurs say that they don't see the point; it's not like they're a global company like Nike. Still, others believe that by creating a distinct brand strategy, promise and experience, it may limit opportunities to make money from a broader audience.

If you're an entrepreneur that thinks that way, I ask you to reconsider. The branding of your company, even if you've been in operation for a week, is vital to your success.

Early Days of McDonald's

Have you ever seen McDonald's with a purple logo or anything other the golden arches? When you walk into a McDonald's anywhere in the world, you know what you're getting, and if you patronize those restaurants, that is precisely the reason why you do it.

Ray Kroc, who was a 54-year-old salesman and still looking for an opportunity that would inspire him came to learn about the restaurant of Dick and Mac McDonald who had developed a process for the food that delivered it to the customer within 30 seconds. This was a huge deal and the beginning of the fast food industry. However, when they just started working together, they were missing a broader vision and brand strategy.

Early McDonald's Mistake

It was Kroc who envisioned the opportunity to create a food company that was wholly American. In partnership with the McDonald brothers, he started operating out of the Midwest and the brothers in California. At first, Kroc created a franchise model to expand the company and grow it to scale quickly across the U.S., but he made a mistake--it lacked the high-quality and overall consistency regarding the entire operation and systems that the McDonald brothers had developed in California.

Once Kroc and the McDonald brothers were able to bring control and consistency on the whole of the operation, from the brand promise, experience, image, to the services, activities, and services, it was only then that the McDonald restaurants started to develop. What Kroc ultimately brought to the McDonald's picture is that consistent strategy across all of the franchises. That is why you have never seen a McDonald brand image be anything other than the golden arches. With McDonald's, what you see is what you get.

When the entire operation of McDonald's was consistent across the board, and a customer in California received the same service and experience as another customer in the Midwest, it was only then that the McDonald's brand started to get traction.

Benefits of Brand Consistency

When your business is consistent with the brand promise, experience and image of your company, in its entirety, your target audience and customers understand:

  1. They are going to benefit from your business because they know--clearly--the value that your company offers them through your products and services.
  2. Your customers will know what to expect from a brand that is consistent; it's not a guessing game, which will mean they will put their money down because they understand the offering.
  3. Customers, especially in the digital age with social media sharing and comments, will be able to communicate your brand (it's promise, experience, and image) because you are consistent in presenting yourself.
  4. When customers understand your brand promise, image and experience, they are willing to pay for the value of what your products or services offer them.
I will say that contrary to not spending the money and investing your resources in communicating a consistent brand strategy, image and experience; it is crucial for you to do it. By not having a comprehensive brand strategy, you will adversely impact the bottom line of your business, which is one of the reasons many start-ups fail. Customers simply do not understand the value of the products or services and don't purchase them from businesses that make no sense or are inconsistent. Don't make that mistake. How Leaders Create And Use Networks

Digitization Challenges And The Importance Of Branding

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for Head Of Finance Punggol, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Machine Learning Applications In Finance

Even some 15 or 20 years ago, either in theoretical approach on Universities or practical in the Business, the term Distribution was commonly used for the service within the company that was in charged for moving the goods around, according the needs of sales and customers.

Since Warehousing was separate segment at that time, as a different function within company, the link between Distribution and Warehouse was loosed. It was working, but as the demand of the market was growing, these two functions finally merged into Logistic. Still there were warehouse and trucks, but the border was more transparent, links stronger, some assets shared, cost reduced, service to market better. It was a step in the evolution.

Finally, the next step was integration of Logistics ( Distribution and Warehouse ) with Production and Purchasing into single function - The Supply Chain. Now, under the same roof, all functions that were separate not that long time ago, are now aligned in the sequence.

This new concept of whole Supply Chain was providing the Company to be more agile. Agility is something that companies needed in the time of more and more demanding market, growing competition and expansion of range of categories and products. Simply, the market is becoming more volatile and less predictable.

Also, the modern Supply Chain needs to be more "Lean". This mean that it should not have more stock than needed, asset that could unnecessary slow down response time and increase costs.

So, the Lean and Agile are two key characteristics of a contemporary Supply Chain that is capable to offer sufficient service level for the growing demand.

The ratio between Lean and Agile should be well balanced. The key to this fine-tuning is the right approach to the product portfolio. As there are different products in the portfolio, contributing to the share in sales in different percentage, they should be treated accordingly.

This can be explained through Pareto principle, which says that 20% of the SKUs are 80% of sales share. Since these products are high volume, low variety and predictable, planning of production and stock should be more Lean. This mean no large stocks, focus on efficiency and economy of scale.

On the other end of Pareto principle scale are products that represent 80% of SKUs, but only 20% of sales share. These products are less predictable, so the planning should be more Agile.

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.

IT Consultant Functional CBP Business Strategy

As a IT Consultant Functional CBP, its very critical for you to understand developing brand strategy is extremely critical. The most important asset your company has is its brand. Quite simply, it drives the direction of your business. So you should definitely have a well thought out brand strategy in place.

Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But only an effective, innovative and Agile Supply Chain & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as IT Consultant Functional CBP it becomes your responsibility to stay connected with like-minded supporting industry experts who can guide and help you deal with your day to day work issues.

Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning

The Benefits Of Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace

If you are entrepreneurial in nature owning a business is very exciting adventure. It can also be the most difficult thing for you to get into if you are not prepared.

I am often asked, "How do I know that I am getting the most bang for my buck when running an ad in any particular advertising vehicle?" The answer here is that it depends. There are many factors to consider in determining if you are on the right track. Following are some tips that will help you.

1. Determine Your Ad Campaign Goals
What is your goal for your advertising campaign? Are you trying to create awareness? Do you want to generate traffic to your website or store front? Do you need X amount of leads to come from your campaign? Do you want to create a certain amount of sales for a new product or service? Determine what you need your ad to do for you then design your ad with the goal in mind.

2. Determine Your Budget
When I ask my clients about their advertising budget, I am often presented with this blank stare. It is very important to determine what the advertising budget is throughout the course of a year, and stick to it! Break out your budget and determine what you can spend per month. It's common sense, I know but many people don't do this in their business. Then go back to determine, based on upcoming events, what advertising needs to take place and when. Remember that it's okay to mix in other marketing vehicles such as internet ads, workshops, article marketing or public relations. These activities do not take a chuck out of your budget to implement.

3. Have Your Target Market In Mind
Who is your target audience? Where do they live? Where do they work? What is their income bracket? What is their marital status or age group? What are their habits? The answers to these questions will greatly help you determine which marketing vehicle to use based on their demographics. For example, if you find that most of your customers are into skiing, then you may want to advertising at a ski resort, in a ski magazine, exhibit at a conference or tradeshow that targets skiers or advertise on a billboard next to a ski shop.

4. Give Your Ad Time
So, how much time should you give your ad to do its job you ask? Again, the answer is, it depends. Monthly and quarterly marketing vehicles will require longer lead times than a local newspaper or radio. Plus, consider your campaign goals. Is your goal to create awareness, then you'll want to plan and run a continuous, steady, balanced campaign. If you are running a special during a specific holiday season for example, you'll want to run intense, concentrated campaigns. For instance, for a landscaper running an aeration promotion during the fall and summer months, he'll run more frequent ads for a few weeks rather than months, and then move to a more steady and poised pace during the summer and winter.

Keeping in mind that people need to see and hear your message several times before it sticks, different messages also resonate with different people. However, if your ad is producing little to no response, the advertising vehicle may not be to blame. Your ad may be the cause. Check that your ad has a compelling offer. Do you have a call to action in your ad? Is it too wordy where your audience glazes right over it? Do you have a catchy ad tagline? Remember, you have seconds to catch the attention of your audience. Are you trying to sell all your products in one ad? Keep your message to one subject and focus on one goal in each ad. Most advertising vehicles will allow you to change your ad at any given time. Test your ad for best results.

5. Measure Your Ad's Effectiveness
Keep track of which ad in what marketing vehicles are producing the best results. If you have a coupon running in various media, put a code at the bottom of each ad that will tell you where that coupon came from when a customer uses it. Have a slightly different offer in different media mixes to determine how a customer found you. Note: Different offers can also effect how will your ad is fairing. If you have one ad offering a percentage off versus a specific dollar amount, the results can differ dramatically. Above all, ask your customers how they heard about you.

5.5 Also, determine your cost of reaching your customers. Using the cost per thousand (CPM) method, multiply the cost of the ad by 1,000 and then divide that number by the size of the audience (your ad representative or advertising agency should be able to give you this information). To illustrate, if your ad cost you $650 to run in your local newspaper and their reach is 22,000, then the cost to reach your customers is ($650 x 1,000 / 22,000) $29.54. Comparing the CPM across various marketing vehicles will help you place your ad accordingly.

By following these simple guidelines, you'll place yourself in a more favorable position to meet your goals, stay on target while producing results, without extending your marketing budget.

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3 Surprising Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Push Marketing and Advertising to the Next Level

With the support of our professional business network, you get the opportunity to exchange experience and knowledge at a top professional level, and to strengthen and develop your own skills within your management and specialist areas.

Through business relationships and experience sharing in confidential settings for IT Consultant Functional CBP, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Common Problems In Supply Chain Management

Solopreneurs who possess agile professional skills bring to the organizations with whom they work urgently needed expertise, often limited to a specific assignment and for a predetermined length of time. Agile Solopreneurs provide great insight, heightened productivity and relevant experience to countless mission-critical projects.

Agile innovation first swept through the Information Technology sector and greatly increased success rates in software development, improving product quality and speed to market. Agile management techniques are spreading to other industries and Solopreneur consultants ought to be aware of what is involved, both as regards the ways your clients and prospects may buy into agile practices and how you might incorporate certain agile methods into your consultancy.

More so than in the past, business ventures now exist in highly dynamic conditions. Customer priorities and technological advancements are known to change rapidly. Keeping a finger on the pulse of new developments and innovating or adapting as necessary the company's products and services in response are essential. Marketing strategies, advertising buzz words and sales strategies operate on short-term cycles that fit the parameters of social media platforms. This fast-moving environment demands the stewardship of leaders who command agile skills. But what does agile mean in practice?

Agile does not mean doing the usual thing, only faster. Darrell Rigby, a partner at Bain & Company consulting and Hirotaka Takeuchi, professor of strategy at the Harvard Business School and CEO of Scrum, Inc., a consulting and training firm, describe agile business practices as containing the following elements:

  • Scrum: Creative and adaptive teamwork that solves complex problems.
  • Lean development: That focuses on the continual elimination of waste.
  • Kanban: That focuses on reducing lead times and the amount of time needed to complete a process.
Agile management practices are particularly well-suited to strategic planning activities, marketing campaigns, resource allocation decisions and supply chain challenges. Agile works best where complex problems can be broken down into modules and assigned to specific teams. Examples of ideal conditions in which to apply agile innovation or methods include:

  • When the solutions to an obstacle or challenge are unknown
  • When the specifications of a product in development may be subject to change
  • When the scope of work to be done on a project is not precisely known
  • When cross-functional collaboration is presumed to be vital and time to market is sensitive
In order to expand (or at least maintain) one's billable hours, Solopreneurs would be wise to acquire agile skills (books, blogs and certifications are available) and promote your proficiency when selling intangible B2B services to prospects. Decision-makers at organizations that are faced with a mission-critical project, challenge, or opportunity may feel more confident about hiring a Solopreneur who can bring agile methods and problem-solving approaches to the table.

External Solopreneur consultants must always present ourselves as being dependable, trustworthy, capable and able to meet or exceed the clients' expectations by way of the cutting-edge skills that we possess. In this way, we make hiring managers and project sponsors feel that they'll appear trustworthy and capable to their peers and superiors when they bring us on board. In this way we can build and sustain a viable consultancy.

Thanks for reading,

Kim

Networking has always been considered a powerful tool for improving business prospects, advancing a career, and developing ideas. Other than some brief, structured events, networking has been mostly informal and inexpensive in comparison to cost they otherwise spend on different channels. But membership is growing in many formal, long-term networking groups, and so is the price tag.

Our groups are not groups for generating sales leads, nor are they places where individuals can drop-in to gain quick advice on an immediate challenge.  Members also sign a confidentiality agreement and benefits from the guided mentoring to help each other.

These groups include an experienced facilitator and use a structured discussion method to ensure appropriate participation.