CMO Dhoby Ghaut Business Network

As a CMO Dhoby Ghaut, 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 Digital Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as CMO Dhoby Ghaut 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.

Supply Chain Management Benefits And Challenges

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.

The management of supply chains is constantly developing due to momentous changes such as the Internet, E-commerce and the globalisation of supply chains. Its success often relies on rapid, accurate and efficient handling of data. The trend towards lean and agile distribution channels and the growth of Fourth Party Logistic Providers (4PLs) within the supply chain industry requires significant organisation and management. The efficient control of these activities requires supply chain knowledge, operational information and importantly, timely and accurate data to support the decision making process. Essentially, effective and efficient data acquisition techniques are required.

RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to communicate the identity of individual items over an air interface. RFID works similarly to bar code technology in that an item has to be interrogated by a scanner or reader for it to be identified. Barcodes, however, have one significant downfall, they require line-of-site technology. That means the scanner has to see the barcode to read it, which usually means items have to be manually oriented towards the scanner for it to be read. Conversely, RFID does not require line-of-site and can be read as long as the item is within range of the reader.

RFID is now being considered as an integral link in E-Commerce environments. The technology in theory should enhance and complement Electronic Data Interchanges (EDIs) to facilitate quick response and the generation of exception reports. This should allow real time information to be transmitted to partners within the supply chain supporting the decision-making process. Ultimately RFID should provide immediacy of data right down to individual item level identification. This can help bridge the gap between the customer, the order and order fulfilment process to the satisfaction of the customer. This means that it can enable the enhanced responsiveness expected within an E-Business environment.

The supply of on-demand barcode label printers currently represents one of the most widely used AIDC technologies (technologies such as: barcodes, smart cards, magnetic stripes on credit cards, optical character recognition etc) in supply chain applications (e.g. EPOS, warehouse and inventory management). Due to mandates set by influential leaders in the retail and defence industries, barcode label printers with RFID enabled capabilities present a real opportunity for companies to develop and extend their product portfolios by providing products which will enable companies to meet compliance objectives. Opportunities also exist to provide printers for those companies faced with compliance for when usage and acceptance of the technology becomes more prevalent. An entire new market segment will have emerged, requiring a widespread ongoing supply of printers, peripheral equipment and consumables.

Bar code systems Bar code systems include the symbologies that encode data to be optically read, printing technologies that produce the machine-readable symbols and scanners and decoders that capture the visual images of the symbologies and convert them into computercompatible digital data. Barcode scanning reduces errors associated with manual data handling, and produces visibility to aid supply chain management. A significant benefit of bar codes is that they are extremely cheap to produce and provide an efficient means of item identification. Unfortunately, according to some sources, bar codes are proving increasingly inadequate in a growing number of applications. Bar coding is an optical technology, which introduces constraints regarding orientation of the product (invariably requiring human intervention) and cleanliness of labels and scanners for fast efficient data collection. Bar codes can be easily copied and so become an easy target for counterfeiting. In addition, standard barcodes have low storage capacity, cannot be reprogrammed and only identify the manufacturer and product and not the unique item. Industry bodies indicate that bar code systems are now a mature technology with limited potential for further growth.

RFID is emerging as a complementary technology to help overcome some of the drawbacks associated with bar code technology. RFID systems consist of transponders (tags), which are made up of a microchip with a coiled antenna and an interrogator (reader) with an antenna. The tags are attached to the items to be identified and the RFID readers communicate with the tags via electromagnetic waves. RFID middleware (software) provides the interface for communication between the interrogator and existing company databases and information management systems. RFID is a term used to describe any identification device that can be sensed at a distance by radio frequencies with few problems of obstruction and mis-orientation. The devices are often referred to as 'RFID tags' or 'Smart Labels'.

In its most basic form, a smart label consists of an ultra- thin RFID tag often referred to as an inlay. Inlays for smart labels are available in the 13.56 MHz, 860 to 930 MHz and 2.45 GHz frequency ranges. The inlays are embedded in label material, which is printed with human-readable text, graphics and bar codes (passive smart label). The printed data both supplements and backs up the information that is programmed into the tag. An evolutionary product to passive smart label technology is the smart active label (SAL). SALs can be defined using the same definition of smart labels above, but for one clear distinction, the inclusion of an integral power source. This distinguishing characteristic allows SALs to provide enhanced functionality over passive RFID smart labels including sensory, processing, display and locating capabilities. Smart labels are typically used for disposable applications and are not as durable as permanent RFID tags, which can be encased in materials to withstand harsh environments. Although one company suggests that the label material can be developed to withstand environmental conditions and that appropriate adhesive can ensure the label lasts the required duration.

Smart labels are referred to as smart because of their flexible capabilities provided by the RFID tag embedded in the label. The tag can be programmed and/or updated in the field allowing the same label to be reused serving multiple needs and disparate applications. Subsequently, the label is no longer static as a bar code label, but dynamic in its capability when equipped with RFID. Supporters of RFID suggest benefits which include: cost savings through automating the check-out process, a reduction in labour associated with performing inventory counts; improved theft prevention and increased authenticity control, a reduction in inventory holding cost, diversions and improved product availability. Unfortunately, an exact description of how the benefits are attainable in practice has often remained vague. The main criticisms on RFID technology are that it is too expensive and that it is unlikely that the investment will pay off. It is also argued that RFID is an over-marketed, hyped technology and that existing bar code based systems already provide most of the needed functionality.

Track The Latest Artificial Intelligence Trends And Leading News

How Artificial Intelligence Is Taking Online Shopping Trends to New Heights

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 CMO Dhoby Ghaut, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Focus Group Interviews In Qualitative Research

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.

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.

Chief Information Officer Downtown Supply Chain

As a Chief Information Officer Downtown, 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 Digitization Challenges & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Chief Information Officer Downtown 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.

How To Make Your Company Machine Learning Ready

Brand Positioning And Digital Strategy

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 simple words, a marketing strategy is the HOW and WHY of a marketing plan. Marketing strategies need to be based on good plans, without which you will lose direction and focus. Here are a few tips for creating market strategies.

Start with Vision and Mission

Vision asks the question: "What do you want to become?" As the leaders and thinkers in the organization, foresight is very important as it defines any action that should be taken from that point on. Mission asks the questions, "Why do you exist?" as well as "What steps are you willing to take to achieve your goal?" This takes into consideration the present situation, as it reflects strengths and weaknesses that help you make a solid evaluation of where you are at the moment.

Look outward

Be aware of trends in the market, as well as other outside factors that might affect it. Taking a global perspective into consideration allows you to think creatively and beyond the sphere of what you are comfortable with. Being a keen observer prepares you for any changes in the market.

Look inward

Make an assessment of competitors and threats, keeping your friends close, but your enemies closer. Nothing is more thrilling than knowing how to adapt to competitors who are willing to fight tooth and nail for your precious market share. Know what you are up against so you'll never be a step behind.

Be innovative

Lastly, after gathering all the data, plan your marketing strategy and learn how to think outside the box. Successful strategies have been borne out of creative minds that were willing to make a difference when everybody else was doing the same thing. Although some cut-and-dried strategies have worked, it takes an ingenious one to put you at the top. Don't be afraid to be different.

Why Digitization Is Important Today

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 Chief Information Officer Downtown, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

What Does It Mean To Be A Resilient Person

In this article we're going to discuss the tricky aspect of marketing strategy when applying for a patent.

Getting a patent is a tricky process under normal circumstances. Under laws of the United States a company or person is entitled to a patent unless the invention was on sale in the country for more than one year prior to the application date of the patent. This applies to both sales and offers of sales. Therefore, companies conducting marketing campaigns must be careful not to destroy their patent rights. In a perfect world, application for a patent should be filed before any sales begin. But then that would hurt the company's bottom line because that ultimately puts profits on hold. In a competitive marketplace this could spell disaster for the company.

Therefore, it is important for a company to understand just what it is that starts the one year clock ticking. In other words what can they do and what can't they do in order to avoid their product being put on the timer?

In order to answer that question we have to understand what exactly, according to law, starts the clock running. There are basically two conditions. The first one is that the invention must be ready for patenting at the time of the sale. If it can be shown that the inventor had sufficient drawings that would enable another person to use the invention then this would satisfy the first criteria.

The second criteria is that there has actually been an offer for sale. In other words, the inventor or company that owns the invention approaches another company and offers to sell them the invention. This can either be in the form of a letter to the other company or in an actual physical meeting between the two companies. Usually the meeting follows a letter.

In the form of a letter the owner of the invention will usually draw up a letter stating that they have such and such an invention and go on to say that they feel this is something that would enhance their business. In the letter they would describe what the invention does and how it would help them. They would then ask the other company to get back to them if interested.

When it comes to the meeting the inventor will bring drawings of his invention and present them to the company interested in acquiring the invention. Maybe the inventor even has a working prototype he can show them. This is always a plus. Companies actually like to see that the invention they are interested in works.

Where the law comes in, and this is where inventors can delay the clock, is that the following items do not fall within the two criteria. Solicitation of customer pricing information from distributors and sales representatives; publication of preliminary data sheets and promotional information on invention features; communications to sales representatives; sales representatives providing customers with preliminary data sheets; and sales representatives' requests for customer samples.

Therefore, an inventor can engage in any of the above activities and NOT start the one year clock running. This allows the inventor to get as much preliminary leg work done for his patent without actually "technically" starting the process.

This is important information for any inventor to have if he is trying to gain as much ground in his quest for a patent as possible.

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 Information Technology Executive Marketing Strategy

As a IT Information Technology Executive, 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 IT Information Technology Executive 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.

Strategic Management Of Technological Innovation

Marketing Strategies - Making Indirect Marketing Work for You

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.

Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:

- identification of broad, large markets

- segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.

Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as "all teenagers are rebels", "all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands" and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.

The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.

STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market

You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.

The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.

STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers' needs

This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.

What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.

Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.

STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets

McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your "typical customer", then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.
Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form - a further step will ask you to name them.

There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.

STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions
Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.

Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.

STEP 5: Name possible segment markets
You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.

A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.

STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments

Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they're still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.

STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment

Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.

Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.

These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.

This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.

Supply Chain Management Association

Advances Its Supply Chain Strategy With The Web Methods

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 Information Technology Executive, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

How Leaders Create And Use Networks

Branding strategy is an important component of every business. Branding strategy is the most effective way to sell a product/service and to enhance the demand for a product/service in the market. Increasing competition in business develops similar products with good quality from different manufacturers. But an effective branding strategy only makes your business and products more popular. Branding strategy is usually designed and developed by the marketing department.

An effective branding strategy can be achieved with a proper research of different kinds of needs and expectations of people who buy your product. Good branding strategies will involve your brand communications, analytical techniques, and creative positioning. Before getting into the process of brand building, various elements for branding your products/services would need to be analyzed carefully. These key elements come into play by means of an appropriate action plan. A proper branding strategy begins with analyzing various measurable advantages of your product over your competitors. This leads to the execution of an effective branding strategy for your product.

Building a strong and unique identity is one of the most important procedures in creating a branding strategy. It includes unification of your brand, effective communication of your brand message, research methods, and various strategies. Internal branding helps to create a strategy within your business. This helps in developing your branding strategy in a much unique style. Brand targeting and positioning help you in defining things like your brand character, availability of your product in the market, and reputation of your product. All of these factors need to be taken into consideration.

It is always recommended to keep track of the strategy in all stages. Measuring your brand always helps you improve branding strategy for your business. It includes tasks such as tracking and measuring of your brand initiatives, measuring their performance, managing the visual identity of the brand, and maintaining a corporate reputation. Creative advertising is a tricky way in developing a branding strategy. In general, an effective branding strategy helps your business attain more profit, while developing faster.

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.

Business Development Director Jurong Digitization Process

As a Business Development Director Jurong, 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 Brand Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Business Development Director Jurong 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.

12 Ways To Boost Brand Awareness On Social Media

Marketing Strategy - Better Change Now Before You Have To

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.

To keep ahead in a fast-moving industry, leading Asia-Pacific fashion retailer Bossini needed to have better visibility into its business and operational processes through the synchronization of real-time data across multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units.

By leveraging the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Bossini is able to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.
The intuitive development environment of the webMethods ESB has enabled Bossini's programmers to easily, and quickly, build the large number of interfaces required to meet its complex integration requirements.

Upon transforming to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Bossini could synchronize real-time data from multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units (SKUs) across its Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and Warehouse Management System (WMS) inventory.

Benefits include:

• Better visibility into real-time processes with dynamic synchronization of data between point of sale and warehouse management systems
• Additional business capabilities, e.g. late shipment and sales performance monitoring via dashboards/SMS and stock-on-hand monitoring for all markets.
• Factory order allocation reduced from three days to one
• Finance month-end closing slashed from 25 days to seven
• Developer and IT productivity increased by up to 30 percent through user-friendly intuitive interface and re-use of programming objects from the webMethods ESB.

A standards-based solution

With the webMethods Enterprise Service Bus, Bossini is able to take full advantage of the standards-based interfaces to integrate with their existing systems and utilize service orchestration to connect their existing systems to their processes. This allows Bossini to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.

Subsequent changes are also easier to implement, and the company enjoys cost savings resulting from the re-use of the service components. "The webMethods ESB enables us to achieve real-time interoperability across numerous disparate applications, including independence from the constraints of their operating systems and hardware platforms," said Mr. Andrew Ling, Director of IT and Supply Chain of the Bossini Group.

Of equal importance is the platform's flexibility and ease of use. "This was crucial in our ability to gain competitive advantage in the fickle world of apparel retailing," said Ling. "In our decision, we also took into account the faster adoption, lower training costs and quicker return-on-investment enabled by the very intuitive design of the webMethods ESB."

Artificial Intelligence Market Analysis

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 Business Development Director Jurong, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

International Supply Chain Management

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.

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 Director Bedok Supply Chain

As a HR Director Bedok, 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 HR Director Bedok 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.

International Supply Chain Management

Machine Learning Marketing: How to Improve Your Customer Experience

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.

To keep ahead in a fast-moving industry, leading Asia-Pacific fashion retailer Bossini needed to have better visibility into its business and operational processes through the synchronization of real-time data across multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units.

By leveraging the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Bossini is able to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.
The intuitive development environment of the webMethods ESB has enabled Bossini's programmers to easily, and quickly, build the large number of interfaces required to meet its complex integration requirements.

Upon transforming to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Bossini could synchronize real-time data from multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units (SKUs) across its Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and Warehouse Management System (WMS) inventory.

Benefits include:

• Better visibility into real-time processes with dynamic synchronization of data between point of sale and warehouse management systems
• Additional business capabilities, e.g. late shipment and sales performance monitoring via dashboards/SMS and stock-on-hand monitoring for all markets.
• Factory order allocation reduced from three days to one
• Finance month-end closing slashed from 25 days to seven
• Developer and IT productivity increased by up to 30 percent through user-friendly intuitive interface and re-use of programming objects from the webMethods ESB.

A standards-based solution

With the webMethods Enterprise Service Bus, Bossini is able to take full advantage of the standards-based interfaces to integrate with their existing systems and utilize service orchestration to connect their existing systems to their processes. This allows Bossini to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.

Subsequent changes are also easier to implement, and the company enjoys cost savings resulting from the re-use of the service components. "The webMethods ESB enables us to achieve real-time interoperability across numerous disparate applications, including independence from the constraints of their operating systems and hardware platforms," said Mr. Andrew Ling, Director of IT and Supply Chain of the Bossini Group.

Of equal importance is the platform's flexibility and ease of use. "This was crucial in our ability to gain competitive advantage in the fickle world of apparel retailing," said Ling. "In our decision, we also took into account the faster adoption, lower training costs and quicker return-on-investment enabled by the very intuitive design of the webMethods ESB."

How To Become A Focus Group Moderator

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 HR Director Bedok, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Strategic Management And Innovation

If you could have the secret recipe and all the manufacturing facilities of Coca Cola but not the Coca Cola brand--or have its famous brand but no facilities--which would you choose? It's not a trick question. But it demonstrates the power of the brand. Walk into any bank and say "hi I'm Coca Cola, how about a loan"!

Let me ask another way. If you could have all the products or services your company produces, but not its name and brand, are you confident they would sell? The truth is, people don't only buy products and services. They buy promises and reputations--what brands represent.

I'm the Brand Identity Guru. I've spent most of my professional life helping companies tap into the strength of their brands. Developing a strong brand identity is critical to any company's success. Integrating brand-conscious thinking into communications is so critical, so synergistic, yet it's seldom done by design groups and advertising agencies.

Why? It's just not what they do. Graphic Designers don't understand positioning or branding. And ad agencies are more interested in placing ads in the media. Or creating work that wins awards- for them.

A branding company's total focus, their entire business practice, is based on the maxim that strong brands (new or repositioned) make companies more successful.

Pick the brain of a professional branding consultant. It's bound to spur some powerful ideas. Whether you need to brand or re-brand products, services or the corporation itself, introduce new products or services or reposition existing ones--there's a chance to lay a strategic foundation to re-energize your entire company.

Any qualified branding consultant can strengthen your company's brand identity for sure.

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.

Human Resource Novena Managing Logistics

As a Human Resource Novena, 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 Managing Logistics & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Human Resource Novena 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 Is The Role Of Business Development Manager

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.

To keep ahead in a fast-moving industry, leading Asia-Pacific fashion retailer Bossini needed to have better visibility into its business and operational processes through the synchronization of real-time data across multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units.

By leveraging the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Bossini is able to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.
The intuitive development environment of the webMethods ESB has enabled Bossini's programmers to easily, and quickly, build the large number of interfaces required to meet its complex integration requirements.

Upon transforming to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Bossini could synchronize real-time data from multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units (SKUs) across its Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and Warehouse Management System (WMS) inventory.

Benefits include:

• Better visibility into real-time processes with dynamic synchronization of data between point of sale and warehouse management systems
• Additional business capabilities, e.g. late shipment and sales performance monitoring via dashboards/SMS and stock-on-hand monitoring for all markets.
• Factory order allocation reduced from three days to one
• Finance month-end closing slashed from 25 days to seven
• Developer and IT productivity increased by up to 30 percent through user-friendly intuitive interface and re-use of programming objects from the webMethods ESB.

A standards-based solution

With the webMethods Enterprise Service Bus, Bossini is able to take full advantage of the standards-based interfaces to integrate with their existing systems and utilize service orchestration to connect their existing systems to their processes. This allows Bossini to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.

Subsequent changes are also easier to implement, and the company enjoys cost savings resulting from the re-use of the service components. "The webMethods ESB enables us to achieve real-time interoperability across numerous disparate applications, including independence from the constraints of their operating systems and hardware platforms," said Mr. Andrew Ling, Director of IT and Supply Chain of the Bossini Group.

Of equal importance is the platform's flexibility and ease of use. "This was crucial in our ability to gain competitive advantage in the fickle world of apparel retailing," said Ling. "In our decision, we also took into account the faster adoption, lower training costs and quicker return-on-investment enabled by the very intuitive design of the webMethods ESB."

Why Digitization Is Important Today

The Best Branding Strategy - Make A Real Connection

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 Human Resource Novena, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Creativity And Strategic Innovation 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.

Information Technology MD Sme Supply Chain

As a Information Technology MD, 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 Network & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Information Technology MD 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

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.

To keep ahead in a fast-moving industry, leading Asia-Pacific fashion retailer Bossini needed to have better visibility into its business and operational processes through the synchronization of real-time data across multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units.

By leveraging the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Bossini is able to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.
The intuitive development environment of the webMethods ESB has enabled Bossini's programmers to easily, and quickly, build the large number of interfaces required to meet its complex integration requirements.

Upon transforming to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Bossini could synchronize real-time data from multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units (SKUs) across its Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and Warehouse Management System (WMS) inventory.

Benefits include:

• Better visibility into real-time processes with dynamic synchronization of data between point of sale and warehouse management systems
• Additional business capabilities, e.g. late shipment and sales performance monitoring via dashboards/SMS and stock-on-hand monitoring for all markets.
• Factory order allocation reduced from three days to one
• Finance month-end closing slashed from 25 days to seven
• Developer and IT productivity increased by up to 30 percent through user-friendly intuitive interface and re-use of programming objects from the webMethods ESB.

A standards-based solution

With the webMethods Enterprise Service Bus, Bossini is able to take full advantage of the standards-based interfaces to integrate with their existing systems and utilize service orchestration to connect their existing systems to their processes. This allows Bossini to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.

Subsequent changes are also easier to implement, and the company enjoys cost savings resulting from the re-use of the service components. "The webMethods ESB enables us to achieve real-time interoperability across numerous disparate applications, including independence from the constraints of their operating systems and hardware platforms," said Mr. Andrew Ling, Director of IT and Supply Chain of the Bossini Group.

Of equal importance is the platform's flexibility and ease of use. "This was crucial in our ability to gain competitive advantage in the fickle world of apparel retailing," said Ling. "In our decision, we also took into account the faster adoption, lower training costs and quicker return-on-investment enabled by the very intuitive design of the webMethods ESB."

Machine Learning Applications In Banking

Factors Affecting Marketing Strategy New Innovations

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 MD, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Importance Of Supply Chain Management

Market segmentation is widely defined as being a complex process consisting in two main phases:

- identification of broad, large markets

- segmentation of these markets in order to select the most appropriate target markets and develop Marketing mixes accordingly.

Everyone within the Marketing world knows and speaks of segmentation yet not many truly understand its underlying mechanics, thus failure is just around the corner. What causes this? It has been documented that most marketers fail the segmentation exam and start with a narrow mind and a bunch of misconceptions such as "all teenagers are rebels", "all elderly women buy the same cosmetics brands" and so on. There are many dimensions to be considered, and uncovering them is certainly an exercise of creativity.

The most widely employed model of market segmentation comprises 7 steps, each of them designed to encourage the marketer to come with a creative approach.

STEP 1: Identify and name the broad market

You have to have figured out by this moment what broad market your business aims at. If your company is already on a market, this can be a starting point; more options are available for a new business but resources would normally be a little limited.

The biggest challenge is to find the right balance for your business: use your experience, knowledge and common sense to estimate if the market you have just identified earlier is not too narrow or too broad for you.

STEP 2: Identify and make an inventory of potential customers' needs

This step pushes the creativity challenge even farther, since it can be compared to a brainstorming session.

What you have to figure out is what needs the consumers from the broad market identified earlier might have. The more possible needs you can come up with, the better.

Got yourself stuck in this stage of segmentation? Try to put yourself into the shoes of your potential customers: why would they buy your product, what could possibly trigger a buying decision? Answering these questions can help you list most needs of potential customers on a given product market.

STEP 3: Formulate narrower markets

McCarthy and Perreault suggest forming sub-markets around what you would call your "typical customer", then aggregate similar people into this segment, on the condition to be able to satisfy their needs using the same Marketing mix.
Start building a column with dimensions of the major need you try to cover: this will make it easier for you to decide if a given person should be included in the first segment or you should form a new segment. Also create a list of people-related features, demographics included, for each narrow market you form - a further step will ask you to name them.

There is no exact formula on how to form narrow markets: use your best judgement and experience. Do not avoid asking opinions even from non-Marketing professionals, as different people can have different opinions and you can usually count on at least those items most people agree on.

STEP 4: Identify the determining dimensions
Carefully review the list resulted form the previous step. You should have by now a list of need dimensions for each market segment: try to identify those that carry a determining power.

Reviewing the needs and attitudes of those you included within each market segment can help you figure out the determining dimensions.

STEP 5: Name possible segment markets
You have identified the determining dimensions of your market segments, now review them one by one and give them an appropriate name.

A good way of naming these markets is to rely on the most important determining dimension.

STEP 6: Evaluate the behavior of market segments

Once you are done naming each market segment, allow time to consider what other aspects you know about them. It is important for a marketer to understand market behavior and what triggers it. You might notice that, while most segments have similar needs, they're still different needs: understanding the difference and acting upon it is the key to achieve success using competitive offerings.

STEP 7: Estimate the size of each market segment

Each segment identified, named and studied during the previous stages should finally be given an estimate size, even if, for lack of data, it is only a rough estimate.

Estimates of market segments will come in handy later, by offering a support for sales forecasts and help plan the Marketing mix: the more data we can gather at this moment, the easier further planning and strategy will be.

These were the steps to segment a market, briefly presented. If performed correctly and thoroughly, you should now be able to have a glimpse of how to build Marketing mixes for each market segment.

This 7 steps approach to market segmentation is very simple and practical and works for most marketers. However, if you are curious about other methods and want to experiment, you should take a look at computer-aided techniques, such as clustering and positioning.

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 Management Suntech Ai Business Trade

As a HR Management Suntech, 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 Digitization Process & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as HR Management Suntech 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.

Supply Chain Management Association

Supply Chain Concept And Meeting Groups

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.

International Supply Chain Management

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 HR Management Suntech, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Trends In Supply Chain Management

Artificial Intelligence, the name is getting rich & popular in the tech world and making the world groove along technological shifts. Covering our functionalities to changing the people view, AI is increasingly important for those of us in the marketing game! It all boils down to machines being able to tackle tasks that would normally require our input, freeing up time and energy for us. The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well.

The key for us is not only how quickly these machines handle the tasks, but how much more efficient they do them as well. With the contribution, the analytical and exponential growth is the prime factor that makes the human task easy. The exponential growth and automation of AI are for the marketing purposes, and there lies the key.

Artificial Intelligence is seen shaping the retail online shopping industry. Wondering, how? The speedy calculation and easiness in payment option, have made AI and robotics field to be used more and more.

Smart technology shaping the online shopping experience

People are more connected to their choices, and if those choices come in the form of visual research and touch, it's more than interactive. Visual search has been around for a long time, but with the advancements in artificial intelligence and the rise of mobile commerce, it's now gaining acceptance with the retailers. The internet sensation among the different countries has made people more and more closely with the technology advancements. Smart technology in the form of the social influence allows shoppers to digitally compare outfits by capturing a 360-degree view of themselves in an outfit and letting them send those images to friends via email and social media.

Chatbots as the customer shift and right fix

The technology of the chatbots has been very popular among the millennials. The importance and the prime factor have made it be used in the trending tech updates. Rising of the smartphones and options of open statistical have allowed the brand's E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. The brands that will thrive in 2017 will be those that will harness the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers.

E-commerce is a very competitive landscape. In the coming days, brands will thrive in with the power of new technology to create a more personal experience for customers, more interested in the trending e-commerce needs.

Customer Relationship Management

A few years back the shopping experience of the customer was in the back flash with the longer bills and non-hassle technology. What used to be collecting copious amounts of data to be tackled by someone when they finally had enough time to conquer the project for drawing conclusions and making future predictions, is now streamlined and far more efficient. With the help of AI, the days of aggressive re-marketing and focusing on the amount of ad exposure will be long gone. The new marketing era will be able to focus on quality and directing more relevant advertising to the right visitors at the right time. It has made the people interaction to the verging technology.

Image Classification with Computer Analytics

AI is changing the game. With its ability to classify, interpret, and understand images, AI is making it easier to find what you didn't even know the name of the image and the other unshakable changes.

With the use of the technology, one can improve the new way of the shopping and try to wend according to the new devices and technology shifts. The technology has proved to be essentials in life of all!

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.

Human Resource Head HR Paya Lebar Marketing Plan

As a Human Resource Head HR Paya Lebar, 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 Human Resource Head HR Paya Lebar 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

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.

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

Workplace Wellness Programs

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 Human Resource Head HR Paya Lebar, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

Relationship Between Innovation And Strategic Management

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.

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 Marketing Senior Manager Membership Costs

As a Sales Marketing 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 Business Strategy & planning can make your business and products more popular.

For your profession as Sales Marketing 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.

Trends In Supply Chain Management

Is Predictive Intelligence the Frontier of B2B Marketing?

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.

Keeping a watchful eye on technical innovation is vital to develop a clear vision for the future of any business. But effective strategies for success depend on managers and executives avoiding hidden blind spots and investment decisions that obscure the way forward. Last year, according to World Economic Forum figures, private sector global spending on digitizing business operations exceeded $1.2 trillion dollars, yet just 5% of executives reported being satisfied with the results. In most industries the transition from analog to digital is one of the biggest challenges facing business leaders today. There are 8 common mistakes executives make.


Finding the best way: As with most human activity, planning is everything. The digitization process is a unique opportunity for executives to take a good hard look at their enterprise and ask some important questions:


What digital activities are already underway?


What will the industry look like in 5, 10 or 20 years?


What strategies can the company employ to succeed in a digital future?


What is the end goal of the transition from analog to digital?


Understanding where the business is attempting to go should help avoid some of the following bumps and wrong turns in the journey. Most of the common mistakes executives make with the digitization process relate to investment. Nearsighted investments focus too heavily on the short term, giving insufficient consideration to an organization’s long-term needs. While, farsighted investments focus on future needs with scant attention given to immediate development, which undermines current performance and impacts future goals.


Even when the current and future needs of a business are given equal consideration blind spots can occur, as parts of the business are overlooked by investment and turn into points of weakness that disrupt overall performance. Putting a coherent strategy in place directs funding to areas of the business most in need. As well as scheduling where and when to invest, this strategy prevents executives making “scattershot” small investments without an overall funding plan.


Mind your own business As each organization is unique, no two paths to a digital future are the same. The structure of a business can influence its digitization journey, with heavily centralized companies at risk of suffering from a rigid chain of imposing policy from on high. Similarly, command structures that encourage parts of the business to operate as independent units, or islands, can duplicate investments which also duplicate costs. Every six months the management should ask these questions:


How the digitization of work affects us all?


Why a futuristic digital healthcare system, might not be out of reach?


How can we build a workforce for our digital future?


Enabling change Aside from investment decisions, another common area where mistakes are made relates to the balance of resources and their application. A company’s data, technology, operating model and talent either work to enable digital progress or hinder it. Some companies focus too heavily on building up these enablers, without considering if additional staff, technology and data capacity add value to the business. Whereas, the digital transformation of other companies suffer from a lack of resources to accommodate spending on new business applications.


The new digital reality Image: WEF The pace of technological change is impacting the business and social worlds faster than ever before. A new digital reality is emerging where 85% of customer interaction will take place without humans and where 65% of today’s young will grow up and work in industries or jobs that don’t yet exist. Companies that successfully bridge the gap from analog to digital are in prime position to fully embrace the opportunities offered by a digital future.

Accelerating AI For Local Businesses Smes

Artificial Intelligence: The Next Tech Bubble or the Changing Face of Technology

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 Marketing Senior Manager, we strive to create personal and business value for all our network peers.

How Leaders Create And Use Networks

The management of supply chains is constantly developing due to momentous changes such as the Internet, E-commerce and the globalisation of supply chains. Its success often relies on rapid, accurate and efficient handling of data. The trend towards lean and agile distribution channels and the growth of Fourth Party Logistic Providers (4PLs) within the supply chain industry requires significant organisation and management. The efficient control of these activities requires supply chain knowledge, operational information and importantly, timely and accurate data to support the decision making process. Essentially, effective and efficient data acquisition techniques are required.

RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to communicate the identity of individual items over an air interface. RFID works similarly to bar code technology in that an item has to be interrogated by a scanner or reader for it to be identified. Barcodes, however, have one significant downfall, they require line-of-site technology. That means the scanner has to see the barcode to read it, which usually means items have to be manually oriented towards the scanner for it to be read. Conversely, RFID does not require line-of-site and can be read as long as the item is within range of the reader.

RFID is now being considered as an integral link in E-Commerce environments. The technology in theory should enhance and complement Electronic Data Interchanges (EDIs) to facilitate quick response and the generation of exception reports. This should allow real time information to be transmitted to partners within the supply chain supporting the decision-making process. Ultimately RFID should provide immediacy of data right down to individual item level identification. This can help bridge the gap between the customer, the order and order fulfilment process to the satisfaction of the customer. This means that it can enable the enhanced responsiveness expected within an E-Business environment.

The supply of on-demand barcode label printers currently represents one of the most widely used AIDC technologies (technologies such as: barcodes, smart cards, magnetic stripes on credit cards, optical character recognition etc) in supply chain applications (e.g. EPOS, warehouse and inventory management). Due to mandates set by influential leaders in the retail and defence industries, barcode label printers with RFID enabled capabilities present a real opportunity for companies to develop and extend their product portfolios by providing products which will enable companies to meet compliance objectives. Opportunities also exist to provide printers for those companies faced with compliance for when usage and acceptance of the technology becomes more prevalent. An entire new market segment will have emerged, requiring a widespread ongoing supply of printers, peripheral equipment and consumables.

Bar code systems Bar code systems include the symbologies that encode data to be optically read, printing technologies that produce the machine-readable symbols and scanners and decoders that capture the visual images of the symbologies and convert them into computercompatible digital data. Barcode scanning reduces errors associated with manual data handling, and produces visibility to aid supply chain management. A significant benefit of bar codes is that they are extremely cheap to produce and provide an efficient means of item identification. Unfortunately, according to some sources, bar codes are proving increasingly inadequate in a growing number of applications. Bar coding is an optical technology, which introduces constraints regarding orientation of the product (invariably requiring human intervention) and cleanliness of labels and scanners for fast efficient data collection. Bar codes can be easily copied and so become an easy target for counterfeiting. In addition, standard barcodes have low storage capacity, cannot be reprogrammed and only identify the manufacturer and product and not the unique item. Industry bodies indicate that bar code systems are now a mature technology with limited potential for further growth.

RFID is emerging as a complementary technology to help overcome some of the drawbacks associated with bar code technology. RFID systems consist of transponders (tags), which are made up of a microchip with a coiled antenna and an interrogator (reader) with an antenna. The tags are attached to the items to be identified and the RFID readers communicate with the tags via electromagnetic waves. RFID middleware (software) provides the interface for communication between the interrogator and existing company databases and information management systems. RFID is a term used to describe any identification device that can be sensed at a distance by radio frequencies with few problems of obstruction and mis-orientation. The devices are often referred to as 'RFID tags' or 'Smart Labels'.

In its most basic form, a smart label consists of an ultra- thin RFID tag often referred to as an inlay. Inlays for smart labels are available in the 13.56 MHz, 860 to 930 MHz and 2.45 GHz frequency ranges. The inlays are embedded in label material, which is printed with human-readable text, graphics and bar codes (passive smart label). The printed data both supplements and backs up the information that is programmed into the tag. An evolutionary product to passive smart label technology is the smart active label (SAL). SALs can be defined using the same definition of smart labels above, but for one clear distinction, the inclusion of an integral power source. This distinguishing characteristic allows SALs to provide enhanced functionality over passive RFID smart labels including sensory, processing, display and locating capabilities. Smart labels are typically used for disposable applications and are not as durable as permanent RFID tags, which can be encased in materials to withstand harsh environments. Although one company suggests that the label material can be developed to withstand environmental conditions and that appropriate adhesive can ensure the label lasts the required duration.

Smart labels are referred to as smart because of their flexible capabilities provided by the RFID tag embedded in the label. The tag can be programmed and/or updated in the field allowing the same label to be reused serving multiple needs and disparate applications. Subsequently, the label is no longer static as a bar code label, but dynamic in its capability when equipped with RFID. Supporters of RFID suggest benefits which include: cost savings through automating the check-out process, a reduction in labour associated with performing inventory counts; improved theft prevention and increased authenticity control, a reduction in inventory holding cost, diversions and improved product availability. Unfortunately, an exact description of how the benefits are attainable in practice has often remained vague. The main criticisms on RFID technology are that it is too expensive and that it is unlikely that the investment will pay off. It is also argued that RFID is an over-marketed, hyped technology and that existing bar code based systems already provide most of the needed functionality.

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.