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"In a connected world, we must work together"

On April 3, Arthur D. Little interviewed Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of the world’s most respected chemical company. Through its myriad business relations, BASF has unparalleled insights into the well-being and direction of the global economy. We used this unique opportunity to talk about the economic...
Chemicals, Strategy

Releasing working capital across the supply chain

In a credit crisis, one common way of finding cash is to reduce working capital. However, successfully reducing working capital within one company can damage other businesses in the supply chain, exacerbating an already difficult situation all round. This article shows how substantial reductions in...
Strategy, Corporate finance

Effective procurement negotiations in the downturn

The squeeze is on for subassembly manufacturers. Sharp declines in demand for the products of their customers has left them under heavy pressure to reduce their prices, and the only way they can do that is by ensuring lower prices from their own suppliers. But getting substantial price reductions...
Strategy, Operations management

Restructure and reinvest in innovation

Innovation is traditionally one of the first casualties of a downturn. When companies are casting around for means to retain capital just to survive, spending on developments that may or may not pay off some time in the future is an easy target for cost-cutting. This article shows that the...
Strategy, Technology & innovation management

Making money from green consumerism in the downturn

In the last few years, many leading companies have been vigorously marketing the green attributes of their products and services to cash in on perceived demand among consumers. But the coming of the downturn has left many wondering whether the green consumer revolution would be stopped in its...
Consumer goods & retail, Strategy, Sustainability

How the robust and audacious thrive through business cycle

Among many companies, the knee-jerk reaction to a downturn is to pull back. Capital spending is cut, acquisitions are scaled down and marketing expenditure is slashed in a desperate effort to survive the bad times. But smart companies apply a more controlled response to difficult conditions....
Strategy

Grooming CEO talent at the truly global firm of the future

One of the main effects of globalization is that firms today are sourcing around the world to get the best value for money. Despite this, in many companies top management talent is still sourced from within national borders. We took a close look at the 2008 Fortune 500 list and identified companies...
Strategy

"The future is about cooperative competition"

Mr Bajaj, in the long term some people foresee the business world evolving into a bipolar one: the “West” versus the “Emerging Markets.” Would you concur with that view?
Strategy

The impact of future travelers' preferences on the

Tourism is a highly sensitive reflector of the general state of the economy, falling rapidly in response to a downturn but then bouncing back to growth more quickly than most. This time, however, insiders are wondering whether the industry will return to its traditional growth path in the wake of...
Travel & transportation, Strategy

Ten management priorities for today and tomorrow

Now that the dust of the global financial crisis has begun to settle, many business leaders are wondering what their next steps should be in the lingering atmosphere of uncertainty. With the heavy rounds of cost-cutting finished, “Growth now” is the new mantra. But how can companies position...
Strategy