Companies operating in the electricity sector are at a crossroads. While the future of the utility business is impossible to predict, there are some possible business strategies that utilities should adopt to survive in the new paradigm. Market conditions in the energy utility sector, at least in Europe, are the most challenging in living memory. The centralised, integrated giants, which emerged from waves of central planning and international consolidation, now see their historical business model challenged by several factors including completion, political initiatives, regulation and structural changes. Furthermore, technological change creates additional challenges in areas such as smart meters, micro-generation and distributed generation.
Automotive manufacturers are changing their business models and moving towards mobility service providers that offer networked urban mobility. This is necessary due to the increasing process of urbanization across the world. A recent study by management consultancy Arthur D. Little highlights the scope of this emerging multi-billion Euro market. The consultants researched and compared the transport systems of 84 international cities and ranked them according to 19 criteria ranging from the proportion of travel that takes place on public transport to the density of their cycle lane networks. The study envisions the ideal urban transport system of the future as a place where bikes would be as widely used as in Wuhan, bike-sharing would be widespread as in Brussels and the rail network would run as frequently as the London Tube.
Berlin races, London rumbles article
For cities all over the world, mobility is a key topic of interest. Therefore, in its study The future of Urban Mobility - Imperatives to shape extended mobility ecosystems of tomorrow" management consultancy Arthur D. Little evaluated the options for mobility in 84 major cities concerning their maturity and their level of performance. Vienna, capital of Austria, was ranked number five and has improved three places since the former study back in 2011. "Vienna scores highly with several initiatives to solve the city´s congestion problems", says Oleksii Korniichuk, the author of the study.
Arthur D. Little screens mobility in more than 80 cities article
The number of human-interfaces in cars will grow significantly in the years to come. A snapshot of the future was captured at the Geneva International Motor Show - almost all car manufacturers promoted their latest models as mobile command centers capable of integrating Smartphones and tablets. Arthur D. Little considers the car`s digitalization as a key trend – with disruptive potential for the whole automotive industry. Additionally, the trend recognizes the movement towards software and services.
Most of the world’s cities are ill-equipped to cope with the predicted increase in demand on urban travel – that is the stark finding of the second ‘Future of Urban Mobility’ study carried out by global management consultancy Arthur D. Little. Compiled in association with the international Association of Public Transport (UITP), the survey examines and rates urban mobility in 84 cities worldwide against an extended set of criteria ranging from the financial attractiveness of public transport to the density of vehicles registered. So what would a city that performs well across all criteria look like? According to the authors it would have a best-in-class urban mobility system as affordable as Hong Kong, with a similar vehicle density, modal split and level of smart-card acceptance. It would also have Stockholm’s clean air, as much cycling as Amsterdam and be as safe as Copenhagen. Public transport service would be as frequent as the London Tube, combined with a bike sharing system from Brussels or Paris and Stuttgart’s car sharing scheme. Travel times would be a short as Nantes and its climatic impact would be as small as that of Wuhan.
The French telecom industry is currently undertaking a major merger that could change the market in the future. The cable network operator Numericable might acquire SFR, the second largest mobile service provider. The takeover is a result of the severe price cuts for text messages and telephony services initiated by the low-cost supplier Free in 2012. A price-comparison performed by consultancy Arthur D. Little reported in 2012 that a standard contract covering free text messages, telephone calls and 3G internet access would be available in France for only 20 Euros. The prices are significantly higher in Germany (42 Euros), UK (38 Euros) and Spain (67 Euros).
Each and every day vast amounts of data are being created and collected by companies around the globe. In many cases users are being asked to sign-up for more invasive user agreements allowing companies to gather ever more private data and they often don’t know how their data will be shared. In this article the authors take a closer look at the consequences this has for marketers, users and policy makers, and future directions for regulation. Given the wide reach and potential consequences of the productization of user information, it becomes essential for policy makers to carefully balance the positive welfare effects of innovation against negative spill overs. A key success factor in this endeavour could be to consider a broader scope of rule-making, coordination and enforcement that goes beyond existing structures defined by national and regional boundaries.
The article leads with the news that car purchases are increasingly migrating online, presenting a challenge to the traditional car dealership. The author quotes ADL’s recent survey findings showing that 70% of car buyers spend more time researching purchases online than offline.
Various CEO’s suggest ways of enabling car dealers to make the switch to the online environment, including Nissan’s social media campaign to create a distinctive online brand and optimising car websites so that they can be seamlessly accessed across different endpoints, from tablets to smartphones.
The article concludes with the potential for the future ‘connected car’ to build long-term relationships between car brands and consumers, through vehicles that transform the in-car experience into part of the driver’s social media world, and enable brands to discover more about car owners than ever before.
This article covers ADL’s urban mobility report, highlighting the impending problems associated with the increasing urbanisation of the world’s population.
The article notes that the majority of global cities remain ill-equipped to contend with increasing populations, pinpointing Africa and the Middle East as a particular concern. Three of ADL’s strategic recommendations to boost urban mobility are listed; re-designing transport systems in the developed world to reduce dependence on motorised vehicles; co-ordinating city-wide transport systems enabling travellers to seamlessly switch from one mode of transport to another, and establishing a sustainable, low-cost core of mobility infrastructure and technology in the developing world.
The article concludes by pointing to a new way forward for those seeking to address growing urban congestion; enhancing public transport offerings to attract more users, finding the right funding mix for public transport systems and co-ordinating a transport vision with an innovative social and political vision that unites all stakeholders and controlling the demand that fuels congestion.
Premium car manufactures are trying to increase sales to younger customer segments. Therefore, they are in need of new ways to sell cars over the internet, where these customer segments can often be found. Anyhow, online sales in the automotive industry are still in their infancy. According to a recent study by global management consultancy Arthur D. Little, sales of new cars over the internet have just started a couple of years ago especially in mature markets. “We expect decent growth rates here” commented one of the authors.