Issue 2, 2009

Ten management priorities for today and tomorrow

Andreas Gissler, Christoph Kreymborg and Gregory Venters

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 themselves best to achieve growth? We spoke to business leaders and uncovered the ten priorities that managers must follow in order to achieve growth in these unusual times. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

Putting patients at the centre of a new biopharma business model

Edouard Croufer, Françoise Simon, François Meurgey and Alexandre Meire

The pharmaceutical industry is suffering. Expiring patents, increasing demands from regulators and decreasing healthcare budgets are putting companies under pressure, and the industry has to walk a narrow tightrope between keeping profitability up and quickly developing attractive medications. As patients are increasingly well informed, organised and powerful, a novel approach that some companies are looking into is patient-centrism. This means integrating patient inputs in each stage of the value chain, from drug development through commercialisation to lifecycle management. We carried out 50 in-depth interviews with industry experts to find out how this new model can hold the future for the bio pharma business. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

A rose in the bud? Anticipating opportunities in industrial biotechnology

Peter J. Nieuwenhuizen, David Lyon, Julia Laukkonen and Murray Hartley

Bioplastics and chemicals derived from biological raw materials are being hailed as the next big thing for the chemical industry, a development that could have a huge impact on both that industry and the many others that depend on it. This technology has its critics, but its proponents believe it has the potential to introduce all kinds of new products and reduce dependence on oil. In this article, the authors look at potential business models for this small but growing technology. They single out three possible futures and estimate how this promising new area could develop over the coming years. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

The impact of future travelers' preferences on the tourism industry

Ralf Baron, Michael Zintel and Lars Schäfer

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 the global economic downturn. Travelers have changed and the industry will have to change with them. Based on extensive discussions with industry experts, this article explores the evolution of travelers’ preferences and the current state of the industry, and looks at what the future holds for the business of tourism. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

The coming transformation of the automotive industry

Marc Winterhoff, Carsten Kahner, Simon Schnurrer and Christopher Ulrich

The automotive industry is going through a crisis unprecedented in its century-long history. Optimistic commentators predict that strong demand from the BRIC countries and growing market penetration of hybrid or electrical vehicles will propel the industry back to growth in the wake of the financial crisis. A more comprehensive analysis on key drivers indicates that we are instead nearing the end of the global automotive industry as we know it. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

Grooming CEO talent at the truly global firm of the future

Herman Vantrappen and Petter Kilefors

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 and countries where the percentage of foreign CEOs is highest. The key message we found is crystal clear: the talent pool is much bigger than is commonly thought and global companies are losing out on talent if they limit themselves to native CEOs only. [...]

Issue 2, 2009

"The future is about cooperative competition"

Interview with Rahul Bajaj, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)

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? [...]

Issue 1, 2009

Beyond the downturn: Waking up in a new world

Michael Wagemans, Herman Vantrappen and Luc Dossche

In a survey conducted in March 2009, Arthur D. Little spoke to senior executives around the globe about the economic downturn. The survey focuses on what the crisis means to business and how executives can prepare for the return of better times. The results are not all gloom and doom. Business is generally expected to return to pre-crisis levels by 2011 at the latest and, while there is a general feeling that the crisis has brought a fundamental questioning of the way businesses are run, companies are taking measures beyond cost-cutting to prepare for life after the downturn. As well as getting through the hard times, executives feel an urgent need to reposition their companies for the new economic world that is to come. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

How the robust and audacious thrive through business cycle swings

Jan Beckeman, Daniel Gustafsson and Daniel Winther

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. Instead of simply cutting back wherever possible, they take precisely targeted steps to ensure that they come out of the bad times a step ahead. This article shows how any company can go beyond the reflex reaction and take advantage of the downturn to emerge stronger than the competition. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

Restructure and reinvest in innovation

Daniel Roos, Anders Johansson and Volker Kirchgeorg

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 defensive response of killing or postponing R&D is the wrong way to deal with a downturn, and that a more forward-looking approach is to restructure R&D and reinvest accordingly. Through several best-practice examples, it shows how this approach enables companies to both optimise their shortterm financial performance and strengthen their ability to compete when the upturn finally comes. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

Making money from green consumerism in the downturn

Emanuele Cacciatore, David Lyon, Philip Balbirnie and Massimo Armenise

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 tracks as buyers cut back on extras and premium-priced products. This article demonstrates that the downturn has done nothing to stop the growth in concern about the environment and climate change, and that green consumerism is as important a mainstream market opportunity today as at any other time. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

Effective procurement negotiations in the downturn

Gregor Berz, Andy Dvorocsik, Daniel Deneffe and Ralf Gampfer

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 without risking the survival of your precious supply chain is no simple matter, and it requires the best possible negotiation skills. This article sets out five rules for negotiations that will ensure that your company finds its way through this difficult procurement situation and emerges with both lower prices and an intact supply chain. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

Releasing working capital across the supply chain

Roswitha Tertea, Stephen Abseck, Florian Bergener and Boris Herzog

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 working capital can be achieved across the entire supply chain by dispensing with the traditional adversarial stance in favour of a collaborative approach. It offers a set of guidelines that enable everyone in the supply chain to raise the funds needed to remain strong, while giving them the best chance of making it through the capital shortage intact. [...]

Issue 1, 2009

"In a connected world, we must work together"

Interview with Jürgen Hambrecht, CEO of BASF

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 crisis, the impact it will have on the world and what business can do. [...]

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About Prism

Twice a year, Arthur D. Little covers the latest cutting-edge thinking on strategy, technology and innovation in its corporate magazine Prism. For over 20 years Prism has continually set the standards in innovative thinking and groundbreaking concepts in the world of business and management.

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