Past is never an history – at least in Business. Trends and projections are normal. Present day reliance on data analytics too reflects the same – from buying behaviours to purchasing powers to predicting future, across economies and sections of economies. Thanks to computing power, segmented micro-analysis is today possible and expected to assume larger significance in the realm of Business.
Reverse protectionism seen today is to be assumed natural. Considering Global trade as a closed loop, in the Cycle of Trade developing is akin to developed at some point of time. This brings economies at equal footing, eliminating need for WTO interventions, existence of which is supernatural today.
Agriculture To IoT Era
Contribution of agriculture still is significant to GDP. Thanks to Industrial revolutions, mechanisation has helped reduce dependency of population on Agriculture – First Shift. Economy moved from Agro to Industrial, while capacity was the king, and out put largely dependent on Labour. As industrialisation grew and the World going through few recessions, brought in perspective the need for Quality. In came the Consumer Era.
Consumer needs and wants for quality products and services dictated outputs. Need for controls on human interventions to eliminate process errors was realised. This brought in scientific management and process control based on statistical approach, relevant forever. Capability studies continue to determine quality levels expected and people can think of defect levels in PPTs (Parts per Trillion). DPMOs (Defects per Million opportunities) is widely used, especially is safety critical industries.
QMS And CPA
As quality superseded quantity, management systems became important over production. Globalised trade necessitated uniform quality standards – ISOs came into existence. Automotive industry felt insufficiency in ISO and brought in QS standards. As technology evolved and consumer protection laws became stringent, both ISO & QS have evolved and have assumed their new avatars ISO 2015 and IATF. Similar to automotive, there are many industry specific standards like FDA, API, AS9100, etc...
CPA (Consumer Protection Acts) have played vital roles in shaping such standards to eliminate human hazards to the possible extent. Failures do happen; however, traceability has ensured containment and protection. Business World transformed from being reactive to proactive and tries to become predictive through FMEAs (Failure Mode Effect Analysis) and Risk analysis. Statistics and Data Analytics help in these endeavours, though success may vary due to extraneous factors.
IT revolution made consumers spoiled for choices, alongside economic and industrial growth. Information available at fingertips made Consumers better educated and knowledgeable about products/ services making them choosier. Quality became non-negotiable and given. Consumers started yearning for more than quality and availability of information made it easier for to analyse and assess options.
LPG – Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation accelerated onset of Information Era. It opened Global Markets for Indian IT Professionals and Organisations. This brought in new breed of consumerism and spending culture as affordability enhanced. Micro segmentation and positioning of products and services became important to satisfy this new generation.
Traditional industries, though are drivers of economy, became driven by IT, leveraging of which brought in better control of Business and
Management. Tools like ERP through BPR (Business Process Re-engineering) eliminated many NVAs (Nonvalue adding activities). It is important to realise VA-VE the essence of BPR is a continuous process as market and technology evolve. TQM & TPM were introduced and became differentiators. Productivity and consumption per capita grew manifold times in this era. Even Agro economy started leveraging IT for its advantages.
Further leveraging IT, using tools like concurrent engineering and PLM (product life cycle management) time to market duration reduced to one fourth. As aspirations of consumers with affordability grew alongside, product and service offerings were quick and different. Feature based differentiation gave way to solution-based differentiations. Tastes and preferences changed, and sustaining change became eminent.Speed of change determined the success rates. Volumes gave way to varieties.Product and services premiums depended on individualisation. Inducing change became the best option to overcome changes.
Rapid Innovation is the new normal, aided by technologies like 3D printing and Laser Manufacturing
Traditional 4Ps (Product, Price, Place & Promotion) got refined to SAVE (Solution, Accessibility, Value for Money and Engagement). PLCs (Product life cycles) got shortened, replenishment becoming the core of consumerism. Ideas mattered more than money, newcomers challenging established players through technological, product and services innovations. Thanks to data analytics, it is possible to create better niches and acute segmentation with specific and targeted product / services offerings. Terminologies like Mass Customisation came into vogue. Such developments and strategies did not spare political strategists too.
IoT And Industry 4.O
Further advancements in technology paved way for integrated communication. Hand phones becoming a tool for management than mere communications. To begin with, choices and preferences of society in developed economies accelerated adoption of IOT and Industry 4.0. For industries which are hazardous in nature, IOT was a boon, which helped eliminate human interventions in hazardous work.
Appropriate adoptions ensured IOT supplementing Human efforts. Usual errors due to fatigue and concentration were eliminated, improving product and services consistency. Collaborative commerce induced e-commerce made customers and supply chain partners part of business processes. Mutually beneficial long-term, continuous engagements came into existence. Cost containment through near accurate data capturing at points of consumption is a reality today, helping eliminate process wastes.
Society evolved into an inverted triangle – education patterns becoming skewed. Thanks to liberal availability of higher education, work force became educated – both at entry levels and post entry through on-line and part time courses.
Traditional supervisory model and ratios of staff to workmen were un-necessitated, paving way for emergence of self-managed work force, containing overheads. Management of People shifted from Industrial Disputes (era of conflicts) to Human Capital Management (participatory era). Intrapreneurship and employee shareholding practices became common. Liberal HR practices like flexi hours, part time/ assignment specific engagements and working from home options favoured dual career families, bringing in further social upheavals. Parent – Adult – Child relationships assumed new dimensions and continue to evolve.
Social Branding of organisations in the interest of public through CSRs complimented product/ services branding. Funding new businesses are at higher risks, defying logics – good money chasing bad businesses. Definition of wealth creation is more euphoric than reality. World over Financial scams surfaced. Line between Greed and Business is yet to be recognised.
Real wealth accumulators like Manufacturing are given secondary preference – at all levels. Despite knowing well that Manufacturing GDP is key to Nation Building, its yet to attract the desired attention from across. However, given the technology upgrades in Manufacturing, distinction between blue collar and white collar diminished.
Save To Pace
With education and financial safety of dual incomes, risk taking ability of significant sections of society enhanced. Businesses took notice of this change.
Modern Business adopted cannibalisation strategies strongly. Rapid Innovation is the new normal, aided by technologies like 3D printing and Laser Manufacturing. Product life cycles further shortened, as consumer preferences changed fast. Disruptive era emerged.
Future belongs to Businesses those are able to PACE (Predict – Act – Consolidate – Establish) more than SAVE (Solutions – Accessibility – Value for Money – Engagement). Exit strategies are as important as entry strategies, given the pace of business evolutions.