In this challenging economy, there is nothing more important than cash and liquidity management.
Best-run businesses are sharply focused on their core, no matter how diversified. Businesses which are focused often expand into adjacent, synergistic opportunities. OLAM International, a global leader in the supply chain management of agricultural products and food ingredients is a good example. The company, choosing to stay focused on a single commodity class, namely agricultural, has expanded into synergistic opportunities that shares supplier, customers, channels, costs and capabilities with their existing business. Examples are the expansion within their edible nuts and spices lines-of-business.
Effective lean transformation eliminates more than the most obvious areas of wasted time and resource. A farsighted, lean agenda leverages a tiered enterprise architecture addressing the unique requirements of various business processes at the corporate, shared-services and divisional levels.
Best-run companies gain a deep understanding of the levers affecting organizational costs and profitability through their world-class enterprise performance management processes.
Succeeding in today’s tough business environment requires that an organization be agile enough to respond quickly to internal and external changes. To stay ahead, a business has to explore new ways of business growth – for example, launching a new product or service, or targeting a different set of customers.
Who can lead the company into new markets? Who are your leaders of tomorrow? Are the right employees staying? Are the wrong employees leaving? Without the right talent, you risk not only missing the opportunity to cut costs, increase market share and revenues, but you have to spend even more to acquire new talent.
The downturn presents best-run businesses with endless investment potential – in expanding into adjacent opportunities – including both upstream and downstream. But do you have the proper insight and tools to make the right strategic investments – especially in these times of tight credit?
Major trends of the last five years – such as globalization and radical shifts in business models – have escalated the need for business agility while simultaneously throwing up roadblocks. The impacts of these trends have triggered ripple effects from a governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) perspective.
- Optimized risk-return portfolio
- Reduced GRC costs
- Improved business performance and predictability
- Business sustainability
- Greater business agility
Step #9: Strengthen and Nurture the Business Network
In every industry across the globe, companies are improving their bottom line by focusing on what they do best, while partnering with others who have superior expertise and cost advantage to provide the other elements.
To succeed, companies such as P&G and Apple have deepened their understanding of customer segments and have orchestrated a customer-focused business network to deliver on shorter product life cycles
The following lessons learned from successful customers provide a good model for leading Asian enterprises.
- Lesson #1: Deploy a robust IT-driven business process platform for your business network. Leading companies choose to deploy a strategic business process platform that integrates business processes, end-to-end, on one open platform.
- Lesson #2: Extend your business process platform to customers, suppliers, and partners. Business process platforms can support multi-enterprise processes through business process integration and scalable composition across customers, suppliers, and partners.
- Lesson #3: Manage risk and optimize performance across the business network. As companies seek to optimize their processes across the business network, visibility into risk, compliance, and performance are essential to make insight-based decisions.
- Lesson #4: Empower your business users. Business users need to work in their user environment of choice for maximum productivity. And they need to collaborate on information and processes within their communities. Rather than force change in user behavior, companies can enable collaboration and increase productivity by bringing processes and analytics to familiar user environments.
Step #10: Operate Best-Run Systems and Processes
To achieve clarity and transparency, best-run businesses use world-class solutions to help close the gap between strategy and execution – optimizing the performance of the business as well as the business network. These solutions help customers become clear enterprises by providing insight for improved performance, efficiency for optimized operations, and flexibility to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
The clarity provided by such a solutions portfolio, and the corresponding ecosystem, can help companies preserve profitability by addressing challenges such as cash management, risk mitigation, customer loyalty, streamlining of operations, sustainability, and talent management.
Unlocking new business value is complex. However, we know that a business that does not enrich and revitalize itself with new value is likely to experience the same challenges it did in the preceding economic cycles. The plan is to change the game. This needs insight, efficiency and flexibility.
Success depends on your ability to address the challenges posed by complexity and increased demands for accountability.
Clear enterprises – those that can see clearly, think clearly and act clearly – have the ability to overcome complexity by understanding what’s going on in every aspect of their business and their business networks.
They operate with increased speed, relevance, and accuracy. They are prepared for risk and uncertainty, and they adjust their operations as market conditions change to remain accountable to all stakeholders involved.
In short, Asia’s leading enterprises need to embrace these best-run business steps if they want to run businesses that are transparent and accountable; lean and agile; and customer-centric and collaborative.