The world of business has been changing very fast, and unpredictably too. It is being rightly viewed that 'coping with the complexity of today's business environment is not about predicting the future or reducing the risks. It's about building the capacity, in yourself, your people, and the organisation to adapt continuously and learn speedily, in order to maximise the chances of seizing fleeting opportunities'.
There is no snapshot prescription to arrive at a win-win situation tomorrow. At best, one can predict about the line to be followed tomorrow. Actually, in today's unprecedented talent crunch, the business world as a whole is grappling with developing the leadership, talent, risk awareness and of course the very task of building up / inculcate positive- change- adapting attitude.
In fact, in today's fast changing world, success is a long-term phenomenon - continuous market scans and adapting to change-friendly approaches. Strategy existing today may not be liked by the next generation and thus quick adaptability system is required to remain prepared.
Global business arena has been changing very fast making it difficult for the poor-walkers to retain the market. There is a lot of noise out there. Merger / amalgamation / tie-up arrangements / outsourcing are being watched out - still something more is needed and that too on an urgent basis, especially for our banks considering the very competitive environment.
In today's business world competition comes in many forms: price / service / quality / speed of delivery / uniqueness / experience / knowledge / contacts / resources / brand equity and so on and so forth. Boosting of service quality, keeping in view the very nature of effective demand, is the crying need. The challenge is not only to acquire the customer, but also to retain him in the business for furthering the process of improved customer value.
What is more : the fact remains that market share once gone would be very difficult to regain as not only the number of CORE [Competitors, Opponents, Rivals and Enemies] is on the rise but technology also is being continuously replaced / is on a continuously changing positions.
Be it a commodity marketing or services marketing ultimately it is the quality that matters. Quality is nothing but a summation of cost and time. Changing any one of these variables would lead to change the outcome. If the amount of time is shortened to complete the assignment, either the cost is to be increased or quality is to be lowered. Quality refers to identifying the quality standards relevant to the assignment and determining how to measure and satisfy them.
Managing capital and risk exist at the front door. Tapping the high growth opportunities ensuring capital efficiency is thus at the forefront. Essentially, before the broad objectives / strategies are set, the crucial aspects are to be kept in mind. The risk factor, that is to say determining the difficulties likely to affect the implementation and evaluating possible responses is of crucial importance. Business without risk is similar to day without night! It is just like sugar and salt in life.
Consolidation would definitely continue to be the key factor - but obviously it is not the end as is often thought of, rather the tip of an iceberg! Tying up / amalgamation / merger with the stronger is definitely one of the way outs. Obvious enough, the choice of strategy also depends on facts and circumstances - may be one particular strategy becomes outdated or calls for supplements not necessarily by discarding the older one. This renovation is thus a continuous process. The redesigning of existing processes can effectively lead to dramatic enhancements in performance that enables an organisation to deliver greater value to customers in ways that also generate higher profits to the stakeholders.
The happenings thus require a conscious and undivided attention. A well-groomed strategy could not only help protect the fund deployed, but also enable to face competition through customers' confidence building.
The issue is a burning one in as much as it not only affect liquidity, profitability and equity of individual company but affects the national economy by freezing the supply link also, which, in turn, terribly affects the process of capital formation.
Is it not the fact that the path to success is an elaborate one? A long journey before one comes out of the tunnel indeed! Tasks remain unending: building the credibility, deciding on what to do, identifying the competitive edge, locating what makes service successful, understanding what makes the service fail, knowing about customers & prospects: who needs us - at the market, in order of importance, whom do we want to be our customers, where are they, when is the best time to get to them, what turns them on and of course what turns them off etc.
So, for making the process work, the need is there to ensure that the jobs are redefined broadly backed by updated training system to support these jobs and at the same time enabling decision making. The process and the outcome are to be studied for next course of action.
The broad areas under such a change-over method include, among others: reshaping organisational culture to emphasise on team performance, fixation of personal accountability, customer's importance; managers overseeing the tasks rather than supervising and realigning the information system so that the cross-functional processes work smoothly than simply support departments.
Business processes must become more mature and the institution must be able to deliver higher performance - spatially, temporally, hierarchically and functionally. Obviously, to achieve the same, the starting point is designing the comprehensiveness of the specifications as to how the process is to be executed -- followed by the performers [people executing the process based on skill and knowledge], owner [ persons shouldering the responsibility for the process as well as the results ], infrastructure [ information / M I S that support the process ] and ,of course, the metrics [ the measures the company uses to track the process's performance ].
For developing high performance processes, institutions need to offer very supportive environments. Enterprise capabilities thus emerge to be the crucial factors for the ultimate achievement - leadership [executives who support the creation of processes], culture [values of customer focus, teamwork, personal accountability and of course the very willingness to change], expertise [skills in / methodology for process design] and governance [the very mechanisms for managing complex projects and change initiatives].
Dr B K Mukhopadhya is Principal, Eminent College of Management and Technology, Kolkata.