Zarządzanie Firmą Archive

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The Power of Algorithmic Forecasting

This is the first in a series of articles by Boston Consulting Group and Daimler Mobility discussing the concept of forward-looking financial steering. Here, we introduce the concept and explain how companies can use it. Subsequent articles will address implementation challenges related to people and technology. The insights are derived from Daimler Mobility’s successful deployment, with BCG’s support, of forward-looking steering in its global operations.

People don’t steer their cars solely on the basis of what they see in the rearview mirror, yet that is essentially how most business leaders steer their companies: they look backward to decide how to move forward. This method makes it hard for companies to cope with the ever-increasing levels of uncertainty in today’s business environment. To keep up to speed, companies need an approach to financial steering that permits rapid and effective course corrections in anticipation of future developments. Companies should spend far less time developing detailed plans and far more time taking action to counter threats and capture opportunities.

To make that happen, the paradigm for steering must fully shift its focus from backward looking to forward looking. Backward-­looking steering entails analyzing deviations between plan targets and actual performance. Forward-­looking steering entails comparing targets with forecasts of how KPIs will evolve over specific time horizons. To truly adopt forward-looking steering (as described in this article), a company must use algorithmically derived forecasts.

Although it is common for companies to produce forecasts manually, few companies use algorithms. Algorithmically derived forecasts allow the focus to shift from periodically reporting results to accurately forecasting the development of KPIs—faster and with less effort. Armed with foresight into how conditions will change, companies can take action to preempt unfavorable outcomes and promote competitive advantage.

Adopting algorithm-based, forward-looking steering is not easy, however. A company must enrich its traditional manual processes with a data-driven, automated approach to generating forecasts and performance reports. Among the many challenges are assembling a team that has statistical capabilities, setting up a new technical infrastructure, and building people’s trust in technology.

“To master the digital transformation, a company must take a comprehensive approach to algorithm-based forward-looking steering,” says Stephan Unger, Daimler Mobility’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). “This includes not only advanced analytical methods, new technologies, and the right expertise, but also an engaging approach to change management.”

By Gerhard Unger and Marc Rodt

More: https://www.bcg.com/publications/

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When women lead, workplaces should listen

For years, female executives have come away from women-only leadership programs empowered to do—and ask for—more, valuing the opportunity to examine their strengths and shortcomings in the psychological safety of their peers and to use the experience as a springboard for personal development.

But organizations are leaving unexamined the most powerful lessons these programs offer.

The oft-overlooked benefit of women-only leadership programs is that they hold up a mirror to the organization. When women scrutinize their own leadership traits and experiences, they reveal important information about the day-to-day environment in which they operate. If a company is receptive, the content of the sessions can help gauge how well the organization promotes effective leadership behavior and can offer a portal into where the company succeeds, as well as where it fails to foster an environment in which everyone can bring their best self to work. In short, companies can use such programs not only to improve the skills of the participants but also to assess—and ultimately improve—the workplace itself.

We’ve come to these conclusions through a decade’s worth of experience in a particular women’s leadership program—McKinsey’s Remarkable Women Program, which has helped develop female leaders from Warsaw to Washington, DC, to Singapore to Stockholm. Remarkable Women sessions generally include participants from multiple organizations, but many companies send more than one woman, and we believe that the lessons we’ve learned are equally relevant for organizations running their own in-house programs.

In this article, we describe what hundreds of program sessions and 150 interviews with participants have taught us. Not only do women and men experience work differently; not only is it the system—rather than women—that needs fixing; but there are three critical actions organizations need to take: they must broaden their leadership models, stimulate dissent, and encourage more effective introspection across the board.

About the authors: Natacha Catalino is an associate partner in McKinsey’s Boston office, and Kirstan Marnane is a senior advisor in the London office.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com

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Porty kontenerowe do 2023 r.

Zwiększy się dominacja dużych operatorów terminali kontenerowych

Marek Grzybowski

Rynek operatorów terminali kontenerowych się konsoliduje. Rosną wskaźniki wykorzystania terminali kontenerowych i powstała pierwsza liga globalnych operatorów – twierdzą eksperci Drewry.

Faktycznie, obserwując jedynie rynek europejski, większość wiodących operatorów terminali kontenerowych odnotowało wzrost przeładunków kontenerów. Przy ogólnym średnim wzroście wynoszącym 5,7%, 15 najlepszych portów osiąga lepsze wyniki niż w 2018 r. (+4,2%), 2017 r. (+4,6%), 2016 r. (+2,1%) i 2015 r. (-1,6%) – obliczył prof. Theo Notteboom z Shanghai Maritime University.

Chiny dominują. W wymiarze globalnym dominuję wciąż porty chińskie. W I połowie 2019 r. przeładowano w nich ok. 127 mln TEU kontenerów w portach morskich i rzecznych – poinformowało chińskie Ministerstwo Transportu. Dla porównania w I półroczu 2018 r. przeładowano w Chinach 121 mln TEU, w 2017 r. – 114,6, a w 2016 r. – 105,3 mln TEU. W I kwartale br. terminale kontenerowe Chin przyjęły i ekspediowały 60,3 mln TEU, a w II kwartale br. 66,7 mln TEU. Przy czym chińskie porty morskie obsłużyły ok. 53,8 mln TEU w I i ok. 58,8 mln TEU w II kwartale.

Niektórzy eksperci uważają, że nawet przewidywana recesja i wojna celna USA nie zmieni istotnie rosnącego trendu. Ale takie opinie wyrażano również przed upadkiem Lehman Brothers, po którym wszystkie gospodarki wpadły w sztormy recesji. Kryzys światowy na rynku transportu morskiego został poprzedzony istotnymi spadkami frachtów. Być może podaż ładunków w kontenerach będzie wciąż rosła, a transport morski i spedytorzy będą musieli zadowolić się głodowymi stawkami frachtowymi. Część kosztów prawdopodobnie przerzucona zostanie na operatorów terminali kontenerowych. A tu ceny będą dyktować globalni gracze.

więcej: http://www.pgt.pl/porty-kontenerowe-do-2023-r

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Five routes to more innovative problem solving

Rob McEwen had a problem. The chairman and chief executive officer of Canadian mining group Goldcorp knew that its Red Lake site could be a money-spinner—a mine nearby was thriving—but no one could figure out where to find high-grade ore. The terrain was inaccessible, operating costs were high, and the unionized staff had already gone on strike. In short, McEwen was lumbered with a gold mine that wasn’t a gold mine.

Then inspiration struck. Attending a conference about recent developments in IT, McEwen was smitten with the open-source revolution. Bucking fierce internal resistance, he created the Goldcorp Challenge: the company put Red Lake’s closely guarded topographic data online and offered $575,000 in prize money to anyone who could identify rich drill sites. To the astonishment of players in the mining sector, upward of 1,400 technical experts based in 50-plus countries took up the problem. The result? Two Australian teams, working together, found locations that have made Red Lake one of the world’s richest gold mines. “From a remote site, the winners were able to analyze a database and generate targets without ever visiting the property,” McEwen said. “It’s clear that this is part of the future.”

McEwen intuitively understood the value of taking a number of different approaches simultaneously to solving difficult problems. A decade later, we find that this mind-set is ever more critical: business leaders are operating in an era when forces such as technological change and the historic rebalancing of global economic activity from developed to emerging markets have made the problems increasingly complex, the tempo faster, the markets more volatile, and the stakes higher. The number of variables at play can be enormous, and free-flowing information encourages competition, placing an ever-greater premium on developing innovative, unique solutions.

This article presents an approach for doing just that. How? By using what we call flexible objects for generating novel solutions, or flexons, which provide a way of shaping difficult problems to reveal innovative solutions that would otherwise remain hidden. This approach can be useful in a wide range of situations and at any level of analysis, from individuals to groups to organizations to industries. To be sure, this is not a silver bullet for solving any problem whatever. But it is a fresh mechanism for representing ambiguous, complex problems in a structured way to generate better and more innovative solutions.

The flexons approach

Networks flexon

Evolutionary flexon

Decision-agent flexon

System-dynamics flexon

Information-processing flexon

Putting flexons to work

Flexons help turn chaos into order by representing ambiguous situations and predicaments as well-defined, analyzable problems of prediction and optimization. They allow us to move up and down between different levels of detail to consider situations in all their complexity. And, perhaps most important, flexons allow us to bring diversity inside the head of the problem solver, offering more opportunities to discover counterintuitive insights, innovative options, and unexpected sources of competitive advantage.

About the author(s)

Olivier Leclerc is a principal in McKinsey’s Southern California office. Mihnea Moldoveanu is associate dean of the full-time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, where he directs the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking.

More: www.mckinsey.com

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BCG – The Digital Imperative in Freight Forwarding

A wave of digital disruption is about to hit sea and air freight forwarders. Startups, suppliers, and even customers are using digital technologies to develop a variety of innovative business models that will dramatically improve the customer experience and eliminate entrenched operational inefficiencies. These digital business models have the potential to overturn the dominant position traditional forwarders have long held in the industry.

Traditional forwarders that wish to survive have no choice but to digitize. By our estimate, automating manual processes now could reduce certain back-office and operations costs by up to 40%, while digitizing significant parts of the sales process could reduce related direct costs even more. And as the new business models gain traction over the long term, digital capabilities will open up tremendous opportunities to win in the marketplace.

What’s Driving the Digital Rush

Two major issues have long challenged the air and sea freight-forwarding industry, and provided impetus for new entrants.

Lackluster Customer Experience. The traditional offline quotation and booking process is lengthy and cumbersome, often necessitating several interactions to reach a final price. A shipper who asks a forwarder for a quote can wait as long as 100 hours, according to a recent study by Freightos. Filling out and checking shipping documents can be tedious and time consuming.  And it is difficult to track shipping orders in real time, so when exceptions occur, customers don’t have a chance to make the decisions needed to ensure their cargo will arrive according to plan.

Manual Processes. Compared with other industries, an unusually high number of manual processes is the norm in air and sea freight forwarding. Some companies still rely on email, personal handoffs, and even faxes to convey shipping docments—all time-consuming and error-prone methods that jack up costs and squelch profits. The Freightos study found that only 5 out of the top 20 forwarders send automated confirmation emails and even fewer provide instant quotations. Costs to serve are especially high for companies with a large number of transactional customers. (See The Digital Imperative in Container Shipping, BCG Focus, February 2018.)

Disruption on Many Fronts

Eager to seize the opportunity, many companies have entered the digital fray. Five types of companies pose a threat to traditional forwarders (see Exhibit 1):

  • Startups such as Freightos and Flexport developed digital business models that streamline the customer experience and provide greater visibility into the supply chain.
  • Competitors such as Kuehne + Nagel and Maersk-Damco are digitizing their go-to-market approach, incubating new business models to revamp the customer experience, improve profitability, and drive new growth.
  • Suppliers such as Maersk, with its portal, my.Maerskline.com, are digitizing their booking processes to significantly reduce the time needed to complete a container booking. Increasingly, carriers are trying to sell directly to shippers and bypass forwarders altogether.
  • Integrators such as FedEx (including its TNT Express subsidiary) and UPS are increasingly expanding their activities in logistics by leveraging their end-to-end IT systems.
  • Customers with strong technology capabilities who are eager to gain control of the complete online customer experience are entering the race. Amazon, for example, is set up well to move into air and ocean freight forwarding.

By Jens Riedl , Ted Chan , Simone Schöndorfer , Frederik Schröder , and Michael Sønderby

More: www.bcg.com