Felietony Archive


Building a customer-centric B2B organization

Customer experience (CX) is an increasingly important strategic topic in the boardrooms of B2B companies in China and throughout the world. Despite the rapid development of the previous decades, the “growth first” principle of Chinese enterprises sometimes implies customer experience can be sacrificed. But CX leaders, globally and within China, drive higher growth, lower cost, and superior customer satisfaction. In times of crisis, they achieve three-times-higher shareholder returns 1 than laggards.

Start with a vision

A successful transformation starts from the top. Cases within and outside China confirm that the CEO must be in charge to continuously push and unify the organization.

The Chinese steel industry has taken an upturn amid the country’s overcapacity-reduction program, and companies have been enjoying robust price and volume increases. In this article, we consider one Chinese steel manufacturer whose CEO set a clear vision to build a customer-centric organization in order to gain a competitive edge and to keep the organization healthy through future downturns. The company took a series of steps to systematically and holistically shift the entire organization toward customer-centricity.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/

By Hai Ye and Will Enger, Open interactive popup; Case study: Building a customer-centric B2B organization; Open interactive popup, A Chinese steel manufacturer systematically transformed its operations to be customer-centric—and in the process, improved its bottom line.

About the authors: Hai Ye and Will Enger are partners in McKinsey’s Hong Kong office.


BCG’s Center for Climate Action: Climate Should Not Be the Virus’s Next Victim

The COVID-19 pandemic swept the world in just a few months, with immediate and catastrophic consequences: hundreds of thousands of deaths and a global economic standstill. The climsate problem has unfolded over decades but, if left unchecked, will likewise have profound and permanent consequences for lives and economies on the planet.

As countries globally are feeling the strain on their economies, climate is at risk of becoming the pandemic’s next victim. This must not happen. As they  mobilize massive resources to tackle COVID-19 governments, businesses, and investors have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild in ways that support a carbon-neutral future and usher in a new economy. By focusing on the climate agenda, even in the midst of this pandemic, leaders can direct investments toward sustainable infrastructure, green jobs, and environmental resilience. This isn’t just a moral imperative—it’s also an economic one.

The COVID-19 Crisis Is a Threat to the Climate

In the wake of the pandemic, global carbon emissions are expected to decline by 5% to 10% in 2020. This is the largest drop since World War II. (See Exhibit 1.) But instead of offering relief for the climate, it actually veils a significant threat.

In theory, this year’s projected drop in greenhouse gas emissions puts the world on a trajectory to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C by 2050. (According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world requires a 5% reduction of global net emissions every year to reach the 1.5°C goal by 2050.) But a crippling economic shutdown cannot be a first step toward this path. Instead, preventing the climate crisis will require fundamental economic transformation.

On the one hand, COVID-19 will almost certainly trigger a few helpful structural shifts—including more remote working, less frequent and shorter-distance business travel, and abbreviated supply chains—as companies seek to derisk their operations. On the other hand, the risk of a significant rebound in emissions—and worse, a delay in the needed transformation of global economies—currently seem much more likely, for several reasons:

  • The asset base is carbon dependent. In many sectors, dependence on fossil fuels is hardwired into production and business models. Without active moves by governments and businesses, countries will gradually revert to combusting high levels of coal, oil, and gas as the economy rebounds.
  • Fossil fuels are cheap. Much of the energy transition so far has been driven by the growth of wind and solar, with electric mobility gaining momentum. Now a perfect storm of COVID-19-induced demand shock and oil-producer-induced oversupply has hit the oil market—briefly turning US prices negative for the first time in history. As gas and coal prices fall, the economic case for lower-carbon energy sources diminishes.
  • Funding capacity has eroded. The pandemic has eroded trillions of dollars of global GDP, and while many decarbonization levers can benefit GDP, delivering on the Paris agreement will require a total of $75 trillion in investments. Funding these investments will become more challenging, especially in emerging economies that are already struggling to pay off their existing foreign-currency debt as a result of capital flight.
  • Focus may shift. With jobs, health, and economic well-being on the line, governments and the public are more focused on addressing this urgent and very visible crisis than on longer-term challenges such as climate. As a result, the needed economic transformation could well be put on hold.

Despite the decline in this year’s emissions, we will still be adding more than 47 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere (down from approximately 53 gigatonnes last year). The next few years are decisive for bringing this figure down further, and our actions will shape the planet for generations to come. Unless we manage to fundamentally transform global energy systems and lay the foundation for a green economy now, the pandemic-induced drop in global emissions will not be the beginning of a turnaround, but a one-off effect for climate.

By Patrick HerholdVeronica ChauMichel FrédeauEsben HegnsholtJoerg HildebrandtCornelius Pieper, and Jens Burchardt

More: BCG


A leader’s guide: Communicating with teams, stakeholders, and communities during COVID-19

COVID-19’s speed and scale breed uncertainty and emotional disruption. How organizations communicate about it can create clarity, build resilience, and catalyze positive change.

Crises come in different intensities. As a “landscape scale” event, 1 the coronavirus has created great uncertainty, elevated stress and anxiety, and prompted tunnel vision, in which people focus only on the present rather than toward the future. During such a crisis, when information is unavailable or inconsistent, and when people feel unsure about what they know (or anyone knows), behavioral science points to an increased human desire for transparency, guidance, and making sense out of what has happened.

At such times, a leader’s words and actions can help keep people safe, help them adjust and cope emotionally, and finally, help them put their experience into context—and draw meaning from it. But as this crisis leaps from life-and-death direction on public health and workplace safety to existential matters of business continuity, job loss, and radically different ways of working, an end point may not be apparent. While some may already be seeking meaning from the crisis and moving into the “next normal,” others, feeling rising uncertainty and worried about the future, may not yet be ready for hope.

COVID-19’s parallel unfolding crises present leaders with infinitely complicated challenges and no easy answers. Tough trade-offs abound, and with them, tough decisions about communicating complex issues to diverse audiences. Never have executives been put under such an intense spotlight by a skeptical public gauging the care, authenticity, and purpose that companies demonstrate. Leaders lack a clear playbook to quickly connect with rattled employees and communities about immediate matters of great importance, much less reassure them as they ponder the future.

Against this frenzied backdrop, it would be easy for leaders to reflexively plunge into the maelstrom of social-media misinformation, copy what others are doing, or seek big, one-off, bold gestures. It is also true that crises can produce great leaders and communicators, those whose words and actions comfort in the present, restore faith in the long term, and are remembered long after the crisis has been quelled.

So we counsel this: pause, take a breath. The good news is that the fundamental tools of effective communication still work. Define and point to long-term goals, listen to and understand your stakeholders, and create openings for dialogue. Be proactive. But don’t stop there. In this crisis leaders can draw on a wealth of research, precedent, and experience to build organizational resilience through an extended period of uncertainty, and even turn a crisis into a catalyst for positive change. Superior crisis communicators tend to do five things well:

  1. Give people what they need, when they need it. People’s information needs evolve in a crisis. So should a good communicator’s messaging. Different forms of information can help listeners to stay safe, cope mentally, and connect to a deeper sense of purpose and stability.
  2. Communicate clearly, simply, frequently. A crisis limits people’s capacity to absorb information in the early days. Focus on keeping listeners safe and healthy. Then repeat, repeat, repeat.
  3. Choose candor over charisma. Trust is never more important than in a crisis. Be honest about where things stand, don’t be afraid to show vulnerability, and maintain transparency to build loyalty and lead more effectively.
  4. Revitalize resilience. As the health crisis metastasizes into an economic crisis, accentuate the positive and strengthen communal bonds to restore confidence.
  5. Distill meaning from chaos. The crisis will end. Help people make sense of all that has happened. Establish a clear vision, or mantra, for how the organization and its people will emerge.

Give people what they need, when they need it

Every crisis has a life cycle, and emotional states and needs vary with the cycle’s stages. In a recent article, our colleagues framed the COVID-19 crisis in five stages: resolve, resilience, return, reimagination, and reform. These stages span the crisis of today to the next normal that will emerge after COVID-19 has been controlled. The duration of each stage may vary based on geographic and industry context, and organizations may find themselves operating in more than one stage simultaneously (exhibit).

MORE: https://www.mckinsey.com/Business%20Functions

About the authors: Ana Mendy is a partner in McKinsey’s Southern California office, Mary Lass Stewart is an expert in the Chicago office, and Kate VanAkin is an expert in the London office.


BCT – 40 lat w kontenerach

Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy w 40 roku działalności na polskim rynku przeładował ponad 500 tys. TEU (standardowych kontenerów  20 -stopowych). W grudniu 2019 r.  świętowano więc nie tylko powitanie Nowego Roku ale również historyczny rekord, który osiągnięto  w ramach grupy ICTSI – międzynarodowego operatora terminali kontenerowych. 

Znakomity wynik w przeładunkach kontenerów w ub r. 512 tys. TEU uzyskaliśmy przede wszystkim dzięki cumowania dużych kontenerowców, a także nowym połączeniom feederowym i modyfikacji połączeń MSC, które zwiększyły podaż kontenerów w naszym terminalu ale także dzięki uruchomieniu w Gdynia obrotnicy i uruchomieniu w porcie systemu dokładnego pozycjonowania ruchu statków – wyjaśnia  Michał Kużajczyk, Dyrektor Handlowy  Bałtyckiego Terminalu Kontenerowego.

Czterdziestolatek. Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy, znany na rynku międzynarodowym jako BCT (Baltic Container Terminal) uruchomiony został 29 października 1979 r. Przez długi czas wraz z Polskimi Liniami Oceanicznymi przecierał polskie szlaki konteneryzacji w transporcie morskim i lądowym. Obie firmy wprowadzały do Polski standardy w obsłudze i wykorzystaniu kontenerów. W specjalnie zbudowanym magazynie kompletowano kontenery i przygotowywano je do wysyłki w świat. Najnowocześniejszy wówczas kontenerowy terminal kolejowy pozwalał na kompletowanie pociągów kontenerowych.

Na początku pierwszej dekady XXI wieku terminal kontenerowy został wystawiony na sprzedaż. To konsekwencja ustawy, która rozdzielała zarządzanie portem od działalności eksploatacyjnej.  W 2003 r. 100%  udziałów Bałtyckiego Terminala Kontenerowego  wydzierżawił  filipiński operator  ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services)  i na 20 lat uzyskał koncesję na zarządzanie i prowadzenie działalności eksploatacyjnej. Najkrótsza charakterystyka terminalu to widoczne z Trasy Kwiatkowskiego nabrzeże przeładunkowe Helskie I o długości 800 m wyposażone w 6  suwnic nabrzeżowych do rozładunku i załadunku kontenerów na statki. Na początku nabrzeża, blisko terminala promowego znajduje stanowisko dla statków ro-ro, przy którym cumują statki przewożące samochody lub inne pojazdy, które samodzielnie wjeżdżają na statek. Rozładunek i załadunek pojazdów ułatwia sterowana hydraulicznie rampa.

Armatorzy i statki.Liderem wśród morskich klientów BCT jest włoski  armator Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), który zapewnia obecnie trzy  połączenia tygodniowo z portami Morza Bałtyckiego, Północnego i Śródziemnego w ramach połączeń feederowych i żeglugi krótkiego zasięgu – mówi dyrektor Kużajczyk. Unifeeder dowozi kontenery między gdyńskim terminalem a portami Morza Północnego i Bałtyku aż 7 razy w tygodniu, a statki Containership docierają do portów Danii, Wielkiej Brytanii.  Asseco/Yang Ming Line zapewnia stałe połączenia z Hamburgiem, a Eimskip utrzymuje kontakt Gdyni z Rejkjawikiem. Kontenery między BCT a innymi portami wożą głównie mniejsze jednostki, tzw. feedery, o pojemności od kilkuset do około 2 tys. TEU. Ale przypływają tu również jednostki o pojemności powyżej 6500 TEU  i większe.

W lutym ubr. w terminalu zacumował Charlotte Maersk, kontenerowiec o pojemności 9 640 TEU i długości prawie 347 m oraz blisko 43 m szerokości. To najdłuższe tego typu jednostka, które weszła do portu w Gdyni. Kolejny rekord pobił kontenerowiec Cap San Juan. Statek, którego operatorem jest niemiecki Hamburg Sud, pobił rekord  pojemności i ładowności kontenerowców zawijających do Gdyni. Mimo, że jednostka ma 331 m długości i ponad 48m szerokości, może na swój pokład przyjąć 10 600  jednostek TEU, w tym 1000 kontenerów chłodzonych. – Wejście tak dużych statków do naszego terminalu są możliwe również dzięki inwestycjom portowym , czyli nowej obrotnicy w Porcie Gdynia i systemowi GBAS-RTK oraz wyposażeniu terminalu w nowe suwnice przeładunkowe pozwalające obsługiwać statki do 19 rzędów kontenerów między burtami  – podkreśla dyrektor Kużajczyk.

Magazyn i terminal kolejowy. Ważną rolę w działalności termnalu odgrywa magazyn. Tu przyjmuje się i przechowuje ładunki klientów, którzy powierzają obsłudze terminalu kompletowanie kontenerów, w których towary eksportuje się na cały świat. Tu również przechowuje się drobnicę wrażliwą na warunki meteorologiczne przed wysyłką do odbiorcy krajowego.

Istotną częścią terminalu jest terminal kolejowy. Po niedawnej modernizacji i rozbudowie, terminal dysponuje trzema torami o długości 670 m każdy, przystosowany do jednorazowej obsługi 40  wagonów z kontenerami. Projekt  “Modernizacja terminalu BCT w Gdyni dla zwiększenia potencjału w zakresie przeładunków intermodalnych” współfinansowany był przez Unię Europejską ze środków Funduszu Spójności. Całkowita kwota inwestycji przekroczyła 186,5 mln zł, a kwota dofinansowania wyniosła około 50,4 mln zł. – W terminalu kolejowym możemy ładować kontenery na 3 pociągi jednocześnie – wyjaśnia dyrektor Handlowy BCT. Modernizacja terminalu kolejowego sprawiła, że poprawiły się warunki transportu kontenerów koleją do i z terminalu. Były okresy, że 40% kontenerów BCT  było obsługiwane w transporcie intermodalnym. Dziś jest to około 30%, a liderami na tym rynku są Loconi Intermodal oraz PCC Intermodal. Tygodniowo w terminalu kolejowym BCT obsługuje się 50 pociągów.

Nie  tylko kontenery.  Obserwując place składowe, w oczy rzucają się głównie różnokolorowe kontenery. Ale BCT to nie tylko kontenery. Bałtycki Terminal Kontenerowy obsługuje również przeładunek  drobnicy, jak np. stali walcowanej.  Tu również znajduje się skład celny (drobnicy i samochodów). W terminalu zapewnia się również przeładunki i składowanie  ładunków ponadgabarytowych (“Project Cargo”).   Od kilku lat w terminalu obsługuje się statki przywożące do Polski elementy farm wiatrowych. Jeden statek dowozi kilkanaście kompletnych masztów. Do  terminalu docierają również generatory prądotwórcze wież wiatrowych,  a także łopaty i głowice, w których są one montowane.  Warto podkreślić, że do BCT elementy farm wiatrowych z Chin płynęły w okresie letnim  Drogą Północną, o połowę krótszą niż połączenie przez Ocean Indyjski i Kanał Sueski.

Poprzez terminal BCT polska gospodarka łączy się liniami kontenerowymi z rynkami krajów Morza Północnego i Śródziemnego i dalej z Dalekim i Bliskim Wschodem oraz portami położonymi w Ameryce Północnej i Południowej. „40 lat minęło jak jeden dzień” – mówią słowa piosenki. W BCT było tych dni wiele. Przez ten czas dokerzy terminalu przeładowali ponad 9,3 mln TEU. Terminal pracuje bowiem we wszystkie dni tygodnia bez przerwy. Ciągłość obsługi statków samochodów, pociągów zapewnia obecnie 325 pracowników. Potencjał przeładunkowy BCT to 1 mln TEU.  0,5 mln TEU w 2019 r. stanowi więc dobry punkt startu do pobicia kolejnego rekordu.

Tekst i zdjęcia Marek Grzybowski


Using AI and Analytics to Transform Your Business

As  the  world  becomes  more  digital,  artificial  intel-ligence (AI) is increasingly critical to the way we do business. Leaders are no longer deciding whether they will implement AI — they are deciding how.This year’s MIT SMR Connections survey shows that organiza-tions are rethinking the way they operate to gain value from AI. They are transforming their processes, encouraging collabora-tion across the enterprise, and finding new ways to use AI and analytics to get tangible results. Still, many organizations are facing challenges in getting their AI programs off the ground: Less than half of survey respon-dents reported active adoption. Most are still in the early stag-es of executing AI strategies. The good news is that leaders are committed to transforming their businesses. They understand that making changes today leads to big benefits tomorrow.SAS has long been an advocate of AI and its associated tech-nologies. We’ve been a pioneer in analytics, including machine learning,  for  more  than  40  years  and  have  decades  of  expe-rience  in  natural  language  processing.  And  we’re  embedding  AI into our core solutions so that our customers automatically benefit from AI capabilities.But it’s important to remember that even if you have the most powerful  analytics  available  and  expand  automation  across  ever more business processes, you still need humans to drive business strategy. Machines are not taking over the world.

They don’t understand strategy. They lack the vision required to truly drive change at a strategic level.Strategic vision can only come from business leaders and their teams. The survey explains how commitment from an organi-zation’s C-suite is key to a successful AI effort. When the tech-nology becomes part of the business culture, it’s more acces-sible to everyone. At SAS, we know that bringing AI into the day-to-day work-place — and making it more accessible — is integral to improv-ing the world around us. Business leaders need to account for the  convergence  of  people,  processes,  and  technology.  AI  is  one piece of the puzzle. Fortunately, the survey results indicate that businesses are shifting in the right direction. I’m excited to see this evolution as more organizations make AI part of their everyday decisions. It’s a big undertaking — transformation often is. But in the end, it’s well worth the effort.

 Jennifer Chase, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, SAS

More:  The research report “How AI Changes the Rules: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Organization”

Executive Summary

Many leaders are excited about AI’s potential to profoundly transform organizations by making them more innovative and productive. But implementing AI will also lead to significant changes in how organizations are managed, according to our recent survey of more than 2,200 business leaders, managers, and key contributors. Those survey respondents, rep-resenting organizations across the globe, expect that reaping the benefits of AI will require changes in workplace structures, technology strategies, and technology governance.The energy for exploring AI is widespread: Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents reported increased spending on AI technolo-gies in the past year. However, for most, it’s still too early to realize benefits at scale. Less than half of respondents reported active adoption, with just 1 in 20 indicating that they have implemented AI broadly, while 18% have implemented AI in a few processes and 19% are running pilot projects. The responses from those who have implemented AI indicate that these initiatives have implications for general management and technology leaders in three significant ways: 1. AI will drive organizational change and ask more of top leaders.The majority of respondents to our survey expect that imple-menting AI will require more significant organizational change than other emerging technologies. AI demands more collaboration among people skilled in data management, analytics, IT infrastructure, and systems development, as well as business and opera-tional experts. This means that organizational leaders need to ensure that traditional silos don’t hinder AI efforts, and they must support the training required to build skills across their workforces.2. AI will place new demands on the CIO and CTO.AI implementation will influence the choices CIOs and CTOs make in setting their broad technology agendas. They will need to prioritize developing foundational technology capabilities, from infrastructure and cybersecurity to data management and development processes — areas in which those with more advanced AI implemen-tations are already taking the lead compared with other respondents. CIOs will also need to manage the significant changes to software development and deployment processes that most respondents expect from AI. Many CIOs will also be charged with overseeing or supporting formal data governance efforts: CIOs and CTOs are more likely than other executives to be tasked with this, according to our survey. As leading practitioners note, AI requires both quality data and ongoing support to improve the efficacy of its results and to achieve strong ROI.3. AI will require an increased focus on risk management and ethics.Our survey shows a broad awareness of the risks inher-ent in using AI, but few practitioners have taken action to create policies and processes to manage risks, including ethical, legal, reputational, and financial risks. Managing ethical risk is a particular area of opportunity. Those with more advanced AI practices are establishing processes and policies for technology governance and risk management, including providing ways to explain how their algorithms deliver results. They point out that understanding how AI systems reach their conclusions is both an emerging best practice and a necessity, in order to ensure that the human intelligence that feeds and nurtures AI systems keeps pace with the machines’ advancements.The report that follows explores these findings in depth. Read on to learn more about the changes that leaders must prepare for to successfully implement trusted AI.