We’ve seen a number of business developments emerge during early 2013: Office Depot and OfficeMax have merged, while American Airlines and US Airways are creating one of the largest airlines in the world. Home prices are up in many parts of the country, and the DOW Jones Industrial Average reached a new record.
Dean Smith of NCU’s School of Business and Technology Management shares his insights on three things that remain important, even in a rebounding economy:
1)Reducing costs – “Making something cheaper has led to our current trends of outsourcing and globalization,” remarks Dean Smith. “We’re no longer competing with local neighborhood businesses here in the U.S. We’re competing with highly successful international operations in India, Vietnam, China and in this global spectrum, there’s a constant drive to increase profit margins for shareholders.”
2)Differentiation – Consumers are willing to pay more for products and services that are perceived as better. “This is where technology can really be a game changer,” he notes. “Innovation can create differentiation in areas like customer service and product development, by reducing labor costs and utilizing emerging technologies to better serve their valued customers.”
3)Educated Business Leaders - The key to successful businesses is still talent. People with the necessary skills, management ability, and vision to leverage the emerging technologies and seize competitive advantage are required. “Business leaders who fail to understand their operating environment will make costly mistakes that can decimate the organization,” shared Dean Smith. “But people who can see the big picture – people who can collaborate and are adaptive to new ideas and technologies – those are the individuals who can lead successful enterprises.”