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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Healthcare, Inpatient care, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

The cure for Swiss hospitals

2014/07/25

The hospital environment in Switzerland is in pieces: The number of hospital beds per patient is far below the European average and the infirmaries are relatively small. Nevertheless, most Swiss clinics offer a large portfolio of treatment options, some with a rather low number of cases per procedure. Furthermore, many hospitals have outdated infrastructure. These conditions make it difficult to offer care that is both economically efficient and of the highest quality.

At the same time, Swiss patients have high expectations for their treatment. Indeed, they pay around 8,500 Swiss Francs per year for their health – that's 12% of the Swiss GDP pouring into the hospital sector. And health care costs continue to rise, as they have been for many years.

The Swiss government introduced in 2012 flat case rates, called the SwissDRG (Diagnosis Related Groups). Since then, payments are no longer made on a case-by-case basis, but rather categories of cases now cost certain fixed amounts. Cost and payment should thereby be transparent and similar, and disincentives such as long hospitalization time and overcapacity should be eliminated. The goal is to cut costs, improve the efficiency of the overall facility, and to fuel competition between clinics.

To demonstrate how clinics can brace themselves for the future, we have identified the key areas for action in the coming year: the professionalization of purchasing management, performance improvement, strategic management of reconstruction projects and the integration of organization after mergers of clinics.

(German only)




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Digital impact, Media & entertainment, Digital transformation, Studies

Author:
-

Digital transformation 2014

Socialize your business

2014/07/18

Today, social media is one of the biggest sources of business-related data and one of the key drivers of digitalization. But it is a fairly recent phenomenon even for the New Economy. As early as March 2, 2009, the digital evangelist Avinash Kaushik tweeted, "Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it's not better." Five years later, this "teenage angst" has been overcome. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like have become a solid part of society as well as marketing and communications channels in the corporate world.

All in all, we think that social media is less of a threat to corporate sovereignty, autonomy of action and brand identity than an opportunity to improve a company's long-term performance.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Digital impact, Transportation, Mobility, Digital transformation, Studies

Author:
Christian Freese,Tobias Schönberg

Digital transformation 2014

Shared mobility

2014/07/17

Usage is replacing ownership – This change in consumer habits is set to transform the private transportation of the future. The world of shared mobility, where vehicles are shared and mobility offerings used jointly, will see rising revenues and growing customer numbers in the period through 2020. The Roland Berger experts anticipate annual growth rates of up to 35 percent in the new business fields around car, bike and ride sharing and shared parking.

This is one of the findings of our latest market study, "Shared mobility – How new businesses are rewriting the rules of the private transportation game".

"The mobility sector is one of the fastest growing areas in this new type of economy," explained Roland Berger Partner Tobias Schönberg: "Because it's thanks to the way that mobility offerings are intelligently linked that big cities the world over will see a sharp acceleration in the trend toward shared mobility."

In a clear sign that this market trend is taking off, the number of market players in the segment is growing. Besides innovative start-ups, ever-greater quantities of established companies like auto makers, transportation and logistics firms and airlines are entering the fray. The spectrum of innovative products and services they offer is very broad: not only are there new online platforms but also a growing number of companies supplying IT technologies and (industrial) hardware in the form of vehicles and bicycles, for example.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Digital impact, Media & entertainment, Telecommunications, Digital transformation, Studies

Author:
Jérôme Colin,Jean-Charles Ferreri,Philipp Leutiger

Digital transformation 2014

Media 2020 – A universe of digital opportunities

2014/07/15

Traditional media are facing multiple revolutions. Traditional time and space constraints progressively disappear; consumers can access online contents round the clock through multiple channels and devices, enhancing a new "media-meshing" experience. For media players, a direct consequence is a strong dilution of consumer's attention, weakening their traditional business relying mostly on advertising. However, those new behavior patterns simultaneously create strong business opportunities.

Customers are now reachable at any time and through all sort of devices, and huge amounts of information regarding their preferences and personal life are becoming available. This is a game changer for the traditional media industry and most incumbent media companies need to reinvent themselves in order to meet the new requirements expressed by their clients.

In this new game, over-the-top players have the upper- hand. Digital-native companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have progressively collected comprehensive data on their clients and already started to monetize this knowledge. This brutal competition has generated great deal value for GAFA shareholders but also created friction in the media ecosystem.

However, the die is not cast yet for traditional media companies and lessons can be learnt from US OTT giants. First success stories confirm the path to follow to adapt to the new deal : Axel Springer, Hachette, Schibsted, Solocal, and many others…




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Region:
Europe,North America

Related Topics:
Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Frederic Choumert,Shashin Shah,Jonathon Wright

CONTENT 2014

The winners – How chemical companies deliver superior shareholder value

2014/07/09

As part of our extensive strategy work in the Chemicals industry, we have observed that chemicals companies display a very wide range of shareholder returns (dividend and capital gains). We thus set out to investigate how chemicals companies create value for their shareholders. We started by identifying the set of companies which outperform the industry – the "Winners". 22 Chemicals companies stand out as Winners, demonstrating both superior growth and profitability. Examples of Winners include Ecolab, Monsanto, and 3M. Interestingly, the choice of an industry segment does not drive financial performance: any type of company (Commodity, Specialty, and Diversified) can "win" in the broader Chemicals industry.

We have found that four strategic attributes drive "winning".

  • Business leadership
  • Strategic coherence
  • Financial scale
  • Proven ability to execute

Chemical companies can use our "Winners' Analysis" described above both as a diagnostic framework to understand historical corporate performance as well as a blueprint for future corporate strategy development and execution. The Winners' Analysis is based on business and financial fundamentals and is universal in its application: we have completed similar analyses for two additional sectors — industrial equipment and oilfield services — and observed that Winners in these industries share similar characteristics.




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Region:
Europe

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Hakim El-Karoui

CONTENT 2014

The difference in European economies

2014/07/08

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has published a study focusing on the European economic model and more specifically on the European economic divergence, which the European Union is facing.

According to our experts, this discrepancy is linked to two main causes:

  • uncoordinated economic policies since the creation of the Euro
  • a productive specialization, inherent in any monetary zone. In France - as in the United States or in Japan - this specialization exists, with territories that produce more than others, or something else

Today, rather than fight this specialization, should we not assume it? If so, it would be a real challenge for Europe because assuming specialization involves, as in any country, transfers (social, tax...) to ensure the coherence of the area under consideration.

(French only)




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Region:
-

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant,Hakim El-Karoui,Dominique Gautier

CONTENT 2014

World economy facing a global ageing population

2014/07/07

And if one of the major obstacles to a sustained recovery of economic growth in Europe was the ageing of its population ?

Indeed if the world is ageing, the workforce shrinks more in Europe than anywhere else in the world. The economic and social effects of an ageing population go well beyond the issue of health and retirement policies: the evolution of savings, access to credit, real estate prices – all these economic fundamentals are affected by ageing.

In many ways, ageing is the enemy of growth and competitiveness. First, because ageing goes hand-in-hand with the shrinking of the workforce, which itself becomes more and more pressured to finance pensions and dependency. But it goes further. An older and smaller population hesitates to take risks and has little disposition to carry out long term projects. Innovation financing is less desirable. Finally, an ageing society calls for the development of services activities with lower value-added.

The Roland Berger Paris Institute offers a comprehensive diagnosis and a framework for the analysis of the challenges issued by ageing at the global level.

What are the links between ageing and competitiveness?
What are the consequences of ageing on the financing needs of economies? How does ageing change the power balance between emerging economies and mature ones?

Today's political and economic decision makers have to seize these issues to identify not only tomorrow's challenges, but also the opportunities arising from this major development.

Because asking the right questions is the first step toward adapting our economies to this change.

(French only)




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-

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-

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2014




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Region:
Asia

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Pharmaceuticals, THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

Market access as the key to Chinese pharmaceuticals – Hiyaku No. 5

2014/06/30

This study examines the Chinese pharmaceuticals market – a sector that has steadily posted solid and swift growth at an annual clip exceeding 20% in recent years. As of 2012, the Chinese pharmaceuticals market was No. 3 in the world. By 2020, it is expected to rise to No. 2 and offers higher profitability than its counterparts in developed nations. But the era of sales supported by quantitative superiority and sheer sales strength is over. There is a shift from “Sales-Driven Marketing” to a meticulous market access to regional governments which holds the key to success from here on. Local products and spot-on assessment of business opportunities are challenging demands for the Chinese pharmaceutical market.

(Japanese only)




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Europe

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Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT

Energy – The electricity grid of the future only ready in 2060

2014/06/30

2014 – POINT OF VIEW, Roland Berger Belgium

The increase of renewables leads to a shift from central to decentral energy production. This implies the grid needs to be able to capture injections throughout the net, thereby managing bidirectional energy flows. Indeed, today’s power generation landscape is rapidly moving towards many small, decentral generation capacity installed (windmills, photovoltaic panels, CHP plants and other) at various places in the net. In Germany, renewable energy comes from 1.3 million suppliers combining for a total capacity of 53,000 MW, thereby representing 32% of a total installed capacity of 165,000 MW. In Belgium, the number of decentral production facilities is increasing likewise year after year. And together with this growth of power units, grid management has become far more complex.

To manage the increasing decentral production and minimize the required spare capacity to back up renewables, a smarter and more interconnected European grid is required. This future grid should be able to closely monitor the energy flows in the network and should include new balancing tools to keep electricity supply in line with demand on a continuous basis.




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Region:
Asia

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THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

The Menace of "Business Entropy" – Shiten No. 97

2014/06/26

There is nothing particularly new about initiatives that seek to apply the principles of natural science and sociology to the theory of business management. The approach of observing nature, society and other aspects of the world in which we live, and then employing the suggestions obtained from such know-how in management theory is characterized by high versatility. Here, we will introduce one example of that thinking – the expansion of entropy.

  • Management Theories Learned from Natural Science

    Physical laws also dominate the world of business. It is not wise to act in defiance of those laws, which instead should be put to effective use.
  • Business Entropy and Commercial Lifecycles

    To control commercial lifecycles is to control business itself. In striving to ascertain lifecycles, keep a close eye on the expansion of entropy.
  • Strategies Keyed to Expansion of Entropy

    If the expansion of entropy can be perceived, then the proper direction to advance will also come into view. This is tantamount to obtaining the guidelines for drawing up effective strategies.

(Japanese only)




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Asia

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THINK ACT CONTENT

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-

CONTENT 2014

Nonprofit organization strategies for targeting donors – Shiten No. 98

2014/06/24

Roland Berger has supported the establishment of mid-term action plan for "Malaria No More Japa"n as part of the firm's pro-bono activities leveraging its consulting expertise. Besides that project, Roland Berger has a long history of assisting various different nonprofit organizations (NPO) not only in Japan, but on an expanding global basis as well. The goal of these efforts is to take maximum advantage of the knowledge, know-how and other vital assets we have accrued on the strength of large numbers of normal consulting projects, in contributing to the enhancement and further development of NPO activities.

For this study, to illustrate one of the areas of proficiency learned through this experience, we profile the importance of the branding and marketing used to target NPO donors (referring to financial contributors), and the specific methodologies enlisted in those activities.

  • Branding
    What impressions do donors have of your particular organization? Compared to that, what type of impression would you like them to most embrace?
  • Marketing
    “What,” exactly, does your organization furnish to its donors, and “in what way” and “for what amount of money” is that supplied?
  • Organizational Structure and System
    What type of structure and system does your organization utilize for implementing the measures envisioned to target and approach donors?

(Japanese only)




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Region:
Asia,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Author:
-

MAGAZINE 2014

THINK ACT – China Special

2014/06/23

Some thirty years ago, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants took on its first project in China. Since then, the country has experienced an unprecedented economic upswing, and we have been closely involved as consultants.

The aim behind this China Special is to look back, and to look forward. In 1983, when our founder Roland Berger traveled to China, he was years ahead of the competition. Even some of his staff asked why he was going. He had a ringside view of the country’s rapid changes: as he says in the interview on page 10, “I went every six months or so, sometimes more often, and on each occasion I saw a different reality.”

Hardly any other person embodies China’s ascent better than Zhang Ruimin. The son of a blue-collar worker, he took over a run-down refrigerator factory in 1984, turning it into Haier, a global corporation with 80,000 employees. “Selling is not our overriding goal,” he says on page 4 of this issue of THINK ACT. “We want the most demanding customers abroad to accept our products.” He cannot understand why people are afraid of the country’s economic power: “The Chinese have never felt threatened by growth in other countries. So why should they be afraid of us? Globalization is bringing us all closer together.”

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants’ involvement in China is a success story that has been profitable for both sides. We will continue to use our experience and know-how to help the country successfully manage the next stages in its development.




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-

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THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Author:
-

MAGAZINE

THINK ACT – Growth

2014/06/23

Sales growth must be accompanied by profit growth. That’s a truism, but it’s also one of the biggest challenges facing any company. Businesses must grow in order to defend their market niches, achieve economies of scale, get investors onside, and offer good incomes and career prospects to their employees. In short, they must be attractive.

But we also know that few companies achieve long-term profit growth. That’s because size often leads to hubris, people rest on their laurels, today’s competitive advantage becomes tomorrow’s obsolescence, and economies of scale can easily turn into diseconomies of scale. In today’s saturated markets, it’s difficult to keep coming up with new business models that generate growth and maintain people’s enthusiasm with each change of direction.

In this issue, we look at how businesses can face up to these challenges and achieve profitable growth. As always we’ll be featuring exclusive interviews, this time with Nils Smedegaard Andersen, chief executive of A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, and with Martin Richenhagen, his counterpart at AGCO, the world’s third largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery, whose search for profitable growth has taken him to Africa. For both, growth is the best way of sustaining their long-term profits and reputation.

We’ve achieved both during our thirty-year presence in China, which we celebrate in our supplement. Zhang Ruimin, CEO of the consumer electronics and home appliances giant Haier, shares some fascinating insights into the country’s rise to economic power and the challenges he believes the future holds for Europe. One other ingredient of profitable growth is curiosity, a willingness to make use of new ideas and knowledge and experiment with new ways of doing things.




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Region:
Europe

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THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

Negative interest rates

2014/06/10

2014 – POINT OF VIEW, Roland Berger Belgium

If we still needed just one final proof that the eurozone has gone into deflation, in other words into a situation of falling prices and more or less zero growth, we now have it.

On 5 June, the ECB has cut the interest rate on its deposits so much that they become negative. This rate, which rewards private banks’ deposits with the ECB, is currently 0%. A negative rate on deposits would mean making private banks pay to place their liquidity in the ECB.

The very idea suggests that the ECB has been providing so much protection to the banking system that the price of this guarantee should be higher than the return on money. Which implies that the ECB is indirectly encouraging the banks to lend their excess liquidity to States or private debtors. So a drop in the cost of money seems to be substituting for the weakness of money circulation in the economy.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Automotive, Automotive product creation and e-mobility, Mobility, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christian Freese,Andreas Maennel,Jürgen Reers

CONTENT

Perspectives on the Chinese car sharing market

2014/06/10

Car sharing is a global trend. This business model, developed in industrialized countries, is meeting with increasing interest and demand in emerging economies as well, especially in Asia. Nearly two million users worldwide have already signed up for some kind of car-sharing service, and the market is worth about one billion US dollars. And it continues to grow: Since 2006, the number of car-sharing vehicles has grown almost five-fold, and the number of members is expected to grow by almost 30% annually over the coming years. This development is being reinforced by other global trends, such as how vehicles are becoming increasingly connected with the infrastructure, other vehicles, etc. (referred to as car-to-X). Other examples include state and regional promotional programs and changes in individual mobility behavior. Many car-sharing providers and automotive manufacturers have recognized the opportunities here and are already internationally active, whether for private users or in fleet operations.

The car-sharing market in China is growing at an above-average rate: In their new study "Sharing the future – Perspectives on the Chinese car-sharing market", the experts at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants predict annual growth of about 80% for the next five years. Jürgen Reers, Partner in the Automotive Competence Center at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, explains the reasoning behind this optimism: "Chinese consumers view this topic in a very positive light. The technological requirements such as mobile internet are widely available, and the government has already started supporting the first domestic providers of car-sharing services as they enter the market. We therefore see a broad range of opportunities for providers of car-sharing and fleet services."




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Satoshi Nagashima,Martin Tonko

CONTENT 2014

Automotive Japan – broader lineups call for new sales channel concepts

2014/06/04

In order to continue to achieve or stay on track for growth, the Automotive industry is in the midst of unprecedented change manifest in two global macro trends: Firstly, the revolutionary move from a platform strategy to a more flexible modular architecture system of manufacture, resulting in a hitherto unseen abundance and frequency of model updates. Secondly, the revolution in drivetrain technology from gasoline and diesel powered internal combustion engines to a variety of electric, natural gas or hydrogen powered engines.

Both trends are extensively discussed. Notably, however, not in conjunction to one another and rather from a production than from a sales perspective. Yet it is the combination of both trends that will bring unprecedented choices to the automotive customer and challenge automotive wholesale as well as retail: progressively more car models need to be marketed, displayed, and repaired on given shop floor. Particularly for European premium car makers it is a pressing issue.

This is particularly true for saturated markets, where unit volume growth is limited and margins are tight. At wholesale level, more choice will result in lower sales per model, putting fixed cost for launch and sales & marketing on the spot. At retail level, more choice will demand the optimization or even expansion of limited retail floor space, display and demo car fleets, as the customer will continue to appreciate the driving experience and not just brand image to make a final buying decision. As simple capacity expansion will further erode margins, innovative concepts are needed to further optimize critical resource usage.

Metropolitan Japan may serve as a reference case. In the case of foreign automobile import, wholesale and retail levels are nowadays often not cooperating sufficiently along the retail sales value chain, limiting benefits from centralization. Also, since the cost of capacity expansion is very high, automotive retail is in particular need for innovative ways to optimize capacity in the coming years.

In fact, for dealers of leading foreign automobile importers in Japan alone, Roland Berger estimates an investment need of several hundred million Euros in the next five years, which has to be addressed in due course.
Not only the Japanese market calls for action. Some OEMs have started to proactively address this challenge also on a global level. Others which currently have other priorities may have to pay the price for it later on.  




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, Digital impact, Digital transformation, Studies

Author:
Maren Hauptmann,Katrin Vernau

Digital transformation 2014

Corporate Learning goes digital – How companies can benefit from online education

2014/06/02

The online education market is growing rapidly, because thanks to the technological developments of recent years, online training offers are becoming ever less expensive and more readily available. The global market volume for e-learning is already today around 91 billion dollars. In Europe alone there are 3,000 providers active in this field – and their number is on the rise. In fact, the e-learning market is predicted to grow by more than 20% per annum up until 2017.

And the demand from companies for online education products will also continue to increase: The corporate e-learning market will grow by about 13% per annum in the period up to 2017, because companies are seeking new ways to further their employees' know-how that are flexible and tailored to the individual person's needs. This study conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants "Corporate Leaning goes digital – How companies can benefit from online education." analyzes the enormous potential of e-learning.

"Many companies have already recognized the benefits of online learning," explains Katrin Vernau, education expert and Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "More and more of them are making use of e-learning offerings, because they cost less and are easier to integrate into a normal working day."




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Region:
Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Automotive, Automotive suppliers, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Marcus Berret,Thomas Schlick

CONTENT 2014

Study on future automotive growth markets and implications for suppliers

2014/05/30

The car industry must get ready for changing conditions in the BRIC countries: The Russian market is shrinking, growth in Brazil is slowing and India's development is uncertain. China is the only market that will grow substantially. This means car suppliers must take appropriate action and tap new growth markets.

The BRIC markets guarantee carmakers and suppliers long-term reliable sales markets and low-cost production sites. A current study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants takes a close look at the prospects in Brazil, Russia, India and China up through 2019. The findings: The dynamic growth experienced in BRIC is over. Except for China, all other BRIC markets experienced losses in 2013 and will recover only over the medium term. Only China will continue to grow significantly – with almost double-digit growth rates. We point out the risks and opportunities in the four regions, present strategies so that car suppliers can adjust their local activities to the changing situations and show where new attractive growth markets are emerging.




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Region:
South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Automotive, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Martin Bodewig,Stephan Keese

CONTENT 2014

Brazilian automotive perspectives 2014

2014/05/19

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and media company Automotive Business jointly present "Automotive Perspectives 2014" – a survey of how automotive executives working in Brazil expect the business environment to develop this year.

The survey shows that automotive industry executives in Brazil are primarily concerned with profit margins (57%), idle capacity (31%) and supplier relationships (28%). Factors such as logistics (16%) and R&D (9%) are not considered the main challenges.

According to the executives, the main concerns at the top of the industry's strategic agenda are price wars among automakers (51%), new players entering the market (47%), portfolio renewal and productivity ramp-up (both 31%).

Of respondents working in the light vehicle segment, 56% believe that sales will stagnate in 2014, albeit with minor fluctuations from -2% to 2%, while 31% expect a slight increase of up to 5%. Despite the expected stagnation, executives believe that there will be a modest increase (5%) in production, driven by a slight recovery in exports. The main reasons given by industry executives for this scenario are tax policies, car prices, economic uncertainty in Brazil and access to credit. This contrasts with the actual development to date in the Brazilian market which shows a decline both in terms of sales and production.

More optimism is found in the commercial vehicles sector: 55% of the executives in this segment expect 2014 to be a year of moderate growth (of 5%), with prices remaining stable (fluctuating between -5% and 5%). This positive expectation was not met by the actual market development which shows a significant decline in the first months of 2014.

Among the executives interviewed, 46% expected the business relationship between OEMs and suppliers to remain the same, compared to 30% who expected some ups and downs in the relationship this year.

The increase in global platforms is still seen as neutral or negative by 44% of respondents, who believe that this trend increases the risk of losing ground to global suppliers.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Healthcare, Inpatient care, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Tijo J. G. Collot d'Escury,René Seyger

CONTENT

Samen beter (Better together)

2014/05/19

Cooperation between hospitals comes with many benefits in terms of volumes, quality and efficiency. Still, such cooperation seems mainly driven by external pressures of regulation, market circumstances and cost control.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants advocates cooperation driven by strengths, guided by fundamental medical decisions but which dares to think beyond the traditional structures and boundaries of a hospital. This offers opportunities for healthcare that is structurally better and more efficient.

(available in Dutch only)




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Bruno Perrin,Pierre Reboul

CONTENT 2014

Corporate and Investment Banking Outlook

2014/05/14

Incessant new regulations, changing client demands and ever-fiercer competition have durably eroded profitability in the Corporate and Investment Banking industry. Against this backdrop, the winners will be those Corporate and Investment Bank s that have clearly defined their positioning and rethought their industrial model in a coherent manner, rooted in value creation.

To achieve those goals and shape the future, they will have observed the best practices from other industries, re-dynamized their talent pool, and built a smart "multi-boutique network" supported by strong, common, and synergetic foundations.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Shingo Ikeda

CONTENT 2014

Pioneering the Myanmar Market – Hiyaku No. 4

2014/05/09

With its rapid move to democratization, Myanmar has made a dramatic transformation into the nation now enjoying the greatest interest and attention among any of the ASEAN states. Hand in hand with this robust growth potential, genuine global level struggles are already emerging in this market.

The world’s leading companies are arriving there in mass, with demands coming to focus on “top class” products and services on all fronts. At the same time, however, it can also not be denied that Myanmar is a tough market to conquer without a solid grasp of its structural issues as a nation.

In this report, an examination is made of possible strategies for advancing into Myanmar, using specific examples of the current conditions existing in that nation to shed greater light on the issues and challenges in moving down that road.

(available in Japanese only)




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Operations Strategy, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Oliver Knapp,Thomas Rinn

CONTENT 2014

Leadership in family business / Familienunternehmen

2014/05/06

Family businesses play a major role in the German economy, yet only a handful are still owned and run exclusively by one family. Many successful family companies have become too large and complex. The imperative to go international often exceeds the experience and equity of the founder(s). That's why it's not enough for the family to do it all themselves and pass the demands and requirements on to the next in the line of succession. Finding the right outside manager can help many companies in this regard.

In our new study, "Führung in Familienunternehmen – Erfolgsfaktoren im magischen Dreieck (Leadership in family business – The magic triangle of success factors)", we identified three critical points: management continuity, optimal involvement of the family and starting the succession process at the right time. The study, which interviewed owners and outside CEOs of various family businesses, found that the companies are viewed as a performance-driven organization, not as part of the family's inheritance. More and more businesses are recognizing that given the increasing complexity of the markets, it is often simpler to find competent outside managers than successors within the family.

(available in German only)




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Europe

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THINK ACT CONTENT

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-

CONTENT 2014

Financing population ageing in Belgium

2014/05/01

2014 – POINT OF VIEW, Roland Berger Belgium

An important challenge for the Belgian government during the coming decades will be to cope with the effects of population ageing.

From a global perspective, the European population is ageing faster than the population on any other continent and within Europe, Belgium is one of the countries that will be affected the most.

Furthermore, the Belgian pension system is very vulnerable to this type of demographic changes and no substantial preparations have been made. This challenge and its massive implications are well known, but impactful policy decisions are currently missing. We contribute to the discussion by assessing the magnitude of the measures that need to be taken and by proposing a balanced solution.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Healthcare, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Tony Tang

CONTENT

Entering China's private hospital segment

2014/05/01

Although China's private hospital sector only accounts for a small share of the healthcare services market, its growth momentum will continue to strengthen as the investment environment improves and investment patterns diversify. Growth in the sector is being driven by overall market demand, loosening regulations, as well as diversification and specialization. In the future, the sector will see new hospital chains, expansion of existing hospitals, improvement of services, and shifting specialization focus. Foreign participation in this market is nascent but growing.

Market entrants prefer specialty hospitals, especially in areas such as plastic surgery, OB/GYN , and orthopedics. For those looking to enter the market, we recommend a systematic three-step process that encompasses the development of a strategic basis, pre-investment due diligence, and a well-planned post-investment improvement process.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Yuzuru Ohashi

CONTENT 2014

Capturing innovations that move with product cycle – Shiten No. 96

2014/04/30

There is no doubt about the reality that innovation is constantly in motion. Against this dynamic backdrop, there is an ever-growing need to constantly stay abreast of the movements of all players active in the value chain, in probing means of incorporating those strengths as the value of one’s own company.

In the majority of industries today, strong moves are afoot by businesses through collaboration exceeding the realm of the value chain to secure innovation as their own in-house added value. For Japanese companies to survive and prosper on the marketplace, it is no longer sufficient to rely solely upon the conventional concept-driven product development approach to innovation.

To continue to succeed, it will be increasingly vital to advance a steady stream of diversified innovation embracing all aspects of the value chain. In this report, the focus is placed on how best to tap into and address the innovation unfolding in today’s world, with specific examples added to bring greater clarify to the discussion.

(available in Japanese only)




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Satoshi Nagashima

CONTENT 2014

Strategic management to flourish in an uncertain future – Shiten No. 95

2014/04/27

Enhanced product performance and added functions accompanying diversification in customer needs, the necessity to adapt to local conditions linked to expansion of sales territories to the emerging nations and other markets, divergence in variables surrounding products, growing uncertainty in the development sector.

As these and other demands come to be increasingly placed on corporate limited development resources, efforts to raise business certainty will see greater importance connected to the ability to maintain effective balances between the “foresight” to discern diversifying future needs, the “draw” required to usher market needs into in-house strategies and the ”readiness” to address such diversified wants in minimum periods of time.

Among companies active on the global stage, there are many that excel in the effective mobilization of such “foresight,” “draw” and “readiness” to forge independent positions for themselves on the marketplace. In this report, examples of businesses that fit the aforementioned description are used to punctuate discussions of the essentials for Japanese companies in effectively managing such uncertainty, striving to ultimately make the transition to the status of true global players.

(available in Japanese only)




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Healthcare, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

The Appeal and Pitfalls of the Indonesian Healthcare Industry – Hiyaku vol.3

2014/04/24

Attention in the Indonesian health care industry is growing in leaps and bounds, fueled by the nation’s launch of universal health insurance against the backdrop of solid economic growth. Then again, there are also cases of foreign companies, which after advancing to that market with aggressive and grow-based business plans have encountered struggles far beyond what they originally envisioned.

These and other stories suggest that Indonesia is no simple market to crack. In this report, the author draws from personal experience in first addressing the “three major pitfalls” that foreign companies are prone to fall into, then going on to discuss the key points in advancing business development on the Indonesian health care market.

(available in Japanese only)




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Consumer goods & retail, Travel & tourism, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Yannig Gourmelon,Jennifer Wilson

CONTENT 2014

Travel retail in Asia

2014/04/22

Chinese outbound tourism is still at an early stage of development, but with China's middle class doubling in size between 2010 and 2020, upward pressure on outbound travel and consumer spending will remain high for years to come. As Chinese tourism changes, so will brands begin to adjust to the new travel retail environment.

The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 saw a brief slowdown in Chinese outbound travel, primarily due to higher tour prices resulting from new cost-transparency laws for tour operators. The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 also caused consumer jitters. Sales growth in travel retail also took a hit.

In 2013, Chinese tourists spent USD 120 billion worldwide, reflecting rising per capita spending. By 2020, spending by Chinese tourists is expected to exceed USD 1,800 per trip (excluding transport), a 50% increase over 2013. In addition, despite the precipitous drop in domestic luxury sales growth in 2013, luxury purchases overseas by Chinese travelers rose 18% year-on-year, driven by lower prices in other Asian countries—by as much as 30%—and a rising international to domestic travel ratio.

These trends mean big changes for the travel retail environment. Consumer segmentation is becoming more complex, with sophisticated travelers from first-tier cities overlapping with a new generation of middle class spenders and travelers from second- and third-tier cities. Consumer tastes are also changing.

The Roland Berger report features an interview with Nicole Teng, Market Intelligence Manager with DFS Group, the world's largest luxury travel retailer. According to Ms. Teng, the shifting face of the Chinese travel consumer and increased competition mean that brands will have to refocus their strategies. Specifically, they will have to further emphasize brand heritage to differentiate themselves from others, build advanced CRM systems linked to airports' passenger information systems for "big data" that they can use to understand their consumers, and strike a balance between expanding the store network while maintaining exclusivity and quality.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Innovation | Product | Engineering, Operations Strategy, , Studies

Author:
Thomas Rinn,Michael Zollenkop

STUDY

Escaping the commodity trap

2014/04/22

Almost all industries today are struggling with the increasing commoditization of their products and services. This is putting considerable pressure on prices and margins and leads to fiercer competition. And not only the mass market is being affected: even more complex and innovative products are subject to increasingly technical and qualitative standardization. The upshot is that new market players are getting more and more competitive while established providers are successively becoming interchangeable. This study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the International Controller Association (ICV), entitled "Escaping the commodity trap", shows that 63% of the companies surveyed are already facing the commoditization of their products and services.

"Companies that focus on price competition instead of investing in innovation, added value and adjusting their business models will inevitably face steadily falling prices for substitutable products or services," explains Roland Berger expert Michael Zollenkop. "This means profit margins will continuously shrink, the industry will consolidate and many companies will fold."

While the standardization of products and services has been evident in the low-end and mid-market segments for some time, the premium segment is now being increasingly confronted with this situation: 20% of the surveyed companies are feeling the effects of commoditization on their high-end products.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Frederic Choumert,Vijay Sarathy

CONTENT 2014

Portfolio management in the chemical industry

2014/04/14

There is clearly an ongoing portfolio management trend in the chemical industry. Recent actions or announcements include DuPont's and FMC's splits, or Chemtura, Dow, Rockwood and Ashland divesting significant parts of their portfolios. Furthermore, Ferro and a number of other chemical and materials companies are being pressured by both activist and traditionally passive investors to revisit their portfolios.

In our view, the time is right for companies to ask themselves: "Am I the highest-value owner of my portfolio businesses?" Indeed, over the last 12 months, the companies which have answered "no" to this question and taken action by shedding businesses have clearly been rewarded by the market.

We believe these portfolio actions reflect a compelling strategic rationale, especially when viewed through our "Winners' framework", which posits that:

  • Investors value companies that demonstrate consistent profitable growth ("Winners")
  • Winners share four characteristics: business leadership (Can your businesses set the agenda in their areas of market participation?), portfolio coherence (Are you the clear high-value owner of your portfolio businesses?), corporate scale (Are you relevant and efficient?) and the proven ability to execute (Can you deliver results?)
  • Winners' portfolios tend to be valued greater than the sum of their parts – of the 12 chemical companies we identified as "Winners" between 1997 and 2013, and which have multiple businesses, 10 have market enterprise values whose sum exceeds the value of their individual businesses




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Pharmaceuticals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Tony Tang

CONTENT 2014

How to adapt in China's evolving pharma landscape

2014/04/10

The changing stakeholder landscape in China's pharmaceutical market behooves pharmaceutical companies to revisit their commercial strategies and go-to-market approaches. Along the value chain, the evolving needs of hospitals, physicians, private payors, retail chains, distributors, patients, and government entities present opportunities and challenges.

There are already emerging models of innovation all along the value chain, although it remains to be seen which players can mold these stand-alone innovation models into a winning formula for the long term. Companies must prioritize these different initiatives based on their own strategic vision, existing gaps, and core capabilities.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Bruno Colmant,Grégoire Tondreau

CONTENT

Light Footprint Strategy

2014/04/10

In order to survive the VUCA world, companies need to innovate by introducing and leveraging tools that are holistic, quick and global. A meta-winner is indeed technophile and leverages the technology to win a decisive advantage over its competitors.

Technology, when well understood and implemented, can bring flexibility, reduce the industrial relations as well as the logistics costs, free up employees for higher value uses and help the company prepare for what may be a totally different future to the one that had been envisaged. Additionally, the knowledge gained through the day-to-day use of the technology enables the meta-winners to foster innovation and create value for the clients.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants pondered the characteristics of a meta-winner in the VUCA world. Based on the concrete examples of companies features, we derived several principles forming the Light Footprint approach.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Digital impact, Innovation | Product | Engineering, Operations Strategy, Engineered Products / High Tech, Mechanical engineering, Digital transformation, Studies

Author:
Max Blanchet,Thomas Rinn,Georg von Thaden,Georges de Thieulloy

Digital transformation 2014

INDUSTRY 4.0 – The new industrial revolution

2014/04/02

The next revolution with Industry 4.0 represents a huge opportunity for Europe – and it fits the European model.

Industry plays a central role in the European economy: It contributes 15% to overall value added and accounts for 80% of innovations and 75% of exports. When taking into account industry-related services as well, industry is the engine of Europe's social economy. But the manufacturing sector has been feeling more and more pressure lately. Due to its declining competitiveness in the face of new market players – particularly from Asia – jobs have been lost in established markets such as the UK ( 29%), France (-20%) and Germany (-8%) over the past 10 years.

What's more, countries in Europe are developing differently. While Germany and Eastern Europe continue to increase their share of the industrial market, other EU members are facing de-industrialization. "This development will weaken Europe overall, because more jobs and know-how will be lost in industry. After automation, electrification and digitalization of industry, the introduction of the Internet of Things in the factory marks the advent of a fourth industrial revolution," says Max Blanchet, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. However, Europe is much better prepared for this new industrial revolution than many think. In our study entitled "Industry 4.0 – The new industrial revolution – How Europe will succeed," the Roland Berger experts explain what companies and politics should do to support the development of Industry 4.0 and leverage this opportunity for Europe.




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Region:
Europe

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THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT 2014

Pensions – The real challenge for our country

2014/04/01

2014 – POINT OF VIEW, Roland Berger Belgium

Apart from stabilising its public debt, the real challenge facing this country is the funding of pensions and healthcare. Long overlooked, this problem is obscured by the lack of proper accounting by the State. Unlike a private enterprise, the State records only the flows of income and expenditure, without trying to estimate the amount of debt accruing from past commitments.

A dwindling active population will not be able to afford the growing cost of those who are inactive. For instance, people of working age (25-65) will make up less than half of the Belgian population in 2050. And yet, it will not be feasible to finance the expected ageing of the population simply by increasing the active workers’ contributions, any more than we could pass on the whole cost of this ageing to the retirees themselves by slashing pensions.

Moreover, this is a question of intragenerational as well as intergenerational equity. To put it another way, equity must be ensured not only between different generations but also within them. What is also at stake here is the pauperisation of certain classes of older people, and revenue disparities between pensioners. Thus, educational levels, vocational adaptability, family circumstances, the number of children and life expectancy also give rise to inequalities.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Bruno Colmant,Grégoire Tondreau

CONTENT

Separation of banking activities: which realities in Belgium?

2014/04/01

Since the great depression of the 1930’s, the advantages and drawbacks of combining retail and investment activities in the same bank have been widely discussed. The financial crisis of 2008 brought once again the debate into the spotlight, creating a wave of political initiatives to further regulate the scope of banking activities.

The Belgian banking landscape has not escaped to this trend, and bankers will have to rebalance their focus towards better understanding and serving their clients, while keeping a healthy cost-base to maintain their profitability level in this challenging environment.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christian Neuner,Sarna Yeung,Ping Yi

CONTENT

How to integrate overseas acquisitions successfully

2014/04/01

The latest Roland Berger Strategy Consultants THINK ACT content study identifies six key success factors Chinese companies need in order to manage the post-merger integration (PMI) process following an international M&A. These six factors are designed to help Chinese companies maximize the value of their overseas M&A, despite the hurdles of an unfamiliar business environment and lack of PMI experience and know-how.

Chinese companies are on the rise. In the past few years, they have become increasingly active in global M&A, and it appears that their appetite is not yet satisfied. As more and more Chinese companies globalize through M&A, the importance of professional PMI to fully leverage M&A benefits is becoming increasingly apparent. However, unfamiliar business environments and unfamiliar business techniques pose significant challenges to Chinese overseas PMI. To support Chinese companies in their PMI endeavors, Roland Berger reviewed more than 30 Chinese overseas acquisitions and post-merger integrations in various manufacturing sectors that took place between 2008 and 2013.

"Our review found that Chinese companies are inexperienced and lack the guidance of professional, systematic PMI," said Yi Ping, Roland Berger Partner and co-author of the study. "They therefore often fail to capture the full value of their overseas acquisitions." Of the 21 manufacturers that made overseas acquisitions worth more than USD 100 million between 2008 and 2013, 33% had no previous M&A experience at all, and 80% had no overseas M&A track record.

Roland Berger's analysis of China's overseas acquisitions revealed two main challenges facing Chinese companies: unfamiliar business environments and unfamiliar business techniques. "Chinese companies only have a short history of going global. Their unfamiliarity with the business environments in the US and Europe, coupled with their lack of M&A and PMI experience, makes for a particularly challenging situation. Even when there's a strong willingness to invest, they may not necessarily know how to go about doing so," said Christian Neuner, Principal at Roland Berger and co-author of the study.

The study, which is based on interviews, press research and Roland Berger project experience, pinpoints six key factors for a successful and systematic PMI approach.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, Energy & Utilities, Green business, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Torsten Henzelmann,Katrin Vernau,Philipp Weiland

CONTENT 2014

ENERGIEWENDE RELOADED! (German only)

2014/03/31

The energy turnaround is one of Germany's top-priority economic projects in the years to come. Its success will determine whether Germany will continue to be a competitive location for industry.

Thus far, public discussion about the energy turnaround has centered mainly on reforms to the EEG (Renewable Energy Act). But there are many more factors that will determine the initiative's success. This is the result of our recent study "Energy turnaround reloaded! Rethinking the megaproject" (available only in German). "For a successful energy turnaround, numerous aspects have to be considered," says Torsten Henzelmann, Partner of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants: "All parties involved have to agree on the right course to take and on the actions that requires."




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Digital impact, Mobility, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Xavier Aymonod,Didier Bréchemier,François Guénard

CONTENT 2014

Circuler en ville pour une nouvelle mobilité

2014/03/27

Paris est la 7e ville la plus embouteillée en Europe, avec un niveau de congestion d’environ 36% (il faut en moyenne 36% de temps supplémentaire pour effectuer un trajet vs. le même trajet sans encombrement). Pourtant les constats sur la problématique des transports urbains sont connus, et des solutions existent, aussi bien sur le plan technologique (services numériques) que sur celui de l'évolution des usages (location, covoiturage) ou de l'offre transport (transports à la demande).

Mais ces solutions restent partielles et ne dessinent pas l'horizon d'un changement des conditions de mobilité dans les grandes agglomérations.

Pendant les élections municipales françaises, le cabinet Roland Berger explore les raisons de ce "paradoxe de la mobilité" dans les grandes villes à travers l'étude "Circuler en ville : pour une nouvelle mobilité", et montre qu'une transformation réelle et durable des conditions de mobilité, requiert un nouveau pacte institutionnel, social et politique à l'échelle des agglomérations, et une refonte du modèle économique des transports urbains.

Ainsi, nos experts ont identifié 4 leviers d'amélioration:

  • Augmenter l'offre de mobilité de manière disruptive : le Nouveau Grand Paris, qui se veut une réponse aux enjeux de mobilité franciliens et l'exploration de la verticalité
  • Optimiser la gestion des flux dans la ville dans les infrastructures existantes : cela passe par le développement de solutions de bout en bout optimisées et "customer-oriented", adossées à des services numériques performants
  • Réduire la demande de mobilité : via notamment le développement du télétravail (au nord de l'Europe, le télétravail concerne 25 % de la population active)
  • Refonder le modèle économique des transports urbains : la dépense d’exploitation des transports urbains a augmenté d'en moyenne 10% en France par voyage depuis dix ans alors que la recette d’exploitation a baissé de 9%. Il n'y aura pas de mobilité innovante sans modèle économique robuste et équitable.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Digital impact, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Michael Deng

CONTENT 2014

How brands can navigate the rise of e-commerce

2014/03/14

Statistics show that in the last few years, e-commerce and online shopping have grown to occupy a substantial proportion of Chinese retail. In 2008, e-commerce comprised just 1% of the retail market. Just five years later, this figure had risen to 8%. Online shopping is expected to comprise 12% of retail by 2015. Since 2012, over 1 trillion B2C and C2C transactions have taken place online, generating CNY 1.3 trillion in revenue. Analysts believe that between now and 2015, China's e-commerce market will continue to maintain an average CAGR of 60%, with total transaction value reaching CNY 4 trillion.

The rapid rise of e-commerce has put considerable pressure on traditional brick-and-mortar brands, especially their supply chain efficiency, operations management, and business integration. For these brands, design, production, and inventory are all unavoidably affected by any inaccuracy, so making sales forecasts is risky. The real-time nature of e-commerce, combined with its customer information and preference feedback systems, makes its sales forecasts more accurate, allowing companies to get out in front of consumer demand and react more quickly to the market. Traditional companies stress supply chains while neglecting the end consumers, operating according to a line of thinking in which sales channels are king. E-commerce improves customer loyalty by improving platform operations and offering differentiated services, something with which traditional companies often struggle. Furthermore, traditional companies operate within a rigid system that makes it very difficult to accommodate ever-changing consumer demands. In e-commerce, collaborating with a variety of platforms gives brands access to a wider range of consumers.

According to the report, brands that make a wide variety of products that have a mature online market and high internal willingness to invest should use e-commerce as a new, innovative channel to help them achieve major product breakthroughs. These companies may even consider a fully online model. If product variety, online market, and willingness are moderate, brands should consider using e-commerce as a key channel to help achieve on- and offline synergies. For these companies, online retail serves as a driver for revenue growth and customer, product, and geographic expansion, but does not significantly change the company's business structure. For brands with a limited number of products, an undeveloped online market for their category, and low willingness to invest, e-commerce can serve as a supplementary channel to traditional brick-and-mortar retail. E-commerce in these cases replicates existing structures and does not fill a primary role in sales. For each of these three options, the report details the appropriate support system needed to ensure the successful implementation of an e-commerce strategy.

(Chinese only)




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Region:
Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, Automotive suppliers, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Jan-Philipp Hasenberg

CONTENT 2014

Fleet business in BRIC and emerging markets

2014/03/13

Western OEMS are facing ever more saturated domestic markets, including the fleet segment. Particularly in Europe, OEMs are having trouble growing their market shares in this area. For example, OEM fleet business accounts for 62% of sales in Germany, 54% in the UK and 48% in Spain. These are the findings of the new Roland Berger study entitled "Fleet business in BRIC and emerging markets".

The picture is different in the BRICs and other emerging markets with fleet business less well established than in Europe. For example, fleet volume in China makes up just 9% of the national car market; in India and Russia, the figure is 13%. "This shows that the BRICs in particular still offer great growth opportunities for western OEMs," explains Marcus Hoffmann, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "But they need the right market strategies tailored to each country. European business models cannot be transferred directly to these markets."




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Strategic planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant,Charles-Edouard Bouée

CONTENT 2014

Mastering 2020

2014/02/25

Looking ahead to the next decade, which companies strike you as being ready for the changes that are approaching? More importantly, how did they achieve it? Preparing for the coming years is particularly complex for firms, as they need to make strategic decisions regarding unprecedented challenges. In particular, these are the trend toward digitization, growing uncertainty regarding regulation, the navigation of emerging markets, rethinking the value chain and the need for more organizational agility.

Briefly put, the most prepared companies succeed in developing a vision both of their business sector and of their firm's place within it. In this publication, we take a look at companies that are better prepared than others for the 2020s. And we also explain what you should know about how they do it: firms need to accelerate evolution and inject revolution. Meta-winners manage to do both at once, heading for the next S-curve of profitable growth while looking for a paradigm shift to change the name of the game.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Engineered Products / High Tech, Microelectronics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Martin Eisenhut,Guido Hertel

CONTENT 2014

Where is the semiconductor industry heading?

2014/02/20

The semiconductor industry has been plagued with declining growth rates for some time now. Over the past five years, the global market for microchips (sales volume of USD 300 billion) grew on average by just 2.7% a year. From 2000 to 2007, growth was an annual 3.3%. The slowdown is due to overcapacity and strong cyclical fluctuations. And things won't be getting better anytime soon: New Asian companies are taking over the global mass market for computer chips – to the detriment of established European and Japanese semiconductor manufacturers.

"For years, established providers have been confronted with an increasingly difficult international market environment," says Martin Eisenhut, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "Our current analysis outlines four possible scenarios for the future. Clearly, only manufacturers that can sustainably offer high value-added products on the global market will be able to beat the lower-priced competitors from Asia."

The new Roland Berger study, "Opportunities and challenges beyond Moore's Law", reveals that companies do not necessarily have to follow the well-known principle in order to succeed on the semiconductor market. Moore's Law states that the industry will double the number of transistors on a computer chip every one-and-a-half to two years – at the same unit cost. However, this requires high investment, often supported by government aid. For this reason, the center of gravity of this business model has been shifting more and more to Asia.

As our experts see it, the alternative for Europe and Japan's highly developed semiconductor industry lies in new generations of computer chips that offer a broader range of applications. They call this the "More than Moore" approach. This area, which already accounts for about 40% of the semiconductor market, is growing twice as fast as the traditional mass market.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2014

Economic Scenario for Germany

2014/02/18

In our Economic Scenario, we are forecasting that the German economy will see a trend reversal and growth of at least 2% in 2014. This would mean that Germany's GDP is increasing twice as fast as the eurozone's. It would also mean that its growth is once again living up to its potential, which the authors had estimated at 2% in their previous economic analysis.

The authors of the Economic Scenario base their optimism on four arguments: One, the German economy has considerable momentum from last year. After a disappointing start to 2013, exports and consumer spending rose considerably and the trend for incoming orders, industrial production and income continued upward. Two, in response to the continued weak growth in Europe, Germany was able to dramatically increase its exports to non-European countries in the years following 2008. "If the growth rates in these countries rise again, the firm foothold that German companies have gained there will pay off," states the Economic Scenario.

The third reason for Germany's strength, as articulated by author and Berger CEO Prof. Burkhard Schwenker, is the German economy's distinctive business model: "We have a unique mix of large corporations and competitive small and midsized companies. They are globally positioned and offer an optimal combination of industry and high-quality services." Fourth, this strong export focus is increasingly supplemented by domestic impulses, which also reinforce the internal strengths of the German economy.

(Available in German only)




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Financial services, Risk, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Bernd Brunke,Marc D. Grüter

CONTENT

Navigating risk

2014/02/18

Recent negative reports from the financial industry make it clear that banks and financial institutions urgently need strategy-oriented risk management. In a volatile environment, risk management is not merely a regulatory and compliance element, but it also becomes a decisive active design element in ensuring profitability and sustainable growth. According to the new analysis "Navigating risk" by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, banks that implement an improved risk management strategy see their market value go up by as much as 24%. "At many banks, there is a direct relationship between the quality – i.e. the effectiveness – of risk management, and the sustainability of profit development," says Dr. Marc D. Grüter, Partner in Roland Berger's global Financial Services Competence Center and Head of the Global Finance and Risk Practice.

Successfully navigating risk requires integrating risk management into the overall strategy. A crucial aspect here is concentrating on high-risk areas, which calls for an understanding of complexity drivers and key interdependencies. "The latter is particularly difficult, since the banking environment is becoming noticeably more turbulent and challenging in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous)," explains Dr. Grüter.




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Region:
Europe,Asia

Related Topics:
Travel & tourism, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alexis Gardy,Yannig Gourmelon

CONTENT 2014

Chinese tourism in Europe

2014/02/01

Chinese tourism in Europe looms as the great opportunity of the years to come. It is time for stakeholders of the tourism industry to face the challenges, not only to continue to attract Chinese tourists, but also to better serve their specific needs.

Though less appealing to Chinese than the USA, Europe remains the most common destination for Chinese outbound tourists. With 4.6m Chinese tourists expected to visit Europe in 2012, Chinese tourism is seen as the next growth driver for the European tourism industry.

The standard travel package to Europe is becoming more individual and is evolving towards mono-destination travel with an average length trip of 6 days. France is the preferred destination for Chinese tourists. Still, challenges have to be addressed if it wants to stay ahead in the competition – the unwelcoming attitude, less-than-ideal accommodation and security concerns are the main reasons for the deterioration in the perception of France after the trip.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
THINK ACT CONTENT

Author:
-

CONTENT

Scenario-based strategic planning

2014/02/01

2014 – POINT OF VIEW, Roland Berger Belgium

The scenario-based strategic planning approach helps companies to account for complexity. It does by developing multiple scenarios and strategic options to counteract volatility. It stimulates companies to take a step back from the trusted environment and the more traditional thinking in order to reflect creatively with a fresh look about the future. This approach enables companies to reconceptualize the vision of the future in order to identify new opportunities and stimulate the intuition to be more receptive for upcoming changes.

The Roland Berger scenario-based planning methodology builds further upon traditional planning methods. In traditional strategic planning, a deductive and rational approach is applied where strategies are defined based on quantitative analysis and benchmarking. In contrast to traditional planning, our approach follows an inductive thinking logic. The planning process starts from more qualitative elements such as the definition of a company’s DNA and the identification and analysis of industry trends. This provides input to formulate scenarios in the mid to long term that are willingly disruptive and serve to structure a reflection on the strategic implications for the present. A company can make itself future proof by building a strong strategy for the preferred scenario and by being agile in adapting the strategy in case an alternative scenario comes true. The last phase is the onboarding of the company to prepare for the transformation where the focus lies on communication and alignment within the organization.




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Region:
North America

Related Topics:
Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, , Studies

Author:
Thomas Wendt

STUDY 2014

Re:think automotive retail networks

2014/01/30

Automotive dealers in the US made a historic comeback in profits in an industry that was plagued by bankruptcies just four years earlier. The post-crisis recovery of automotive dealerships has certainly made this industry look attractive again. But is this revival based on solid foundations? Are the current dealer profits truly sustainable over the coming years and decades?

"We believe – contrary to popular opinion – that things are not as positive as they seem," says Thomas F. Wendt, Partner in the North American Automotive Practice at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "In our view, the massive consolidation of the recent past was not the end, but the beginning of the change needed for dealers to maintain healthy profit levels and for OEMs to transform their distribution networks."




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Service excellence, Engineered Products / High Tech, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Philipp Angehrn,Oliver Herweg,Ralph Lässig,Sven Siepen

CONTENT 2014

Evolution of service

2014/01/07

It's no secret that services represent a large chunk of profits for the engineered products industry. As markets become increasingly saturated, services offer new revenues and a chance to leverage the installed base. Not only that, the service business can help smooth out the ups and downs of economic cycles, at the same time as binding customers into a close relationship with the supplier. But spare parts – which along with maintenance traditionally form the main pillars of the service business – are declining in both revenue and profit terms. This places companies in a dilemma: How can they compensate for their shrinking business? What should they be doing to exploit the upside potential that still exists? How can they develop more sophisticated offers, including services such as consulting and performance increase, say? And in terms of organization, should they structure their service business as a separate business unit or integrate it into the new machine business?

To find answers to these pressing questions, Roland Berger carried out an extensive study of services in the machinery and production systems industry in German-speaking countries. We spoke to senior executives at 30 companies, both big and small, to find out what they were doing and where they felt services were heading. On the basis of our discussions, we identified four types of companies, each employing a distinct business model in the area of services. For each type of company we developed key strategies – strategies that can help them prepare for the challenges of the future.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Digital impact, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Eric Confais,Jean-Charles Ferreri,Klaus Peter Müller

CONTENT 2013

Home automation – The next big move in the utilities and telecom industries

2013/12/31

Home automation solutions are becoming mature, with convincing products already being marketed. The smart home market is seen as a required strategic move for all players. Utilities and telcos will setup balanced partnerships to smoothly mix their skills and assets.

The home automation market ranks extremely high on the strategic agenda of several players – Utilities, telcos, manufacturers of white and brown goods, insurance companies, health specialists, service providers, real estate specialists, etc. Some contemplate both the upsides it may offer (new business segment, expansion of offering, recurring revenues, differentiation from competition) as well as the risks of not positioning themselves (obsolescence of offering, threat from intermediaries, business model upheaval).

Most initiatives are stand-alone efforts: one company tries to develop a proprietary solution on its own and then proposes that others act as contractors or suppliers. Yet, truly innovative and convincing initiatives are already available on the market (SmartAC air conditioner remote operation, Nest smart thermostat, etc.), and are enjoying significant sales figures and substantial margins. But the 'killer app' combined with a robust business model is not yet available: no current solution offers a reasonably wide range of features, with good value for the money, leveraging a reasonably open protocol to guarantee interoperability and sustainability.

We believe that utilities and telcos will be key in the forthcoming game. They hold highly distinctive and valuable assets: large customer base, strong brands with customer confidence, innovation capacity and (sometimes) investment power.




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Region:
Europe,North America

Related Topics:
Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

CSO Survey 2013

2013/12/12

"CSOs need to formulate a strategy that strengthens business agility without taking unnecessary or incalculable risks," says Dr. Tim Zimmermann, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "The challenge is to find the right balance."

This is one key finding of the Chief Strategy Officer Survey 2013, conducted by Roland Berger and the University of St. Gallen. With more than 150 participants from 14 different European countries, the CSO Survey is the world's leading study of corporate strategy departments and those who head them.




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Region:
North America

Related Topics:
Oil industry, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

The North American oil and gas sector

2013/12/01

Roland Berger has done extensive work in the North American oil & gas value chain, supporting chemicals and materials suppliers, equipment manufacturers, service companies, and oil & gas operators in their quest to participate in the shale-driven energy industry revival in the region. After 5 years of unbridled growth between 2006 and 2011, industry expansion has slowed down, with falling gas prices, oil prices stuck in a narrow band, and logistical constraints in the Bakken driving low tight oil pricing at the wellhead. In parallel industry participants have increased their understanding of where value is created and captured along the chain, and, in this lower growth environment, are adapting their participation models and behaviors accordingly. Roland Berger believes that this value chain reconfiguration is creating significant opportunities and threats for incumbent players as well as new entrants from North America or other countries seeking to capture a slice of the shale boom pie.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Bruno Colmant,Peppi Schnieper

CONTENT 2013

Post-trade services are at a crossroads

2013/11/21

Europe's financial markets have been inundated by a veritable flood of regulations. Their focus is on safeguarding financial stability in the euro area – for example through the Central Securities Depository Regulation (CSDR), which is still being finalized, or the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR), which largely prohibits over-the-counter trading of standardized derivatives. The harmonized Target 2 Securities (T2S) settlement platform pushed by the European Central Bank should vastly reduce transactions costs, thereby helping to guarantee a smooth flow of global capital through Europe's stock exchanges. This will lead to realignment of the post-trade services market and shrink settlement margins by up to 80%. The result is that providers are now facing major challenges.

The abolition of national monopolies expected over the next three to five years will initially lead to further fragmentation of the post-trade services market. This is because the 24 national central securities depositories (CSD) – who have signed up for T2S – will try to expand into neighboring markets, either alone or with partners, to achieve a pan-European position," explains Dr. Peppi Schnieper, Principal at Roland Berger in Zurich. In the medium term, however, this line of business too must brace itself for consolidation, as there can be no justification for today's multiplicity of providers in a harmonized European market. For CSDs, the major challenge is thus to position themselves now for the wave of consolidation that will probably reach its peak in begin four to five years from today," says Schnieper.




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Region:
Africa,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

Nigeria's power sector open for business

2013/11/15

A newly liberalized market welcomes new players. But fundamental challenges persist and must be addressed to deliver the power required to secure the nation's future

There is a high degree of optimism surrounding the industry's prospects. The government is often hailed in the press for crafting and implementing a prudent and transparent privatization process that is moving forward with great momentum. Key parties at the helm of privatization are credited with opening up opportunities for a host of enterprises, from private investors to equipment suppliers and technical service companies. Agency spokespersons release public statements from time to time, promising drastic increases in electricity generation and supply within a relatively short timeframe.

This exuberance must be tempered with the reality that key issues impacting the long-term success of privatization are yet to be resolved. As demand continues on its upward trajectory, stiff bureaucracy, conflicting policies, infrastructure inadequacy and law and order problems remain the status quo. Without sweeping and effective changes in government policy and the creation of a business climate that attracts significant private sector investment the sector will not deliver the power required to secure the nation's future.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Strategic planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant,Charles-Edouard Bouée

CONTENT 2013

How to survive in the VUCA world

2013/10/21

Do challenges and opportunities that used to take months to mature now suddenly strike you without warning? If so, you're not alone. What you are experiencing is the VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.

In a recent study at Roland Berger, we looked at how fifty firms from a range of industries and with different maturity levels are adapting to the new VUCA world. Some stood out as clear "meta-winners" – firms so singular that they are game-changers in their industry and in some cases have even created a whole new industry segment. Many of these meta-winners were born into a world where VUCA was already the norm. A few of them are known around the world, including Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Others are primarily known in their home markets, such as the French telecom company Free and the US provider of on-demand Internet streaming content Netflix, or their home continent, such as the Spanish fashion retailer Zara, part of the Inditex Group. Asia also has its meta-winners, such as the Chinese Alibaba Group and South Korea's Samsung.

Our investigation revealed seven key principles used by meta-winners to survive the VUCA world. Together, these principles form what we call the "Light Footprint" approach, in reference to a striking example of adaptation to the VUCA world: the strategy implemented by the United States military during the Obama administration in reaction to the transformation of warfare.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

The role of banks in the internationalization of European SMEs

2013/10/02

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has analyzed the role of banks in the internationalization of European small and medium enterprises in the study: "What role can banks play in the internationalization process of European SMEs?". According to the results of the study, it is essential for the economies in European countries today, that banks strengthen their system of support for SMEs internationally. That is, because internationalized SMEs create more jobs than those only focused on domestic markets. Roland Berger estimates that up to 600.000 jobs could be created in Europe in the next 5 years as the result of a full financial support to European SMEs' internationalization.

Internationalization of small and medium businesses can take different forms: importing raw materials or intermediate products, exporting finished products, foreign direct investment, subcontracting, etc. Beyond their role as engines of innovation, internationalized SMEs create a lot more jobs than purely local SMEs: there is 7% annual growth in the number of jobs at internationalized SMEs, versus 1% for others. "So internationalization is a key lever for reversing the unemployment trend," says Cécile André, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. French SMEs for example lag behind in this area; just 31% have any international activities, compared to 44% on average in the European Union.




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Region:
-

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Maren Hauptmann

CONTENT 2013

The Promises of Aging

2013/09/26

In the year 2050, the average Western European will be 47 years old, the average Japanese 54. And with an average age of 46, even China's population will belong to the top of the age pyramid. The United Nations refers to this phenomenon as the greatest social challenge of the 21st century. But hardly anyone talks about how the aging of the population can actually be good for companies, as it offers opportunities for more productivity and better competitiveness. But this success depends on having the right strategy. That's why in our publication, we explain how companies can turn these changes to their advantage.

Certain myths about older employees have become entrenched in the workplace to the point where they can impede changes in strategy. These myths include the belief that older workers are less innovative, become sick more often and can't work as hard. "Many companies fear hiring older people will result in high costs and lower productivity," says Maren Hauptmann, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "But older employees also offer distinct advantages."

"To make sure they don't lose the innovative and creative potential of older employees, companies have to undergo a thorough change in strategy," cautions Hauptmann.




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Region:
Europe,Asia

Related Topics:
Health insurance, , Studies

Author:
Philippe Chassat

STUDY 2013

Private Health Insurance in South East Asia

2013/08/08

This think: act STUDY focuses on the rapidly growing demand for healthcare in Southeast Asia. Overall health expenditures increased two and a half times between 1998 and 2010, reaching nearly USD 68 billion. Private insurance accounts for only 4% of this total, so there seems to be a huge potential for growth.

Demand for healthcare is growing rapidly in Southeast Asia (SEA). Overall health expenditures increased two and a half times between 1998 and 2010, reaching nearly USD 68 billion. Private insurance accounts for 4% of this total. Three major factors are driving this development: steady population growth, steep increases in medical costs, and – most importantly – increases in per capita consumption of healthcare services.

The maturity of the healthcare market varies widely across Southeast Asia. Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are still at an early stage of development, while Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines provide basic healthcare services to their populations. Malaysia and Thailand are at a more advanced stage of development and now focus on providing high-quality care. The most advanced market is Singapore, which promotes private contributions to the financing of healthcare.

The health insurance sector in Southeast Asia offers significant opportunities. But it is not immune to challenges, such as boosting customer acquisition, balancing product affordability and coverage, and coping with fast-rising medical costs. Ultimately, insurance companies must build customer trust in their brand and service offering by providing adequate coverage, guaranteed payouts and a smooth, hassle-free claims process. Players who rise to these challenges by implementing best practices on a local level will benefit richly from the growth in the market and, in turn, contribute to the growth and maturity of Southeast Asian healthcare.




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Region:
North America

Related Topics:
Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Jonathon Wright

CONTENT 2013

The shale gas phenomenon

2013/07/30

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants presents a new issue of the think: act CONTENT series, entitled Shale gas phenomenon, which contains insight and data that can bring clarity to US-based companies regarding the advantages of the abundant resource within the country. "There is an opportunity to bring back production to our region and generate jobs by doing this," said Jonathon Wright, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States has shale gas reserves of 862 trillion cubic feet (tcf) – plus the world's largest network of natural gas pipelines situated in US territory. This 300,000-mile network can be leveraged to benefit several industries, notably utility companies and manufacturers, which use 28% and 18% of current shale gas resources respectively. "This means that everyone developing shale gas – from small players like Hunt Oil Corporation to major producers such as Shell and Exxon – can get their gas to market. Among the countries that have significant shale reserves, only the US and Canada have 'open access' to pipelines," Wright explains.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Corporate Headquarters, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

Re-considering Corporate Headquarters

2013/07/23

Headquarters need to demonstrate that they add value to the business in order to justify their existence. Around the world, companies are redefining the role of their headquarters, which includes turning corporate centers into key drivers of operations. Furthermore, they are increasingly assuming functions that go beyond representation, management and governance. "Corporate headquarters are growing in size and are managing increasingly complex systems within the group," says Tim Zimmermann, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

Besides traditional tasks such as finance, accounting and controlling, HQ must focus more heavily on 5 key capabilities: providing strategic direction, managing complexity, driving innovation, working in global networks and ensuring the execution of actions worldwide. If headquarters can successfully provide these services, they can avert conglomerate discount and contribute real value.

The co-author of this think: act CONTENT, Fabian Huhle, talked to management radio about corporate headquarters. Listen to the interview here.

Learn more about our expertise, experts, and publications on corporate headquarters.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Wu Qi

CONTENT 2013

Private equity in China

2013/07/21

Private equity (PE) activities have increased substantially in the Chinese market over the past decade. PE funds invested in China rose to more than USD 15 billion in 2012, from below USD 1 billion in 2000. China now represents approximately 10% of global investment.

The reason for this rise is that the Chinese government sees private equity as a key tool for supporting SMEs which generate 60% of China's GDP, employ 80% of the Chinese workforce, and account for 70% of exports. Chinese authorities promote a triple role of PE funds to inject fresh capital into SMEs, support companies' internationalization and strengthen their business models. These are the findings of a study by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, "What does the future hold for private equity in China?", published as part of the think: act CONTENT series.

However, the recent market and regulatory changes have increased uncertainty about the local PE environment (e.g. about the supervisory authority responsible and about national politics) and clouded prospects for investors in the Chinese market. Securing returns, especially through IPOs which were the most important selling option for private equity investors between 2000 and 2010, has become more challenging. Following the shutdown of IPOs since last autumn, some 900 companies are estimated to be waiting for permission to go public. PE funds are thus currently developing other exit channels such as trade sales.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Strategy & corporate excellence, THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Author:
-

MAGAZINE 2013

Leadership

2013/07/19

These days, when you’re a manager, uncertainty is almost everywhere you look. Risks grow bigger, technology changes faster, global networks are more complex, and all of these factors have important implications for our view of planning and management. If trends can no longer be relied upon, numbers have limited value as a basis for forecasting and decision making.

How do you manage a company in an uncertain world? What tools, methods, and strategies still work? In our special feature on leadership, we talked to a series of leading personalities – with often surprising results. In an exclusive interview, Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric aka Mr. Shareholder Value, says respect is the most important tool of management. Adidas’s CEO Herbert Hainer explains how to motivate young talents to join his company, and Hapag-Lloyd’s CEO Michael Behrendt talks about the need for managers to show humility.

All of these examples have one thing in common: they show that values and personalities lie at the heart of successful management. Most importantly, it takes courage, decisiveness, and analytical skills to identify and seize new opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE:
This magazine is also available for iPad in the Roland Berger Kiosk app. Simply search for "Roland Berger" in the app store. To download the magazine on the Roland Berger Kiosk app, click the "Free" button. You may need to sign in with your iTunes account.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Strategy & corporate excellence, Books, Book

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée

Book 2013

Light Footprint Management

2013/06/18

What can managers in today’s uncertain, unimaginably complex world learn from President Obama’s military doctrine and the Chinese management style? In his new book (Bloomsbury, 2013), Charles-Edouard Bouée, member of the Global Executive Committee and President of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Asia proposes the adoption of “light footprint” management – comparable to President Barack Obama’s military doctrine and similar to the recent emergence of vision and tactics over strategy in Chinese management.

Bouée argues that this shift in approach blazes a trail that Western companies will be obliged to follow, and explains how conventional management methodologies, techniques and tools can be adapted to the conditions of an increasingly ambiguous and apparently unmanageable world. Light Footprint Management sets out a roadmap for the transformation of companies into adaptable, "post-strategic" business organizations.

Light Footprint Management at Saïd Business School

Charles-Edouard Bouée spoke about Light Footprint Management to a full house of business students, academics and consultants at Saïd Business School (SBS) at the University of Oxford on March 10, 2014. The event, entitled "In Conversation with Charles-Edouard Bouée", was an opportunity to elaborate on the Light Footprint Management idea.

Book launch at Harvard

On September 18, 2013, Charles-Edouard Bouée presented his new book Light Footprint Management: Leadership in times of change at the Harvard Business School. In a forum entitled "How to lead in a VUCA world: Lessons from the US military and China", Bouée stressed that a light footprint strategy could be a means to address the challenges of uncertainty, by using what we know about recent changes in military doctrine and a novel management approach emerging in China. Bouée was joined in the forum by former US Ambassador to Germany Philip D. Murphy and Harvard Business Review editor-at-large Julia Kirby.

Watch this video of the plenary session "How Should Leaders Embrace Complexity?" at the Global Drucker Forum in Vienna, in which Bouée was a speaker.

Listen to Charles-Edouard Bouée explain the big idea behind his new book Light Footprint Management in the audiocast for think:act MAGAZINE #19.

Listen to his interview with China Radio International where he talks about strategic leadership in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world.

Follow @Light_Footprint on Twitter for updates about the book and related events as well as insights on "post-strategic" management.

Reviews

"Charles-Edouard Bouée's argument that lightness is a primary value in a more volatile and uncertain business world is pervasive and well made."
– John Quelch, Harvard Business School, USA

"The picture Charles-Edouard Bouée paints of tomorrow's business world, and of the kinds of organization most likely to thrive in it, is both original and plausible."
– Sir Tom Hunter, CEO, West Coast Capital, United Kingdom

“Management is the next big thing for Chinese companies and entrepreneurs. Charles-Edouard Bouée’s argument that the Chinese management style must find links to military strategy in the VUCA world and his conception of the “light footprint” are fascinating. Entrepreneurs, both those in China now and others who intend to dive into Chinese business, will find his ideas
enlightening.”
– Gang He, Editor in Chief of Harvard Business Review China and Managing Editor of Caijing Magazine, China

“From Chinese history, cyberwarfare and the use of drones and special forces, all the way to the lessons of Apple’s resurgence, Bouée takes the reader on a fascinating whirlwind tour of turning points in business and geopolitics. From his extensive international experience and unique ability to draw parallels and establish connections, Bouée derives an innovative management philosophy adapted to a new world order of volatility and uncertainty.”
– Bernard Liautaud, Founder of Business Objects and Partner at Balderton Capital, United Kingdom

About the author

Charles-Edouard Bouée is the Chief Operating Officer of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a member of its Global Executive Committee and President of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Asia. For over two decades, Bouée has been working on strategy, mergers and acquisitions and large scale performance improvement projects in over 20 countries.

He is the author of the book China's Management Revolution: Spirit, Land, Energy




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Brand management, Studies

Author:
Philippe Chassat,Damien Dujacquier,Dorit Posdorf

STUDY 2013

Mass affluent consumers in South East Asia

2013/06/10

In this study, we reveal how examining consumers' values can help us identify different sub-segments of the "Mass Affluent" consumer segment in three important markets in Southeast Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Using the RB Profiler, we explain which values drive the purchasing behavior of the different customer groups and provide insights into what sort of people they are made up of. Companies can use these insights to focus their strategies better on capturing parts of Southeast Asia's Mass Affluent market.

Our analysis of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore using the RB Profiler shows that, despite the diversity of languages, ethnic backgrounds, religions and cultures, there are four key segments of Mass Affluent consumers that cut right across the region. Four further segments are only found in one or two of the surveyed countries, including just two that occur in individual countries only.

What does this mean for companies? Domestic, regional and international firms working in Southeast Asia need to deploy a mix of standardized and tailored market approaches to address the values – some shared, some specific to certain countries – of the various consumer segments within the Mass Affluent group. In some cases, regardless of the industry, they can use cross-border market strategies to reach the segment with the most potential; in others, they require more tailored approaches to reach individual segments.

Using the results of our analysis, companies can thus adapt their market approach to appeal specifically to relevant segments of Mass Affluent consumers. By deploying more sophisticated strategies, companies can target Mass Affluents across Southeast Asia more effectively than in the past.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alain Le Couédic

CONTENT 2013

Asia Asset Management: Consider Taiwan

2013/06/04

Although Taiwan's population is only 2% of the size of mainland China's, and its economy is about 6% of mainland's GDP, a number of strategically-minded foreign asset managers have found remarkable success on the island, thanks to Taiwan's open regulatory environment, solid economic fundamentals, and growing wealth. Taiwan's retail market in particular has fostered considerable success for offshore funds, which represent 60% of total mutual funds assets.

"Taiwan is not typically seen as one of the 'giants' of Asia," says Alain Le Couédic, a Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Asia and one of the authors of the study. "But its asset management market offers significant opportunities that others do not." The study credits Taiwan's attractiveness to a growing appetite for foreign assets, a large pool of relatively low-debt investors who hold most of their wealth in financial assets, and an asset management market that has grown 10% per annum for the past six years straight.

The study also finds that Taiwan's regulatory and competitive environment is more friendly than those of other regions or countries to foreign players that want to establish a footprint in Asia.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer

CONTENT 2013

Wealth management for entrepreneurs

2013/05/10

At a time when growth rates and returns are dwindling, the banks are rediscovering wealth management for private clients. And in so doing, they often overlook their corporate clients, despite the fact that these are frequently the perfect candidates for wealth management.

Even offering wealth management to the owners of small businesses can result in interesting income opportunities. In total, there is annual income potential of more than EUR 7bn in this area.

Banks can only make the most of this revenue opportunity if they modify their structures – in particular, they need to improve the cooperation between their internal divisions for conventional corporate client account management and wealth management.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant,Cyril Gay Belan

CONTENT 2013

Restoring profitability in life insurance

2013/04/18

Profitability within the life insurance sector has been weakening for several years. A three-fold hit – first the financial crisis, then dropping interest rates and now sovereign debt unrest – has made it difficult for life insurance companies to turn a profit.

For now at least, as high-value old contracts lapse and low-value new contracts join the portfolio, insurers are pressed for profit. But there is no need to pronounce the life insur-ance market dead yet. The situation may be difficult, but it is by no means desperate. Profitability and value creation in the life insurance sector mainly come from the in-force, where old contracts generate most of the margins, not from new accounts where initial margins are low. With EUR 5000 bn in reserves in play, and in this difficult economic landscape, more value can be created by optimizing them than by acquiring new contracts.

This figure alone demonstrates why insurers should place more and more attention on the profitability of their Portfolio policies. Strategies should be consistent with the market context, which is currently seeing low margins in a low return environment. As such, insurers should focus less on shuffling investments and resources (HR, sales and finance) towards new product and client development and more on working on their in-force. Accelerating and refocusing their attention on the in-force will not only rejuvenate in-force margins, it will also improve them: a 10 bp increase means EUR 5 bn in additional margins.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Healthcare, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

Einweisermanagement in deutschen Kliniken (Referral management in German hospitals)

2013/04/15

Competition on the inpatient healthcare market is getting fiercer. German hospitals are under immense pressure to maximize their bed capacity utilization. The legal framework (imposing, for instance, mandatory cost cuts) is also making things tougher for hospitals, causing costs to rise faster than revenue.

In such an environment, hospitals must critically review their marketing strategies to stand out from the competition and gain a firm foothold on the market. To do so, they must be responsive to market needs and systematically focus on key target groups. A key role here is played by physicians in private practice: in their function as "sales agents", they are some of a hospital's most important stakeholders and make a considerable contribution to its financial success.

Professional referrals management means that hospitals continuously and systematically maintain contact to private physicians, i.e. potential "referrers". In doing so, it is important for quality assurance and public relations staff to work closely with the doctors. The overall goal is to create a positive perception among the private practitioners and thereby sustainably increase the number of referred patients.




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Region:
Africa,Asia,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2013

Hot Markets

2013/03/26

This think: act CONTENT on emerging markets highlights business model innovations from so-called developing countries that managers and decision-makers simply cannot ignore. Capitalizing on Roland Berger Strategy Consultants' vast global footprint, this issue is a product of the firm's continuing research on economic trends and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

Emerging markets are the new laboratories of innovation, having given rise to low-cost engineering and infrastructure leapfrogging, among others. They are also home to a growing and powerful consumer force. Even the four billion people at the bottom of the economic pyramid collectively spend USD 5 trillion on goods and services. Managers are discovering that it is no longer sufficient to simply reengineer products, as with the popular practice of "glocalization"; business models themselves have to be rethought if companies want to succeed and stay competitive.

This think: act CONTENT puts forward business models that could revolutionize the industrialized world, from frugal engineering to government-led social programs. It also outlines the strategies companies should adopt to keep in step with change, echoing the words of World Bank president Jim Yong Kim: "We have to realize that it may be that it's the most financially constrained areas where the greatest social innovations come from."




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Innovation | Product | Engineering, P. Optimized product value, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Oliver Knapp,Michael Zollenkop

CONTENT 2013

Product value management

2013/03/18

Some companies have begun paying much more attention to what their customers want in their product development process. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has drawn on its cross-sector experience in optimizing products, product costs (i.e. cost of goods sold, COGS) and value chains to develop a new concept called "Product Value Management" (PVM). This concept is also the subject of an academic study carried out at the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus.

Perhaps most important of all, Product Value Management is not an optimization tool with a limited shelf life. It won't be replaced when the next new methodology comes along. Instead, it is a philosophy that needs to be rooted deep in the consciousness of the company. The core of the concept is the idea that every detail of the product can be improved – primary or secondary function, core or complementary product – by switching between a customer perspective and a cost-oriented company perspective. Applied consistently, PVM brings together two things that truly belong together: happy customers and profitable products. Improved sales and revenue are the next logical result.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
René Fischer

CONTENT 2013

Lean management in the financial sector

2013/03/17

Lower costs and additional revenue prove that modern efficiency programs that have long been standard in other industries are now having an effect in the financial sector as well.

The lean management project taken on by the service subsidiaries in Deutsche Bank's retail banking business and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants demonstrated that it involves more than just cost efficiency. The time saved can be utilized to boost productivity for acquiring new business or improving quality of existing business. The financial expenses that efficiency programs involve is fairly limited, at least if the improvement of processes does not require the purchase of costly IT solutions.

In the present case, around two-thirds of the identified productivity potential was achievable without any IT expenses at all. A large part of the savings can be summarized as "the art of leaving things out." Around 10% of the efficiency gain was achieved simply by dispensing with activities that were not really needed. Avoiding duplication and sending work back and forth achieved a further 10% of savings. Simplifying processes resulted in 25% of the total time saved and 10% came from standardizing processes within or across teams, while identifying best practices and transferring them from one site to another.

The remainder was due to workplace adjustments or the net effect of transferring tasks. Even though no employees were laid off, over 80% of the time saved had a direct, positive effect on the budget.




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Region:
-

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Digital impact, Marketing, Consumer goods & retail, , Studies

Author:
Björn Bloching,Lars Luck

STUDY 2013

What the customer really wants

2013/02/21

Sooner or later, bricks and mortar will be replaced by online shopping. Online, price is the only thing that matters. Offline retail is degenerating into a showroom for online retailers. Young people have already been lost to brick-and-mortar retail. … Or so they say!

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and ECE have surveyed approx. 42,000 consumers, and looked deep into 2,000 consumers' shopping bags for a month to establish a clear picture of the retail situation. Online shopping is becoming ever more important: In Germany, although only 7% of transactions are done online, Internet shopping accounts for 16% of sales revenues – and rising. But brick-and-mortar retailers should not despair in the face of online competition. Conventional shopping is still most Germans' favorite way of shopping – regardless of online price wars or the new generation of digital natives with their high affinity for the Internet.

In a comprehensive analysis, they determined seven buyer segments, each with distinctive shopping behaviors. To sum up: German brick-and-mortar retail can meet customers' needs in ways that online shopping cannot or will never be able to do. However, companies must better understand their customers' wishes and shopping needs, in order to tailor offers to them and let them discover the opportunities of the digital world. A targeted click-and-mortar multichannel strategy will create better offerings for consumers and open up new horizons for retailers. But only if they know how to give different customers what they want.

"The battle is still raging between online and offline retail," says Prof. Björn Bloching, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "If traditional retailers recognize their strengths and expand their range to include suitable online offerings, they will be able to keep consumers loyal in the long term."




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Region:
Asia

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Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Yannig Gourmelon

CONTENT 2013

Chinese waters

2013/02/07

The Chinese water market is growing at a rapid pace. Experts from Roland Berger predict that the market will grow by 30% by 2015, especially in the commercial segment. This segment offers very good prospects for international players as well. By contrast, the municipal water sector remains the preserve of established players. However, despite the good development prospects, the business environment will remain tough for water utilities in China. Water tariffs are currently too low to cover utilities' operating costs and fund crucial infrastructure improvements.

These are the key findings of "Pouring Profits", the latest study in the think:act series of publications.

The Chinese market offers both domestic and international players considerable potential. As the country urbanizes, urban residential water usage is expected to increase by 3% annually. Water tariffs are also on the rise, which mainly benefits private-sector players in the municipal market.

There is also a lot of potential in the industrial segment, with water treatment processes increasingly being outsourced. In addition, the Chinese government's 12th Five Year Plan stipulates investment of RMB 700 billion in sewage treatment between now and 2016.




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Europe

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Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, Books, Book

Author:
-

Book 2013

Europe's Hidden Potential

2013/01/24

In a period where the EU has been inundated with harsh criticism and negative sentiments, a new book strikes a rather different note by offering a bold and positive message: Europe has all the ingredients required to become a new beacon for a global economy. Entitled "Europe's hidden potential: How the 'old continent' could turn into a new superpower," the book outlines why Europe has all it needs to lead the way, both in terms of politics and management principles. The book is being released by Bloomsbury Publishing in partnership with the Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics.

"During my career at Roland Berger Strategy Consulting, first as a consultant and Partner, later as CEO and today as Chairman, I have had the opportunity to experience how business and politics are done all over the world," says author Burkhard Schwenker. "While I recognize the value of many principles used in America or Asia, I have increasingly come to appreciate the massive potential Europe has – a potential that could fully blossom once the right course is taken." Co-author Thomas Clark, an Austrian who has lived and worked in Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and the US, adds: "Burkhard and I challenged our positive approach toward Europe's future in numerous discussions, as we wanted to make sure that our message is not just wishful thinking but has a strong footing in reality. We worked hard to substantiate our theses with practical examples and compelling statistics, and I hope we succeeded in conveying our message in a convincing way."




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-

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Digital impact, Automotive, Automotive product creation and e-mobility, Telecommunications, , Studies

Author:
Carsten Rossbach,Marc Winterhoff

STUDY 2013

Connected Mobility 2025

2013/01/22

Personal mobility is key to the success and prosperity of every country's economy. But the growing population in the world's largest conurbations and the increasing amount of traffic are leading to paralysis. In the world's 30 biggest megacities, paralyzed traffic flows generate annual costs of more than USD 266 billion. The answer to how to get a grip on the problem of increasing passenger transportation lies with networked mobility. By intelligently linking transportation data and modes of transportation, people can quickly and easily use different mobility models as needed to get where they're going. Integrated offers and a comprehensive management function ("mobility manager") will play a central role by bundling various options and offering services from one platform. These are the key findings of a recent think: act study entitled "Connected Mobility 2025" by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. The consultancy's experts defined five critical factors that will put smart mobility on the road to success.

"Although we live in an increasingly networked world, individual mobility remains mostly fragmented: At the critical moment, we lack the information on how to best get from A to B," explains Carsten Rossbach, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "Integrated offers for the networked consumer will have a major effect on our mobility habits."




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-

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, Studies

Author:
Bernd Brunke

STUDY 2013

How to reach emerging market consumers with new strategies

2013/01/18

By 2030, developing countries and emerging markets will be home to an estimated 80% of the world's middle class. And rising incomes, progressive urbanization and better availability of goods are fundamentally changing consumption habits.

Experts thus predict that consumer spending in these regions will rise to USD 22 trillion by 2020. However, to best leverage these new growth opportunities, companies should analyze trends and market changes to better understand consumer needs. This is the only way they can develop suitable products and marketing and sales strategies for each market.

Those are the key findings of the new publication "Consumers – How to reach emerging market consumers with new strategies", the latest study in the "8 Billion Business Opportunities" series.




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Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

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THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

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-

MAGAZINE 2012

Comeback

2012/12/17

Issue 18 - 2012

Our client magazine think: act #18 puts a spotlight on success stories of companies, entrepreneurs and countries that managed to return to the winners' podium after a failure.

"Comeback" takes a close look at real-life stories, analyzes strategies and gives advice on how to successfully achieve a turnaround. For example, Federico Ghizzoni, CEO of UniCredit, describes in an exclusive interview how he got one of Europe's most influential banks back on track, and what still lies ahead. Bestselling author Tim Harford explains why there is no success without failure and why and in what circumstances failure may actually be positive. Also, in an essay on the new method of restructuring, readers can find out how ABB managed to come back even stronger.

It's not just companies or entrepreneurs that manage to return to the winners' podium after a setback: History has shown that entire countries can have comeback potential. Stanford historian Ian Morris analyzes how empires rise and fall, from the Babylonian and Roman empires to today's potential shift of power from the West to the East.

The magazine is available for iPad in our Roland Berger Kiosk app. Search for "Roland Berger" in the App Store. To download the Roland Berger Kiosk app, click the "Free" button. You may have to sign in with your personal iTunes account.




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MINI

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MINI 2012

From challenges to opportunities

2012/12/14

In the course of our research for the GLOBAL TOPICS initiative we have encountered many extraordinary personalities. In this issue we talk to five of them about perspectives on what will come.

Katrin Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s minister of education, science and culture, tells us how her country is overcoming Europe’s first serious political and economic crisis. Robert Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, explains how one company can accelerate the pace of change in an entire region of Africa. Ellana Lee, vice president and managing editor at CNN International Asia Pacific, lists the major issues that affected Asia in 2012, and describes how these are likely to develop in 2013. Kurt Bock, chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF SE, tells us how his company’s innovations are helping to provide a growing global population with food and energy. Bill Richardson is one of the few US politicians with Latin American roots. He, more than most, is aware that today’s minorities are tomorrow’s majorities. As a former governor of New Mexico, US ambassador to the United Nations, and energy secretary under Bill Clinton, he is widely tipped as a presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

For the near future our interviews indicate: while there will be fewer elections in 2013, there will be just as much change. In the words of Barack Obama, the best is yet to come.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Olaf Toepfer,Adrian Weber

CONTENT 2012

Client centricity in retail banking

2012/12/04

Client centricity and retail banking are not incompatible. Know what moves your clients and you will win new ones. You will also make existing clients more profitable.

No two clients are alike. And, from the cradle to the grave, no two clients place the same demands on their bank. The more precisely banks understand who they are dealing with, the more accurately they can tailor solutions to each and every client. That is why, when you are talking about high-margin private banking business with high-net-worth individuals, it is certainly worth undertaking huge efforts to segment the relevant client groups.

But in the retail business? Current accounts, overnight money and fund-based savings plans do not bring in sufficient returns to warrant spending heavily to gain a detailed knowledge of each client. On the other hand, knowing clients better is useful to help banks succeed even in this mature market segment.




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Europe

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Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT

Multichannel management

2012/12/04

Multichannel management meets the needs of the new generation of wealth management clients

Personal, face-to-face advice is still the most important sales channel. Yet tomorrow's clients already take the mobile internet for granted today. Thus, banks must decide to what extent they want to meet the needs of digital natives in order to intensify their customer relationships.

The success of social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn is rooted in the understanding that communication is the permanent exchange of explicit and implicit information. In the long term, the finance industry can literally capitalize on this finding, too. If wealth managers succeed in rerouting some of their client activities to new channels such as their website or smartphone apps, they will gain completely new insight into their clients' habits.

How long do clients spend looking up information on the website? On what topics? At what times of day do they prefer to use online offerings? This kind of information lays a firm foundation for effective client advisory sessions, because the advisor already knows what interests the client and can respond by presenting suitable products. Those banks that best understand the needs of their clients are, logically, the ones that can provide the best service.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
René Fischer,Klaus Juchem,Dominik Löber

CONTENT 2012

Development banks

2012/11/26

German regional development banks are facing major changes: Key areas of business such as the construction of public housing are becoming less important, while at the same time federal and regional funds for such projects are shrinking. Other traditional sources of revenue are also coming under more and more pressure.

Development banks urgently need to rethink their business models and adapt to the new reality. Interesting investment opportunities are emerging in areas such as modernizing buildings to reduce energy consumption and funding startups, for example. Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power will also generate an investment need of approximately EUR 200 billion over the next eight years.

Development banks should work in partnership with commercial banks. This requires a more professional approach on the part of development banks. Specifically, development banks need to review their internal structures and processes with an eye to efficiency.

These are the findings of a new study in the think:act Content series entitled "Development banks must reinvent themselves".




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

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Corporate finance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Sascha Haghani

CONTENT 2012

Carve-outs

2012/11/21

In the course of carve-outs, an array of organizational, contractual and company law issues must be dealt with to prepare the carved-out unit for independence. Only when these issues have been completely disentangled the newly crafted unit can be removed from the parent as a separate entity. The next step is to determine the way the carved- out unit is transferred: Is the entity to be floated on the stock exchange or a spin-off? Is it to be sold to a financial investor or a strategic buyer?

All carve-out programs – without exception – lead to both one-time and recurring transaction costs. They also keep the wider organization well occupied with the process of separation for a period of time. Such "distractions" can keep many employees from doing what they are supposed to be doing, such as focusing on product or market developments.Carve-outs are by no means rare in practice, and there are plenty of examples in which management has successfully accomplished this gargantuan task. On the other hand, the parties to such transactions often make the same avoidable seven mistakes again and again.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, IT and Operations, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Ulrich Geuss

CONTENT 2012

IT budgets

2012/11/20

Traditionally many banks have taken care of their core applications in-house. For a long time, standard software was unable to map out the complex requirements. As a result, often obsolete systems had to be increasingly adjusted to comply with new legal stipulations.

This became more and more complex and expensive over time. In addition, many banks are tied to their IT employees' know-how – which is hardly a future-proof model, not to mention a risky strategy in light of aging developers. To compound matters, the remaining specialists, in additional to their normal daily business, are generally not in a position to implement regulatory requirements in good time.

Providers of standard software are currently trying to exploit this situation to acquire banks as new customers. However, it's not possible to apply amended laws or processes at the push of a button, even using standard applications – they must meet the requirements of various organizations and are accordingly comprehensive. Simply introducing standard software is not enough for banks to meet regulatory requirements in full. With projects of this scale, they must analyze and optimize their entire IT architecture and the interplay with the different departments in the organization at the same time.




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Region:
Europe

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Innovation | Product | Engineering, I. Boosted Innovation, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Benno van Dongen

CONTENT

Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation

2012/11/20

Public-private partnership is not a new concept, nor idea: it has been widely used for many years in different sectors, in different forms and for different purposes. But its widespread use for innovation, the scope of this publication, is a relatively new phenomenon.

In tomorrow’s world, the distinction between the public and private domains becomes almost meaningless. Government may provide, but increasingly needs private enterprise to deliver. And private companies can only capture economic value by creating social value first. The reason is simple: a product, service or process must actually be used to relieve or resolve a social challenge to have a value that can be appropriated by companies that (help) develop and deliver it. This typically involves approval and regulation by public authorities, delivery over public infrastructure, and payment at least in part from the public coffers.

There is another reason why public and private parties need each other: the world’s problems can only be solved through innovation. We cannot meet tomorrow's food demand, which is double what it is today, with today’s agricultural practices. We will have to think of new ways to grow tougher crops with higher yields in arid conditions. Similarly, we cannot hope to meet steadily growing energy demand, curb carbon emissions or preserve the quality of air, soil and water without breakthrough new technologies. Not only that, we will also need new business models to pay for their use – through public and private contributions. Such innovation is beyond the skill, scope, scale and resources of a single company, NGO, university or government. It is the stuff of public-private partnership.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Wolfgang Hach

CONTENT 2012

Green banking

2012/11/16

The market for green banking has strong growth potential, especially in Germany. At present, three million bank customers are taking advantage of green or social banking products.

This number could increase to six million by 2015, as a growing number of bank customers want to know more about how their money is invested. With average annual growth of about 5%, the investment volume for sustainable financial products is expected to reach EUR 100 billion by 2015. Low-risk savings products could be the main drivers of this growth.

However, traditional banks have quite some catching up to do when it comes to such products. Above all, banks must gain the trust of their customers by ensuring that funds are invested in a transparent manner. Small specialist banks and the food sector have been pioneers in the area of sustainability, as shown in this study. Entitled "Green banking: Significant growth potential for banks", the study is part of the think: act CONTENT series.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

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Information Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Andreas Dietze

CONTENT 2012

IT Outsourcing

2012/10/22

IT outsourcing involves more than IT. It takes management skills, strategic foresight and a capable organization both at the provider and at the client

IT outsourcing often feels like lottery where you are always drawing the wrong number. While it should be a guaranteed win, more often than not you turn out to be the loser. That is why many managers who outsource IT operations feel deceived. Often they are right. Worse still, to a large extent they only have themselves to blame.

Can it be true that a fourth of all such deals fall apart? It is hard to estimate the exact number of IT outsourcing deals that fail. Even so, we know from experience that only around half of all outsourcing contracts ultimately meet expectations. Often savings are never as high as anticipated, innovation is limited and efficiency tails off. Many firms, frustrated with results, wait out the end of their contracts, giving up hope that outsourcing non-strategic IT functions will benefit their organization.

But there is a better way to make sure that firms can get what they want.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Consumer goods & retail, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Guoqiang Ren

STUDY 2012

Chinese Consumer Report 2012

2012/10/17

Since 2009 Roland Berger has closely observed the buying habits and trends of Chinese consumers and has published a comprehensive and systematic study annually since then. The survey this year covers 20 Chinese cities, ranging from first-tier through to fourth-tier cities. Some 10,000 consumers with different spending levels were surveyed to monitor their consumer habits in clothing, skin care products, mobile phones, automobiles and luxury goods.

As such, the survey provides an up-to-date synopsis for companies that focus on meeting the specific needs of Chinese consumers.

We observed four significant trends relevant to the Chinese consumer market this year. These trends provide both tantalizing opportunities and challenges for consumer goods companies.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Consumer goods & retail, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Guoqiang Ren

STUDY

Chinese Consumer Report - Luxury

2012/10/17

China is close to becoming the second largest luxury market in the world and it is increasingly attracting the attention of major luxury brand producers worldwide. In view of this, Roland Berger conducted a study on the behavior of Chinese consumers when buying luxury goods and their choice of brands. The aim of the study was to offer those companies that wish to engage in this prestigious and lucrative market with valuable insights about their target consumers.

To achieve this goal the study looks at the key factors influencing and determining the purchasing behavior of Chinese consumers: broadly their social characteristics as well as psychological and behavioral traits.

Our experts further segmented the entire consumer population into six archetypes, which we call Era Leaders, Wealthy Second Generation, Ambitious Elites, Savvy Investors, Stylish White Collars and Gift Buyers.

Makers of luxury goods need to have a well-defined and focused strategy, particularly when investing resources.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
Innovation | Product | Engineering, , Studies

Author:
Wilfried Aulbur,Bernd Brunke,Benno van Dongen,Per Ingemar Nilsson,Michael Zollenkop

STUDY 2012

Innovation in emerging markets

2012/10/12

Competition in emerging markets is growing ever fiercer. Local companies are increasingly investing in R&D and launching competitive products. China and India are the biggest engines driving innovation, together responsible for 20% of global investment in R&D. Simple, cost-effective items – "frugal products" – are particularly successful in the lower and middle market segments. Often these products can later be exported to Western markets, a process known as "reverse innovation".

Western companies looking to exploit the great innovation potential in emerging markets should carry out key value-creation activities locally, from development and production to sales. They must focus more on modular products based on standard components.

These are the key findings of the study "Emerging markets are changing the global innovation agenda" in the series "8 Billion Business Opportunities". This study forms part of the GLOBAL TOPICS initiative at Roland Berger.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

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Marketing, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Egbert Wege

CONTENT 2012

Changing the Game - Social Media

2012/10/02

As social media become increasingly central to daily communication, classic corporate marketing is facing a radical upheaval. Companies are having to find new ways to communicate with their customers more effectively. After all, some 1.4 billion users a day are now visiting the top 15 social networking sites. And a million new accounts are being opened each day on Twitter.

This represents enormous potential that businesses cannot afford to ignore – as three out of four top managers testify. It is clear that social media channels have a major influence on consumers. Opinions communicated here often determine the success or failure of a product. The development of appropriate corporate strategies in the age of social networking was the central focus of the Social Media Think:Lab Thought Leader's Summit. Held in Munich, the summit was jointly organized by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and the University of Münster's Department of Marketing & Media.

The question of how companies can best prepare themselves for social media marketing and effectively align their business model is addressed in this publication. Entitled "Changing the game", the study appears in the think:act CONTENT series.




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Region:
Europe

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Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Alexander Belderok,Regina Schmidt

CONTENT 2012

Western European Retailers

2012/10/01

Western European retail has always been a booming growth market, with sales growing significantly. Differing concepts and formats in individual countries ensure constant new and faster growth and there are some dominant retail models in Western Europe: supermarkets in the Netherlands and Belgium, discounters in Germany and shopping centers in France.

But shrinking population growth, price decreases and the loss of purchasing power since the financial crisis have meant sales are stagnating or even falling. This means retailers face a major challenge in coming up with new growth strategies for both existing and new markets. Our new study entitled "Western European Retailers – At cross-roads between revolution or evolution" from the think:act CONTENT publication series highlights four growth strategies for retailers.




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Media & entertainment, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

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-

CONTENT 2012

Casual games

2012/09/28

The popularity of online casual games is skyrocketing: one in four of the world's population regularly accesses games on the Internet; in the US alone there are 145 million users. In Europe, too, the market for casual gaming will almost double in the coming years: by 2016, experts at Roland Berger anticipate that the German market will grow to almost USD 785 million, while the French market will rocket to more than USD 1.2 billion.

The development of the online market is the biggest driver of growth in the industry. But the growing spread of mobile devices like smartphones and tablet PCs is also instrumental. If the makers of casual games are to make the most of the immense market potential, they need to install professional business models, continually offer innovative and high-quality products and discover new channels through which to sell their products. These are the findings of this publication from the think:act CONTENT series, "Casual Gaming".




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Region:
Europe

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Corporate finance, Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant

CONTENT 2012

SME Financing

2012/08/17

Small and mid-size enterprises still serve as the backbone of the European economy. In 2010, the European Union boasted about 21 million SMEs, which created 85% of all new jobs in the EU between 2002 and 2010. But as lending policies were made stricter in the wake of Basel III, banks have become a lot stingier with financing for SMEs.

This limits the growth for Europe's SMEs as well as its financial institutions. For this reason, banks should adapt their product portfolios to meet the needs of SMEs.

These are the results of a this study for our think: act CONTENT publication series. Based on the study, our experts have identified four ways to breathe new life into the SME financing market: develop individual cash products, sell products that tie up less equity, set up partnerships with other investors and offer SME loan securitization.




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Region:
-

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, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée

STUDY 2012

Dealing with financial crisis and public debt - a global challenge

2012/08/07

In this think: act STUDY, we focus on the GLOBAL TOPIC public debt. In the case of the economy, public debt is either an urgent and thorny dispute or a window of opportunity – depending on which country you ask.

In either case, public debt is a major force behind many of today's most pressing national discussions. It is both an obstacle to progress and its vehicle. Through Project 2012, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has mapped out the way forward by illuminating the intersections between economic fact and political tenor. With our six recommendations, leaders can take the reins of public debt and steer progress forward.




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Europe,Asia

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THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

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-

MAGAZINE 2012

Shifting sands: Ideas from the desert

2012/08/06

No other region in the world is experiencing such economic and cultural upheaval as the Arabian Peninsula. The region faces a historic opportunity: oil has made it wealthy, yet all good things come to an end. The challenge for the coming decades will be to sustain the boom.

Governments are investing billions of dollars in training and research to reduce their dependence on raw materials and guarantee long-term prosperity. Societies in Arabia have already begun adapting new forms of human resources management, top-class universities for women, spectacular architecture, increased opportunities for young artists, and the construction of the world’s biggest airport. The region has begun a quest for the new source of wealth of the twenty-first century.

The transformation of Arabia offers huge potential for foreign investors. Vast amounts of money are pouring into the region, even though some construction projects have been placed on hold until the economy improves. More than 800 projects were planned for 2011, worth nearly USD 450 bn. The region is also experiencing a population explosion; 102 million people will live in Arabia by 2030, an increase of 34% over today’s numbers.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has had a presence in the Arabian Peninsula for many years. Our offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Lebanon serve the entire Gulf region and maintain relationships with key local decision makers.

This think: act Special describes the region’s vision of a new era in which it is no longer dependent on oil and gas. Our reporters have recorded their own first-hand impressions, and local experts have shared exclusive analysis with us.




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-

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, Studies

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-

STUDY 2012

think: act STUDY "Social Systems"

2012/07/16

As part of the GLOBAL TOPICS initiative, Roland Berger has released an international comparison of social systems in France and Belgium, China, Russia and the US in six categories, including the level of social expenditure, healthcare costs and pensions.

The result: mature economies spend a third of their GDP on social systems – but to successfully transform social systems, mature economies need to cut costs, fight the increasing burden of NCDs and increase the worker-to-pensioner ratio. In emerging economies such as China and Russia, average expenditure on social systems is still very low (5-12%) and perceived fraud and corruption, quality of care and coverage gaps are issues to be tackled.




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Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Financial services, Emerging markets, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Hakim El-Karoui

CONTENT 2012

Profit through progress

2012/06/20

Emerging and developing nations need modern, efficient infrastructure to keep growing. Whether for water or electricity supply, telecommunications or transportation: there are 145 countries with low to moderate gross national incomes that need to invest USD 851 billion annually to bring their infrastructure up to date. That's the only way their local economies can keep growing. For this reason, some countries today are only half as productive as they actually could be.

Private international investors in particular could help, and boost their own businesses into the bargain, but they're holding back because of the risks. This fear is often unfounded, though, and is based on prejudice and failing to see the market properly: a misperception of local risks that is costing these countries a fortune and putting the brakes on their economic expansion. Africa alone lost around USD 9 billion as a result in 2011, for example.

Private investors need to assess the risks involved more realistically to profit more from these countries' growth. These are the findings of this publication in the think: act CONTENT series, "Profit through progress", which was presented exclusively at the G20 summit in Mexico.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Peppi Schnieper

CONTENT 2012

Pricing in wealth management

2012/05/25

Times in wealth management have been difficult since the recent developments in the financial markets. Many clients are unsettled and are taking a long, hard look at what services their wealth managers provide – another reason to think about implementing a systematic pricing strategy based on the added value for clients.

Many wealth managers are following the current developments of the financial markets with concern. Not so much because they are running out of investment ideas in the wake of the resurging financial crisis. Rather, they are worried about whether the recent turbulences in the international financial markets will strangle the recovery in wealth management. From 2010 to 2011, managed assets dropped 2.6% to EU R 26.9 trillion. This had a major impact on the earnings of wealth managers, since most pricing models continue to be volume-driven.

One way to alleviate the competitive and market pressure is to employ a consistent pricing strategy. This not only gives you the edge over your competitors, it also improves your potential earnings by a considerable amount. Roland Berger's data indicates that implementing a systematic pricing system generates a 5-15% increase in earnings, depending on how competitive your existing price list is and to what extent you allow discounts.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant,Mathieu Sébastien

CONTENT

A world without agents?

2012/05/25

Imagine a world without insurance agents

It is hard to picture, but some in the European insurance market believe that maturing markets will negate the need for human contact to sell insurance products in coming years. They see other competitors such as banks and direct sellers and technology such as smart phones and comparison websites as making both salaried and self-employed insurance agents obsolete.

We at Roland Berger believe that while these trends are real, the need for agents will continue to exist. Insurance is much more than a simple commodity. Selling it requires a level of trust and support that only an agent can provide. While technology is certainly a game changer in the industry, companies that can combine the human touch with cutting edge applications will be best poised to capture market share in future. Customers need a higher level of service getting advice from agents who understand their daily lives and can help them sort through the ever growing options of complex insurance products.

To better understand trends in the industry, Roland Berger in cooperation with EFMA collaborated with insurers from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. These are representative markets where salaried and self-employed agents, both of which share common characteristics, remain key distribution players. The experience of these companies reveals how major industry players are navigating coming trends.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
HR excellence, , Studies

Author:
Bernd Brunke,Carolin Griese-Michels,Maren Hauptmann,Fabian Huhle,Tim Zimmermann

STUDY 2012

think: act STUDY "HR goes global – Emerging markets change the HR agenda"

2012/04/04

Globalization is changing the distribution of world jobs to reflect stronger emerging market economic growth and new business opportunities. In 2010, one in three new jobs was already created in either China or India. European companies will also need to develop global HR strategies to compensate for European demographic trends. Western Europe must add 46 million workers to sustain average economic growth over the next twenty years.

How companies recruit, retain and manage people across the entire organization will often determine their success or failure in emerging countries. That's why this chapter will look at some of the most important "people" and organizational issues for European companies to compete successfully in emerging markets.

Part one profiles major current and future HR trends in Western and emerging markets.

Part two suggests why people issues, such as improving diversity & inclusion and cultural IQ, will become critical to successful global competition.

Part three looks at why integrating emerging countries and personnel into global organizations will quicken the rise of virtual headquarters and create more flexible headquarters-subsidiary relationships.

Part four summarizes eight practical steps to help companies strengthen their emerging market performance.




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Region:
Europe,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Machinery/production systems, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Martin Eisenhut,Ralph Lässig

CONTENT 2012

Production Systems 2020

2012/04/03

There is a growing demand for high-value consumer goods in emerging markets. This leads engineering companies in the developed economies to shift from "High-End" to "Mid-End" products. The European and, in particular, German engineering sector will see some radical changes going forward. The real challenge is not how to ride out the next crisis but how to expand into the global "Mid-End" segment. To achieve success here, companies must continue to regularly challenge and adjust their business models and structures.

Our study shows that most European machine and plant makers belong to the largest category of companies we call "the followers". This can prove a successful strategy, but only if they make some smart moves.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Wolfgang Hach,Carsten Schmidt-Jochmann

CONTENT

Shared Service Centers for Insurers

2012/04/03

Insurers have a lot of catching up to do in the efficiency of their internal organization. This need is especially striking in the Shared Service Center (SSC) area.

Mergers of organizational units that perform comparable tasks into a central, group-wide unit, an SSC, are fairly uncommon in the insurance world. Only around 28% of insurers have bundled their finance and accounting activities in a single unit; the comparable figure across all industries is well over 60%. That is, basically, an incomprehensible state of affairs, given that centralized units can operate at high levels of efficiency. That is a fact of which even insurers themselves are aware. In the Roland Berger study ("Shared Service and Competence Centers for Insurers") European insurance groups themselves said that SSCs can achieve cost savings of between 10% and 16%.

Standardization and consolidation of services in a central, newly established unit also has an effect that goes beyond the mere cost factor. Standardized and therefore at the same time more transparent processes also make a more focused control and allocation of services within a group possible. Personnel department services such as further training courses are a case in point. They can be charged more accurately in terms of their users and the amount of use that is made of them rather than, as in the past, on the basis of a fixed allocation key. An improvement in internal processes can also have positive external effects, such as a better product quality.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Telecommunications, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Alexander Mogg,Philipp Leutiger

CONTENT

Delivery Model 2.0 - vision for the future business model

2012/04/03

Telcos are under intense pressure. Merely to react to new competitors, to growing complexity, and to increasingly exacting customer requirements is not to answer the fundamental question, which is where and how they aim to earn money in the future. A reorientation of the entire company is required.

This reorientation toward a successful Delivery Model 2.0 is a two-stage process that first requires a clear idea of where the focal points of business are to be in the future. Core issues in this regard are:

  • How is the market environment going to change – user behavior, complexity of offers, competitive structures?
  • What part is the company to play in the future communication-information-entertainment complex?
  • Which key changes will prevail on the product and/or service side?
  • What are the company's core competences? What added value is it to deliver?
  • How is it to set itself apart from the rest of the market?

The answers to these questions will provide a clear idea of the future shape of the company that will have a decisive influence on its appearance and success in the years to come.

So a great deal is at stake en route to a Delivery Model 2.0 that is comprehensively geared to what the customer has in mind. It is no less than the entire corporate organization, including all in-house processes and all areas in which the customer interacts specifically with the company. And even if all areas collaborate smoothly, that alone is still no guarantee of success. Even a lean and efficient company absolutely needs a visionary view of which target groups are to be addressed by which services and where the focal points of business activity are to lie in the future.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer

CONTENT

Client-centric wealth management

2012/04/03

Values, desires and ideals are just as important as age and wealth in shaping the behavior of well-heeled bank clients. Conventional approaches to client segmentation are not enough: a psychographic approach is needed too. Roland Berger has proven tools for precisely this purpose.

Conventional means of client categorization – based on sociodemographic data (age, marital status) and financial criteria (income, wealth) – must at least be complemented by value-based or psychographic segmentation as a secondary or even as primary filter.

Today's wealth management clients are very demanding and play a more active role. They seek out advice more frequently, know more about finance and want to be more involved in the management of their wealth. As a result, banks must deliver on their client-centric value proposition time and again if they are to keep increasingly critical clients from jumping ship. A values-based approach allows wealth managers to reach clients by valuing them more as individuals. Ideally, matching "value types" will create an "emotional agreement" between advisors and their clients.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Healthcare, Health insurance, Inpatient care, New healthcare industries, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2012

Fundraising - Potential for hospitals

2012/03/30

Together with the Deutscher Fundraising Verband, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants conducted a study on "Fundraising in German hospitals". The objective was to determine whether fundraising can help with financing, and what conditions have to be met for it to succeed. The study interviewed hospital managers, fundraisers, associations and others in the industry to glean best practices from their experiences. The result is that even in Germany, investing in fundraising pays off: German hospitals that professionally pursue fundraising generate EUR 0.5-3.0 million in donations every year. These may be small figures compared to the overall budget, but they make a big difference for certain projects. Financing medical "trailblazers", construction projects and innovative ideas, or providing "feel-good" elements for patients and family members, are precisely where the funds can create a competitive edge.

Fundraising works only when a specific foundation has been laid. The top two components are visible support from the board and embedding fundraising in the overall strategy. In addition, organizations need a dedicated fundraising strategy (targets!) and a separate department. This department needs to work closely with the communication department in publicizing fundraising targets and actions both externally and internally (employees and managers).

For more information, please refer to our think: act CONTENT and other materials. We would be happy to discuss with you how you can tap this potential in your region.




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Region:
Asia

Related Topics:
HR excellence, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Ping Yi,Maren Hauptmann

CONTENT 2012

Strategic HR in China

2012/03/29

Talent is hard to find and keep in China. HR practices need to be upgraded. It's time to reorient HR as a strategic function.

In the coming years, analysts will be looking particularly at China's labor market to assess the country's ability to sustain its growth and achieve the objectives set out in its 12th five-year plan. A highly-skilled labor force is crucial for this transformation, but on this front China faces an acute shortage. Talent is hard to come by, and companies struggle to attract and retain those who are qualified and available. Wage wars run rampant, and wage increases often outplace labor productivity – a frustrating oxymoron for Chinese companies, and an obstacle in the economy's transition to value-added production.

These trends underscore the importance of intelligent and proactive human resource (HR) management, expanding the function beyond the administrative task that is most common in China today. Modern HR management practice, with its tools to tackle today's particular challenges, needs to be further implemented and developed in China if the country is to make the transition.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Studies

Author:
Laurent Benarousse

STUDY 2012

think: act STUDY "Inside Africa"

2012/03/27

Reforms, demography and an entrepreneurial spirit palpable everywhere have transformed the continent into a land of opportunity. This think:act STUDY, developed as part of the "Inside Africa" GLOBAL TOPICS initiative, presents top decision-makers and investors with an outline of the key factors behind the continent's economic renaissance. The study identifies the most dynamic sectors and details two of them: Energy and Financial Services.

The African continent represents the opportunities of tomorrow, and we at Roland Berger see historic business opportunities being created by Africa's growing economic strength. Mining this unprecedented potential requires sound knowledge and a thorough understanding of the market.

That is why Roland Berger is embarking on Inside Africa. Our work on the continent in collaboration with strategic and local partners, including many of the continent's emerging champions, has given us an inside perspective on the opportunities there. "Inside Africa" is aimed at top decision-makers and investors. Its main goal is to promote sustainable growth across the continent, and at the same time help companies in industrialized countries benefit from and contribute to this growth.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Studies

Author:
-

STUDY 2012

8 Billion Business Opportunities

2012/03/25

8 Billion Business Opportunities is a publication series looking at how population growth will improve economic prospects. By 2030, the world's population will increase by one-fifth, or double Europe's current population, to reach 8.3 billion. 95% of this growth won't be in the industrialized nations, but in emerging markets.

In less than two decades, the emerging markets will account for more than half of global GDP. Their average GDP is growing by almost 7% a year, nearly three times faster than in developed countries. Twenty of these markets – our Focus 20 countries – are expected to offer the most attractive growth opportunities, as they represent two-thirds of the total emerging market growth. European companies should plan now to tap into the powerful demographic and economic trends changing our world.

8 Billion Business Opportunities will explore rapidly evolving emerging markets, highlight sectors that could see disrupted or new value chains, and review promising competitive strategies to enter and expand in the most important emerging markets.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Telecommunications, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Thomas Klotz

CONTENT 2012

Rural Markets

2012/02/12

Customers in the countryside are different. They need unique offerings. Wireless network operators have to rethink their approach. Suitable strategies are already available.

Today mobile communication is so commonplace that the markets of the industrialized world are thought to have reached saturation point. Mobility players find it hard to achieve even meager growth rates in these markets. Things look totally different in emerging and developing countries, where mobile phones are less widespread.

But this is changing fast. The demand for mobile communication in these countries is high, as the growth rates in several key emerging markets show. However, these new customers are not all city dwellers, as you might think. There is considerable demand for mobile communication among the rural population too.

"Metropolitan" business models do not work in the countryside. Unfortunately, this demand does not automatically translate into big profits. Product design, sales and marketing models established in the cities cannot simply be transferred to the countryside. Equipping sparsely populated areas with the technical infrastructure needed for comprehensive mobile coverage does not come cheap: in fact, the costs increase as one penetrates more remote markets. At the same time, since the rural population has a low average income, the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) tends to reduce with remoteness.

Among companies who have entered the rural market, the successful ones are those who see their rural customers as a separate customer group that has to be addressed with specially tailored concepts. Companies who simply transfer the concepts they have established in big cities to the countryside, are destined to fail.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Klaus Juchem,Pierre Reboul,Edoardo Demarchi

CONTENT

European corporate banking

2012/02/12

Corporate business is back in focus as a part of strategic realignment by European banks. Lasting success requires precise risk management and a strong refinancing capability. And new relationship management that is efficient, transparent, and international.

When it comes to European banks' corporate business, you can't help thinking of the tale of the ugly duckling that promptly changed into a proud swan. In the heyday of investment banking before the financial market crisis, corporate business was at best of interest for filling various capital market vehicles with attractive loan assets.

Corporate banking today is the focal point in the realignment of many credit institutions. Corporate business is attractive because it earns above-average profits in times of economic upturn. For Germany, Roland Berger estimates that its earnings potential is growing considerably faster than the gross domestic product. That isn't to say that it has grown easier as a result – quite the opposite. In the course of economic recovery in many European countries, enterprises have acquired capital and liquidity cushions, thereby gradually reducing their dependence on banks.

At the same time, large firms especially have further professionalized their financial management, making use of alternative financing and comparing terms and conditions on an international scale. The requirements placed on banks with respect to loan facilities, stability, safety, or access to the capital market are correspondingly exacting.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Supply chain management & logistics, Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT

End-to-end supply chain

2012/02/12

When it comes to delivering the right product in the right quantity and quality, at the right time and at an attractive price for consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike face an enormous challenge. They can only succeed by working closely together.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, in close cooperation with leading German retailers and selected manufacturers of consumer goods, has developed an innovative approach that considers both the market perspective and logistics costs. In it, we systematically examine logistics costs along the entire value chain – process costs, the cost of stock-outs and write-downs, the cost of tying up capital in inventory.

We then quantify the relevant drivers and optimize them, using this as a basis to derive new strategies for delivery routes. The result is a tool for successful E2E optimization of retail logistics. It gives quick answers to the critical logistics questions facing every retailer:

  • What is the total cost of my supply chain?
  • What delivery route is best for each supplier?
  • How much warehouse space do I need?
  • How much potential lies in having less write-downs, fewer stock-outs and less inventory?

The E2E approach describes the relationships between internal store processes and supply processes, quantifies them and makes them a basis for further decisions. For the sake of clarity, we divide the functions into three sub-models: warehouse/ distribution costs, store KPIs, and store processes. We can use the overall model to calculate the exact costs for each supplier, store and product group, right down to the level of individual articles in a consignment.




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Region:
Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2012

Asset management in emerging markets

2012/02/11

Emerging markets around the world are showing themselves to be more than simply investment opportunities for asset managers. With global inflows on the rise, asset managers are turning to emerging markets to tap distribution and sales options and to source new money. The doors for asset managers are opening not just in BRIC countries and the Next Eleven, but also in regions like the Middle East with their impressive growth rates.

The Middle East is one of several attractive and emerging markets that asset managers can tap for expansion opportunities. As with any market entry, success relies on well-defined go-to-market strategies that address local specifics. The flux of these emerging markets, especially given their lack of proprietary distribution channels for foreign entrants, demands airtight alignment between the targeted segments and the asset manager’s own distribution channels and product offerings.

With properly aligned business models and entry strategies, asset managers can seize the new distribution and sales opportunities arising in these emerging economies. The Middle East is an apt model for asset managers looking at expansion, especially beyond the traditional asset geographies.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
HR excellence, Healthcare, Health insurance, Inpatient care, New healthcare industries, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Maren Hauptmann

CONTENT 2012

Occupational health

2012/01/24

Occupational health is high on the agenda of employers, health insurance funds and governments. Employers must keep their ageing workforces healthy and start to view health programs as a way to improve their attractiveness as employers. For health insurance funds and governments, the workplace is an important channel for promoting preventive health and healthy lifestyles. While there is a general consensus that occupational health is important, few companies do something about it. So far, only a minority of companies have such programs in place. Our think:act CONTENT analyzes the main hurdles on the way to occupational health and highlights a seven-step program to overcome them.

The study draws on our experience with HR managers, chief medical officers, health ministries and health insurance funds. It shows how companies can identify and address the most important target groups, find the right partners and firmly embed the concept in their organization.

Effective corporate health management reduces sick leave by up to 40%

Due to demographic change and the higher retirement age, the average age of people working in German companies is on the rise. Common illnesses occur ever more often in professional life, and absence from work for health reasons is increasing accordingly. Days lost through sick leave already cost German companies around EUR 60 billion, and this figure is rising. To counteract this phenomenon, companies should have their own corporate health management. Better, lower-stress working conditions and the right preventative healthcare can reduce staff absenteeism by up to 40%. Around 80% of German companies have recognized the benefits, and yet only one-third (36%) of them take their own sickness prevention action.

Corporate health management also requires the support of the top management: Only when the executive level of a company sees a sense of well-being among its employees as a priority can programs be realized to promote staff health.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Media & entertainment, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Philipp Leutiger,Alexander Mogg

CONTENT 2012

Video-Endgame - The battle for the future

2012/01/17

It's quite certain that television as we know it today will no longer exist in 2020. Technology, players, content – all will change dramatically, moving toward a networked world of experience made up of linear TV content, video, communities, Internet and user-(gene)rated content.

By 2010, the TV market had already changed enormously, mainly as a result of new usage formats. Media centers like Hulu/Netflix or the BBC's iPlayer were making international premium content globally available, leading the way to the business model of the future: the station/broadcaster as a "content store". The interactive standard Hybrid Broadcast Broadband made it possible to use web and TV content simultaneously on one platform. Linear and non-linear content were becoming increasingly mixed.

By 2020, the balance of power will have shifted further. Global OTTs will have become perfectly normal players in the TV industry and will include networks such as Facebook or Google+ and portals such as Apple TV/iTunes, YouTube, Netflix and Hulu. They will compete with traditional broadcasters, former network operators and pay channels.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Renewable energy technology, Wind energy, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Manfred Hader,Marcus M. Weber

CONTENT 2011

The future of Offshore Wind Energy

2011/12/06

The global wind power boom is slowly tailing off – especially in Europe. After double-digit growth in recent years, the onshore and offshore wind power market will grow by only around 5% annually between now and 2015. In Europe, the onshore segment in particular is flat. By contrast, China shows the biggest growth potential: between now and 2020, installed wind power output will rise to 20 GW a year. But markets like the US, India, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Africa will also be buoyant in the next few years.

However, growing competition from Asian players in the global market and the desired grid parity for wind power are forcing OEMs to cut costs by 25-40%. A large wave of consolidation in the wind power industry is therefore likely.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America

Related Topics:
Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Alexander Belderok,Alexander Keller

CONTENT 2011

A different world - Chemicals 2030

2011/11/22

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” wrote L.P. Hartley. The same may be said of the future. For chemicals, at least, the future is a different world. Looking ahead is never easy and perhaps chemical markets defy prediction more than most. They develop in complex and diverse ways, with shifting demands and large differences between segments and regions. And the last two years of dramatically increased volatility make predictions even trickier.

How do you assess a market so dynamic as this? In our “Chemicals 2030” study, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants develops both a qualitative and quantitative outlook on the industry trends, demand shifts and rival strategies that drive future growth and profits.

The industry will continue to grow. In fact, the market will more than double in the next 20 years, even if for every five-year period the pace of that growth will decline – especially in North America and Europe, where growth at 2% per annum is expected to be just below GDP. Over the next two decades, the center of gravity of the chemical industry will shift inexorably east as China surpasses Europe and North America as the largest chemical market in the world. But India and other Asian countries are also promising. These areas will see growth rates of 5-7% per annum (consider that the industry as a whole has never grown by more than 5% over the last decade). Attractive, high-growth opportunities remain – especially in plastics and specialty chemicals in Asia. Commodity plastics, for example, will grow by more than 8% per year in the short term and 6% in the long term. For paints and coatings we foresee long-term growth rates in excess of 6.5% per year. In emerging markets, growth will be even higher, well above GDP, as demand for better tasting foods and home decoration increase with consumers’ disposable incomes. In these and other segments, there is a lot to play for.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America

Related Topics:
Pre-merger preparation and post-merger integration, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Thomas Rinn,Oliver Knapp

CONTENT 2011

Post Merger Integration

2011/11/17

The global volume of mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2011 was put at around EUR 900 billion. Yet the failure rate seems almost as high as the takeover rate. The biggest stumbling block is going about integration and synergy management the wrong way.

Google ingests Motorola Mobility. Beer giant SABMiller launches a hostile takeover bid for Australia's number one beer brand Foster's. Fiat acquires a majority stake in Chrysler. US pharmaceuticals service provider Express Scripts swallows rival Medco Health Solutions. Microsoft buys Skype. And Volkswagen seeks to make a big splash on the international commercial vehicle market by snapping up MAN. Browse through the business press and it seems companies are acquiring and merging like there is no tomorrow.

Not a trace of a hangover from the crisis, then. Thomson Financial puts the global volume of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the first half of 2011 at around EUR 900 billion, not including transactions in the private equity sector. That is a year-on-year increase of 50%. Yet the failure rate seems almost as high as the takeover rate.

The biggest stumbling block is going about integration and synergy management the wrong way. According to the Roland Berger study, this is the one factor to which 80% of the respondent experts primarily attribute the failure of acquisitions. Other reasons are also cited, but play a far less significant role. They include culture shocks that drain all the energy from the new entity, exorbitant acquisition prices and the egos of the chief executives involved. All these factors can leave a merged or merging enterprise unable to exploit its new opportunities.




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Region:
Europe

Related Topics:
Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer

CONTENT 2011

New rules in wealth management

2011/10/21

New rules in wealth management require a new form of banking. Providers must align value propositions to client needs and regain trust. Standing out from the competition via a systematic approach.

What value do wealth managers add for me? What sets one apart from the others? Can I trust them on their promises? What services is the provider selling and what do they include? Banks must provide compelling answers to the questions clients are asking. Aligning their value propositions clearly and concisely with what clients really need is essential to successful wealth management under the new conditions.

As Roland Berger's own project experience shows, some wealth managers began honing their value propositions months ago. Even though the process is far from complete in most cases, those players that have moved swiftly have stolen a march on their competitors. The latter have either been caught off-guard by the speed and scope of the transformation in process or, even worse, have not yet woken up to the need to adapt. Roland Berger's discussions with a representative group of senior experts in Europe show that even top managers sometimes have a hard time expressing their own value propositions in simple terms – especially the bits that set their institutions apart from competitors. Thus, it must be all the more difficult for clients to recognize a clear profile.




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Region:
South America

Related Topics:
Automotive, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2011

Is Brazil a car paradise?

2011/09/20

The demand for cars is exploding. And the market is known for being dynamic. It offers enormous opportunities. But buyers are demanding more. The auto industry must adapt. But how?

Once the world's biggest debtor and close to bankruptcy in 2002, Brazil has long been a growth driver of the global economy together with Russia, India and China (BRIC).

With rising prosperity, more and more Brazilians want individual mobility – and are buying more and better cars. The car symbolizes a step up in society – so the demand for cool design and visible extras is rising. Established premium OEMs benefit from the rising purchasing power, as do producers of the latest hip low-price models and innovative suppliers who encourage customers to upgrade their vehicles. For Chinese and Indian OEMs, Brazil is another territory to be conquered in their global campaigns – by the end of this decade, they could achieve a market share of around 10%.

According to calculations by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, car sales in Brazil could double between 2010 and 2020 to 6.6 million vehicles; production may rise by 3.6 million cars (2010) to 5.5 million. As early as 2015, Brazil could overtake Japan to become the world's third largest car market after China and the US. Growth of 8% per year in commercial vehicles between now and 2018 is also possible.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Author:
-

MAGAZINE 2011

think: act - Size Matters

2011/09/01

The division of labor in the world economy continues apace. Small, agile, networked entities are increasingly successful, but big industrial giants are also profiting from the de-linking of the supply chain.

In many sectors, clearly defined interfaces make cooperation with suppliers and service providers much easier than it used to be. The age of business ecosystems has begun. It is an age of collaboration between companies of very different sizes, and resurrecting one of the oldest questions in business: "How big should my company be?"

There is no one-size-fits-all solution; rather, there are many different approaches to answering it.




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Region:
Europe

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Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Jürgen Thiele

CONTENT 2011

Telematics in auto insurance

2011/08/06

Telematics is by no means a “self-starter” in auto insurance. The cost of the technology is just as much a potential hurdle as its operational complexity. One of the biggest obstacles is likely to be data protection, however. The technology will only be able to come into its own if it fulfills data protection requirements exactly and no doubts as to their fulfillment arise. One option could be to separate the service provider and the insurance provider.

The insurer must guarantee total transparency as to which data is essential for insurance purposes and which is not. Customers ought also to be able to check which data they are providing and to have given their express consent to its use beforehand. Looking at the bigger picture, however, these issues pale in significance when they are compared with the opportunities that telematics offers and the opportunities that would be missed if the technology were ignored.

With the effects outlined above, telematics can not only take an auto insurer's business model forward but can revolutionize it, especially as genuine innovations have been rare in this area in recent years. The groundwork for telematics-based auto insurance has already been laid, and consumer interest also exists. German insurers must now take care not to miss the boat. They must think ahead, consider the effects on their own business models, and develop a strategic position of their own on this issue and its major long-term potential for market change.




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Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets

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THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

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-

MAGAZINE 2011

think: act SPECIAL on cloud economy

2011/07/27

Everyone is talking about the cloud. The latest issue of our think: act SPECIAL magazine reveals the business models behind it.

The cloud economy uses the technology of Web 2.0, social networks and cloud computing to map social and commercial activities in a logical way. Cloud computing means providing IT services in which private and corporate customers can flexibly pay for what they actually use instead of a flat rate. In this system, the data to be processed resides with a third-party provider somewhere in the data center, and the user accesses it through a website.

Buzzword or the next big thing?

There are several reasons to believe that the cloud economy represents a totally new form of value creation – the next step after the digital economy. The numbers are impressive. Here are a few examples:

  • 680 million users are registered on Facebook
  • Video-sharing website YouTube receives about 92 billion clicks each month
  • By 2013, companies will spend USD 2.6 billion on Web 2.0 applications

In the pages

In our think: act SPECIAL, we have compiled the most important facts about the cloud economy and charted the universe of terms, networks and platforms. We also examine what strategies companies can now pursue with the help of the cloud. For example, Roland Berger Partner Björn Bloching explains how companies can leverage web-based customer data.

In addition, we look at how companies can use the cloud for their market research, innovation activities and marketing.




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Asia

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Financial services, , Studies

Author:
Alain Le Couédic

STUDY 2011

Innovation in China's Financial Services Industry

2011/07/21

For several systemic reasons the study puts forth, innovation in financial institutions pales in comparison to the level of innovative activity in other industries. And if there are innovative approaches, they are usually most likely to originate from large institutions such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase or Deutsche Bank. In China, however, some small to mid-size financial institutions are also quite active (and successful) in innovation, as the study shows.

The authors assessed the innovation performance of Chinese financial institutions along four dimensions: product innovation, channel innovation, marketing innovation, and management innovation. As an alternative to isolated or haphazard attempts at innovation they recommend the innovation factory model as full-blown innovation system. Since companies using this model put innovation at the core of their competitiveness, the innovation factory model is still most widely pursued by digital and internet companies.

The whitepaper explains how to build an innovation model in a systematic manner and provides insights and examples of how businesses embrace an innovation culture. "There is already a significant level of innovation happening at Chinese financial institutions," says Alain Le Couédic. "But there is also much more to do: innovation is clearly seen by domestic players as a key success factor in China's financial services landscape, where competition is getting fiercer and differentiation remains a challenge."




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Region:
Europe,Asia,North America

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Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer

CONTENT 2011

Wealth management

2011/07/08

The increase in managed assets underlines the appeal of the industry – although market recovery is still fragile.
Wealth management has regained momentum faster than some market observers were expecting. Even though uncertainty remains as to how the market may develop, the increase in managed assets underscores just how attractive the segment is. Yet, for many providers, margins are being eroded by price cuts and the increased complexity of services on offer. Measures to boost efficiency have only partly offset this trend.

In the current environment, providers should be concentrating on increasing earnings and cutting costs to bring their profitability back to pre-crisis levels. Offshore banking has been the subject of debate, but interest continues to focus on the established financial centers, including Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. A Roland Berger survey of 180 wealth management clients found that first-class advice and an international product range are key success factors.

Successful wealth managers put their clients – and their clients' values and expectations – at the heart of their service approach, aligning their advisory processes accordingly. Specifically, this can mean developing target client segments based on the values of particular client groups, managing the sales channels preferred by clients, and customizing pricing.




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Asia

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Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2011

"New reality" in banking

2011/05/31

Retail banking has reached a crossroad. After an unprecedented market panic followed by large-scale government bailouts and other support measures, banks face various challenges. In a study of 35 banks, mostly in Europe, Roland Berger analyzed disparities in the Return on Equity (ROE) of the worst- and best-positioned players during the financial crisis.

While there is no silver bullet for facing challenges that have emerged in European retail banking, it is clear that going forward the main areas of focus will be funding, restructuring and investment opportunities.

The winning banks will have solid funding, a lean structure with a fully integrated multichannel model and will be capable of grasping and leveraging investment opportunity in a systematic way. Generally speaking, even the best players are expected to experience a reduced level of profitability going forward.

However, there are some clear strategic priorities in order to limit the degree of ROE compression. These are capital and funding structures, cost effectiveness, customer service models and expansion strategies.




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Region:
Europe,Asia

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée

CONTENT 2011

Learn from the pioneers

2011/05/30

Many foreign companies regard China as homogenous and assume that, as they migrate westward in search of new markets, they will encounter the same China they have become familiar with in the more highly developed eastern coastal regions. They will not.

The 12 provinces of Western China ("the West") comprise two-thirds of China's land mass but barely a quarter of its population. But that's still 365 million people, more than the population of the 17 countries of the eurozone. Recent consumer purchasing power statistics suggest the West as a whole is about six years behind Eastern China ("the East") in its economic development. It is unlikely to follow the same growth trajectory as the East, but the statistics and the government's commitment to raising the region's living standards create a favorable environment for both industrial and consumer enterprises.

It is almost virgin territory for foreign companies. Only 6% of the 260,000 registered foreign enterprises in China are based in the West. Real opportunities exist for some industries in the West, but many risks and challenges await.

A recent Roland Berger study on behalf of the German Ministry of Commerce asked experts and the China CEOs of major European companies about the importance of various factors when deciding where to locate operations.




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Region:
Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America

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Growth, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Beatrix Morath,Thomas Rinn

CONTENT 2011

Continuous improvement in growth phases

2011/04/04

Following on from an unprecedented collapse in 2009, the German economy has, since mid-2010, been enjoying an unbridled boom. And that despite Europe's alarming debt crisis. But companies could – almost literally – end up choking on their new-found exuberance. Uncontrolled growth that happens too fast can pose just as stiff a challenge as a sudden crisis.

Having only just got out of the mire of costcutting and restructuring, shifting into top gear can be a real shock to the system. So how are companies handling the surprisingly robust upswing? How do they rigorously shift up from the crisis, cost-cutting and short-time work to an aggressive policy of investment and recruitment without forgetting that the next downturn is never far away?

Markets have to be developed relentlessly. Investment planning must be sustainable. Operations need to be expanded, but only as much as necessary. New recruits should be added prudently, motivated and enabled to unfold their full potential. Such truisms – the stuff of any run-of-the-mill management seminar – may not sound very spectacular. In actual fact, however, they are essential to the high art of managing growth.

The challenge? Not letting low costs stifle innovation, impair quality or hinder employee development.

The solution? A new kind of continuous improvement (CI) that brings together what belongs together – and gets you in shape for growth. In practice, the ideal, made-to-measure continuous improvement model will always be a blend of different approaches.

Bearing this in mind, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has developed a nine-point strategy that facilitates tailor-made solutions and accommodates the specific needs of the individual company. Read more about it in our latest think: act CONTENT.




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-

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Sole Lead Partner - Young Global Leaders, THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Author:
Beatrix Morath

MAGAZINE 2011

Young Global Leaders

2011/03/18

What do Venezuela's opposition leader María Corina Machado, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, former SAP board member Shai Agassi and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway have in common?

They are/were all Young Global Leaders (YGL) of the World Economic Forum. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants have actively supported this network for over four years.

A powerful network

The 43-year-old Machado is a remarkable woman whose work will have a lasting impact on her country. She and around 750 other truly outstanding individuals like her make up the "Young Global Leaders". Seven years after it was founded at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, the Young Global Leaders (YGL) have established themselves as a powerful network, working to bring about change for a better world.

Prominent members of the circle include Shai Agassi, software engineer and founder/CEO of Better Place, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, or John Hope Bryant, Vice-Chairman of the US President's Council on Financial Literacy.

This distinguished group of role models has now been honored with a publication of their own – the first-ever special edition of our think: act client magazine.

Find more information about the impressive individuals we support at the new YGL website




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-

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Burkhard Schwenker,Michael Wette

CONTENT 2011

Upheaval in the Arab world - Scenario-Update

2011/03/14

After the protests and changes of government in Tunisia and Egypt, the situation is being repeated in almost a dozen Arab countries – Libya is currently only the most dramatic example. But where is this all going? The region's future does not depend so much on the consequences of the "Day of Rage" protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen and the new power structures that emerge. Instead, the critical question is what will happen in Saudi Arabia, the region's resource-giant. Will there be increasing Islamization? And what new political and economic freedoms will emerge – if any? The latter is particularly relevant to us Europeans, as a neighboring region, and may be an opportunity for Europe.

We are not attempting to paint a comprehensive (political) picture of the situation in the Arab world here. Instead, we are focusing on the economic impact. That is why we have conducted a survey among 100 German managers over the past few days that shows what fallout German companies are currently dealing with, what they expect over the next few months and what long-term strategic challenges they face.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE REGION – OUR THREE MENA SCENARIOS

Together with colleagues from our MENA offices, we have developed three scenarios that could help with assessing the long-term prospects. The core questions are: How long will the crisis last? How many countries in the region are affected? And how comprehensive and long-lasting are the upheavals? We first analyzed the underlying strengths and weaknesses of the MENA region, and then evaluated the consequences of global trends on the area. Lastly, we analyzed the impact of the crisis: is the crisis-hit country itself affected first and foremost, such as by declining numbers of tourists or a brain drain? In what cases will the crisis affect not just the countries themselves but also their trading partners (as we can see from the examples of German companies)? And finally: What will be the consequences of the upheaval in the MENA states on the global economy, for example via the oil price, refugee flows or terrorism?




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Africa

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-

CONTENT 2011

Banking in Africa – the way forward

2011/03/11

What is needed is neither more conventional branch banking nor more small-scale microcredit initiatives. What it will take are integrated, large-scale strategies launched by commercial banks – strategies that offer affordable savings, payments and loan products and make them accessible to low-income customers based on cost-effective multi-channel models.

Need to quickly pay a bill online or at your nearby bank branch between two appointments on a busy day? The reality of the banking sector in sub-Saharan Africa could scarcely be more different. Busy and thriving retailers have to find an hour and a half to drive to the nearest bank branch, and then wait in line for another hour merely to deposit money in their account. And then there are the village teachers who have to cancel classes because it takes them a whole day to walk to the bank and get their salary payment. Or consider the farmers who, despite a good harvest, have to sell everything all at once at knock-down prices because they were unable to reserve storage space in the local granary after the money collector went off with their savings.




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Europe

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Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Christophe Angoulvant

CONTENT 2011

Online Reputation Management

2011/03/10

Networks and forums ensure that negative content spreads in no time at all – multiplied by search engines and aggregators, such content is virtually forced down users' throats.

As a result, reputations stand to suffer, both online and offline, which can subsequently have a substantial impact on commercial success. The results of a recent study suggest that insurers should view this as a long-term phenomenon and develop strategies for dealing with social media.

Quickly voiced criticism can cause long-term damage. Social networks and consumer portals are full of negative comments about insurance companies and their products. "I've never had such a bad insurance policy. Steer clear of ..." "I don't recommend .... at all. If damages actually occur, they use all sorts of tricks to get out of paying. Happened to me with my renter's insurance and my personal liability insurance." Customers who search for a particular company's insurance products online are presented with comments of this kind.




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Europe

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Financial services, Risk, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
-

CONTENT 2011

Basel III – Well-engineered regulation?

2011/03/09

The ink was hardly dry on the main features of the Basel III Accord agreed by the heads of state of the 20 most important countries in November 2010 at the Convention & Exhibition Center in Seoul, Korea, when people began crunching the numbers. The CEO of a leading universal bank is quoted as claiming that the new rules would halve the return on equity to a level lower than the cost of capital.

Another Managing Director noted that the equity capital required as cover for credit was being increased fourfold, making an increase in the cost and a reduction in the scope of lending to private and commercial customers inevitable. That, the International Institute of Finance forecasts, will reduce international growth by 3%, and because banks around the world need additional capital to meet the new requirements, analysts are busy transferring the present capital ratios to a "what would apply if Basel III were already in force" scenario as a yardstick of capital requirements and dividend potential in the years ahead.




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-

CONTENT 2011

Liquidity Management

2011/03/08

Furthermore, regulatory bodies have given very little navigational assistance until recently, and yet set ever stricter speed limits.
The main reason so many banks are shaky and don't keep their eyes fully open when it comes to liquidity management is the truism that says you can only manage efficiently what you are able to measure. But on the whole, banks are not equipped to disconnect the liquidity and interest rates of an individual position and manage them separately. The internal pricing and allocation of liquidity is therefore also blurred – and there are only limited opportunities for increasing the potential profit from liquidity maturity transformation while also complying with regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, liquidity risk management has not evolved at the same pace as the other risk types included in the calculation of counterbalancing capacity. More often than not, risk managers make do with keeping track of the net liquidity available in various time buckets and systematically disregard the close ties with strategic planning – sometimes with serious consequences. When a bank only has the risk of insolvency under control, it can misjudge the serious effect that cash outflows can have on the earnings position – not to mention downgrades, reputation damage, and loss of market share.




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-

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-

MAGAZINE 2011

think: act - Rethinking growth

2011/03/02

Growth is one of the main concerns of managers around the world. But, although many economists think we might have overcome the financial crisis by now, the “new normal” does not provide a sound basis for business plans: Will we be facing inflation or will we have to fight deflation? Is the “real economy” on the rebound or will we see the “knowledge economy” rising again, soon? Are we threatened by an era of trade wars or will coordinated crisis management lead to stronger global cooperation?

We have made “Rethinking growth” the main topic of this issue to reflect on how these questions define the solution options for sustainable and profitable development. We present new concepts, reveal a “map of intellectual capital” as a driving force behind growth and provide practical answers by successful entrepreneurs such as Ratan Tata, who lays out his plans for global expansion. We would also like to introduce you to our “Trend Compendium 2030,” which shows the megatrends that will drive the economic development of the coming decades. The “Trend Compendium 2030” is a new version of the edition produced in 2007 with the “Young Global Leaders” of the World Economic Forum.

These outstanding individuals combine extraordinary talent, impressive careers and the will to contribute to the common good. You will find the first of a series of portraits of these distinguished people in this issue.




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Region:
Europe

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Scenario planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Burkhard Schwenker,Martin C. Wittig

CONTENT 2011

Three times three - Scenario update

2011/02/14

In our scenarios for the past economic crisis, Roland Berger forecast a V-shaped recession early on, in other words a quick recovery in the world economy in 2010 (see think:act Content Scenario Update 2/2010). And that is exactly what happened. At the time, our experts were much more optimistic than many other pundits.

Three times three

The authors of the latest think:act CONTENT scenario update keep up this positive attitude. They propose an optimistic 3x3% scenario, countering the forecasters' 3-2-1 prediction. Following the actual growth of 3.6% in 2010, they expect at least 3% for 2011 and 2012 too. Quote: "We do not see why the German economy's upturn should slow down so much, as in the 3-2-1 forecast. … We believe in a sustainable, dynamic recovery."

Lessons of the past

Germany has proven many times that a 3x3 scenario is feasible. The country achieved this feat in 2000, 2006 and 2010. And the restructuring of the German economy in the years up to 2005, accompanied by wage restraint and major structural reforms, really boosted Germany's long-term competitiveness. The authors of the scenario update also point to the German business model which – with its strong focus on key and particularly value-adding, system-head functions – is now often viewed as a role model for other countries.

Market analyses

The latest think:act CONTENT shows that things look good for 2011 and 2012. The authors analyze the factors that can guarantee sustainable growth in Germany: our most important export markets on the one hand, and the domestic market, on the other. At the same time, they explore which factors could reverse the scenario. Finally, they highlight actions the government could take to create ideal conditions for strong growth, even after 2011.

According to our Roland Berger experts, there are many reasons to believe in the German 3x3 scenario – provided the country approaches the remainder of 2011 with optimism and self-confidence. And they conclude by quoting an American saying: Future is "the time when you regret that you didn't do what you could have done."




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Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America

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Strategy & corporate excellence, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Björn Bloching,Tijo J. G. Collot d'Escury,Carolin Griese-Michels

CONTENT 2011

Diversity and Inclusion

2011/01/06

Diversity & Inclusion is a strategic issue that belongs on the CEO’s agenda. Diverse and inclusive companies clearly outperform their competitors on the hard financials.

As CEO, surely you could be forgiven for seeing Diversity & Inclusion as a bit of a soft issue, more political correctness than business concern, and, if anything, a topic for HR.

Well, no. In fact, you would be neglecting a topic that drives tangible financial results and is a strong indicator of management and leadership performance.




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MINI

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MINI 2010

What changed in 2010?... What's next in 2011?

2010/12/09

Our think:act mini takes a look on what changed in 2010 and what´s coming up next in 2011. The magazine includes an essay on strategy by Martin C. Wittig. Other stories focus on the new Chinese management model as well as Green Business, and what strategic implications these developments have on corporate policies and strategies.

In our view, next year will mean redefining entrepreneurial strategies, paying close attention to megatrends and understanding revolutions.

In this think: act mini, Dr. Martin C. Wittig, CEO of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, discusses why a functioning strategy must always be based on a company's specific characteristics, or "DNA". The article on the Chinese management revolution picks up on this idea, explaining a kind of "cultural DNA". China's business elite, as our experience working in China for over a quarter of a century suggests, are reflecting more and more on their own values and strengths. They are then combining them with the traditional management strategies they learned at Western business schools. But even the Chinese success model will reach its limits if it cannot grow sustainably. The restructuring of the global economy, as it moves away from climate-damaging resource exploitation toward sustainable, environmentally friendly production, is the megatrend of our time. Our consultants have analyzed the economic growth potential this development may provide.

We wish you exciting, useful and stimulating reading!




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Europe

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Corporate finance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Sascha Haghani

CONTENT 2010

Corporate financing

2010/12/07

Companies need a solid financing basis giving them sufficient room for maneuver to exploit market opportunities and set their sights firmly back on expansion. In the aftermath of the crisis, companies – particularly small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) – find themselves in a tricky position.

They must reckon on facing greater limitations with regard to financing in the coming period. For current and future refinancing projects, the level of permissible debt will be lower than before the crisis. Financing and collateral structures have become more complex and a need for refinancing has arisen – for example as mezzanine programs have come to an end.

Securing a solid financing basis is more important – and more complex – than ever before. It is a central decision-making area for companies and must be placed at the top of the agenda. Businesses need to find the best possible solutions to the inescapable challenges. To choose the right financing instruments, they need to understand the specific situation they find themselves in.

To answer these questions, a new Roland Berger study investigates the financial position of German SMEs after the crisis and what they can do to meet their future financing needs in a smart, sustainable manner.

In this edition of think: act CONTENT we present the key findings of the study and our recommendations for action.




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Region:
Asia,Emerging Markets

Related Topics:
Books, Book

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée

Book 2010

China's Management Revolution

2010/12/03

A new chinese management model is already in place, which fits today's fast-paced volatile business world. It's still in its infancy, but it could change the way we do business.

Providing deep insight into China's new management thinking and style, Charles-Edouard Bouée's book on "China's Management Revolution" offers invaluable advice for all parties doing business with and in China.




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-

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THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée

CONTENT

China will trigger the next management revolution

2010/12/03

The recent global economic crisis has called into question the way business is done. Governments and business leaders the world over are asking how they can make their economies and companies more sustainable and more resilient in the face of sudden and unexpected shocks, financial or otherwise. In the past they would have looked to the great business schools in the US for a lead. Now, eyes are turning elsewhere.

One possibility identified by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants is a management approach being developed in China that could prove influential throughout the world. It is still early days, but our experience working in China for over a quarter of a century suggests that this new approach is emerging from China's growing disenchantment with the American management model.

This issue of think: act CONTENT describes the main elements of the new Chinese management model to give you an idea about what is happening in China and at the same time provide you with food for thought about possible new solutions to your own problems.




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Europe,North America

Related Topics:
Renewable energy technology, Environmental technology, E-mobility, Green transformation, Solar energy, Wind energy, Books, Book

Author:
-

Book 2010

Green Growth, Green Profit

2010/11/19

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword – it's shaking up the business world as did the Industrial Revolution centuries before. Just like all revolutions, the green revolution will crush companies and wipe out industries that miss or ignore the signals. Those that fail to offer transformative products and services will miss valuable opportunities for new growth and jeopardize their business.

The book "Green Growth, Green Profit – How Green Transformation Boosts Business" brings together the profound knowledge and broad practical experience of experts from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a global strategy consultancy with unprecedented green technology know-how.

It looks at the megatrends driving this revolutionary transformation of the business world and examines how population increase, demographic change, climate change and urbanization are accelerating this shift. It examines the business models in the most important green business segments and regions, and explains how these are likely to develop over the next decade.




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Supply chain management & logistics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

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-

CONTENT 2010

Supply Chain Management

2010/10/08

Organizing Supply chains is the high art of management. Not to mention a strategic competitive advantage. This is the somewhat unexpected result of an exclusive study by Roland Berger, the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, ETH Zurich and Stanford University in California: Supply Chain Management, the former cost killer is becoming a profit driver.

Best-practice companies that rigorously segment their supply chains and align them with product features are outperforming their rivals. The return on assets (ROA) at these companies is twice that of firms that pay no attention to the supply chain fit – a method devised by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants to align supply chains perfectly with a company's business model.

Please read more on the results of our study in our new think:act CONTENT on Supply Chain Management.




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CONTENT 2010

Green business

2010/08/30

As the economic crisis draws to an end, companies in the industrialized world find themselves facing a twofold challenge. On the one hand, it is hoped that restructuring and cost-cutting programs will shore up their survival and growth in the short term. On the other hand, the corporate sector is itself a key driver of the long-term transformation of our economic and social system.

True, financial, economic and national crises are shaping the course of events right now. Not even profound economic turmoil does anything to change the fundamental challenges that confront today's world, however. Pollution of the environment, the population explosion, the growing scarcity of resources even as emerging economies demand more and more raw materials, the resultant rise in the prices of raw materials, dwindling biological diversity, the spread of urbanization and demographic change are all rapidly accelerating the transition in industry. The efficient use of energy and raw materials in particular is emerging as a pivotal issue in the battle to preserve prosperity and keep business locations competitive.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Brand management, Consumer goods & retail, Studies

Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alain Le Couédic,Wu Qi

STUDY 2010

Brands and Buzz: understanding how to reach today's Chinese consumers

2010/07/23

think: act STUDY

Following our Consumer Report 2009, we have intensified our cooperation this year with CIC, China's leading "Internet Word of Mouth" (IWOM) research firm, to bring you timely trends and insights to help you successfully tackle the Chinese consumer landscape. The Internet is one channel that can't be ignored within China's vast and growing community of Internet users and e-commerce is taking off in China. Proportionally, Chinese consumers rely on the Internet in making purchase decisions much more than their counterparts in the West. Online information and interaction hubs such as blogs, microblogs and BBS are treasure mines of information on consumer preferences and trends as well as channels for companies to reach out to and build rapport with consumers.

Our market knowledge paired with CIC's first-hand research demonstrates vividly the power of the Internet on Chinese consumer behavior and how it can build up or, conversely, damage brands. Through a deep look into the online habits and preferences of Chinese consumers, we offer insights on how to actively participate and capitalize on valuable opportunities in the online realm.

We have also analyzed the Chinese consumer population with our unique Roland Berger branding tool, the RB profiler, and developed clusters defined by consumers' values and personalities. We offer you an in-depth look at what makes each type of consumer tick so that you can tailor your messages, define your road-to-market strategy and take actions to drive the most impact.

The race to keep up with developments of the Chinese consumer is a complex one. We hope that this report and its insights will assist you in seeing both the big picture and the way forward in addressing China's consumers effectively.




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Region:
-

Related Topics:
, Automation, Studies

Author:
Martin Eisenhut,Guido Hertel,Astrid Latzel

STUDY 2010

Automation – Time to find your true north

2010/07/06

think:act STUDY

The aim of this study is to provide automation managers with practical guidelines and advicemon how to best meet the challenges that lie ahead. Customer requirements are changing hard and fast, business is shifting to new geographic regions, and the way automation companies conduct their business is changing too.

To remain competitive, companies must look beyond incremental opportunities and closely examine systemic and structural changes that have much greater potential to improve competitiveness.

Based on our decades-long experience, extensive research and 120 interviews with manufacturers, customers and industry organizations from Europe, the United States, Japan and China, we’ve compiled a long list of strategic actions that can help automation companies establish a sustainable business model.

We believe companies in each business model – standard components, complex components, problem solvers and system suppliers – need to redirect their attention back to their core strengths. Only when companies know where their true north is, can they know how to proceed forward. It’s this intimate knowledge that will enable them to select the best growth options for their business.




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CONTENT

Rethinking Procurement

2010/07/06

In recent months, companies around the world have been experiencing significant changes in how they manage their procurement. As a direct consequence of the global financial crisis, prices for materials and services fell across the board. Just a short time later, prices for raw materials shot up again, taking us all by surprise.

What are we to make of these developments? One thing is sure: the volatility of the past months is here to stay. Companies need to rethink how they manage their procurement activities. Now is the right time for them to turn the opportunities that have appeared in recent months into long-term benefits.

This edition of think:act CONTENT summarizes our view of how companies can best go about this and presents our recommendations for action.




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Author:
Maren Hauptmann,Ina Wietheger

CONTENT 2010

Talent management

2010/07/05

The economic crisis appears to be slowly dissipating. But one problem remains, namely the lack of qualified people. As a consultancy, we have found that many executives initially assign HR issues a key role in the company's strategy, but often fail to follow through.

The threat of an acute shortage of skilled workers is a structural challenge. Managing your human resources in a sustainable manner – from recruiting to retaining – makes or breaks corporate competitiveness. This means talent management is indeed a strategic issue for top management.




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MAGAZINE 2010

think: act - Mastering complexity

2010/06/24

If we want to generate sustainable growth for the future, we need to successfully connect the major challenges in the world—such as climate change and demography—with growth. In this effort, industrial expertise plays a decisive role. Why? Because both the green technologies that can help us address climate change, and the productivity gains that can enable us to generate growth with fewer employees, are based on superior industrial know-how.

The crisis has been a good reminder that the real economy—namely industry and highly-specialized services, especially in combination — plays a crucial role in the economic structure. That puts our priorities right back in order! And it places continental Europe, with its high industrial density, in a leading position.

However, the crisis has also revealed clearly that the Asian national economies saved us from crashing into a depression—and that they will remain the growth drivers for the next few years, with China as the model for successful Asian economic development. However, a growing number of people are beginning to ask just how long can China walk the tightrope between communism and capitalism? India, for example, is pursuing alternate roads to growth and prosperity. In this dossier we present our perspective on how real the opportunities for India as a boom region truly are. One of India’s strengths is diversity, which can be advantageous for competition and progress. Yet one region in the world has potential for an even more stimulating environment: Europe. Nowhere else can you find more languages, cultures and countries in a smaller geographic area. This unique mix has led European businesses to develop a special outlook on management—a topic we present indepth in many studies and books.

For this issue, in an exclusive interview, we spoke with BASF CEO Jürgen Hambrecht for his insights on the opportunities inherent in a “European way of management.”




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Author:
Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alain Le Couédic

CONTENT 2010

China banking industry

2010/05/28

The global financial crisis broke out in late 2008. Thanks to a relatively insulated banking system, Chinese banks have largely avoided the global turmoil and have achieved fast asset growth and sound profitability in 2009. However, uncertainty remains.

What will be the impact of 2009 credit growth (as a result of the government's RMB 4 trillion stimulus package)? Will NPLs soar in the next 2-3 years? Will capital markets have a large enough appetite to satisfy Chinese banks' RMB 400-500 (1) bn additional capital raising needs? Will the new mortgage policies hinder Chinese banks' retail loan growth? How should banks further restructure and transform to stand out from intensifying competition?

To better understand Chinese banks' development themes and future prospects, Roland Berger has conducted research on 12 listed banks in China(2) , reviewed the development path of these major Chinese banks since 2005, identified major current trends and will formulate its views on the future outlook of China's banking industry.




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Author:
Kai Engelmann,Christian Krys,Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2010

Scenario planning

2010/05/18

Trend shifts have become the norm. Traditional strategic planning has reached its limits. The new edition of think:act content on "Scenario Planning" finds answers on how to build strategies in increasingly complex environments.

Though we appear to have weathered the worst financial and economic crisis in the post-war era, recent months have taught us a valuable lesson: We can no longer trust forecasts. Nor are there any reliable trends that might give us clearer orientation and relieve us of the responsibility to take our own decisions. What we need, therefore, are new tools and methods to support the task of strategic corporate management. One example is a new approach to using scenarios.

We have therefore developed our own more modern approach to scenario planning and put it through its paces in a series of successful projects for major companies. The model is tailored to the needs of top management. It delivers outcomes that are rooted in solid business sense (and data) and takes account of the individual perspective and experience of each company. It also permits unambiguous statements to be made about which scenarios are probable and whether a particular trend is changing direction.




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Author:
Kai Engelmann,Christian Krys,Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2010

Crisis scenario update

2010/01/29

Many signs indicate that the global economy's V-shaped recovery will continue, and that the outlook for Germany and Europe is bright. The stock markets at least have already anticipated a sharp upturn: from the depths plumbed last year, the DAX and EuroStoxx have rebounded by 60%. Upbeat expectations are buoyed by the forecasts of leading research institutions and organizations, according to which Germany's economy will grow by 1.8% and the USA's by 2.9%. In the view of the OECD, China's output will jump by 10.2%. The IWF expects global growth of 3.9%, thereby adjusting its forecast upward by 0.8 points.

We could see all this as welcome confirmation. After all, the first two scenarios we posited for economic development in Europe and Germany saw the V-curve as the probable outcome – contrary to the majority of professional prophets. Yes, our November 2008 publication also underestimated the depth of the recession. On the other hand, our very first scenario got it right about what would fuel the recovery. In April 2009, we analyzed three possible scenarios in detail – the V-, U- and L-curves. Even then, we estimated that the
V-curve was most likely with a probability of 70%. The U-curve had 25% probability and the L-curve just 2% – and we have nothing new to add to these predictions.




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CONTENT 2010

Evolution of medicine

2010/01/08

Healthcare is causing serious headaches all over the world. The health market has developed into a major growth industry, but is it even possible to make medical progress available to everyone?

Research continues into new diagnostic methods and therapies at unprecedented speed, but are we giving the same priority to developing healthcare and financing systems? And who will look after patients' interests with medicine becoming more and more complex? In addition, needs and standards vary hugely in different regions of the world. These are all issues we must address.

The first "World Health Summit" was held in Berlin in October 2009, bringing together physicians, health economists, industry representatives and health policymakers. For four days they discussed these and other issues, gaining a lot of new perspectives in the process. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants presents some of the ideas discussed in this issue of think:act CONTENT.




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Author:
Jochen Gleisberg,Michael Zollenkop

CONTENT 2009

Intelligence instead of fear

2009/11/05

The instability of the international financial markets has led to an acute capital crunch in recent months. Companies around the world were forced to curb spending. The consequences for innovation management and R&D: companies have thought twice about investments, projects have been shelved, and market launches for new products postponed. But the crisis is also a time for rethinking and offers new opportunities for innovation. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has identified eight keys to success for research and development management in the current climate.

Systematic innovation management that provides long-term stability must extend beyond short-term considerations during the financial crisis. Globalization and the growing competitive pressure from developing nations have drastically stepped up the pace of important decisions. Many companies are relocating R&D activities directly to target markets in order to accelerate product launches. Furthermore, the sheer numbers and diversity of new product features has increased exponentially. Product development is becoming increasingly complex due to shrinking development cycles and an ever-growing number of variations. Last but not least, laws are continually changing all over the world, forcing companies with global operations to constantly rethink their innovation strategy and react with flexibility. But external pressure, whether from capital markets, the competitive environment or perhaps patent laws, doesn't have to be counterproductive. A challenging environment can accelerate decision-making and even produce innovative solutions, if companies follow some central success factors.




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Author:
Maren Hauptmann,Tim Zimmermann

CONTENT 2009

Corporate Headquarters

2009/06/15

Centralization. Is this all merely a reaction to the global financial crisis? It is tempting to take this view – tempting but wrong. Witness our recent study that investigated the role, structure and size of corporate headquarters.

The study is part of a series. Every three years since 1999, Roland Berger has quizzed large and medium-sized European companies about their management models, structural characteristics, the size and role of their corporate centers, and staff functions. The questionnaires on which the latest study is based were circulated in mid-2008; and the trend toward greater centralization was already in evidence before the financial markets imploded.

At the same time, no-one would dispute that the current economic crisis is indeed confronting CEOs around the globe with new challenges that can only be met by agile, effective organizations. The crisis is simply increasing the pressure that was already there, forcing companies to work more efficiently and (re)act more quickly to changes in their field.




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Bernd Brunke,Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2009

Three questions on the crisis

2009/04/07

In November 2008, we were bold enough to present three scenarios for the economic crisis and offer our assessment of how developments would unfold. We argued that the duration and intensity of the crisis depends on getting financial markets working again and on governments making effective interventions. Back in winter, it was not yet clear how hard individual industries would be hit by the downturn and how the BRIC states would react to the crisis.

Since then, the uncertainty has, if anything, grown. The economic analysts are coming up with widely different forecasts. For the German economy alone, predictions range from a moderate 1.5% decline to a severe 7% contraction. In the global picture, we are seeing political unrest spreading and a financial sector still a long way from safety. But on the positive side, a string of governments have acted quickly. And so far at least, there has not been a new wave of protectionism. Economic stimulus packages, like the Chinese program, do appear to be making an initial impact.

So we have decided to revisit our three scenarios from last year and bring them up to date.

We address three central questions:

  • How deep will the downturn ultimately go?
  • How long will the crisis last?
  • How strongly will the upturn kick in?




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CONTENT 2009

The impact of the Chinese economic stimulus plan

2009/03/16

Different industries are being impacted in various ways by the financial crisis and the RMB 20 trillion + economic stimulus plan in China. Roland Berger believes that there will be more challenges ahead when the financial crisis is over.

As the biggest U.S. debt holder and the second-largest economy in the world, China is facing a daunting reality. The World Bank forecasts that the nominal GDP growth of China in 2009 will hit a historical low of 7.5%, which also touches the bottom line of China's forecast for its GDP growth during the Eleventh "Five Year Plan". Considering the effects of inflation, the real GDP growth could be around just 5%.

Against this background, China’s national government launched China's Economic Stimulus Plan in 2008. The tone of the RMB 4 trillion investment plan is consistent with the Eleventh "Five Year Plan", with focuses on the construction, energy and manufacturing industries. Investment plans on the provincial level were launched shortly after the national plan, which sums up to a total economic stimulus package that exceeds RMB 20 trillion. Compared with the plans of the central government, the provincial level plans cover different industries based on the development status of each province.

Investments in the energy industry and agriculture are mainly financed by the national plan, while investments in the manufacturing, high-tech, environmental protection, education, health care and cultural industries are mainly covered by the provincial plans. Investments in the construction industry, the largest beneficiary among all industries, are contributed by both the national and provincial plans.

Roland Berger has studied the 13 industries that are in the spotlight of the national and provincial stimulus plans. We analyzed the impact of the economic crisis and the impact of the economic stimulus plan on these industries and identified three clusters of industries. We believe that companies in each
cluster should consider adopting different competitive strategies.




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Book 2008

Innovating at the Top

2008/11/30

Top CEOs from across the globe reveal their innovative approaches to new challenges and opportunities in their business.

More than ever, today's rapidly changing global markets increase the risks and rewards for innovations. But amidst rising uncertainties and greater competition, can CEOs improve their chances of successful innovation?

This book presents eye-opening interviews with CEOs from major international corporations to provide a fascinating insight into the minds of global leaders. CEOs from Research in Motion, 3M, SAP, Genentech, Infosys, Nokia, Unilever, Toyota and Bosch are included. When CEOs across three continents express many similar opinions about stimulating innovation, it is clear there are fundamental principles and methods that all CEOs should explore in order to maximise innovation and success.

Innovating at the Top recommends 10 Key Innovation Drivers based on CEO insights and advice. These innovation management practices will help every CEO to consider proven ways of sustaining stronger innovative performance.




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Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2008

And now?

2008/11/12

And now? Are we on the brink of a recovery, recession or depression?

The current crisis on the international financial markets has in recent weeks led governments, central banks and businesses to take action that would have seemed unthinkable even a short while ago. What can we expect next? And what can and must businesses do now?

To give some guidance, we have condensed the wide range of possible developments into three scenarios. In scenario 1, the economy recovers quickly (we think this is quite possible). Scenario 2 assumes a recession is coming (which is how most people are currently thinking). Scenario 3 is a depression (which we think is not very likely).

Business needs to be prepared for all three scenarios. We show what businesses should do to deal with the crisis while at the same time leveraging the many opportunities the coming months will offer.




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Burkhard Schwenker

CONTENT 2008

Apple, Bosch and Zara

2008/09/30

Where do jobs have future?

In a globalized economy where wage disparities have seen jobs relocate from Berlin to Bangalore, many have lost faith in the future of employment in developed economies. Employers are constantly trying to internationalize to optimize their value chain and generate growth. But must this necessarily come at the expense of domestic employees? International market leaders like Apple, Nintendo and Bosch would disagree. For years they have invested in employment at their headquarters, and relocated only select jobs abroad. Their goal: Maximizing comparative advantage by keeping key jobs at home. Are they isolated examples? How do these companies design their value chains to avoid the downside of globalization? How do they protect themselves at home and stay ahead the global competition?

The system head approach

To answer this question, we examined the value chains of companies in Germany, the world's number one exporter. With the Federation of German Industry (BDI), we surveyed thousands of companies to identify the business functions they are keeping and developing at home to create more jobs. In a second step, we transferred our findings to the international stage, only to find that the same rules applied on a larger playing field.
As the global analysis shows, know-how in developed industrial countries is less mobile than most people think. It's precisely the high-value, knowledge-intensive tasks and functions which leading companies worldwide keep close to home. Around 43% of the staff at the companies we surveyed work in knowledge-intensive areas – R&D, production and sales management, marketing, branding and in high-value production. The future lies in these demanding functions: They are instrumental in controlling global production activities, maintaining the unique value of products and services (which guarantee higher prices) and safeguarding jobs at home.
These key knowledge-based functions give companies the edge. They are what we call "system head" functions: based on unique, intangible resources – know-how, competencies, fine-tuned processes and partnerships – competitors cannot imitate or replace them, at least not in the short term.
System head companies invest disproportionately in research and development: 70% of all system head companies are active in these areas, compared to only 57% of non-system head firms. In system heads, 23% of all staff work in R&D, design and construction. It comes as no surprise that one euro out of four is earned with unique products, whereas comparable businesses generate just 18% of their sales with unique products.
As a result, these businesses have a vested interest in hiring and training people locally for these key competitive areas and promoting them within the company.

System heads: The path toward growth and jobs

Many of the world's leading companies operate as system heads, resisting pressure to cut jobs or outsource key areas completely. System head companies don't only invest in sustainable jobs at home, they excel in other areas as well: Their international expansion is carefully planned to maximize comparative advantage. They build strong national and international networks (with research institutions and partner companies) and know what their customers want. This calibrated strategy promises greater success than simply outsourcing costs to low-wage countries. They have realized that they need to develop and maintain those activities that are vital to their products' USPs at home.




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MAGAZINE 2008

The art of corporate recovery

2008/08/27

In the current Standard & Poor’s 500, only 86 of the firms from the original list, compiled 50 years ago, are still in the index. Moreover, when the list was started, a firm that was added to the index could reckon that, statistically speaking, it would remain on the list for 65 years. Today the expected tenure is closer to 10. Change is much more than just a consultant’s buzzword.

It’s a constant of contemporary business, and failing to change in time is a good way to go under. How to prepare a company for rapid change and how to emerge stronger from a crisis are two key topics of our dossier, “The art of corporate recovery.” Change always offers opportunities. This issue of think:act highlights businesspeople and top managers who have transformed opportunities into business.

André Bergen and Rafal Juszczak, for example, were quick to recognize opportunities in central and eastern Europe, and to set their banks’ priorities accordingly. Vern Raburn’s very light jets are on their way to creating a whole new market for business travel. Ghazanfar Ali and Wiqar Ali Khan are bringing MTV, music television, to Pakistan. Excellent examples of successful and consistent mastery of change can be seen in the winners of our “Best of European Business” competition, whose results we summarize in this issue. They demonstrate how strong and competitive European businesses are today. It is no accident that 23 of the world’s 50 largest companies have their headquarters in Europe.

Recently, think:act has been not just a magazine to read, but one to listen to, and this time one to watch as well. This issue’s CD contains a short film with impressions from the “Best of European Business.” Enjoy your reading—and listening and watching!




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Michael Zollenkop

Book 2008

Operations Excellence

2008/07/25

Achieving operational excellence is an important endeavor for all companies – it is the "holy grail" that leads to increased value over the long term. It is one of the essential strategic differentiation factors that gives answers to company growth, efficiency, cost and profitability issues. Companies that have a functional operational strategy and are prepared to make sometimes difficult changes to improve their business are the "best-in-class". The first edition of think act: International Management Knowledge named "Operations Excellence – Smart Solutions for Business Success" critically examines their strategies and pinpoints approaches that will enable companies to achieve Operations Excellence.

The first edition deals with Operations Excellence. Smart Solutions for Business Success. In four chapters 26 experts from seven countries write on several management issues. In part I approaches and cases from the area of R&D are introduced and debated. Part II is dedicated to trends and approaches in the area of sourcing and purchasing. Part III examines developments in the field of manufacturing. Part IV deals with improving supply chain management, covering aspects such as comprehensive process optimization, reducing complexity and improving working capital.

Learning from the "best-in-class"

The book is dealing with the following questions: What value should a company create itself and what should be achieved by external parties? Where are company's production sites and which key technologies and products take center-stage? How and where does a company manage and support innovation? Where is a company's supplier base mainly located and how can the supply chain be steered to achieve maximum effects?

Operations Excellence takes up these questions. The authors provide answers based on their extensive consulting experience, gained while working with leading industrial sectors over many years. They keep two things in mind: What do leading companies do? And what can be learnt from their approach? Axel Schmidt, head of Operations Strategy at Roland Berger Strategy consultants, says: "This book provides many helpful suggestions that enable managers to achieve operations excellence within their own company."

Three levels of excellence

"There are three levels of operations excellence", explains Roland Schwientek, one of the editors and partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. The first level –strategy-provides companies with information on how they should travel their own path to best practice and the milestones they should see on their medium – and long-term- horizons. The second level is that of performance improvement. It provides answers to questions such as: Which service level must my company reach in order to be competitive and leading edge? What requirements should my company expect from asset productivity and what should be the cap for our various cost types? The third level concerns enablers. This level answers questions about the correct organizational form, best processes, most appropriate human resources and key performance indicators, as well as infrastructure excellence fields such as IT.




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Bernd Brunke

CONTENT 2008

Act – don't react!

2008/07/10

No time to be idle – Restructuring must remain high on the corporate agenda

It seems as if the bad news never stops: As central banks inject billions into the markets to offset a liquidity crisis, banking giants are facing daily depreciations. Although the impact of the perceived crisis is seen differently in the United States and Europe, the markets' interdependency is fueling uncertainty among companies and consumers alike. Already, the dangerous 'R'- word – recession – is no longer a whisper. US Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, admits the signals are not good. Consumer trust is strained at best. Exporting companies in Europe remain dependent on US market developments. They are watching their revenues dwindle due to the weak US dollar, but still face high Euro-based factor costs. Until now, analysts have drawn a positive economic outlook for Europe's export-oriented countries. But can it last? It is high time for companies to increase their flexibility to ensure that they can respond. True champions don't sit back and wait: They start restructuring measures even when they are still experiencing profitable growth. But many companies still have a lot of groundwork to cover in this area, according to an exclusive Roland Berger survey.

Our analysis revealed that around 8% of Europe's large companies exhibit all the classic symptoms of a strategic crisis. Their competitive position has gradually deteriorated for one of two reasons. Either they have held onto unprofitable businesses for too long, or they have been too slow in responding to major changes in patterns of demand.

Nearly 20% of the companies examined are in fact already struggling with acute earnings or liquidity crises. Fewer and fewer entrepreneurial options are still open to the management. Creditors, suppliers and customers want more than just regular information: In a volatile environment, they want guarantees. In some cases, companies are having to make extensive concessions and having to submit to the terms of strict covenants.

In other words, over a quarter of the companies examined are mired in a crisis of some sort. For many of them, thorough and painful restructuring is the only way out. Our study didn't examine the behavior of niche players. We investigated a thousand large, publicly traded companies that each generate annual sales of more than EUR 500 million – the very heart of Europe's economy. In recent years, the best of these key players have significantly improved revenues, productivity and profitability. They have also nearly doubled free cash flow and are now much better placed to service debts. At first glance, even the worst of the lot do not appear to have done too badly for themselves, boosting their revenues by almost one fifth. But don't be fooled by outward appearances. A closer look reveals glaring discrepancies: Profits are stagnating, cash flows have dropped by nearly 10% and servicing debt has become a serious problem. The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear.




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CONTENT 2008

Chasing a moving target

2008/03/25

Value creation is a global enterprise. If "low cost" were still the only factor driving the process, then Burkina Faso and Burundi would rank high on the list of most attractive places to do business. Neither country is known for its exports or for attracting direct investment. The interdependence of factors influencing business success today makes many managers uncomfortable. Globalization is driven by highly differentiated factors, adding to the existing complexities of doing business around the world. Managers are thus wondering what will drive value creation tomorrow and in the future.

Can the internationalization of value creation:

  • Make a valuable contribution to the core business?
  • Mitigate and spread out current financial, currency and product risks?
  • Achieve sustainable tax advantages over the long term?
  • Produce sustainable capital and labor cost advantages?
  • Help the company tap into current and future innovation and knowledge potential?

To be effective, managers must create a roadmap that integrates global value creation and sustainability programs into the overall business strategy. They can thus direct their capital and talent toward the most profitable and sustainable growth opportunities.




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MAGAZINE 2008

The return of diversification

2008/03/03

In this issue of think:act, we introduce you to some of the driving forces that are behind the increasing complexity that companies have to deal with: climate change, cities competing internationally as business locations, and the emergence of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China). And we show you how these forces can be transformed into advantages for your company.

For example, the topic of diversification is currently making a comeback. More and more companies are seeking a broader base in order to tap new growth opportunities. Our report gives you an overview of this new “old” trend. In Europe, globalization is generally considered a threat. For example, will we be able to keep jobs in Germany over the long term?

The answer is yes—if companies are able to create centralized management units bundling activities that create high value. This is confirmed by a study that we conducted together with the BDI (Federation of German Industries), and the results of which we now present in this issue. In an exclusive interview, Josef Ackermann explains how his company, Deutsche Bank, makes use of the centralized management approach. We also discuss trends that will prevail around the world until 2030. They were identified in an analysis we performed jointly with the Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum.

In addition, we can tell you which industries are generating new growth thanks to climate protection, and we profile promising companies based in Russia, China and Latin America. We hope you enjoy the read.




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MAGAZINE 2007

New opportunities if you act now!

2007/10/22

Due to the financial crisis of the last few months, the overheated acquisitions market has cooled off markedly. The good news in all this is that acquisition premiums are falling, and strategic investors are enjoying new flexibility. Thanks to these developments, mergers and acquisitions do have a firm place in the growth strategies of companies again. That’s why, in this edition of think:act, we introduce to you the success requirements for mergers and acquisitions, present to you appropriate strategies and show you the “best practices” in M&A.

As usual, decision-makers and researchers have their say in this edition of think:act as well. Sam Palmisano, CEO of IBM, introduces his model of a globally integrated company in an essay. In an interview, former soccer star Franz Beckenbauer reveals insights into his philosophy. And the professor of business economics André Schmidt introduces a “map of protectionism” drawn up especially for this magazine.

This is the concept that won think:act the Best of Corporate Publishing Award—the top prize for corporate magazines in Europe—this year for the third time running. For us, this recognition is an incentive to continue producing exciting and outstanding magazines. In this edition you will therefore find a few changes. We have designed the layout more clearly. We also have created the new rubric “Work in Progress,” with insights into the ongoing activities of our think tanks. And on page 63 you will find another innovation: a CD with selected contributions from this edition in audio format. Many of you have asked us for this particular service as a convenience for use during your car and air travel.




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Vincent Mercier

CONTENT 2007

New opportunities for strategic acquisitions

2007/10/01

Mergers & Acquisitions: Europe gains ground

Following the US financial crisis, the once overheated M&A market is cooling off. The good news? Acquisition premiums are falling and are creating new opportunities for strategic investors. Mergers and acquisitions are making a successful comeback and have become a key element of corporate growth strategies. And in recent years, European companies have emerged as increasingly strong players in the global M&A market. There are many reasons for this development. While Europe is currently experiencing a robust economic growth phase, its figures are nowhere near the rate of expansion in the world's boom regions. Organic growth alone can thus not meet investors' expectations. In addition, many companies responded to the 2000/2001 economic crisis by cutting costs, refocusing on their core activities and cleaning up their balance sheets. The successful implementation of these measures has now left them with assets to spare – and in many cases made them strong enough to enter he M&A arena as true global players. Their renewed strength also allows them to deliver expected returns and successfully defend themselves against takeover bids.

European companies have developed an excellent feel for how to select, acquire and integrate other firms. This is undoubtedly linked – at least in part – to the challenges they have long faced, situated as they are in such a fragmented geographic and cultural context. They have become singularly adept at buying and merging with the "right" companies. In 2006, the volume of M&A transactions actually overtook that of the USA. Merger and acquisition deals worth a total of USD 1.59 trillion were closed in Europe, against USD 1.54 trillion on the other side of the Atlantic.

Within the framework of our pan-European "Best of European Business" (BEB) competition, we closely examined the performance of 8,000 European companies. We analyzed five factors that are instrumental to the success of leading European M&A players. They have learned to turn their own domestic market into a strategic advantage in the context of cross-border, intra-European mergers. The findings of the BEB competition correlate closely with Roland Berger's experience over the past four decades, during which we supported countless companies through the acquisition and integration phases.




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CONTENT 2007

Brandmark

2007/06/21

"The whole is more than just the sum of its parts." (Aristoteles)

Brand management and marketing strategy are particularly successful when the strategy is integrated and practical. Each step must be designed in the same "language" and should be from one source.

This publication shows how "brandmark", the new strategy-toolbox by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Burda Community Network can help you do realize exactly this.

Inside, the reader will find information about:

  • brandmarks' methodological background and its underlying assumptions
  • its various possibilities for branding, market segmentation and marketing strategy as well as implementation
  • the new, brandmark-based study on the German automotive market




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MAGAZINE 2007

What is the worlds' most successful region?

2007/05/09

What factors turn an economic region into a success story? Around the globe, this question occupies the minds of policy-makers and entrepreneurs—and nowhere is there a greater diversity of opinion than in Europe. How is the Continent positioned economically? How good are its companies, and which ones are the very best? And is there anything that business executives can learn from the “Old World”?

In this special edition of think:act, we want to deliver some answers. In cooperation with leading personalities from the worlds of business and academia, we analyzed 8000 companies in Europe and then selected the “Best of European Business” in the strongest economic regions. The examples of the winners and nominees, and the stories behind their success, are cause for optimism. The winning companies set worldwide standards for growth and profitability.

Our special “Corporate Social Responsibility” award demonstrates that companies taking their social responsibility seriously can even develop new business opportunities from it. Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, in his essay for think:act, says that this is where one of Europe’s strengths could lie. Other exclusive articles for this Europe issue come from Jorma Ollila, who calls for more innovation in Europe, and from Timothy Garton Ash, who is looking for Europe’s identity. George Clooney, Zaha Hadid and Rupert Murdoch share their vivid memories of Europe with us.




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CONTENT 2007

Digital economy

2007/03/01

A matter of life or death

Your hand is accepted anywhere in the world as a bona fide credit card. BMW calls itself a software company. Even industrial espionage agents cannot crack your documents. The people at IT smile benignly when asked where the server room is. When a company is taken over in the morning, its systems are fully integrated before everyone goes home in the evening.

A distant future vision? Not really. In essence, some of the above statements are already present reality. Others are well on the way. The daily routine is going digital – just look at Web 2.0 and “Second Life” – and business processes are changing radically as it does so. Information and content that you used to be able to sell for good money now becomes freely available overnight. Suppliers, partners and customers can and must be integrated more deeply in the value chain. Huge volumes of data, and hence large swathes of functions that used to be strictly internal, can be outsourced at will.

Hitherto distinct markets are converging relentlessly. All kinds of things are being “networked”, with all the opportunities and risks that this entails. In this frighteningly fast-paced environment, quickly spotting the strategic importance of developments in the IT industry is quite literally a matter of corporate life or death. In numerous studies and strategy projects, we have applied ourselves to answering two pivotal questions: What technology trends will have the greatest impact on enterprises in the years ahead? And how will these trends change processes, business models and markets? We would like to share with you what we have found: five strategic dimensions of growth whose profound importance cuts straight across every industry and market.




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CONTENT 2007

Successful in Japan

2007/02/01

In the fast lane

"What happens in Tokyo will happen elsewhere in the world tomorrow. It’s home to the most sophisticated customers in the world." Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuitton

Luxury brand Gucci's largest flagship store is not in Milan, New York or Paris. The eight-story "Gucci Ginza" with its three purse departments, café and sky lounge opened its doors in early November 2006 in Tokyo. The building was erected in one of the world’s most expensive locations, where the price per square meter of land is an estimated USD 140,000. Gucci's reasons are clear: Japan is quite simply its most important market. More than 22% of its worldwide sales in 2005 were generated in Japan. For its competitor Louis Vuitton, the figure was around 30%.

Japan is the world's second largest economy. Its 130 million citizens enjoy enormous purchasing power. This makes it a highly attractive market – and not just for producers of luxury goods. In many respects Japan's economy sets the trends. Some 60% of new animated movies and around three-quarters of industrial robots are developed and produced there. And the fate of new mobile telephone applications and digital cameras lies – literally – in Japanese hands.

And yet Japan's potential is still often underestimated. The fact that Toyota will soon be the world’s biggest automaker is evidence of the West's arrogance. Likewise in consumer electronics, traditional European brands are being swept off the market – today nearly three-quarters of all digital cameras and DVD recorders and roughly half of all new plasma TVs bear the label "Made in Japan". And in the mass market for video games, only the American giant Microsoft has been able to hold its own against Nintendo and Sony.

Japan looks likely to be the center of attention for a while to come. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Japanese economy is set to grow faster than the Euro zone in 2006 and 2007. Together with China it may even take over from the US as the motor driving the world economy, some economists believe.




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MAGAZINE 2007

Autos for everyone, growth for the industry

2007/01/19

Cars in the under-€10 000 bracket will be a major growth market in the next few years. For international car makers, that market presents both risk and opportunity. The risk lies in the fact that the rules of the game will undergo fundamental changes, and new competitors from China and India are stepping onto the playing field. Opportunities may abound because established providers will be able to tap brand-new markets with significant growth potential. So how exactly should a company go about gaining a solid foothold in these markets? Our cover story offers must-read ideas.

Naguib Sawiris knows more than most about how to tap new markets. With Orascom Telecom, the Egyptian billionaire specializes in doing business in the world’s crisis regions. “Wherever the risk is high, profits are high, too,” he says. Our profile of Sawiris looks at the man and his business achievements in Iraq and Algeria, and why he now has his eye on expanding into established markets.

Expansion plans like Orascom’s require a liberalized trade system. However, the notion of free trade is increasingly frowned upon in international economic policies, says economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz in our interview. Until recently, Stiglitz was considered one of globalization’s more ardent naysayers. In a conversation with think:act, Stiglitz—now an advocate of globalization—urges companies to support their respective governments in pursuing multilateral trade agreements.

Stiglitz also believes that political commitment is part of being a senior executive. In this issue of think:act, Daniel Vasella (CEO of Novartis), Carlos Ghosn (CEO of Renault-Nissan), Flavio Briatore (managing director of the Renault Formula One team) and Haim Saban (media magnate) talk about their roles as leaders and about the management methods they utilize.




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CONTENT 2006

Profitable corporate responsibility

2006/11/01

Business reinvented

"It’s not just good deeds, it’s good business." This disarmingly simple statement underlies an astonishing success story. The program in question is reaching around 10 million potential customers in 12 countries. It has won the company a string of awards and put a lossmaking business line back in the black.

We are talking about "Reinventing Education", a program launched by IBM in 1994. Over the past 11 years, the group has invested USD 75 million – three quarters of this sum in employee work time – to help schools exploit the benefits of information technology. Having begun in the USA, "Reinventing Education" has since spread to Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, China and Germany. According to IBM’s own information, the program has so far reached over 100,000 teachers and some 10 million schoolchildren.

The program has, perhaps naturally, given IBM good grades among schoolchildren and teachers. It has also been showered with accolades, awards and top slots in corporate social responsibility (CR) rankings. But that is far from all. "Reinventing Education" has also become a commercial success. Schools assisted by the program go on to buy more IBM products. As a result, the IT group’s school equipment line is now a profitable business – after spilling red ink for 11 years. Also, IBM can effectively use schools as a test bed for innovation. For example, "Watch me! Read", an electronic reading aid developed as part of the program, is now part of commercial school software packages.




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Codrut Pascu,Vladimir Preveden

CONTENT 2006

Boosting business in Southeastern Europe

2006/10/01

"EU Accession is an opportunity rather than a guarantee. It is not the end of the road but it is actually the beginning."

(Francesca Pissarides, Senior Economist, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

The European Commission has given its placet. On January 1, 2007, Romania and Bulgaria will become part of the European Union. Their accession is a symbol of the buoyant economic development currently taking place in Southeastern Europe. The former crisis region now stands for growth and sustainable economic development – as a sales market, as a production location, and as a gateway to Asia and the Middle East. Romania’s and Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, and the outlook for Croatia to follow suit, is giving fresh momentum to the upswing in Southeastern Europe.

Romania is regarded as one of the region’s economic heavyweights. The National Office of Statistics compiled a glowing report for the first half of 2006, with GDP surging by 7.4%. After a bleak period, economic policy reforms and political stability have returned Bulgaria to a stable growth trajectory. The same applies to Croatia, the wealthiest country in Southeastern Europe in terms of GDP per capita. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects all three economies to continue their strong growth. It confirms that they are right on track for EU membership.

A singular challenge for foreign investors is the heterogeneous nature of Southeastern Europe. The countries in this region vary considerably in terms of size, culture and language. High-flying generalizations will miss their mark in this region. Aware of this, we have restricted ourselves to a close look at specific industries that in our experience are currently playing a key role in the economic development of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.




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CONTENT 2006

Reinventing corporate headquarters

2006/09/01

"Little academic research has been done on the topic even though it is clearly of interest to CEOs and often is a focus of their activities, particularly early in their tenure. As a result, reductions in corporate headquarters are often very visible decisions."

David J. Collis, Harvard Business School

The signs are too obvious to be overlooked. No sooner had he taken office, than new DaimlerChrysler boss Dieter Zetsche announced a radical shake-up at corporate HQ. He even informed the workforce that they would be moving back to the old main building. Corporate functions are now following in the footsteps of production. Every possible avenue is being explored to intelligently reduce the headcount, make workflows more flexible, outsource activities at low cost and make processes even more efficient. 6,000 jobs are to be cut – a 20% reduction – in the space of two years. Billions are to be saved in either year. Meanwhile, T-Com, Deutsche Telekom’s landline business, is planning even more drastic changes. Its management wants to see corporate functions completely reshuffled. In their view, only 1,200 of the 8,000 staff who currently populate the company’s Bonn headquarters should still be there at the end of the day.

The fact that such moves are being made comes as no surprise. Both employees and the public at large have long expected them. Corporate HQs everywhere are perceived – both internally and externally – to be vulnerable. More and more questions are being raised about the "parenting advantage", about the value they add to their respective companies. Whatever the tasks and resources assigned to these units, stakeholders are baying for far more efficient and effective structures. What is surprising are the reasons being put forward by managers. Zetsche claims to want to "unleash DaimlerChrysler’s full potential" with a leaner HQ, while the T-Com management says its new structure will let the company "improve the service it provides to customers".

These examples clearly show that more is at stake here than cost-cutting. In future, necessary changes will no longer only be effected by, but also at, corporate headquarters. Hitherto, this has tended to be the exception. Now, all the signs indicate that a new trend is emerging: Lean HQs and decentralized companies are evidently the order of the day.




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MAGAZINE 2006

Why companies's futures depend on older people

2006/08/23

Industrialized societies are aging. In politics, the demographic transformation is generally seen as a problem. In truth, however, the trend offers both societies and companies opportunities, if they take things in hand and actively shape what follows change. Opportunities include new markets, not only in existing sectors such as health care and continuing education but also new areas such as novel forms of production designed for older people. Further, the pressure to close the demographic gap with stronger growth in productivity can and will drive more innovation. Read more in our dossier, which starts on page 15.

Demographic change means opportunities particularly for European firms—another area in which Europe is doing better than often believed. That was another conclusion from our “Best of European Business” competition in 2005. It held up a mirror to the continent, and what it showed was far more positive than many had expected. Now the competition is entering its next round. One of the new key criteria: using Europe’s diversity.

The continent’s opening to Central and Eastern Europe has increased diversity considerably. One firm profiting from Europe’s increasing integration is the Polish petroleum company PKN Orlen. The former state-owned monopolist shed its past to become a powerful player in the contemporary market. The company expects to continue growing, as board member Wojciech Heydel describes in an interview beginning on page 44.




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CONTENT 2006

Growth, Brazilian style

2006/08/01

The world leader in Biofuels

Some issues are too important to delegate. No less a person than Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently contributed a column to the Wall Street Journal to beat the drum for the biofuel ethanol. Lula expressed hopes that this gasoline substitute would trade freely on the world's markets and said he was counting on the support of the US president. For his part, George W. Bush is currently seizing every opportunity to trumpet ethanol as "the fuel of the future" and praise Brazil as an example to follow.

Calling the South American country an example is indeed something of an understatement. On every count, Brazil is the global market leader in this field – and that by a considerable distance. While the planet as a whole meets barely 2% of its passenger car fuel needs from renewable sources, the figure in Brazil is already 40%. Whereas bio-vehicles are still regarded as distinctly exotic in other countries, eight out of ten new cars sold in Brazil now run on any mix of ethanol and gasoline. Produced from sugar cane, ethanol fuel is on sale at more than 29,000 of the country's 30,000 or so filling stations.

And that's not all. Given the low cost of production and a virtually unlimited supply of suitable farmland, experts believe Brazil could become "the Saudi Arabia of biofuels". A study by the Stanford Washington Research Group shows that Brazilian ethanol can compete with gasoline when oil costs more than USD 35 per barrel. Carlos Ghosn, CEO at Renault-Nissan, wants to build flexible fuel technology into every second car, for example. The US government is seeking to "convert" oil corporations too by dangling the carrot of generous tax breaks if they add ethanol to their gasoline mixes. Meanwhile, heavy investment is underway in Brazil. According to the Brazilian Department of Agriculture, some USD 9 billion is being pumped into construction of 89 new ethanol factories.

In light of these developments, it is understandable that President Lula is expressly inviting other countries to participate in business with biofuels. "Everyone has a lot to gain", is his simple but powerful argument. And Brazil, it seems, has more to gain than most.




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Michael Wette

CONTENT 2006

Dealing with the boom in the Gulf region

2006/07/01

"We have to make history"

The words “The world has a new center” adorn a gigantic construction site fence in the middle of Dubai. Behind the fence, Dubai Mall, slated to become the world’s largest shopping center, is taking shape. Meanwhile, Dubai World Central is the name earmarked for a major new airport that is to handle around 120 million passengers a year by 2050 – the combined capacity of London Heathrow and Chicago O'Hare.

In announcing the project for the new mega-airport, Dubai’s Prime Minister, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, leaves no room for doubt about his intention to do great things in his home country: “We have to make history and approach the future with steady steps, not wait for the future to come to us,” he declares.

Al-Maktoum’s aim is to make his desert state the center of the modern world. And he is by no means alone. Barely a week passes by without some country in the Gulf region announcing yet another new mega-project. Right now, the countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – are investing more than USD 600 billion in total. Saudi Arabia, the biggest economy in the region, is making huge advances in its quest to become a global economic power. The “King Abdullah Economic City” project alone, for example, is supposed to generate 500,000 new jobs.

As the people in charge have realized, however, this almost fairy-tale story of growth and success now has to be placed on a sustainable foundation. Saeed al Muntafiq, CEO of the Tatweer development company, recently compared Dubai to a growing young lad: “It’s hungry, eats seven meals a day, runs around for 17 hours a day bouncing off the wall full of energy”.

As this growth phase unfolds, tremendous opportunities are emerging for those foreign companies that astutely leverage the peculiarities of the widely varying markets in this region. As economic development advances in leaps and bounds, the governments of the individual GCC states have, in some cases, heralded a contest within the region. Nothing less than the top global positions are the issue at stake.




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CONTENT 2006

Benefiting from China's five-year plan

2006/06/01

"...an unbalanced economic structure..."

While most political leaders are well-known for making vague statements in public, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao recently showed that he is not one to mince words. In his speech presenting China's next five-year plan to the National People's Congress, Wen sounded like a CEO preparing his top management for tough restructuring.

Wen addressed the pressing need to attack the complex problems that China's rapid development entails. And he made it clear that the government plans to work hard to deal with “...an unbalanced economic structure, weak capacity for independent innovation, slow change in the pattern of economic growth, excessive consumption of energy and resources, worsening environmental pollution, serious unemployment, imbalance between investment and consumption, widening gaps in development between urban and rural regions, growing disparities between certain income groups, and inadequate development of social programs.”

The Premier's words should not be taken lightly: In the past, the Chinese government's fiveyear targets have always been surpassed. But despite Wen's harsh words, his speech was not meant to put a damper on China's further development plans. On the road to becoming one of the world's greatest economic powers, China intends to keep to its development policies and pursue major infrastructure projects. However, Wen made it clear that economic growth can no longer be pursued without social and environmental considerations. Sustainability and what the premier referred to as a "harmonious society" have made it onto the Chinese government's agenda.

The new five-year plan's economic and social objectives are of particular interest to European corporations doing business in China. For this reason, we have highlighted the objectives and their likely impact on European companies.




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MAGAZINE 2006

How health care will drive the global economy

2006/03/02

Issue 6, 2006

Growth demands innovation, and that is seldom more true than in the health care and pharmaceutical sectors. To make the most of booming interest in health and wellness, companies not only have to develop their own creativity, they must also be open to partnerships and cooperation with both academia and competing firms. Our dossier on how health care is driving growth offers trends, analyses and case studies.

Precisely this form of openness to cooperation across corporate and national boundaries can be a significant competitive advantage for European companies, as the positive examples from our “Best of European Business” initiative demonstrate. Following award presentations in the EU’s seven largest economies in October 2005, we analyzed which companies are the most successful in European business, regardless of their national origin. The result: All of the winners have European roots, and the top companies use Europe as an excellent domestic market.

Our “Best of European Business” companies show additional common characteristics. They pursue a clear strategy, while simultaneously cutting costs and investing in new growth. They use Europe’s plurality as a competitive advantage. They combine hard and soft factors to improve their growth. They are strongly committed to creativity and personality. Or, as we say at Roland Berger, they are “It's character, that creates impact.”




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MAGAZINE 2005

European business summit

2005/12/12

Best of European Business is a unique initiative conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and The Financial Times for the first time in 2005.

Jointly with some of the most renowned universities and business schools, we established a concept and a new methodology to identify and award Europe’s most competitive companies. During recent months, we analyzed more than 6000 companies accordingly and prepared the jurors—60 of among the most distinguished business leaders in Europe—to judge the shortlisted companies by both the hard facts as well as information on the company’s strategy and management decisions.

We are proud that 1000 top representatives from business and politics joined us to name the national winners and send out a strong message about the needs and strengths of Europe’s business. Strong companies need strong home markets. This is one of the lessons learned from our initiative—and we will use this opportunity to discuss that fact with leaders from business and politics, as well.

“Best of European Business” is not a one-time effort—neither are competitiveness and striving for growth. We will continue with our approach. And we hope that you will also support us with this initiative in the future.




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MAGAZINE 2005

Tales of conversation

2005/10/12

The results of our studies are alarming: Twothirds of all managers of companies approaching a crisis ignore all the symptoms of the demise until it is almost too late, rather than using this opportunity to implement a strategic and sustainable reorientation. This edition’s dossier on corporate restructuring shows that there are better ways of handling the situation. Our contributions demonstrate how complex, but also how worthwhile, strategic restructuring is.

For the purpose of compiling this dossier, our restructuring experts together with the business newspaper Financial Times Deutschland researched success stories, elaborated case studies and spoke to practitioners, investors, professors and other experts. This kind of cooperation between classic journalism and a corporate magazine is a novelty.

Whatever challenges may be ahead—in the end, it is the ability to lead which decides over success or failure. Sports are one good way of advancing an individual’s personality and his or her ability to lead people. For this reason, we asked Jesper Bank, skipper of the first German America’s Cup yacht, to give us an insight into his leadership philosophy. His reply is to be read exclusively in this edition.




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MAGAZINE 2005

It takes a strategy to build a brand

2005/07/11

Profitable and sustainable growth formed the central concepts of previous editions of think: act. Topics that we have addressed include best practices from the most capable organizations and recipes for success from the world’s oldest companies. We have analyzed the necessary balance between flexibility and firmness in management, and we have examined the current trend toward decentralization.

This issue continues the discussion of crucial business questions, presenting the enormous potential of strategic marketing. Detailed articles provide concrete examples of the practice of strategic marketing—from the successes of CEOs who have made marketing a top priority to instruments that help change the introduction and management of brands from an intuitive practice to a quantifiable business discipline.

The “Best of European Business” is another highlight of this issue. Strong companies need strong domestic markets. With that thought in mind, we worked together with the Financial Times and high-ranking businesspeople, as well as strong partners from the media and academia, to discover Europe’s best companies. In October, the winners will be recognized at seven ceremonies in European capitals. At the end of the year, representatives from these companies and decision-makers from both business and politics will discuss conclusions from the competition at a European summit. We are looking forward to finding encouraging examples, and we will keep you abreast of developments in the competition.




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MAGAZINE 2005

Flexibility builds success

2005/01/13

Companies going for growth have two choices. They can set up and expand their position in existing markets, or they can occupy new markets. Each approach requires its own strategy. Both also demand that companies reach high levels of innovation and flexibility to meet their objectives in a constantly changing business world.

This issue of think: act is dedicated to the challenge of combining overall strategy with on-demand flexibility. So we researched the recipes for success perfected by companies that have been around for centuries, and we analyzed the recent renaissance of decentralization. We also talked with MAN Group AG’s new CEO Håkan Samuelsson about why strategic planning cannot be based solely on finance numbers.

Josephine Green, an innovation wizard at Philips, tells us how the electronics group discovers technological trends and reconciles business requirements with economic efficiency. And because innovation opens up new markets, we met with Renée Mauborgne and W. Chan Kim, both professors of economics, to discuss their “blue ocean” strategy that deals with systematically tapping completely new business segments.

What, ultimately, determines success? Is it a chosen strategy? Yes. Is it the ability to respond flexibly? Absolutely. Yet upper management’s leadership style is just as critical. Should they oversee conflict-ridden work environments? Or rely on harmony and social skills? Management experts Heike Bruch and Seamus Phan argue about the answers to these questions.




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MAGAZINE 2004

How companies are able to overcome the limits of growth

2004/01/12

think:act is our magazine for an exclusive group of decision-makers from business and politics around the world. It is my pleasure to introduce it to you. The title think: act reflects our vision of consulting: firstclass analysis, sophisticated concepts, high quality and the greatest impact for our clients, as embodied in our value proposition, “Creative strategies that work.”

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants applies this philosophy to support the firm’s clients in Europe, Asia, North America and South America from 31 offices in 22 countries. Based on the knowledge and experience of this international network, we will use this magazine to present to you the most important strategic challenges and options for their solution every four months.

Demanding readers have a right to expect that a high degree of usefulness will be accompanied by a sophisticated presentation. We have a first-class team to meet those expectations. Internationally experienced business journalists and management experts have researched the magazine’s topics and present them in articles, background reports and exclusive interviews in think: act.

For this inaugural edition, we have placed the topic of growth front and center. Despite determined restructuring and systematic cost cutting, many companies have still not yet reached their goals for growth. With that in mind, our dossier presents suitable strategies, appropriate measures, and examples of success. It demonstrates how to build a company’s ability to grow, along with its preparedness to grow; that is, how to create both the hard and allegedly soft factors for sustainable success.

China is our second key topic. We would like to draw your attention to the growing interest that Chinese entrepreneurs, scientists, students and tourists are showing in Europe.




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Issue 19

Interview with Martina Koederitz

Exclusive interview with Martina Koederitz, CEO, IBM Germany

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Customer Relationship Management, Information Management, Strategy & corporate excellence, IT Industry, Telecommunications



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Issue 19

Interview with Michael Behrendt

Exclusive interview with Michael Behrendt, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Transportation



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Issue 19

Interview with Amitabh Kant

Exclusive interview with Amitabh Kant, CEO & MD of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Group

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Transportation



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Issue 18

Interview with Fiderico Ghizzoni

Exclusive interview with Fiderico Ghizzoni

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Financial advisory, Financial services



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Issue 19

Interview with Ian Morris

Exclusive interview with Ian Morris, Professor of History at Standford University

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Corporate finance



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Issue 18

Interview with Benjamin G. Edelmann

Exclusive interview with Benjamin G. Edelmann

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Brand management, Marketing, Automotive, Financial services, Media & entertainment



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Issue 17

Interview with Götz Werner

Exclusive interview with Götz Werner, Founder of the dm drugstore chain

Region:
Africa, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Emerging Markets,

Related Topics:
Brand management



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DI JvdE 1200px-Augmented_GeoTravelHow Much Future Is There for Future Technologies? A lot of hype may surround new technologies, but what do consumers really think of them? Jonas vor dem Esche writes about a key finding of the German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014.

How Much Future Is There for Future Technologies?

2014/07/28

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How Much Future Is There for Future Technologies? 2014-07-28 10:34:25 Jonas vor dem Esche #DigitalImpact blog, online, German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014, offline, Digitalization Think:Lab, University of Muenster, social media, future technologies, Jonas vor dem Esche

Man's Hand Scanning Product Through Mobile PhoneDigital decisions. Digitalization is changing how German consumers make purchasing decisions inasmuch as it is changing how they shop. Retail expert Egbert Wege shares the findings of the German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014.

Digital decisions

2014/07/21

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Digital decisions 2014-07-21 10:00:47 Egbert Wege #DigitalImpact blog, online, Egbert Wege, German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014, digital, offline

close up hands multitasking man using  laptop In the German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014, Prof. Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau reveals how much time Germans spend online and which social media platforms proved popular with them.

Digitalization of Communication

2014/07/16

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Digitalization of Communication 2014-07-16 19:12:52 Professor Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau #DigitalImpact blog, digitalization, online, German Digitalization Consumer Report 2014, Professor Dr. Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Digitalization Think:Lab, University of Muenster, communication, social media

World Cup footballTwitter aims for World Cup gains. Twitter has stepped up its game to take advantage of the World Cup. But its victory may only be secured after the last player has left the pitch.

Twitter aims for World Cup gains

2014/07/11

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Twitter aims for World Cup gains 2014-07-11 12:33:43 #DigitalImpact blog

Industrial engineering in factoryWhat's your take on robotization and automation? The discussion has been going on for decades but the question remains unresolved: Will automation ultimately prove more of a blessing or a curse for workforces around the globe? Tell us what you think!

What's your take on robotization and automation?

2014/07/04

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What's your take on robotization and automation? 2014-07-04 11:38:31 #DigitalImpact blog

Robots and the end of work as we know it. The discussion about industry 4.0 is fueling the perennial question whether automation will be a blessing or a curse for the workforce. Charles-Edouard Bouée, new CEO of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, recommends mobilizing our collective imagination to avoid dehumanization.

Robots and the end of work as we know it

2014/07/01

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Robots and the end of work as we know it 2014-07-01 13:54:32 Charles-Edouard Bouée #DigitalImpact blog, industry, digital factory, robots, robotization, technological revolution, robotics revolution

Start-ups energize banking. Banks have trailed behind the retail sector in adapting to digitalization. Finance expert Wolfgang Hach says start-ups can help them stay competitive.

Start-ups energize banking

2014/06/27

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Start-ups energize banking 2014-06-27 16:30:16 #DigitalImpact blog, Banking, banks, finance, start-ups, FinTech, financial technology, Wolfgang Hach

Autonomous driving accelerates with Google

2014/06/23

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Autonomous driving accelerates with Google 2014-06-23 09:00:29 #DigitalImpact blog, google, Marc Winterhoff, driverless car, autonomous car, driver, road safety

DI Crowd iStock_000010098861MediumFive crowdsourcing trends for business. In a networked marketplace, companies are increasingly turning to the crowd. Crowdsourcing scholar Thomas Gegenhuber identifies five future trends that managers should be familiar with when asking the crowd to solve creative problems.

Five crowdsourcing trends for business

2014/06/17

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Five crowdsourcing trends for business 2014-06-17 09:46:24 Thomas Gegenhuber #DigitalImpact blog, Crowdsourcing, Thomas Gegenhuber, trends

mes more affordable and more accessible, education expert Dr. Katrin Vernau talks about how companies can support online learning among employees.

Online learning gains ground in companies

2014/06/15

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Online learning gains ground in companies 2014-06-15 17:00:18 #DigitalImpact blog, online learning, e-learning, corporate learning, digital learning, Katrin Vernau, education, courses, training

Brazil's e-commerce expects to score in the World Cup

2014/06/13

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Brazil's e-commerce expects to score in the World Cup 2014-06-13 14:08:18 #DigitalImpact blog, e-commerce, björn bloching, Brazil, online, retail, 4G

????????????????????????????????????????How can companies be cyberthreat-resilient? 4 questions for cybersecurity expert Carsten Rossbach. As cyberthreats become part of the new normal, companies should learn to adopt a proactive cybersecurity strategy.

How can companies become cyberthreat-resilient?

2014/06/11

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How can companies become cyberthreat-resilient? 2014-06-11 22:12:30 #DigitalImpact blog, digitalization, cyberthreat, cybersecurity, cyberspace, gameover zeus, cryptolocker, Carsten Rossbach

Stock ticker board at the stock exchangeThe might of the data specialists. In this article in the Huffington Post, Prof. Torsten Oltmanns cautions against a false sense of security among European companies. "We have to admit to ourselves that the manufacturing industry in most European countries is still light years away from the vision of a networked industry."

The might of the data specialists

2014/05/30

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The might of the data specialists 2014-05-30 11:21:50 Professor Dr. Torsten Oltmanns #DigitalImpact blog, big data, siemens, europe, competitiveness, industry, Torsten Oltmanns, Huffington Post, networked industry, data specialists

Di Facebook Marco Paköeningrat 2390914273_9b1ee4ee61_z The social network has been described as "a marketer's dream" in the big data gold rush. With its newly announced marketing tool, it's providing even more personal intel on its users that advertisers will gladly mine.

Audience Insights, Facebook's latest tunnel to big data

2014/05/22

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Audience Insights, Facebook's latest tunnel to big data 2014-05-22 12:30:34 #DigitalImpact blog, big data, Facebook, Audience Insights, Jerome Colin, advertisements, marketing, targeted marketing

DI Online automotive parts salesOnline retail drives spare parts sales. Roland Berger experts unmask the "golden rule" for online retailers of automotive spare parts. As more consumers turn to the internet for their spare parts, new business models are emerging. The most promising ones offer an innovative online-offline strategy aiming to secure loyalty.

Online retail drives spare parts sales

2014/05/20

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Online retail drives spare parts sales 2014-05-20 17:03:39 #DigitalImpact blog, e-commerce, internet, Online retail, Philipp Grosse Kleimann, automotive, spare parts, cars, Alexander Brenner, study, golden rule

DI Fotografia Cole 324445113_86402294d5_zAdditive manufacturing lowers the barriers to innovation. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) has developed from a pure prototyping technology for industrial engineering and R&D centers to an innovation technology that is available and affordable for hobbyists. The ability to manufacture individual components with complex geometries out of high tech materials makes AM interesting for the industry. Manufacturing maturity has already been reached, such as with medical applications and certain aerospace components.

Additive manufacturing lowers the barriers to innovation

2014/05/16

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Additive manufacturing lowers the barriers to innovation 2014-05-16 08:29:37 #DigitalImpact blog, Additive manufacturing, 3D printing, Bernhard Langefeld, Rapid Tech, innovation, engineering

Digitalization is key to Siemens restructuring plan

2014/05/14

blog post

Digitalization is key to Siemens restructuring plan 2014-05-14 12:49:48 #DigitalImpact blog, data, digitalization, analytics, big data, Martin Eisenhut, siemens, restructuring, vision 2020

Alibaba set for world's biggest IPO

2014/05/12

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Alibaba set for world's biggest IPO 2014-05-12 14:38:23 #DigitalImpact blog, alibaba, IPO, tech, e-commerce, björn bloching, china, asia, amazon, google, paypal, ebay, jack ma

re:publica 2014: Our picks from the digital summit

2014/05/09

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re:publica 2014: Our picks from the digital summit 2014-05-09 16:23:59 #DigitalImpact blog, re:publica, Berlin, rp14, digital summit, digital conference, bloggers

Startups in the German stock market

2014/05/06

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Startups in the German stock market 2014-05-06 22:43:51 #DigitalImpact blog, startups, deutsche börse, stock market, neuer markt, markt 2.0

NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement: a roadmap for the future of Internet governance? After two days of hot debates, the global stakeholder community signed the so-called São Paolo Declaration laying down the basic principles of Internet governance. Will this non-binding agreement go the distance?

NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement: a roadmap for the future of Internet governance?

2014/04/30

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NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement: a roadmap for the future of Internet governance? 2014-04-30 11:30:46 #DigitalImpact blog, NETmundial, Brazil, internet, governance, internet governance, freedom, privacy

The operating model: a platform to realize strategy

2014/04/23

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The operating model: a platform to realize strategy 2014-04-23 10:27:44 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Light Footprint Management at Said Business School in Oxford

2014/03/05

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Light Footprint Management at Said Business School in Oxford 2014-03-05 12:12:13 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Strategy is relative

2014/01/08

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Strategy is relative 2014-01-08 14:01:14 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Good karma is good business

2014/01/06

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Good karma is good business 2014-01-06 11:57:36 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Chief strategists have to be masters of paradoxes

2013/12/19

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Chief strategists have to be masters of paradoxes 2013-12-19 17:09:52 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Future by bjornmeansbear FlickrLeadership and Strategy for 2014. Prof. Dr. Torsten Oltmanns looks at leadership and strategy trends of the near future.

Leadership and Strategy for 2014

2013/12/17

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Leadership and Strategy for 2014 2013-12-17 10:56:08 #Leadership&Strategy blog

VIDEO: Global Drucker Forum plenary session "How Should Managers Embrace Complexity?"

2013/12/06

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VIDEO: Global Drucker Forum plenary session "How Should Managers Embrace Complexity?" 2013-12-06 11:49:43 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Christophe AngoulvantWhat does it take to be a meta-winner in a VUCA world? In our latest podcast, Christophe Angoulvant, Senior Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, reveals seven key principles that companies need to survive.

What does it take to be a meta-winner in a VUCA world?

2013/11/26

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What does it take to be a meta-winner in a VUCA world? 2013-11-26 20:49:34 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Complexity is the buzzword in top Europe management congress

2013/11/19

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Complexity is the buzzword in top Europe management congress 2013-11-19 16:20:59 #Leadership&Strategy blog

BEB-Logo_RGBBest of European Business celebrates management excellence. We celebrate excellence in European business in the annual "Best of European Business" (BEB) Awards, an initiative of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

"Best of European Business" celebrates management excellence

2013/11/19

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"Best of European Business" celebrates management excellence 2013-11-19 13:22:26 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Schwenker writes about corporate leadership on Huffington Post Germany

2013/10/18

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Schwenker writes about corporate leadership on Huffington Post Germany 2013-10-18 11:21:40 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Cover_Light Footprint ManagementHow to survive the VUCA world based on the 7 key principles used by meta-winners  - Find out more in our latest publication on Light Footprint Management

How to survive the VUCA world based on the 7 key principles used by meta-winners - Find out more in our latest think:act CONTENT on Light Footprint Management

2013/10/09

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How to survive the VUCA world based on the 7 key principles used by meta-winners - Find out more in our latest think:act CONTENT on Light Footprint Management 2013-10-09 18:00:19 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Burkhard Schwenker - Chef der Unternehmensberatung Roland Berger, spricht über die Rolle der Finanzmathematik in der Finanzkrise.New Roland Berger book tackles strategic decision-making in times of uncertainty. Managers must be able to flexibly adapt their strategies to changing environments.

New Roland Berger book tackles strategic decision-making in times of uncertainty

2013/08/27

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New Roland Berger book tackles strategic decision-making in times of uncertainty 2013-08-27 13:58:04 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzleThe Comeback of Gemba Power. At certain moments in economic history, particular organizational models become relevant, despite being out of fashion or unsuited to new circumstances.

The Comeback of Gemba Power

2013/08/09

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The Comeback of Gemba Power 2013-08-09 12:41:29 #Leadership&Strategy blog

29895164097Light footprint: A new approach to corporate strategy. Many articles have been written about the shift in the American defense doctrine, particularly during the US presidential election campaign.

Light footprint: A new approach to corporate strategy

2013/07/26

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Light footprint: A new approach to corporate strategy 2013-07-26 17:24:51 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Art of WarFrom the art of war to corporate management. No competition is as intense and has such serious consequences as war. Defeat is unthinkable and there is no room for error.

From the art of war to corporate management

2013/07/24

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From the art of war to corporate management 2013-07-24 14:48:24 #Leadership&Strategy blog

Charles-Edouard_Bouée_8941_FINALWhen military strategy shapes tomorrow's companies. Companies, like modern nations, live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. This forces them to reduce their industrial footprint and be increasingly responsive.

When military strategy shapes tomorrow's companies

2013/07/19

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When military strategy shapes tomorrow's companies 2013-07-19 14:45:34 #Leadership&Strategy blog

JackWelchApril2012Jack Welch: Employees need respect. Known for his radical strategy to attract the best talents that paved the way for double-digit growth at General Electric Co., management icon Jack Welch gave us an exclusive interview on how to engage with employees to master change.

Jack Welch: Employees need respect

2013/07/09

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Jack Welch: Employees need respect 2013-07-09 14:32:18 #Leadership&Strategy blog

schwenkerThe Need for Leadership in Times of Change. Management faces more challenges than ever before, as investors and employees seek security in an increasingly unpre-dictable world. What matters most is the ability to anticipate change and provide leadership

The Need for Leadership in Times of Change

2013/07/01

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The Need for Leadership in Times of Change 2013-07-01 19:33:42 #Leadership&Strategy blog

The cure for Swiss hospitals

2014/07/25

Publication

The hospital environment in Switzerland is in pieces. Our new study shows how hospitals can manage mergers, ramp up construction projects, and improve sourcing and profitability

The cure for Swiss hospitals CONTENT 2014/07/25 Europe Healthcare, Inpatient care, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Socialize your business

2014/07/18

Publication

There are ten things executives should know about digitalization and social media. Read more in our latest THINK ACT

Socialize your business Digital transformation 2014/07/18 Europe Digital impact, Media & entertainment, Digital transformation, Studies

Shared mobility

2014/07/17

Publication

Usage is replacing ownership. This change in consumer habits is set to transform future private transportation. Shared mobility will see rising revenues and growing customer numbers

Shared mobility Digital transformation 2014/07/17 Europe Christian Freese,Tobias Schönberg Digital impact, Transportation, Mobility, Digital transformation, Studies

Media 2020 – A universe of digital opportunities

2014/07/15

Publication

There is no doubt: maintaining audience attention and commitment, even more than getting "traffic", will be a key challenge for media companies in the coming years.

Media 2020 – A universe of digital opportunities Digital transformation 2014/07/15 Europe Jérôme Colin,Jean-Charles Ferreri,Philipp Leutiger Digital impact, Media & entertainment, Telecommunications, Digital transformation, Studies

The winners – How chemical companies deliver superior shareholder value

2014/07/09

Publication

Over the last 15 years, our extensive strategy work in the chemicals industry has led us to take a deep look into how chemical companies create value for their shareholders

The winners – How chemical companies deliver superior shareholder value CONTENT 2014/07/09 Europe,North America Frederic Choumert,Shashin Shah,Jonathon Wright Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The difference in European economies

2014/07/08

Publication

Roland Berger France has published a study focusing on the European economic model and more specifically on the European economic divergence

The difference in European economies CONTENT 2014/07/08 Europe Hakim El-Karoui THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

World economy facing a global ageing population

2014/07/07

Publication

In many ways an aging population is hostile to growth and competitiveness. Roland Berger France offers a diagnosis of challenges arising with the aging population worldwide

World economy facing a global ageing population CONTENT 2014/07/07 Christophe Angoulvant,Hakim El-Karoui,Dominique Gautier THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Publication

Market access as the key to Chinese pharmaceuticals – Hiyaku No. 5

2014/06/30

Publication

Our latest THINK ACT takes a look at market access as the key to Chinese pharmaceuticals industry

Market access as the key to Chinese pharmaceuticals – Hiyaku No. 5 CONTENT 2014/06/30 Asia Pharmaceuticals, THINK ACT CONTENT

Energy – The electricity grid of the future only ready in 2060

2014/06/30

Publication

To manage the increasing decentral production and minimize the required spare capacity to back up renewables, a smarter and more interconnected European grid is required

Energy – The electricity grid of the future only ready in 2060 CONTENT 2014/06/30 Europe Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT

The Menace of "Business Entropy" – Shiten No. 97

2014/06/26

Publication

Applying the principles of natural science and sociology to the theory of business management is nothing new. Here, we introduce one example of that thinking – the expansion of entropy

The Menace of "Business Entropy" – Shiten No. 97 CONTENT 2014/06/26 Asia THINK ACT CONTENT

Nonprofit organization strategies for targeting donors – Shiten No. 98

2014/06/24

Publication

For this study we profile the importance of the branding and marketing used to target non-profit organization donors

Nonprofit organization strategies for targeting donors – Shiten No. 98 CONTENT 2014/06/24 Asia THINK ACT CONTENT

THINK ACT – China Special

2014/06/23

Publication

Some thirty years ago, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants took on its first project in China. Since then, the country has experienced an unprecedented economic upswing, and we have been closely involved as consultants.

THINK ACT – China Special MAGAZINE 2014/06/23 Asia,Emerging Markets THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

THINK ACT – Growth

2014/06/23

Publication

In today’s saturated markets, it’s difficult to keep coming up with new business models that generate growth and maintain people’s enthusiasm with each change of direction

THINK ACT – Growth MAGAZINE 2014/06/23 THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Negative interest rates

2014/06/10

Publication

If we still needed just one final proof that the eurozone has gone into deflation, in other words into a situation of falling prices and more or less zero growth, we now have it

Negative interest rates CONTENT 2014/06/10 Europe THINK ACT CONTENT

Perspectives on the Chinese car sharing market

2014/06/10

Publication

Car sharing is a global trend. This business model, developed in industrialized countries, is meeting with increasing interest and demand in emerging economies as well, especially in Asia.

Perspectives on the Chinese car sharing market CONTENT 2014/06/10 Asia Christian Freese,Andreas Maennel,Jürgen Reers Automotive, Automotive product creation and e-mobility, Mobility, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Automotive Japan – broader lineups call for new sales channel concepts

2014/06/04

Publication

A modular manufacturing system and a revolution in drivetrain – these trends in the automotive industry are extensively discussed. However, not in conjunction to one another

Automotive Japan – broader lineups call for new sales channel concepts CONTENT 2014/06/04 Asia Satoshi Nagashima,Martin Tonko Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Corporate Learning goes digital – How companies can benefit from online education

2014/06/02

Publication

A new Roland Berger study shows: e-learning in companies is on the advance, but the training tools have to fit the corporate culture and strategy

Corporate Learning goes digital – How companies can benefit from online education Digital transformation 2014/06/02 Maren Hauptmann,Katrin Vernau Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, Digital impact, Digital transformation, Studies

Study on future automotive growth markets and implications for suppliers

2014/05/30

Publication

The BRIC markets guarantee carmakers and suppliers sales markets and low-cost production sites. This study takes a close look at the prospects in Brazil, Russia, India and China

Study on future automotive growth markets and implications for suppliers CONTENT 2014/05/30 Emerging Markets Marcus Berret,Thomas Schlick Automotive, Automotive suppliers, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Brazilian automotive perspectives 2014

2014/05/19

Publication

This survey conducted by Roland Berger and Automotive Business reveals that the Brazilian automotive sector expects 2014 to be full of challenges, with moderate growth

Brazilian automotive perspectives 2014 CONTENT 2014/05/19 South America,Emerging Markets Martin Bodewig,Stephan Keese Automotive, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Samen beter (Better together)

2014/05/19

Publication

Cooperation between hospitals has many benefits but is often externally driven. We advocate cooperation which thinks beyond traditional structures and boundaries of a hospital

Samen beter (Better together) CONTENT 2014/05/19 Europe Tijo J. G. Collot d'Escury,René Seyger Healthcare, Inpatient care, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Corporate and Investment Banking Outlook

2014/05/14

Publication

Incessant new regulations, changing client demands and ever-fiercer competition have durably eroded profitability in the Corporate and Investment Banking industry

Corporate and Investment Banking Outlook CONTENT 2014/05/14 Europe Bruno Perrin,Pierre Reboul Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Pioneering the Myanmar Market – Hiyaku No. 4

2014/05/09

Publication

With its rapid move to democratization, Myanmar has made a dramatic transformation now enjoying the greatest interest and attention among any of the ASEAN states

Pioneering the Myanmar Market – Hiyaku No. 4 CONTENT 2014/05/09 Asia Shingo Ikeda THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Leadership in family business / Familienunternehmen

2014/05/06

Publication

Management continuity, optimal involvement of the family and starting the succession process at the right time are crucial for the success of a family business

Leadership in family business / Familienunternehmen CONTENT 2014/05/06 Oliver Knapp,Thomas Rinn Operations Strategy, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Financing population ageing in Belgium

2014/05/01

Publication

An important challenge for the Belgian government during the coming decades will be to cope with the effects of population ageing

Financing population ageing in Belgium CONTENT 2014/05/01 Europe THINK ACT CONTENT

Entering China's private hospital segment

2014/05/01

Publication

Private hospitals in China have proliferated rapidly in recent years. Read more about perspectives on opportunities, challenges and potential entry points in this THINK ACT

Entering China's private hospital segment CONTENT 2014/05/01 Asia Tony Tang Healthcare, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Capturing innovations that move with product cycle – Shiten No. 96

2014/04/30

Publication

For Japanese companies to continue to succeed, it will be increasingly vital to advance a steady stream of diversified innovation embracing all aspects of the value chain

Capturing innovations that move with product cycle – Shiten No. 96 CONTENT 2014/04/30 Asia Yuzuru Ohashi THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Strategic management to flourish in an uncertain future – Shiten No. 95

2014/04/27

Publication

In this report, examples of businesses are used to show the essentials for Japanese companies striving to ultimately make the transition to the status of true global players

Strategic management to flourish in an uncertain future – Shiten No. 95 CONTENT 2014/04/27 Asia Satoshi Nagashima THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The Appeal and Pitfalls of the Indonesian Healthcare Industry – Hiyaku vol.3

2014/04/24

Publication

Attention in the Indonesian health care industry is growing in leaps and bounds, fueled by the nation’s launch of universal health insurance against the backdrop of solid economic growth

The Appeal and Pitfalls of the Indonesian Healthcare Industry – Hiyaku vol.3 CONTENT 2014/04/24 Asia Healthcare, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Travel retail in Asia

2014/04/22

Publication

In this THINK ACT edition, we take a deeper look at the changing face of Chinese tourism. Learn more about how today's leaders can stay ahead of the game

Travel retail in Asia CONTENT 2014/04/22 Asia Yannig Gourmelon,Jennifer Wilson Consumer goods & retail, Travel & tourism, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Escaping the commodity trap

2014/04/22

Publication

This study done with the International Controller Association shows that standardized products are impacting prices and margins, thus threatening companies in all industries

Escaping the commodity trap STUDY 2014/04/22 Europe Thomas Rinn,Michael Zollenkop Innovation | Product | Engineering, Operations Strategy, , Studies

Portfolio management in the chemical industry

2014/04/14

Publication

There is clearly an ongoing portfolio management trend in the chemical industry. "WINNERS" achieve superior shareholder returns by delivering consistent profitable growth

Portfolio management in the chemical industry CONTENT 2014/04/14 Frederic Choumert,Vijay Sarathy Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

How to adapt in China's evolving pharma landscape

2014/04/10

Publication

China's pharmaceutical market has entered an era of discontinuity. This THINK ACT shows perspectives on commercial model innovation for multinational pharma companies.

How to adapt in China's evolving pharma landscape CONTENT 2014/04/10 Asia Tony Tang Pharmaceuticals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Light Footprint Strategy

2014/04/10

Publication

In order to survive the VUCA world, companies need to innovate by introducing and leveraging tools that are holistic, quick and global

Light Footprint Strategy CONTENT 2014/04/10 Europe Bruno Colmant,Grégoire Tondreau THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

INDUSTRY 4.0 – The new industrial revolution

2014/04/02

Publication

The next revolution with Industry 4.0 represents a huge opportunity for Europe – and it fits the European model

INDUSTRY 4.0 – The new industrial revolution Digital transformation 2014/04/02 Europe Max Blanchet,Thomas Rinn,Georg von Thaden,Georges de Thieulloy Digital impact, Innovation | Product | Engineering, Operations Strategy, Engineered Products / High Tech, Mechanical engineering, Digital transformation, Studies

Pensions – The real challenge for our country

2014/04/01

Publication

Apart from stabilising its public debt, the real challenge facing Belgium is the funding of pensions and healthcare

Pensions – The real challenge for our country CONTENT 2014/04/01 Europe THINK ACT CONTENT

Separation of banking activities: which realities in Belgium?

2014/04/01

Publication

Since the great depression of the 1930’s, the advantages and drawbacks of combining retail and investment activities in the same bank have been widely discussed

Separation of banking activities: which realities in Belgium? CONTENT 2014/04/01 Europe Bruno Colmant,Grégoire Tondreau Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

How to integrate overseas acquisitions successfully

2014/04/01

Publication

Lessons from selected examples shed light on six key success factors in a systematic PMI approach to prepare Chinese enterprises for future M&A

How to integrate overseas acquisitions successfully CONTENT 2014/04/01 Christian Neuner,Sarna Yeung,Ping Yi THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

ENERGIEWENDE RELOADED! (German only)

2014/03/31

Publication

The energy turnaround is Germany's high-priority economic project in the years to come. This study reveals that the success of the energy transition in Germany depends on 24 factors

ENERGIEWENDE RELOADED! (German only) CONTENT 2014/03/31 Torsten Henzelmann,Katrin Vernau,Philipp Weiland Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, Energy & Utilities, Green business, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Circuler en ville pour une nouvelle mobilité

2014/03/27

Publication

Le cabinet Roland Berger explore les raisons du "paradoxe de la mobilité" dans les grandes villes et montre qu'une transformation réelle et durable des conditions de mobilité, requiert un nouveau pacte institutionnel, social et politique à l'échelle des agglomérations

Circuler en ville pour une nouvelle mobilité CONTENT 2014/03/27 Xavier Aymonod,Didier Bréchemier,François Guénard Digital impact, Mobility, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

How brands can navigate the rise of e-commerce

2014/03/14

Publication

Statistics show that in the last few years, e-commerce and online shopping have grown to occupy a substantial proportion of Chinese retail

How brands can navigate the rise of e-commerce CONTENT 2014/03/14 Asia Michael Deng Digital impact, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Fleet business in BRIC and emerging markets

2014/03/13

Publication

Western OEMS are facing ever more saturated domestic markets, including the fleet segment. Particularly in Europe, OEMs are having trouble growing their market shares in this area

Fleet business in BRIC and emerging markets CONTENT 2014/03/13 Emerging Markets Jan-Philipp Hasenberg Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, Automotive suppliers, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Mastering 2020

2014/02/25

Publication

In a VUCA world, firms need to work hard to get ready for 2020. This requires implementing two things in parallel: evolution and revolution

Mastering 2020 CONTENT 2014/02/25 Christophe Angoulvant,Charles-Edouard Bouée Strategic planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Where is the semiconductor industry heading?

2014/02/20

Publication

New semiconductor technology opens up innovative applications in mobility, energy efficiency and large-scale data processing. Read more in our latest THINK ACT publication

Where is the semiconductor industry heading? CONTENT 2014/02/20 Martin Eisenhut,Guido Hertel Engineered Products / High Tech, Microelectronics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Economic Scenario for Germany

2014/02/18

Publication

In our latest Economic Scenario, we are forecasting that the German economy will see a trend reversal and growth of at least 2% in 2014

Economic Scenario for Germany CONTENT 2014/02/18 Burkhard Schwenker Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, What we offer, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Navigating risk

2014/02/18

Publication

Recent negative reports from the financial industry make it clear that banks and financial institutions urgently need strategy-oriented risk management

Navigating risk CONTENT 2014/02/18 Bernd Brunke,Marc D. Grüter Financial services, Risk, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Chinese tourism in Europe

2014/02/01

Publication

Chinese tourism in Europe looms as the great opportunity of the years to come. It is time for stakeholders of the tourism industry to face the challenges, not only to continue to attract Chinese tourists, but also to better serve their specific needs

Chinese tourism in Europe CONTENT 2014/02/01 Europe,Asia Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alexis Gardy,Yannig Gourmelon Travel & tourism, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Scenario-based strategic planning

2014/02/01

Publication

The scenario-based strategic planning approach helps companies to account for complexity

Scenario-based strategic planning CONTENT 2014/02/01 Europe THINK ACT CONTENT

Re:think automotive retail networks

2014/01/30

Publication

Are the current dealer profits truly sustainable over the coming years and decades? Read more about the next challenge for the US auto industry in our think:act STUDY

Re:think automotive retail networks STUDY 2014/01/30 North America Thomas Wendt Automotive, Automotive marketing & sales, , Studies

Evolution of service

2014/01/07

Publication

The engineered products industry depends on the service business. But traditional pillars of the business are gradually crumbling

Evolution of service CONTENT 2014/01/07 Europe Philipp Angehrn,Oliver Herweg,Ralph Lässig,Sven Siepen Service excellence, Engineered Products / High Tech, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Home automation – The next big move in the utilities and telecom industries

2013/12/31

Publication

Home automation solutions are becoming mature, with convincing products already being marketed. The smart home market is seen as a required strategic move for all players

Home automation – The next big move in the utilities and telecom industries CONTENT 2013/12/31 Eric Confais,Jean-Charles Ferreri,Klaus Peter Müller Digital impact, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

CSO Survey 2013

2013/12/12

Publication

Our new CSO Survey 2013 reveals that portfolio management and growth top the strategy agenda at European companies

CSO Survey 2013 CONTENT 2013/12/12 Europe,North America Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The North American oil and gas sector

2013/12/01

Publication

The North American oil and gas industry is in flux. Exploration and production operators are now evaluating what they have learned from the first wave of growth

The North American oil and gas sector CONTENT 2013/12/01 North America Oil industry, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Post-trade services are at a crossroads

2013/11/21

Publication

Europe's financial markets have been inundated by a veritable flood of regulations. The result is that providers of post-trade services are now facing major challenges

Post-trade services are at a crossroads CONTENT 2013/11/21 Europe Bruno Colmant,Peppi Schnieper Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Nigeria's power sector open for business

2013/11/15

Publication

A newly liberalized market welcomes new players. But fundamental challenges persist and must be addressed to deliver the power required to secure the nation's future

Nigeria's power sector open for business CONTENT 2013/11/15 Africa,Emerging Markets Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

How to survive in the VUCA world

2013/10/21

Publication

How are firms adapting to the VUCA world? We revealed seven key principles from today's meta-winners. Together, these principles form what we call "Light Footprint" approach

How to survive in the VUCA world CONTENT 2013/10/21 Christophe Angoulvant,Charles-Edouard Bouée Strategic planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The role of banks in the internationalization of European SMEs

2013/10/02

Publication

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has analyzed the role of banks in the internationalization of European small and medium enterprises

The role of banks in the internationalization of European SMEs CONTENT 2013/10/02 Europe Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The Promises of Aging

2013/09/26

Publication

How can companies turn the demographic change to their advantage? We talk about this in our think: act CONTENT on Golden Agers

The Promises of Aging CONTENT 2013/09/26 Maren Hauptmann THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Private Health Insurance in South East Asia

2013/08/08

Publication

This think: act STUDY focuses on the rapidly growing demand for healthcare in Southeast Asia

Private Health Insurance in South East Asia STUDY 2013/08/08 Europe,Asia Philippe Chassat Health insurance, , Studies

The shale gas phenomenon

2013/07/30

Publication

In this think: act CONTENT on the shale gas phenomenon, Roland Berger experts highlight the relevance of this resource to the US energy landscape

The shale gas phenomenon CONTENT 2013/07/30 North America Jonathon Wright Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Re-considering Corporate Headquarters

2013/07/23

Publication

Headquarters need to demonstrate that they add value to the business in order to justify their existence

Re-considering Corporate Headquarters CONTENT 2013/07/23 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Corporate Headquarters, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Private equity in China

2013/07/21

Publication

Private equity activities have increased substantially in the Chinese market over the past decade

Private equity in China CONTENT 2013/07/21 Asia Charles-Edouard Bouée,Wu Qi Financial services, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Leadership

2013/07/19

Publication

This issue kicks off a series of Roland Berger activities on the topics of "management and strategy"

Leadership MAGAZINE 2013/07/19 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Strategy & corporate excellence, THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Light Footprint Management

2013/06/18

Publication

What can managers learn from President Obama’s military doctrine and Chinese management style? Charles-Edouard Bouée proposes the adoption of “light footprint” management

Light Footprint Management Book 2013/06/18 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Charles-Edouard Bouée Strategy & corporate excellence, Books, Book

Mass affluent consumers in South East Asia

2013/06/10

Publication

In this study, we reveal how examining consumers' values can help us identify different sub-segments of the "Mass Affluent" consumer segment in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore

Mass affluent consumers in South East Asia STUDY 2013/06/10 Philippe Chassat,Damien Dujacquier,Dorit Posdorf , Brand management, Studies

Asia Asset Management: Consider Taiwan

2013/06/04

Publication

A number of foreign asset managers have found remarkable success on the island, thanks to Taiwan's open regulatory environment, solid economic fundamentals, and growing wealth

Asia Asset Management: Consider Taiwan CONTENT 2013/06/04 Asia Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alain Le Couédic Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Wealth management for entrepreneurs

2013/05/10

Publication

Although entrepreneurs are a promising client base for wealth management, few banks have succeeded in winning over their corporate clients as private banking clients as well

Wealth management for entrepreneurs CONTENT 2013/05/10 Europe Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Restoring profitability in life insurance

2013/04/18

Publication

Profitability within the life insurance sector has been weakening for several years. A three-fold hit – first the financial crisis, then dropping interest rates and now sovereign debt unrest – has made it difficult for life insurance companies to turn a profit

Restoring profitability in life insurance CONTENT 2013/04/18 Europe Christophe Angoulvant,Cyril Gay Belan Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Einweisermanagement in deutschen Kliniken (Referral management in German hospitals)

2013/04/15

Publication

Competition on the inpatient healthcare market is getting fiercer. German hospitals are under immense pressure to maximize their bed capacity utilization

Einweisermanagement in deutschen Kliniken (Referral management in German hospitals) CONTENT 2013/04/15 Europe Healthcare, Inpatient care, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Hot Markets

2013/03/26

Publication

This think: act CONTENT on emerging markets highlights business model innovations from so-called developing countries that managers and decision-makers simply cannot ignore

Hot Markets CONTENT 2013/03/26 Africa,Asia,South America,Emerging Markets Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Product value management

2013/03/18

Publication

Some companies have begun paying much more attention to what their customers want in their product development process. We have drawn on our cross-sector experience to develop a new concept called "Product Value Management"

Product value management CONTENT 2013/03/18 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Oliver Knapp,Michael Zollenkop Innovation | Product | Engineering, P. Optimized product value, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Lean management in the financial sector

2013/03/17

Publication

Lean Management comes from the industry, but proves itself in the financial sector. Both the bank and its clients benefit from more efficient processes. Commitment from all of the teams is the key to success

Lean management in the financial sector CONTENT 2013/03/17 Europe René Fischer Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

What the customer really wants

2013/02/21

Publication

Sooner or later, bricks and mortar will be replaced by online shopping. Online, price is the only thing that matters. Offline retail is degenerating into a showroom for online retailers. Young people have already been lost to brick-and-mortar retail. … Or so they say!

What the customer really wants STUDY 2013/02/21 Björn Bloching,Lars Luck Digital impact, Marketing, Consumer goods & retail, , Studies

Chinese waters

2013/02/07

Publication

The Chinese water market is growing at a rapid pace. However, despite the good development prospects, the business environment will remain tough for water utilities in China. Water tariffs are currently too low to cover utilities' operating costs and fund crucial infrastructure improvements

Chinese waters CONTENT 2013/02/07 Asia Yannig Gourmelon Energy & Utilities, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Europe's Hidden Potential

2013/01/24

Publication

In a period where the EU has been inundated with harsh criticism and negative sentiments, a new book by Burkhard Schwenker and Thomas Clark strikes a rather different note by offering a bold and positive message: Europe has all the ingredients required to become a new beacon for a global economy

Europe's Hidden Potential Book 2013/01/24 Europe Roland Berger School of Strategy and Economics, Books, Book

Connected Mobility 2025

2013/01/22

Publication

Personal mobility is key to the success and prosperity of every country's economy. But the growing population in the world's largest conurbations and the increasing amount of traffic are leading to paralysis.

Connected Mobility 2025 STUDY 2013/01/22 Carsten Rossbach,Marc Winterhoff Digital impact, Automotive, Automotive product creation and e-mobility, Telecommunications, , Studies

How to reach emerging market consumers with new strategies

2013/01/18

Publication

By 2030, developing countries and emerging markets will be home to an estimated 80% of the world's middle class. And rising incomes, progressive urbanization and better availability of goods are fundamentally changing consumption habits

How to reach emerging market consumers with new strategies STUDY 2013/01/18 Bernd Brunke , Studies

Comeback

2012/12/17

Publication

Our client magazine think: act #18 puts a spotlight on success stories of companies, entrepreneurs and countries that managed to return to the winners' podium after a failure

Comeback MAGAZINE 2012/12/17 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

From challenges to opportunities

2012/12/14

Publication

In the course of our research for the GLOBAL TOPICS initiative we have encountered many extraordinary personalities. In this issue we talk to five of them about perspectives on what will come

From challenges to opportunities MINI 2012/12/14 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets MINI

Client centricity in retail banking

2012/12/04

Publication

Client centricity and retail banking are not incompatible. Know what moves your clients and you will win new ones. You will also make existing clients more profitable

Client centricity in retail banking CONTENT 2012/12/04 Europe Olaf Toepfer,Adrian Weber Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Multichannel management

2012/12/04

Publication

Multichannel management meets the needs of the new generation of wealth management clients. Personal, face-to-face advice is still the most important sales channel. Yet tomorrow's clients already take the mobile internet for granted today

Multichannel management CONTENT 2012/12/04 Europe Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Development banks

2012/11/26

Publication

Traditional lines of business for development banks are dwindling and sources of funding are running out. Yet change brings opportunities: New partnerships and extended business models facilitate additional revenue growth

Development banks CONTENT 2012/11/26 Europe René Fischer,Klaus Juchem,Dominik Löber Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Carve-outs

2012/11/21

Publication

Can there be separation without pain? Carve-outs may be vital to a healthy portfolio, but lopping off parts of a company is still a tricky business. At least seven key mistakes must be avoided to ensure strategic success

Carve-outs CONTENT 2012/11/21 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Sascha Haghani Corporate finance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

IT budgets

2012/11/20

Publication

Traditionally many banks have taken care of their core applications in-house. For a long time, standard software was unable to map out the complex requirements

IT budgets CONTENT 2012/11/20 Europe Ulrich Geuss Financial services, IT and Operations, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation

2012/11/20

Publication

Public-private partnership is not a new concept, nor idea. But its widespread use for innovation, the scope of this publication, is a relatively new phenomenon

Public-Private Partnerships for Innovation CONTENT 2012/11/20 Europe Benno van Dongen Innovation | Product | Engineering, I. Boosted Innovation, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Green banking

2012/11/16

Publication

The market for green banking has strong growth potential, especially in Germany. At present, three million bank customers are taking advantage of green or social banking products

Green banking CONTENT 2012/11/16 Europe Wolfgang Hach Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

IT Outsourcing

2012/10/22

Publication

IT outsourcing involves more than IT. It takes management skills, strategic foresight and a capable organization both at the provider and at the client

IT Outsourcing CONTENT 2012/10/22 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Andreas Dietze Information Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Chinese Consumer Report 2012

2012/10/17

Publication

Since 2009 Roland Berger has closely observed the buying habits and trends of Chinese consumers and has published a comprehensive and systematic study annually since then

Chinese Consumer Report 2012 STUDY 2012/10/17 Charles-Edouard Bouée,Guoqiang Ren , Consumer goods & retail, Studies

Chinese Consumer Report - Luxury

2012/10/17

Publication

China is close to becoming the second largest luxury market in the world and it is increasingly attracting the attention of major luxury brand producers worldwide. In view of this, Roland Berger conducted a study on the behavior of Chinese consumers when buying luxury goods and their choice of brands

Chinese Consumer Report - Luxury STUDY 2012/10/17 Charles-Edouard Bouée,Guoqiang Ren , Consumer goods & retail, Studies

Innovation in emerging markets

2012/10/12

Publication

This study in the series "8 Billion Business Opportunities" focuses on emerging markets and their impact on the global innovation agenda

Innovation in emerging markets STUDY 2012/10/12 Wilfried Aulbur,Bernd Brunke,Benno van Dongen,Per Ingemar Nilsson,Michael Zollenkop Innovation | Product | Engineering, , Studies

Changing the Game - Social Media

2012/10/02

Publication

The question of how companies can best prepare themselves for social media marketing and effectively align their business model is addressed in a "Changing the game", a new edition in the think: act CONTENT series

Changing the Game - Social Media CONTENT 2012/10/02 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Egbert Wege Marketing, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Western European Retailers

2012/10/01

Publication

Western European retail has always been a booming growth market. But shrinking population growth, price decreases and the loss of purchasing power since the financial crisis have meant sales are stagnating or even falling

Western European Retailers CONTENT 2012/10/01 Europe Alexander Belderok,Regina Schmidt Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Casual games

2012/09/28

Publication

The popularity of online casual games is skyrocketing: one in four of the world's population regularly accesses games on the Internet

Casual games CONTENT 2012/09/28 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Media & entertainment, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

SME Financing

2012/08/17

Publication

Small and mid-size enterprises still serve as the backbone of the European economy. But as lending policies were made stricter in the wake of Basel III, banks have become a lot stingier with financing for SMEs

SME Financing CONTENT 2012/08/17 Europe Christophe Angoulvant Corporate finance, Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Dealing with financial crisis and public debt - a global challenge

2012/08/07

Publication

In this think: act STUDY, we focus on the GLOBAL TOPIC public debt. In the case of the economy, public debt is either an urgent and thorny dispute or a window of opportunity – depending on which country you ask

Dealing with financial crisis and public debt - a global challenge STUDY 2012/08/07 Charles-Edouard Bouée , Studies

Shifting sands: Ideas from the desert

2012/08/06

Publication

This think: act Special describes Arabia's vision of a new era in which it is no longer dependent on oil and gas

Shifting sands: Ideas from the desert MAGAZINE 2012/08/06 Europe,Asia THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

think: act STUDY "Social Systems"

2012/07/16

Publication

As part of the GLOBAL TOPICS initiative, Roland Berger has released an international comparison of social systems in France and Belgium, China, Russia and the US in six categories, including the level of social expenditure, healthcare costs and pensions

think: act STUDY "Social Systems" STUDY 2012/07/16 , Studies

Profit through progress

2012/06/20

Publication

Emerging and developing nations need modern, efficient infrastructure to keep growing

Profit through progress CONTENT 2012/06/20 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Charles-Edouard Bouée,Hakim El-Karoui Financial services, Emerging markets, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Pricing in wealth management

2012/05/25

Publication

Times in wealth management have been difficult since the recent developments in the financial markets. Many clients are unsettled and are taking a long, hard look at what services their wealth managers provide

Pricing in wealth management CONTENT 2012/05/25 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Peppi Schnieper Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

A world without agents?

2012/05/25

Publication

Imagine a world without insurance agents - It is hard to picture, but some in the European insurance market believe that maturing markets will negate the need for human contact to sell insurance products in coming years

A world without agents? CONTENT 2012/05/25 Europe Christophe Angoulvant,Mathieu Sébastien Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

think: act STUDY "HR goes global – Emerging markets change the HR agenda"

2012/04/04

Publication

A new report on our "8 billion business opportunities" GLOBAL TOPIC highlights HR challenges in the age of globalization

think: act STUDY "HR goes global – Emerging markets change the HR agenda" STUDY 2012/04/04 Bernd Brunke,Carolin Griese-Michels,Maren Hauptmann,Fabian Huhle,Tim Zimmermann HR excellence, , Studies

Production Systems 2020

2012/04/03

Publication

There is a growing demand for high-value consumer goods in emerging markets. This leads engineering companies in the developed economies to shift from "High-End" to "Mid-End" products

Production Systems 2020 CONTENT 2012/04/03 Europe,Emerging Markets Martin Eisenhut,Ralph Lässig Machinery/production systems, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Shared Service Centers for Insurers

2012/04/03

Publication

Insurers have a lot of catching up to do in the efficiency of their internal organization. This need is especially striking in the Shared Service Center (SSC) area

Shared Service Centers for Insurers CONTENT 2012/04/03 Europe Wolfgang Hach,Carsten Schmidt-Jochmann Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Delivery Model 2.0 - vision for the future business model

2012/04/03

Publication

Telcos are under intense pressure. Merely to react to new competitors, to growing complexity, and to increasingly exacting customer requirements is not to answer the fundamental question, which is where and how they aim to earn money in the future

Delivery Model 2.0 - vision for the future business model CONTENT 2012/04/03 Europe Alexander Mogg,Philipp Leutiger Telecommunications, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Client-centric wealth management

2012/04/03

Publication

Values, desires and ideals are just as important as age and wealth in shaping the behavior of well-heeled bank clients. Conventional approaches to client segmentation are not enough

Client-centric wealth management CONTENT 2012/04/03 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Fundraising - Potential for hospitals

2012/03/30

Publication

Together with the Deutscher Fundraising Verband, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants conducted a study on "Fundraising in German hospitals". The objective was to determine whether fundraising

Fundraising - Potential for hospitals CONTENT 2012/03/30 Europe Healthcare, Health insurance, Inpatient care, New healthcare industries, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Strategic HR in China

2012/03/29

Publication

Talent is hard to find and keep in China. HR practices need to be upgraded. It's time to reorient HR as a strategic function

Strategic HR in China CONTENT 2012/03/29 Asia Charles-Edouard Bouée,Ping Yi,Maren Hauptmann HR excellence, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

think: act STUDY "Inside Africa"

2012/03/27

Publication

Reforms, demography and an entrepreneurial spirit palpable everywhere have transformed the continent into a land of opportunity. This think: act STUDY "Inside Africa" presents the key factors behind the continent's economic renaissance

think: act STUDY "Inside Africa" STUDY 2012/03/27 Laurent Benarousse , Studies

8 Billion Business Opportunities

2012/03/25

Publication

8 Billion Business Opportunities is a publication series looking at how population growth will improve economic prospects

8 Billion Business Opportunities STUDY 2012/03/25 , Studies

Rural Markets

2012/02/12

Publication

Customers in the countryside are different. They need unique offerings. Wireless network operators have to rethink their approach. Suitable strategies are already available

Rural Markets CONTENT 2012/02/12 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Thomas Klotz Telecommunications, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

European corporate banking

2012/02/12

Publication

Corporate business is back in focus as a part of strategic realignment by European banks. Lasting success requires precise risk management and a strong refinancing capability. And new relationship management that is efficient, transparent, and international

European corporate banking CONTENT 2012/02/12 Europe Klaus Juchem,Pierre Reboul,Edoardo Demarchi Financial services, Corporate & Investment Banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

End-to-end supply chain

2012/02/12

Publication

When it comes to delivering the right product in the right quantity and quality, at the right time and at an attractive price for consumers, retailers and manufacturers alike face an enormous challenge

End-to-end supply chain CONTENT 2012/02/12 Europe Supply chain management & logistics, Consumer goods & retail, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Asset management in emerging markets

2012/02/11

Publication

Emerging markets around the world are showing themselves to be more than simply investment opportunities for asset managers

Asset management in emerging markets CONTENT 2012/02/11 Emerging Markets Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Occupational health

2012/01/24

Publication

Occupational health is high on the agenda of employers, health insurance funds and governments. Employers must keep their ageing workforces healthy and start to view health programs as a way to improve their attractiveness as employers

Occupational health CONTENT 2012/01/24 Europe Maren Hauptmann HR excellence, Healthcare, Health insurance, Inpatient care, New healthcare industries, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Video-Endgame - The battle for the future

2012/01/17

Publication

It's quite certain that television as we know it today will no longer exist in 2020. Technology, players, content – all will change dramatically

Video-Endgame - The battle for the future CONTENT 2012/01/17 Europe Philipp Leutiger,Alexander Mogg Media & entertainment, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

The future of Offshore Wind Energy

2011/12/06

Publication

The latest issue of think: act CONTENT "Wind Offshore Energy" tells, why the global wind power boom is slowly tailing off – especially in Europe

The future of Offshore Wind Energy CONTENT 2011/12/06 Europe Manfred Hader,Marcus M. Weber Renewable energy technology, Wind energy, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

A different world - Chemicals 2030

2011/11/22

Publication

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” wrote L.P. Hartley. The same may be said of the future. For chemicals, at least, the future is a different world

A different world - Chemicals 2030 CONTENT 2011/11/22 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America Alexander Belderok,Alexander Keller Chemicals, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Post Merger Integration

2011/11/17

Publication

The global volume of mergers and acquisitions in the first half of 2011 was put at around EUR 900 billion. Yet the failure rate seems almost as high as the takeover rate. The biggest stumbling block is going about integration and synergy management the wrong way

Post Merger Integration CONTENT 2011/11/17 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America Thomas Rinn,Oliver Knapp Pre-merger preparation and post-merger integration, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

New rules in wealth management

2011/10/21

Publication

New rules in wealth management require a new form of banking. Providers must align value propositions to client needs and regain trust

New rules in wealth management CONTENT 2011/10/21 Europe Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Is Brazil a car paradise?

2011/09/20

Publication

The demand for cars is exploding. And the market is known for being dynamic. It offers enormous opportunities. But buyers are demanding more

Is Brazil a car paradise? CONTENT 2011/09/20 South America Automotive, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

think: act - Size Matters

2011/09/01

Publication

This issue of our think:act magazine focuses on "Size Matters: the Modularization of Business". The articles cope with the question, how companies of all sizes can profit from even more division of labor

think: act - Size Matters MAGAZINE 2011/09/01 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Telematics in auto insurance

2011/08/06

Publication

Telematics is by no means a “self-starter” in auto insurance. The cost of the technology is just as much a potential hurdle as its operational complexity

Telematics in auto insurance CONTENT 2011/08/06 Europe Jürgen Thiele Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

think: act SPECIAL on cloud economy

2011/07/27

Publication

Everyone is talking about the cloud. The latest issue of our think: act SPECIAL magazine reveals the business models behind it.

think: act SPECIAL on cloud economy MAGAZINE 2011/07/27 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Innovation in China's Financial Services Industry

2011/07/21

Publication

Chinese financial institutions need innovation to differentiate from and gain competitive advantage over peers

Innovation in China's Financial Services Industry STUDY 2011/07/21 Asia Alain Le Couédic Financial services, , Studies

Wealth management

2011/07/08

Publication

The increase in managed assets underlines the appeal of the industry – although market recovery is still fragile

Wealth management CONTENT 2011/07/08 Europe,Asia,North America Olaf Toepfer,René Fischer Financial services, Asset & Wealth Management, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

"New reality" in banking

2011/05/31

Publication

Retail banking has reached a crossroad. After an unprecedented market panic followed by large-scale government bailouts and other support measures, banks face various challenges

"New reality" in banking CONTENT 2011/05/31 Asia Financial services, Retail banking, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Learn from the pioneers

2011/05/30

Publication

What opportunities and challenges exist for foreign companies in Western China?

Learn from the pioneers CONTENT 2011/05/30 Europe,Asia Charles-Edouard Bouée THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Continuous improvement in growth phases

2011/04/04

Publication

Continuous improvement constantly raises the bar for companies and their people, creating room for more growth in the process

Continuous improvement in growth phases CONTENT 2011/04/04 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America Beatrix Morath,Thomas Rinn Growth, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Young Global Leaders

2011/03/18

Publication

The first special edition of think: act is devoted to a network of outstanding individuals – the Young Global Leaders.

Young Global Leaders MAGAZINE 2011/03/18 Beatrix Morath Sole Lead Partner - Young Global Leaders, THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Upheaval in the Arab world - Scenario-Update

2011/03/14

Publication

We also have developed three economic scenarios for the Arab world – "Oasis", "Sandstorm" and "Desert" – which we need to be prepared for.

Upheaval in the Arab world - Scenario-Update CONTENT 2011/03/14 Burkhard Schwenker,Michael Wette THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Banking in Africa – the way forward

2011/03/11

Publication

If African countries south of the Sahara are to realize their growth potential, the financial sector must be radically reformed

Banking in Africa – the way forward CONTENT 2011/03/11 Africa Financial services, Emerging markets, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Online Reputation Management

2011/03/10

Publication

Harsh online comments about insurance companies from their customers are not a crisis situation

Online Reputation Management CONTENT 2011/03/10 Europe Christophe Angoulvant Financial services, Insurance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Basel III – Well-engineered regulation?

2011/03/09

Publication

Higher equity capital requirements, unyielding liquidity standards – Basel III is intervening in banks' very business models

Basel III – Well-engineered regulation? CONTENT 2011/03/09 Europe Financial services, Risk, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Liquidity Management

2011/03/08

Publication

Banks managing liquidity is much like driving a car with defective lights in thick fog

Liquidity Management CONTENT 2011/03/08 Europe Financial services, Risk, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

think: act - Rethinking growth

2011/03/02

Publication

We have made “Rethinking Growth” the main topic of this issue, presenting new concepts, an exclusive map of intellectual capital as a driving force behind growth

think: act - Rethinking growth MAGAZINE 2011/03/02 Growth, THINK ACT - our international executive magazine, Magazines

Three times three - Scenario update

2011/02/14

Publication

Roland Berger scenario update predicts three percent GDP growth for three years

Three times three - Scenario update CONTENT 2011/02/14 Europe Burkhard Schwenker,Martin C. Wittig Scenario planning, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Diversity and Inclusion

2011/01/06

Publication

Diversity and Inclusion is a strategic issue that belongs on the CEO’s agenda. Diverse and inclusive companies clearly outperform their competitors on the hard financials

Diversity and Inclusion CONTENT 2011/01/06 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America Björn Bloching,Tijo J. G. Collot d'Escury,Carolin Griese-Michels Strategy & corporate excellence, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

What changed in 2010?... What's next in 2011?

2010/12/09

Publication

Our think: act mini takes a look on what changed in 2010 and what´s coming up next in 2011

What changed in 2010?... What's next in 2011? MINI 2010/12/09 MINI

Corporate financing

2010/12/07

Publication

Companies need a solid financing basis giving them sufficient room for maneuver to exploit market opportunities and set their sights firmly back on expansion

Corporate financing CONTENT 2010/12/07 Europe Sascha Haghani Corporate finance, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

China's Management Revolution

2010/12/03

Publication

A new Chinese management model is already in place, which fits today's fast-paced volatile business world

China's Management Revolution Book 2010/12/03 Asia,Emerging Markets Charles-Edouard Bouée Books, Book

China will trigger the next management revolution

2010/12/03

Publication

A new Chinese management model is already in place. It fits today's fast-paced volatile business world. And could change the way we do business

China will trigger the next management revolution CONTENT 2010/12/03 Charles-Edouard Bouée THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Green Growth, Green Profit

2010/11/19

Publication

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword – it's shaking up the business world as did the Industrial Revolution centuries before

Green Growth, Green Profit Book 2010/11/19 Europe,North America Renewable energy technology, Environmental technology, E-mobility, Green transformation, Solar energy, Wind energy, Books, Book

Supply Chain Management

2010/10/08

Publication

Organizing Supply chains is the high art of management. Not to mention a strategic competitive advantage

Supply Chain Management CONTENT 2010/10/08 Europe,Asia,North America Supply chain management & logistics, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Green business

2010/08/30

Publication

As the economic crisis draws to an end, companies in the industrialized world find themselves facing a twofold challenge

Green business CONTENT 2010/08/30 Europe,Africa,Asia,North America,South America,Emerging Markets Environmental technology, Green transformation, THINK ACT CONTENT, Studies

Brands and Buzz: understanding how to reach today's Chinese consumers

2010/07/23

Publication

Following our Consumer Report 2009, we have intensified our cooperation this year with CIC, China's leading "Internet Word of Mouth" (IWOM) research firm, to bring you timely trends and insights to help you successfully tackle the Chinese consumer landscape

Brands and Buzz: understanding how to reach today's Chinese consumers STUDY 2010/07/23 Charles-Edouard Bouée,Alain Le Couédic,Wu Qi , Brand management, Cons