Speed, flexibility and agility are essential requirements for organizations that operate in rapidly-changing markets. Ariba Inc., a provider of on-demand business management solutions, claims that organizations in the current environment “must do more with less -- and do it faster than ever before. And this requires new strategies, solutions and approaches.”
Develop greater agility. SAP, the business management software company explains how companies can become agile, adaptive organizations in a white paper, Responding Quickly To Changing Markets. SAP suggests that agile organizations have four characteristics: visibility, speed, flexibility and scalability. Visibility enables the organization to anticipate change. Speed is essential to develop and deliver innovative products and services, and strengthen market position. Flexibility means the organization can make rapid adjustments in response to changes in market demand. Scalability makes it possible to align people, resources and capacity with a changing environment.
Modify the strategy based on insight into the marketplace. Set up a process to monitor changes in the market and identify trends that might impact the organization. Analysts’ reports and forecasts provide a useful starting point. Combine research information with company data to build a more specific picture. Ask the sales and customer service teams to report any significant changes in customer requirements. Arrange review meetings with major customers to discuss their changing needs and challenges.
Demonstrate strong leadership. Harvard Business Publishing states that strong leadership is essential to market adaptation. Business leaders need the right tools and tactics so that they can align the business with current corporate strategy, adapt quickly to changing market conditions and motivate their people.
Create a more flexible workforce. Market change may require people with different skills or more people with the same skills. To bypass the standard recruitment, training and induction process, organizations can use a variety of temporary solutions. Hiring contractors for fixed terms or using a resourcing service on a more flexible basis can provide high-caliber staff to meet short- or medium-term needs. Technology marketing agency Wilson Miller describes the benefits of a managed resourcing service where the resourcing company select, train and support specialists who work on the client’s team for the duration of a project.
Utilize cloud computing to scale information technology resources. Market change may require a significant increase in computing resources to deal with increased demand. To avoid the time lag associated with internal investment, an organization can utilize cloud computing -- renting additional capacity on massive servers based in data centers run by external service providers. This provides immediate access to essential resources and reduces time to market for new business opportunities.
Build a network of trusted partners. If an organization cannot meet changing market demand from its own resources, it can work with partners who offer suitable products, technology or manufacturing capacity. Identify each partner’s strengths and set up contingency plans to identify the fastest route to market through collaboration.