Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Succeeding in a Volatile Market: 2018 The Future Value Chain"

A report brought to me by way of my friend and colleague Mr. Anthony Tsai, who currently is CEO – BHG Retail Innovation Institute and EVP Operations – The BJ Hualian Hypermarket Co., published jointly by Global Commerce Initiative, CapGemini, HP and SAP. Mr. Tsai is currently leading the development of Hualian Innovation Center in Beijing, see Mr. Franz Dill's blog on the subject here.

"Succeeding in a Volatile Market: 2018 The Future Value Chain" is report on global trends and a study developing a ten year vision of consumer goods and retail industry. It has a strong focus on Asian markets. It has been presented at the Global CEO Forum where its approach and outcomes found great reception. The report is not published on the internet yet but a similar report "Future of Supply Chain 2016: Serving Consumers in a Sustainable Way" is available for download here.

The highlight of the report for me is the focus in its recommendations on consumer insights - to learn and to know the latent need and satisfy it and to act on consumers concerns quickly, such as environment and sustainability.

A few conclusions from the study regarding CPG / FMCG market place are (1) given the continued economic volatility and environmental concerns, retailers and manufacturers have growth opportunities when focused on meeting the consumer needs better, (2) cooperation and collaboration among partners, retailers and manufacturers can help them face trends that are bound to hit the Asian markets currently faced in other parts of the world. These conclusions may be called obvious, yet one must note that the report was developed with competing manufacturers and retailers sitting side by side in GCI conducted workshops.

I personally liked the study's focus on the Asian low income consumer and tangible ideas put forth on how best to deliver to them products that fulfill their needs with the highest quality and the lowest cost - here is a challenge indeed. Yet, here is the market for pure growth versus value based returns.

Finally, a trends analysis usually is mired in details of what the future may be - this report goes further and provides an examination of, at times with deep scrutiny, the on-the-ground implications to consumers, retailers and manufacturers of the said trends.

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