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Creative Solutions in Business

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Creative Solutions in Business ...

Creative Business Solutions

    Prof. Dr. Mario Raich, presented during the Quality Forum Katowice 21-22.06.2002

    In the recent years we have had many important developments and breakthroughs in science, in technology, in economy, in entrepreneurship, in management, on the international political arena. They are of such importance that we have begun to talk about a ―new science‖, ―new technology‖, ―new economy‖, ―new entrepreneurship‖, ―new

    management‖ and even a ―new world‖. Unfortunately in the vital areas of

    human relationships, conflict management, quality of life far less has been improved.

    The ―new technology‖ has brought us extraordinary developments in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology), in Biotechnology, including Bioeconomy and Bioinformatics, in Nanotechnology, the technique to build things one atom or molecule at a time with programmed nanoscopic robot arms. It has also brought tremendous advances in army. Look at the US army!

    Bioeconomy. The term, still hovering on the perimeter of most industry radar screens, refers to the convergence of advances in bioscience (and the mapping of the human genome) with advances in information science. This combination will eventually transform the way the world produces food, generates energy, houses and clothes itself, and, most significantly, cares for our health and well-being.

    (http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=industries/financial/point11/fsi_thepoint11a.xml)

    Nanotechnology is molecular manufacturing or more simply, building things one atom or molecule at a time with programmed nanoscopic robot arms. It is a very vast field and is the merger of all known technologies that we have today. Nanotechnology utilizes well-understood chemical properties of atoms and molecules (how they 'stick' together) to construct novel molecular devices possessing extraordinary properties. The trick is to manipulate atoms individually and place them exactly where needed, to produce the desired structure. Nanotechnology is essentially the technology for designing, fabricating and applying nanometer-scale systems or nanosystems.

    (http://www.ciol.com/content/search/showarticle.asp?artid=33034&way=search)

    The ―new economy‖ was an outburst of creativity, entrepreneurship and greed that has led to a formidable economic ―bubble‖. In the aftermath of

    the burst of this bubble the remains are still considerable! Not one serious company can escape e-business today!

    The ―new economy‖ has initiated ―new entrepreneurship‖ based on the ―new technology‖, new business ideas and smart capital.

    All this developments call for new management tools and instruments to handle the new situation.

    The basis of all this developments is an explosion of information and knowledge and the way we are dealing with them. This will lead ultimately to a new form of the economy, the ―Knowledge-Based Economy‖ and

    to a ―Knowledge Society‖.

    Many countries have begun to study the development of the knowledge-based economy, because the realize that it is the key for a successful future. The best source to watch is the OECD study ―Science and

    Technology Scoreboard‖ published in 2001 at www.oecd.org./sti ;

    STI Scoreboard 2001: "Towards a Knowledge-based Economy". Are OECD countries becoming more knowledge-based? Are they embracing the information economy? To what extent are innovation, science, technology and economies becoming global? What are the new growth industries and occupations?

    Today we have two main descriptions of the knowledge-based economy (in short ―knowledge economy‖):

    ; The knowledge economy is an economy where the main raw material,

    the key enablers and the main output is knowledge.

    ; The knowledge-based economy is dominated by knowledge intensive

    industries, like high-tech, ICT, professional service, etc. Which means

    that the value created is mainly due to knowledge.

The key drivers of the knowledge economy are:

    - Knowledge creation, i.e. R&D

    - Knowledge sharing, i.e. publishing, education, events, access - Information and communication infrastructure (ICT)

    - Intellectual property rights (IPR)

    - Education of the workforce

    - Talents

    - Entrepreneurship

    -

    The OECD study looks at the development of what they call ―knowledge industry‖ based on four output and six input indicators.

    This indicators can also be used for the development of the knowledge economy of a region or a nation.

    For the assessment of an industry or an enterprise we suggest a slightly different approach:

Output indicators:

    - Innovation: number of new products, services, new recipes, processes

    or management tools in the last three years, that have an impact on

    the value creation

    - IPR: Number of patents or copy rights

    - Technology compared to key competitors

    - Know-how and knowledge created and documented in the last three

    years (explicit knowledge)

    - Access to talents (implicit knowledge)

    - Development and retention of specialists, experts and middle

    management

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Input indicators:

    - Investment in R&D, in education, in new software, new technology and

    in ICT

    - Number and value of new business ventures (spin-offs, start-ups,

    M&A’s, strategic alliances etc.)

    - Venture Capital invested t

    - Number of hours invested into scanning and researching the future

    and the environment

    - Access to talents, number of international staff and people from other

    industries

    This shows that there is no simple recipe. It is absolutely necessary to tackle a number of areas simultaneously. It is not enough to concentrate on education and R&D without ensuring the necessary level of talents and entrepreneurship.

Some technical innovations

    The Concept Car 0 a prototype from VW has a weight of 290 kg, 8,5 PS, a max. speed of 120 km/h and needs only 1l/100 km.

    Trilobite is 13 cm high, has a weight of 5 kg is circular and costs about 1600 Euro. It is the first fully automated vacuum cleaner of the world

    . Wave Screen is a Computer screen produced by produced by Electrolux

    steam. Developed at the Finnish Tampere University of Technology. Newsblaster

    Inventions and developments like this may bring big breakthroughs and produce big business opportunities. But there is plenty of new combinations of functioning solutions with new technology that will change our life for ever.

Examples of creative and innovative business solutions:

Copernic.com

    Relying on the most advanced summarization technologies, Copernic Summarizer identifies

    the key concepts contained in a text and generates a summary composed of the most

    important sentences. The result: summaries of stunning quality that enable users to grasp

    the essence of a document in seconds thereby helping them make the most of their reading

    time.

    Proof of the product's exceptional and unique flexibility is found in Copernic Summarizer

    2.0's ability to process an impressive array of document types, everything from MS-Word

    and PDF documents, to Web pages, and the size of the document is never an obstacle. In

    addition, users gain precious time through improved application integration with Microsoft

    Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Adobe Acrobat, Netscape

    Navigator, and Eudora, among others. Finally, Copernic Summarizer produces summaries

    of uncompromising quality whether the texts are written in English, French, Spanish or

    German. (http://www.copernic.com/company/press/press-releases/press_44.html)

Intraspect.com

    Intraspect is the leader in inter-enterprise solutions to enhance collaborative

    business processes. Intraspect's module-based applications are tightly integrated

    into email, combining the best of enterprise collaboration and knowledge

    management technologies. Intraspect solutions enable employees, customers,

    suppliers, and partners to collaborate across the lifecycle of managing strategic

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    accounts to improve business productivity, increase customer loyalty and enhance profitability of existing customer relationships (http://www.intraspect.com)

    Enterprises realize tremendous return on their investments in people and technology when Intraspect's solutions are implemented.

    - Decisions are made faster and smarter.

    - Productivity is dramatically improved.

    - Products and services are brought to market sooner.

    - Customer, partner and supplier relationships are enriched. http://www.intraspect.com/company/

     rd3 world bank

    The Grameen Bank in Bangladesh is based on local knowledge, peer group evaluation, focus on women and specific viable projects as the basis for credit and mitigating risks in lending. Grameen Bank provides micro credit to more than 3 million poor customers in over 35,000 thousand villages in Bangladesh. IN 1996 the bank lend over USD 1 billion in Bangladesh with an average loan size of 15 USD. The repayment rate is 99%. (A. Counts, Give us Credit. NY. Times Books, 1996).

    See also www.planetfinance.org. As a non-governmental organization, Planet

    Finance contributes in the professionalization and financing of microfinance institutions.

    Jeans production in India

    Arvind Mills has created an entirely new value-delivery system for blue jeans in India. Instead of the pair of jeans for 40-60 USD he has introduced "Ruf and Tuf" jeans, a rady-to-make kit of jeans componenets priced at about USD 6. It was distributed through a network of 4,000 tailors , many in small towns and villages, who are very motivated to market the jeans kits extensively. Ruf and Tuf jeans are now the largest selling jeans in India.

    (M. Baghai, S.Coley, D. White, C. Conn, and R. McLean, "Staicases to growth", McKinsey Quarterly, 1996, 4: 39-61)

    Automatic translation of chatting

    In today's global world the language barrier is the most formidable one. Linguachat provides the possibility to chat with people in their own language, using an automatic translation facility.

     www.linguachat.ch

    Babelfish: automatic translation:

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    Babelfish provides an automated on-line translation service used by the search machines as well.

    http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr

    Electronic clearing services

    This service acts as an inbound e-mail gateway to the customer network. This means that any message that the system called "ViriShield" deems "hostile" is quarantined within its system, and only "clean" messages will arrive at the customer's mail server.

    http://www.mailserver.net/benefits.htm

    Silent commerce

    "Much silence makes a powerful noise" (African proverb)

    Silent Commerce uses microprocessors, sensors and tags to make everyday objects intelligent and interactive. When combined with continuous Internet connectivity, Silent Commerce results in a new infrastructure for the collection of data and for the delivery of services through everyday objects. This type of commerce is "silent" because objects communicate and commerce takes place without human interaction.

    http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=services\technology\vision\silent_commerce.xml

    Micro-electromechanical systems

    Micromachines are also called "MEMS", short for "Microelectromechanical

    systems." MEMS aren't newback in the 1950s a scientist discovered that one could build very small pressure sensors using silicon, in the same way that one makes computer chips. But it's only been fairly recently that this technology has allowed scientists and engineers to shrink certain kinds of machines to about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. And to make them do wondrous things.

    It's the next big thing, according to many. One industry group has predicted that by the end of this decade, MEMS will generate annual sales of nearly $100

    billion in new industrial and medical products.

    http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=services/technology/vision/sil_mems.xml

    Rainmaker technologies

    Rainmaker Technologies, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based fabless developer and marketer of silicon solutions that enable cable operators to deliver carrier-class fiber speeds over existing last mile broadband infrastructure. The company holds a unique and powerful technology for mining untapped data capacity from last mile cable and copper broadband networks. The company's enabling and patented Wavelet Engine technology opens up the data capacity for delivering fiber speeds over installed infrastructure -- ―10Gbps to the home over existing cable‖.

    Service operators can generate incremental new revenue from new services at comparable costs without requiring capital expenditures to upgrade the Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial plant; i.e., no forklift overhauls and no changes to the installed plant. http://www.rainmakertechnologies.com/about.html

    Personal Awareness Assistant

    Using a speech recognition engine, two small microphones, an inconspicuous camera and a scrolling audio buffer, the Personal Awareness Assistant is always on, passively listening to what a user says. What catapults the Assistant past a simple recording device is its ability to respond to particular contexts and

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    situations. For example, when a user is introduced to someone new, the Assistant

    recognizes the phrase, ―It’s nice to meet you,‖ records the name of the person as

    she introduces herself and takes a low-resolution picture. All this takes place

    without any specific command from the user.

    Once the device captures the data, it automatically categorizes the information

    into a pre-designated domainin this case a sophisticated address book complete

    with audio, digital image, date/time stamp and location. Because the data is

    stored contextually, information retrieval is straightforward. A simple inquiry, such

    as ―Who was that person I met at lunch last Thursday?‖ brings up the appropriate

    information. Using Global Positioning System (GPS), the Assistant also can

    determine where the user is located, such as the office or visiting clients, to

    further fine-tune and categorize a response. http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=services/technology/research/tech_personal_aware.xml

    Ubiquitous Computing

    Innovative Telematics Solutions from Accenture Technology Labs

    Accenture Technology Labs researchers are working on a number of innovative

    prototypes demonstrating the telematics capability to receive equipment and

    customer data:

    1. An in-car voice portal that enables a driver to "ask the engine" questions

    about its performance in order to troubleshoot problems.

    2. A marine yacht prototype that wirelessly collects engine data and alerts

    owners to potential issues or when it is time for routine maintenance. 3. A data warehouse application, which demonstrates how the collection of

    diagnostic information can permit detailed analyses and lead to the identification

    of potential problems earlier. http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=services/technology/research/tech_telematics.xml

    Online Medicine Cabinet

    One example is the Online Medicine Cabinet, a prototype developed by

    Accenture that demonstrates how technology will enable us to take more control

    over our own healthcare. It combines sensors with the power of the Internet and

    embedded computers to create a "situated portal"a smart appliance that

    continuously monitors the needs of people and responds with appropriate,

    individualized services

    By using a camera and face-recognition software, the cabinet can identify

    different persons in a household, and their special needs. For example, if an

    individual suffers from allergies or asthma, the Online Medicine Cabinet will

    provide information such as the day's pollen count, and remind that person to

    take their medicine. Sensors on prescription bottle labels allow the cabinet to

    identify each drug and alert consumers if they have taken the wrong bottleor if

    it's the right bottle at the wrong time. This is vital, because at present, nearly one

    third of all hospital visits result from consumers not following their doctor's orders

    or taking the wrong medication.

    The Online Medicine Cabinet also enables consumers to monitor vital signs, such

    as blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, and immediately share this

    information with their doctor via the Internet. The cabinet also provides a trend

    chart, so individuals can track their progress. If the chart indicates a problem

    tendency, the system will suggest that the user make an appointment with their

    doctor. Naturally, appointments can be made via the cabinet's Internet connection.

    This will cut down on routine doctor visits, saving time and money for

    consumers, doctors and insurance companies. http://www.accenture.com/xd/xd.asp?it=enWeb&xd=Services/Technology/tech_medcab.xml

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     If you an not happy with the proposed solutions you can tap into

     uia.org a databank with 30.000 profiles of world problems and issues.

    You will find there also 192.000 links

    http://www.uia.org

What can or should you do!?

    ; Resign and give-up

    ; Wait and see!. . . If you are lucky you can drink tea. ; Invest in development:

    - By scanning the environment: reading, talking, communicating,

    asking questions, travelling, going to events, etc.

    - By anticipating the future

    - By looking what others are doing

    - Creating spin-offs, start-ups alone or together with others

    - Investing in innovation and seeking new ways ands avenues to do

    business

    - Continuing your education

Tasks for your organization

    - Invite people with interesting knowledge and know-how to share it with

    you and you people.

    - Go to conferences and events to learn more about the new technology

    and the new science

    - Create a ‖scanning organization‖

    - Help people to access the wealth of information and knowledge. - Help people to cope with the amount of information and knowledge. - Support travels and visits in other companies and other regions.

    Some tasks for your support organizations (The "chambers") It is time to weak-up and to do something that can bring value to your members!

    - Invite people with interesting knowledge, know-how and experiences

    for presentations and conferences

    - Organize conferences, events, gatherings on new technology, new

    science, knowledge economy etc.

    - Create an ―access point‖ for entrepreneurs

    - Create a virtual desk research group

    - Support entrepreneurs in their travels and visits

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The recipe:

     Find out what is produced for large markets, what are the market

    trends for low-tech, high knowledge or skill e.g. Porcelanosa in Spain

    www.porcelanosa.es

    Porcelanosa founded in 1973 is committed to an innovative, creative strategy for the quality and design of its products, as well as their commercialization. This brought the company to the forefront to the ceramic tile sector.

    As a result of the expansion of Porcelanosa several new companies were created:

    VENIS (1987) specializing in the manufacture of ceramic wall and floor tiles and porcelain tiles

    GAMADECOR (1987) specializing in the production of bathroom and kitchen furnishings, mirrors and accessories

    SYSTEM-POOL (1993) focusing on the manufacture of shower-sauna cubicles, whirlpool baths, shower trays, screens and bathroom radiators

    L'ANTIC COLONIAL (1999) specializes in the production and sale of manual terracotta, natural stone, marbles and rustic ceramic tiles

And recently:

    BUTECH for adhesives and products for the cleaning' protection and maintenance of ceramic tiles, natural stone, terracotta and antique marble

    NOKEN which specialises in the manufacture of taps, sanityware, radiatrs and accessoires

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HIESTAND

    Don't let anyone steal your dream!

    Heavenly mountains, precision watches, Swiss Army knives, cheese, chocolate just some of the images the world associates with Switzerland. Hiestand follows in the best Swiss tradition of supplying quality products and excellent service to our clients arount the globe.

    Alfred Hiestand says: "I started to concentrate on making Swiss Butter Croissants for restaurants and cafes, and in 1975 we became the first baker in Switzerland to supply this product pre-proved. This put us in a strong position to supply other bakers, which we did with growing success. Today we are the market leader in Switzerland within the frozen and fresh bakery category."

Don't let anyone steal your dream! I still live by this motto. Today,

    over 1800 Hiestand employees are working hard to fulfil the dream. Each day we hold true to the vision that brings us a step closer to being the best - the world leader in quality and innovation.

    Today HIESTAND Swiss Croissants and other frozen bakery products are made in Switzerland, Germany, Poland and Malaysia and are eaten worldwide

    Hiestand is committed to produce natural food at its very best, using high quality, wholesome ingredients.

    HIESTAND does more than simply sell bakery products. It has become a comprehensive concept and service provider for its partners.

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    Its range of services extends from innovative in-store bakery and sales systems, through a Bake Off Academy seminar program aimed at specific target groups, expert advice from the on-site master bakers up to an advertising campaign tailored to your needs.

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