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.
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.
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
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:
- 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
- Investment in R&D, in education, in new software, new technology and
- 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
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:
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
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
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
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.
Babelfish: automatic translation:
Babelfish provides an automated on-line translation service used by the search machines as well.
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.
"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.
Micromachines are also called "MEMS", short for "Microelectromechanical
systems." MEMS aren't new—back 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.
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
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 domain—in 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
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
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,
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 bottle—or 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
； 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
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
- 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
； 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
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
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
Don't let anyone steal your dream!
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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.
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.