Responding Quickly to Changing Markets: Anticipate, Adapt, Excel


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Examine how flexible, integrated information technology makes it easier for you to adapt the way you do business in response to changing needs – helping you to out-perform the competition even as customer demands escalate, product life cycles shorten, and new competitors enter the market.

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Responding Quickly to Changing Markets: Anticipate, Adapt, Excel

  1. 1. SAP Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies RESPONDING QUICKLY TO CHANGING MARKETS ANTICIPATE, ADAPT, EXCEL
  2. 2. ECONOMIES OF SPEED Market change is relentless: ever-higher customer expectations, shrinking product life cycles, and new rivals on the scene all accelerate the pace. But small businesses and midsize companies have one distinct advantage over larger competitors: agility. With fewer organizational layers and less-rigid processes, smaller businesses can act much faster than the big-gun competition. When your business is poised to handle challenges with agility and speed, market changes become opportunities to excel. This paper examines how to tap into “Many of today’s small and the potential in your nimbler organiza- tion by instituting efficient operations. midsize businesses are success- By helping you predict and respond fully competing against larger quickly to changing market trends and customer demands, efficient opera- firms by exploiting ‘economies tions give you: of speed.’ By creatively combin- • Visibility – to anticipate change and support long- and short-term ing the Internet and enterprise competitive strategy information technologies, these • Speed – to develop and deliver innovative products and services companies can expand their and stake out an early-to-market geographic reach, partner in position • Flexibility – to make rapid adjust- complex transactions, and ments in response to changes in respond quickly to dynamic market demand • Scalability – to expand and contract market opportunities.” projects, workforce, and workload Dr. John Jordan, Executive Director, as needed Center for Digital Transformation, Smeal College of Business, Flexible, integrated information technol- Pennsylvania State University ogy makes it easy to adapt the way you do business in response to changing needs. It also helps you outperform the competition.
  3. 3. MARKET DYNAMICS: FAST AND GETTING FASTER Gone are the days when a company could settle into a predictable niche, perfect a process that would never “SAP software has been – and continues to be – an effective n u e change, and expect a stable business. change agent for us, facilitating business transformation and n n i In a global economy increasingly con- nected by the Web, no aspect of the helping us to prepare for the challenges and opportunities p e g u marketplace stands still long enough associated with the globalization of the Indian economy.” c h m for that degree of comfort. Unpredict- able economic shocks and market Sanjay Mittal, CIO, Navin Fluorine International Limited events, around town or across the ocean, can cause demand fluctuations far greater than seasonal cycles. Customers looking for the greatest value for their money – and routinely demanding lower prices, new product features, extended services, and faster deliveries – may turn to competitors offering cutthroat deals. Constant shifts of suppliers and employees keep you on the edge, while accelerated product life cycles squeeze develop- ment, making time to market a linchpin to success. You have to respond quickly to the changing market dynamics or risk losing your business to competition.
  4. 4. OBSTACLES: WHAT’S SLOWING YOU DOWN? The fastest way to respond to change is ill prepared to respond quickly to Moreover, as small businesses and is to anticipate it. Many companies change. Disconnected functional areas midsize companies grow, they often can’t predict changes simply because can’t work together smoothly and struggle with outdated and inflexible they can’t see “the big picture” within swiftly. When a manufacturer relies on infrastructure. Even the slightest mar- their own organization. With critical an assortment of spreadsheets, dispa- ket fluctuation creates ebbs and flows business information locked in different rate databases, and manual processes, in workload. Successful businesses departments and systems, it’s hard order spikes or downturns could result scale to meet growing demands. When to have enough accurate insight, let in materials shortfalls or excess inven- bottlenecks form around organizational alone foresight, to anticipate rising tory. Why? The impact of changing structures and technologies, compa- demands. demand can’t work its way through nies become too rigid to adapt quickly. the organization fast enough to make Furthermore, a company lacking cohe- appropriate shifts in supply and sive and streamlined internal operations safety stock levels.
  5. 5. THE FAST LANE TO RESPONSIVE ENTERPRISE Build and Scale Infrastructure to Respond to Fluctuating Markets For a small business or midsize com- pany, the ability to flexibly scale opera- tions is critical. If the markets you serve are cyclical or seasonal, this only adds to the demand swings affecting your business. You can quickly hire and train new employees to scale up cus- tomer call centers, but your production system and supply chain processes must be equally scalable to support sudden spikes in sales volume. When How can small businesses and midsize Streamline Operations to you need to switch course quickly companies avoid these pitfalls, using Accelerate Innovation and Delivery – at the first hint of an emerging trend – nimble responsiveness to their advan- integrated business systems adjust tage? By overhauling disconnected, Efficient, automated systems are sim- accordingly, and quickly, from human manual, and redundant processes, and ply faster – and that can mean shorter resources staffing to production replacing them with flexible and efficient cycle times, an earlier and stronger capacity. integrated business processes. Infor- competitive position in the market, mation technology such as integrated and quicker turnarounds when market Adopt Technologies That Are business management systems can change calls for a course correction. as Adaptable as Your Business also help provide you with the insight Efficient operations accelerate both to accurately forecast, and flexible product innovation and time to market. “Nimble and adaptable” describe the processes can help you adapt quickly With flexible software systems you can essence of your business and should in response to changes. adapt business processes to meet your apply as well to your processes and IT customers’ unique, frequently changing systems. IT systems that are difficult to Anticipate and Be Prepared for product or service specifications. You modify, time-consuming to adapt, and Changing Customer Needs can also better accommodate custom- cumbersome to analyze can’t help you ers with new products and innovative create flexible operations. Rather, an While customers have ever-increasing ways of doing business. For example, adaptable IT system must be easy to and often unpredictable expectations, for customers who routinely request modify and configure to fit shifting you can anticipate their needs and plan flexible ship dates, integrated business needs, and readily extensible to grow ahead by collecting and analyzing com- systems can help you streamline and with your business. When you start plete information about their buying automatically adjust order-to-ship pro- expanding your business to the over- patterns. Integrated business manage- cess cycle times to meet delivery dead- seas markets, for example, your exist- ment systems provide such critical lines with cost-effective production. ing IT system should be “intelligent” information to help you accurately enough to natively and instantly accom- assess and forecast what customers modate new business requirements, will buy, and then recommend balanced from new languages and currencies to stock levels to keep pace with customers’ taxations and other local customary changing tastes. practices.
  6. 6. SUMMARY: RESPONSIVENESS SHARPENS YOUR COMPETITIVE EDGE Your success is determined by how quickly you respond to changing market SAP Speeds Your Response to Market Changes dynamics – but not just by offering the new products or services that the mar- SAP® Solutions for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies ket demands at a cheaper price. You need to be able to consistently bring When it comes to the widely varying You can see where and how your products and services to market faster needs of small and midsize business- company is growing with a single, than your competitors. By excelling in es, one solution certainly doesn’t fit integrated view of operations – and product and service innovation, you all. SAP offers a portfolio of flexible quickly identify and respond to both can build differentiation and carve out a and affordable business management threats and opportunities in the competitive advantage. Your operations solutions designed specifically for the market. With a standardized, proven need to be flexible and scale effectively – fast-changing requirements of small solution platform from SAP at pre- maintaining operational efficiencies and midsize companies. dictable costs, small and midsize while you meet growth goals, respond businesses can streamline operations, to an economic downswing, or weather By seamlessly integrating sales, act on instant and complete informa- an unforeseen market shock. You need customers, financials, and opera- tion, and accelerate profitable growth. to throttle operations up or down to tions, SAP® solutions give you the rapidly meet changing and unpredict- cross-company flexibility you need to For more information, please visit able customer delivery requirements. react quickly to market changes and demands. SAP supports you with: By implementing integrated, efficient • Up-to-the-minute, accurate busi- business processes, your company can ness information across all aspects gain the flexibility to respond quickly to of the business market changes. Whether a new supplier • Easy-to-adapt business processes is offering better prices, an important as you expand into new markets, client sees an expanded role for your products, and lines of business services, or an aggressive competitor • Robust, proven technology that moves into a region you long dominated, can rapidly scale and seamlessly you need flexible processes and sys- grow with your business tems in place to respond quickly and efficiently. The SAP portfolio of comprehensive, integrated business solutions, designed specifically for small businesses and midsize companies, provides the visi- bility, speed, and flexibility to heighten your responsiveness to both opportu- nities and challenges – so you can outmaneuver the competition.
  7. 7. 50 087 471 (07/12) ©2007 by SAP AG. All rights reserved. SAP, R/3, mySAP,, xApps, xApp, SAP NetWeaver, Duet, Business ByDesign, ByDesign, PartnerEdge, and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. National product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by SAP AG and its affiliated companies (“SAP Group”) for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. /contactsap