Automotive & Industrial
Often derided as yesterday’s news or rust-belt has-beens, automotive and industrial manufacturers are unsung heroes of the global economy. While not typically flashy or in the public eye, these manufacturing and distribution stalwarts keep the wheels of commerce turning.
The high-tech industry has gone through tremendous change over the last few decades. Gone are the days when a complex system costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars could start production after the order was received, with delivery expected a comfortable six or eight weeks later. Now customers of high-tech products expect rapid delivery, but without sacrificing anything in terms of being able to tailor the purchase to their specifications. Similar demands face producers of high-tech consumer products.
The challenge of choice in the consumer products world bedevils the companies playing in that field. Short product life cycles, myriad packaging options, ever-changing customer desires, and increasingly global competition all conspire to make management difficult in a consumer-driven world.
The retail industry has always been tough. Even when retail simply meant a few regional storefronts, proprietors faced hard questions on what to stock and how much, how to price it, and how to staff their stores. Introducing new technology, like bar-code scanners, presented headaches as well.
As consumers we tend to think of financial services in personal terms. “What is my credit score? What interest rate do I qualify for?” But to a financial services firm – whether a traditional firm operating in traditional ways in traditional markets, or a fintech startup breaking new ground – the challenge is managing a portfolio and navigating the associated uncertainties and risks. “How many of these ‘safe’ borrowers will actually default?”