The Economist published a great story on how Siemens, battered by bribery scandal, recruited an outsider CEO and now has started to leverage the potential benefits of owning several business that could be run as stand-alone companies, operating at large scale all across the world, and avoiding to over-engineer products. The story illustrates most of the key ideas of SM3, including how to implement a corporate strategy.
Read: A Giant Awakens
Europe’s biggest engineering firm used to be known for two things: making everything but a profit; and scandal. Now things look very different
When Starbucks entered the Australian market in 2000, it was one of the biggest coffee chains globally, opening one new store every day somewhere in the world, notes Patterson. Its success in the US, which had not previously enjoyed a strong coffee-drinking culture, had given the brand great confidence to enter other markets including Japan (1996) and China (1998). The company now has more than 15,000 stores in 44 territories. But in mid 2008, Starbucks’ management announced that it would close 61 of its 84 Australian stores. The closures took place swiftly – within one month. Losses were enormous, including 685 jobs and A$143 million. Just 23 Australian stores were left operating in prime locations. What went so wrong?
Read the full analysis by Profeessors Paul Patternson and Marc Uncles in Knowledge @ The Australian School of Business.
Excerpt from BRW: For an expanding independent petroleum retailer, customer relationships are everything.
Biq organisations are usually considered to be more efficient than smaller enes - but rarely more customer-friendly. Case in point, big banks. sharehelders love their taut back offices and fat profits; customers hate their skinny front lines and rate them well below small credit unions and building societies in satisfaction surveys.
It is a business theory that influences how oil companies distribute fuels in Australia. In cities, drivers have choices and can seek out the service station offering the cheapest petrol. In the country, the distance between service stations is qreater and what people expect from them - mechanical repairs and farm deliveries as well as fuel - is more varied.
Accordingly, the local arms of some of the world’s biqgest companies run city statiens themselves but use independent operators elsewhere. “I don’t think we have the ability to understand and build the sort of relationship with customers that is really important in rural Australia,” ‘BP Australia’s vice-president of wholesale reseller and retail, ‘Dean Salter, says. However, ene of Salter’s independent operators, led by a predecessor in his position, is trying to prove that big orqanisations can be intimate as well as efficient.