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SSA & Company Notebook | Fall 2018

Overview

A note from our President: As we head toward the new year, we are excited to share some evolutions at SSA & Company. We recently had the pleasure of welcoming Matt Katz, Managing Partner, to our team. He brings over 25 years of global management and advisory experience working with some of the most iconic brands. Matt will grow and lead the firm’s retail and consumer packaged goods practice, as well as help manage the firm. Additionally, as we partner with clients to build next-generation businesses, we’re building a new website that better reflects impact for clients, culture, and team. We look forward to sharing it with you in the coming months. With transformation in mind, this Notebook explores how companies are reimagining business with disruptive technologies, creative and customer-centric strategies, and new digital capabilities. We delve into talent and culture changes…

SSA & Company Notebook | Summer 2018

Overview

A note from our President: As Chairman of the Columbia University Deming Center Advisory Board, I recently attended the annual Deming Forum. The discussion centered around today’s unprecedented disruption and the need for clear processes around keeping an organization and its people ahead of the curve. Innovation is not a “nice to have.” It demands a delicate balance of strategy and agility. In this issue, we hear from Deb Henretta, G100 Companies Partner and former Group President of e-Business at Procter & Gamble, on how companies can win in digital and what senior leaders need to know to transform their businesses. We also explore the implications of disruptive technology on operations in retail and financial services and delve into the workforce of the future. We close with insights on human capital, shared by our sister firm The Miles Group (TMG).…

SSA & Company Notebook | Spring 2018

Overview

A note from our President: Experts have dubbed 2018 as the “year of data.” Artificial intelligence and machine learning shifted from emerging technologies to expected touchpoint for many companies, and most CEOs and executives have blockchain on their minds. Amid this changing technology landscape, a company’s success continues to stem from its ability to bring its strategy to life. This notebook issue is dedicated to the new tools and techniques that help get companies there. As always, we feature a special section on executive leadership and talent from Stephen Miles, founder and CEO of TMG. I am pleased to share these stories and practical insights with you. – David Niles Ideas That Made Us Think   Sprint to Digital Transformation “Many companies start off thinking about digital transformation as a means of cutting costs,” shares Sprint Chief Digital Officer, Rob…

SSA & Company Notebook | Fall 2017

Overview

A note from our President: As Chairman of Columbia Business School’s Deming Center Advisory Board, I had the distinct pleasure to award this year’s Deming Cup to Jeffrey Immelt, former Chairman and CEO of GE, and Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. The Deming Cup recognizes leaders who make significant contributions and develop continuous improvement within their organizations. In today’s business environment, operationalizing strategy matters more than ever. The Deming Center’s mission is to ensure that the operations skills, quality expertise, and leadership are made modern. At SSA & Company, we take these central tenants and build further upon them. This quarter’s newsletter focuses on topics surrounding continuous excellence in an environment of consistent change and uncertainty. I am pleased to share these stories and practical insights with you. – David Niles   Ideas That Made Us Think…

SSA & Company Notebook | Summer 2017

Overview

Ideas That Made Us Think Delivering on Robotic Process Automation’s Promise Robotic process automation (RPA) can fundamentally change the way companies operate. While many financial services firms have experimented with the technology, universal best practices have yet to surface, leaving many to learn as they go. Deutsche Bank made significant investments in RPA over the past year, integrating it in trade, finance, cash and loan operations, taxes, and employee training functions. Deutsche Bank achieved 30-70% automation in each area. Dean Mazboudi, former head of Deutsche Bank’s innovation arm says, “I don’t think robots will ever replace humans. But robots will make humans more efficient and smarter.” He also notes automating monotonous tasks can increase employee satisfaction. RPA is poised to be embraced by more companies and industries, and leadership must recognize that RPA can deliver significant benefits if done properly.…

G100 Network Notebook | February 2017

Overview

What You Don’t Know About CEO Tenure New data from Spencer Stuart reveals an encouraging and overlooked sign in the media coverage of CEO turnover. Tenure for S&P 500 CEOs continues to rise partly because of better board and management alignment around performance: Contrary to common perception that the market has become less patient with public company CEOs, for S&P 500 chief executives, the average total tenure has increased 35%, from 6.79 years in 2004, to 9.20 in 2016. Much of the increase came from boards sticking with their CEOs after the 2008 financial crisis. And tenures have continued to increase, rising 30% since 2010. The research also explains what longer CEO tenure means for recruiting and succession. That helps explain why Warren Buffet is bullish on airlines, reports Business Insider: The 2008 Delta-Northwest merger was an absolute home run. The…

SSA & Company Notebook | Winter 2017

Overview

Ideas That Made Us Think Evolving Customer Sentiment Can Unlock Your Supply Chain’s Potential Consumers’ demands to know what’s in their products is putting unprecedented pressure on companies. Supply chains are increasingly fragmented, and “suppliers are often reluctant to share their formulations, buyers balk at higher costs, and in some cases cost-effective safer substitutes simply aren’t available.” According to Bloomberg, companies, including Levi Strauss & Co., are demanding increased accountability and transparency from their suppliers, and the market is starting to respond. Pike Research forecasts hypergrowth for the green chemistry market—from $11 billion to nearly $100 billion by 2020. In order to meet this growing demand, companies can partner with suppliers to understand constraints, collaborate on ways to efficiently use green chemicals, and minimize the costs passed along to consumers. Forward-thinking companies can utilize their supply chains as public differentiators…

G100 Network Notebook | November 2016

Overview

The Revolution in Digital Payments Cisco Chairman John Chambers, ranked India Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a model leader of digitization. Days after, Modi surprised everyone by removing India’s most valued and popular currencies, even though India still uses cash for 95-98% of all transactions. Designed to root out corruption and terrorism financing, demonetization has proven controversial during implementation but it may jumpstart a digital economy, according to Quartz: Paytm, an e-wallet firm, has seen a huge surge in transactions. … The removal of the notes has also brought India’s first “digital and cashless village,” Akodara, which is 60 miles from the northern city of Ahmedabad, into the limelight. Most of the 1,200 people living in Akodara buy everything from wheat flour to potato chips through mobile banking. Stripe, whose APIs power one-quarter of all online transactions, has quietly emerged…

G100 Network Notebook | October 2016

Overview

The “Startup Yoda” of Silicon Valley That characterization comes from The New Yorker‘s fascinating portrait of Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, whose alumni companies fetch a total valuation of more than $80 billion. The comprehensive profile contains a delightful succession story that highlights what makes YC unique – a discerning eye for talent and relentless focus on strategic growth. An excerpt: [Sam] recently tweeted that YC’s empire reached 14% of the value of Alphabet…adding, “Long way to go…” It’s a blatantly unfair comparison: YC’s average ownership of its companies, diluted by subsequent venture funding, is just 3%. Yet Altman told me that, “unlike Google, we grow faster as we get bigger. We could catch them in 10 years.” Can Technology Drive Global Growth? Promising new research begins to quantify the economic potential of artificial intelligence. After analyzing 12 developed…

SSA & Company Notebook | Fall 2016

Overview

Ideas That Made Us Think How Augmented Reality is Changing Business Operations Companies including DHL, ExxonMobil, and De Beers are applying augmented reality (AR) to drive efficiency in operations. DHL partnered with wearables expert Ubimax to test using AR for order picking. Graphics interplayed over smart glasses guide warehouse staff. The test resulted in 25% efficiency increases, allowing employees to work faster, hands free, and with fewer errors. Retailers like De Beers are using AR to allow customers to virtually try on jewelry, improving customer experience and hopefully decreasing returns. While relatively nascent, AR technology is already driving operational improvements across industries, including education, automotive, and retail. In the energy sector, companies like ExxonMobil use the technology for simulated maintenance training, which reduces costs and improves safety. Uncovering Working Capital in the Supply Chain through New Financial Technology Financial Technology (FinTech) firms…