Recently Kelli Sexton, CEO of Rockton Software forwarded to me the link to Brian Beaulieu’s presentation for the Colorado CEO Forum. It is a long presentation, but worth the review for the broad all-encompassing view of many of the external economic trends that typically affect performance, often hard for the small and medium business owner to find time to investigate and understand. But truly having all the data in one place and in one well-paced, highly relevant presentation makes settling in and viewing the video well worthwhile.
After recent postings on tackling the task of strategic planning and developing a cohesive team to manage and execute that strategic plan I found the real time, real world data Brian presents truly useful for running my own decision-making and planning through external factors. Beaulieu’s identification that there will be strengthening business and consumer opportunities through 2017 was very encouraging especially because he takes great care to provide the data underlying the definition of these trends.
Beaulieu’s team provided data for GDP, manufacturing as a “percentage of Industrial production” (which is growing by the way), employment trends, population growth and housing statistics, to name a few. Then they provided information on how they see the trends in this data manifesting in economic opportunities or uncertainties.
4 strong trend messages:
- Be sure your business has access to funding so you can take advantage of upcoming opportunities.
- Demand high performance from your sales staff as the opportunities are there (as a member of the sales team that was one of my least favorite opinions!)
- Population growth in the US is our friend, driving market sizes
- The on shoring trend for manufacturing will continue, resulting in higher GDP and better economic values across the board.
One big trend causes concern:
It also seems clear that businesses will have a repeat of some old or continuing challenges. While needing to continue productivity improvements they will also have to face the daunting task of finding skilled staff to meet their needs. The details of that challenge will of course vary by industry and geography but will none the less affect every business to some degree in the coming years. This is likely to be the driver for inflation.
Meeting the challenges of trends:
Those of us in technology will benefit from this challenge by being able to bring to market solutions to existing and new problems that will both achieve productivity improvement and relieve the burden for higher skill sets in some areas through the use of automation tools. For those of you engaged in the Microsoft Dynamics platform for your business operations, there will be a wealth of such solutions to find and evaluate.
Four suggestions to aid you address these challenges are:
- Download and review the GPOptimizer Magazine and take a look at a breadth of ISV and other products that are all developed to help make your business more efficient.
- Plan to attend Convergence 2014 in Atlanta, GA March 4-7 (we’ll be there exhibiting along with many other ISV providers)
- Join the regional UG (Users Group) for your Dynamics product to learn and share with your peers and other business experts.
- If you are in Puerto Rico come meet a select group of ISV’s from the ISV Summit on January 28th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
If your team has already targeted error reduction as a key behavior for reducing costs and improving productivity, you may find that the functionality offered in Quality Essentials Suite for both data management and improvement management is a surprisingly affordable tool to support those efforts. Whatever path you take, we wish you great success in 2014.