Yesterday I launched this blog by sending out an invite to my ‘nearest and dearest’. I’ve been staggered with the response so please keep reading and I’ll keep posting. Comments are vital so please join in and comment on whatever you like. So, I’m continuing here with my ‘business BI’ theme but just a word about my cat. He’s nicknamed Torres after the fabulous ex-Liverpool player, or was rather, until his (the player not the cat’s) rather unseemly exit to Chelsea. I wish him well of course, (the cat not the player!)
Note: over time you’ll recognise that I am a devoted Liverpool fan
Many ‘mega-trends’ are in place today – Globalisation, re-regulation, internet shopping, disengaged customers and more take-overs day by day. The need to have accurate information is paramount simply to survive let alone grow.
Too often we use big words without thinking about what they mean and Globalisation is one of them. Now I am not going to write about globalisation here but it is useful to consider it as a phenomenon, is it real, is it important?
Let’s consider some facts:
- 70% of the world’s shoes come from one town in China – now if you produce shoes in the UK this fact should be very worrisome.
- To all intents and purposes the UK no longer has a car industry – we used to have, but in the end British Leyland amongst others proved a tad slow and not too smart. There’s nothing left anymore.
- In the space of just a few years Vodafone has penetrated nearly the entire know world with its mobile services. Unless you take active steps to prevent it, you are almost guaranteed to end up paying some money one way or another, to Vodafone this year.
- Most holiday companies now make a sizable proportion of their revenue from banking products or shipping cargo.
Globalisation is the force behind the break-down of trading barriers but globalisation is partly a result of another massive change in business practices over the last ten years that we call de-regulation. Basically, in the ‘old days’ there were rules about what a company (or type of company) could sell. For example, Building Societies could not lend savers money to borrowing customers directly – you had to have a banking license to do that. Retailers could not sell insurance products. Insurance companies could not provide savings accounts. This all changed in the process of de-regulation and so now retailers can sell banking products, banks can sell insurance products and by and large, anything goes. When you put the two things together, globalisation and de-regulation, we have another world, a world in which the biggest retailer ever seen – Wall-Mart can presumably sell banking services in the UK thus becoming a competitor of Barclays Bank!
Note: Wall-Mart own ASDA – I’m not sure if they sell banking products but I guess so.