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Innovation for Sustainability: Chicken Tractors, a Simple Innovation with a Big Payoff

Innovation for Sustainability: Chicken Tractors, a Simple Innovation with a Big Payoff


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March 18, 2014

By

Food Tank

The chicken tractor mimics the natural processes of nutrient cycling while allowing farmers to manage chickens for the production of eggs and meat. This allows the farmer to humanely manage chickens so that they are most beneficial to the land.


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As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


/>

As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.


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As they navigate the best strategies, firms are tackling how best to meet customer expectations, according to an exclusive survey conducted by HSBC and Forbes Insights. The following key findings show how executives are approaching efficiency, technology and talent.

Executives from the apparel, technology, professional services and food and beverage industries are feeling confident about the economic trajectory in the United States. In a survey of 200 executives, 95% described the current environment as business friendly while a vast majority said business conditions are improving. Companies plan to leverage that by entering new markets, creating new products and better meeting customer expectations, according to the survey.

Still, a competitive climate has been challenging for companies: Nearly half of respondents said they’re merely “keeping pace” with their competitors, while just 9% described themselves as being disruptors or advanced. While these characterizations hold true across the four sectors surveyed, larger companies—with revenues of $1 billion or more—are poised to be more competitive because they have more resources to invest in technology and talent.

Across surveyed industries, companies are focusing on efficiency rather than revenue growth alone. That approach indicates relative caution given executives’ optimism about the economy. The focus on increasing efficiency is stronger in the consumer-facing B2C sectors (49%) versus B2B (39%). One prominent example is the retail industry, which has undergone a transformation thanks to customer expectations for faster delivery and an omnichannel shopping experience. Consumer-facing companies may bear higher costs to improve customer experience, such as free shipping or returns. Because those factors weigh on profits, B2C companies may feel more pressure to tackle efficiencies.

Meeting those expectations can be an expensive proposition, which explains why increasing efficiency is most important for apparel executives (60%). On the other hand, B2B companies largely focus on creating products and services that can help consumer-facing firms achieve higher efficiencies.

Technology is key to increasing operational efficiency and meeting customer expectations. The biggest group of executives (51%) intend to pursue growth through internal innovation and research and development investments. Such investments in organic technology, as opposed to technology-driven joint ventures or acquisitions, are often aimed at efficiencies rather than new revenue streams.

However, it can be difficult for companies to know which technologies to select and implement, how best to integrate them with existing technologies or how to calculate the returns on technology investments. In the end, technology is useful only so far as it meets customer expectations. Thus, using technology for creating and supporting customer experience is the top challenge with meeting customer expectations.

Technology investments, however, will not yield results unless companies have employees with the right skills to implement those tools. Striking the right balance between technology and people is especially crucial in the current low-unemployment environment, with many companies facing skills shortages. Not surprisingly, talent and workforce emerge as one of the top areas of focus for executives across all survey respondents.

To tackle this challenge, executives are planning to make workforce skills and employment models one of their top areas of focus over the next three years, with B2B companies making it their No. 1 focus.

While survey respondents described their customers as loyal and fast-changing, the caveat is that customers will remain loyal only so long as companies can keep up with them. While executives recognize the importance of meeting customer expectations and make it one of the top pillars of growth, they largely aim to meet customer expectations by reacting to the market rather than trying to anticipate customers’ needs or delight them with original ideas. That indicates there’s significant room for improvement in how companies are using data to anticipate customer expectations, needs, trends and values.

At the same time, a majority of companies surveyed feel their internal structures and workflows are only adequate as they focus on making their organizations customer-centric. In that effort, the findings showed that half of the companies are planning to create new roles focused on the customer.

Taking advantage of a strong economy, executives are realigning their strategies to better meet consumers’ needs. Nearly all of the executives surveyed said they are confident they can do so within the next three years. This illustrates that despite the challenges related to workforce and technology, companies remain optimistic about their customer-focused approach.



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