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UK | The Sunday Times | 23. März 2014

When a spin-off is the only answer

If your employees have come up with a promising innovation, a separate venture may be the best home for it.  Some companies invest a lot of time and money in innovation in the hope that their staff will come up with profitable ideas.  It doesn’t necessarily follow, however, that they should develop those ideas themselves. Rick Eagar, partner at Arthur D. Little says “Parents naturally want to retain some interest in the spin-out, such as minority share ownership, royalties on the transferred intellectual property or opportunities to be a supplier to the new business.  These are all reasonable and normal, and perfectly sensible if done carefully.  But too much ownership and interference in the spin-out’s operations, heavy initial royalties – choking the spin-out’s cash flow – and tight restrictions on its freedom to choose other suppliers…are all good ways to ensure early failure.”

UK | The Energy Industry Times | 16. März 2014

The future of energy utilities

Companies operating in the electricity sector are at a crossroads.  While the future of the utility business is impossible to predict, there are some possible business strategies that utilities should adopt to survive in the new paradigm. Market conditions in the energy utility sector, at least in Europe, are the most challenging in living memory.  The centralised, integrated giants, which emerged from waves of central planning and international consolidation, now see their historical business model challenged by several factors including completion, political initiatives, regulation and structural changes.  Furthermore, technological change creates additional challenges in areas such as smart meters, micro-generation and distributed generation.

UK | ITS International | 01. März 2014

Survey shows cities’ shortcomings

Most of the world’s cities are ill-equipped to cope with the predicted increase in demand on urban travel – that is the stark finding of the second ‘Future of Urban Mobility’ study carried out by global management consultancy Arthur D. Little.  Compiled in association with the international Association of Public Transport (UITP), the survey examines and rates urban mobility in 84 cities worldwide against an extended set of criteria ranging from the financial attractiveness of public transport to the density of vehicles registered. So what would a city that performs well across all criteria look like? According to the authors it would have a best-in-class urban mobility system as affordable as Hong Kong, with a similar vehicle density, modal split and level of smart-card acceptance.  It would also have Stockholm’s clean air, as much cycling as Amsterdam and be as safe as Copenhagen.  Public transport service would be as frequent as the London Tube, combined with a bike sharing system from Brussels or Paris and Stuttgart’s car sharing scheme. Travel times would be a short as Nantes and its climatic impact would be as small as that of Wuhan.

UK | Financial IT | 25. Februar 2014

Taming The Wild Data Harvest

Each and every day vast amounts of data are being created and collected by companies around the globe.  In many cases users are being asked to sign-up for more invasive user agreements allowing companies to gather ever more private data and they often don’t know how their data will be shared.  In this article the authors take a closer look at the consequences this has for marketers, users and policy makers, and future directions for regulation. Given the wide reach and potential consequences of the productization of user information, it becomes essential for policy makers to carefully balance the positive welfare effects of innovation against negative spill overs.  A key success factor in this endeavour could be to consider a broader scope of rule-making, coordination and enforcement that goes beyond existing structures defined by national and regional boundaries.

UK | The Guardian Online | 19. Februar 2014

Racing to catch the connected customer: how digital is transforming automotive marketing

The article leads with the news that car purchases are increasingly migrating online, presenting a challenge to the traditional car dealership. The author quotes ADL’s recent survey findings showing that 70% of car buyers spend more time researching purchases online than offline.

Various CEO’s suggest ways of enabling car dealers to make the switch to the online environment, including Nissan’s social media campaign to create a distinctive online brand and optimising car websites so that they can be seamlessly accessed across different endpoints, from tablets to smartphones.

The article concludes with the potential for the future ‘connected car’ to build long-term relationships between car brands and consumers, through vehicles that transform the in-car experience into part of the driver’s social media world, and enable brands to discover more about car owners than ever before.

UK | Railway Strategies | 14. Februar 2014

The future of urban mobility 2.0

This article covers ADL’s urban mobility report, highlighting the impending problems associated with the increasing urbanisation of the world’s population.

The article notes that the majority of global cities remain ill-equipped to contend with increasing populations, pinpointing Africa and the Middle East as a particular concern.  Three of ADL’s strategic recommendations to boost urban mobility are listed; re-designing transport systems in the developed world to reduce dependence on motorised vehicles; co-ordinating city-wide transport systems enabling travellers to seamlessly switch from one mode of transport to another, and establishing a sustainable, low-cost core of mobility infrastructure and technology in the developing world.

The article concludes by pointing to a new way forward for those seeking to address growing urban congestion; enhancing public transport offerings to attract more users, finding the right funding mix for public transport systems and co-ordinating a transport vision with an innovative social and political vision that unites all stakeholders and controlling the demand that fuels congestion.

Germany | Sueddeutsche Zeitung | 06. Februar 2014

New sales channels: Cars from the internet

Premium car manufactures are trying to increase sales to younger customer segments. Therefore, they are in need of new ways to sell cars over the internet, where these customer segments can often be found. Anyhow, online sales in the automotive industry are still in their infancy. According to a recent study by global management consultancy Arthur D. Little, sales of new cars over the internet have just started a couple of years ago especially in mature markets. “We expect decent growth rates here” commented one of the authors.

UK | Commercial Vehicle Engineer | 01. Februar 2014

More than a little research into an urban mobility challenge

This article highlights ADL’s research comparing the scope and standard of urban mobility across 84 global cities, as the world’s city populations continue to swell.

The piece leads with ADL’s prediction that over 70% of the world’s populations will soon live in urban centres, illustrating how mass migration to urban centres renders urban mobility one of the most pressing issues of our time.  ADL’s survey assesses the mobility and maturity of 84 cities using 19 key criteria, uncovering dramatic disparities in the maturity and performance of urban mobility between European cities and those in Africa and the Middle East. Stockholm, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are pinpointed as the highest-scoring European cities for mobility performance, with Athens and Lisbon identified as the worst in the region.  The high mobility performance of US cities with widespread car ownership is contrasted with their low scores on CO2 emissions.

The author concludes that ADL has identified a climate of hostility towards innovation among urban managers, combined with a failure to co-ordinate transport systems among all stakeholders, as the principle roadblock to reform.

Germany | Automobilwoche | 27. Januar 2014

No need for car dealership

The traditional model of car dealerships as the sales center of automotive manufacturers is increasingly coming under pressure. According to a new study from Arthur D. Little, more than 70% of all customers already spend more time researching online than in the actual car dealership… and counting. Even services that have always been associated with the dealership in the past do not necessarily need to take place there: More than 76 % of the 4,500 respondents admitted they would prefer to have the car delivered to their home in order to test-drive.

UK | | 27. Januar 2014

The Creativity Era: A new paradigm for business?

In this article, ADL’s survey of CTOs is mentioned. The company’s average lifespan has decreased from 67 years to 15 years since the 1920s.  This means that companies now more than ever need to be very creative and constantly reinvent themselves. Moreover, the article highlights some factors that are pressuring companies to make changes in the way they use creativity to adapt to the new economic environment. First of all, competitive landscapes are expanding. Secondly, customers have become part of the products design process, which means that the roles of supplier, customer and competitors are starting to blur. Moreover, the pace of technological advance is increasing, meaning the pace of innovation must speed up as well, pushing companies to stay informed and up-to-date. Lastly, academics and consultants are trying to understand “creativity management” to face the need for radical change and reinvention.