02-Strategy-500

Winter 1995
Volume 36, Issue # 2

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02-Strategy-500

Scenario Planning: A Tool for Strategic Thinking

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 46 min 

How can companies combat the overconfidence and tunnel vision common to so much decision making? By first identifying basic trends and uncertainties and then using them to construct a variety of future scenarios. The author shows how two major companies got a richer picture of the possible future through scenarios — and dramatically improved their strategic planning.

016-Innovation-500

The Case for Expressive Systems

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 27 min 

A NEW KIND OF INFORMATION SYSTEM IS EMERGING THAT WILL REDUCE THE TIME TO MARKET, HELP TAILOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TO customers’ needs, and make processes more responsive to unexpected events. Expressive systems allow users to adapt quickly and easily to exceptions from standard operating procedure. The authors describe how expressive systems work and suggest ways of modifying the roles and structure of IS departments to implement the new technology.

04-Operations-500

Reassessing the Japanese Distribution System

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 35 min 

JAPAN’S DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS, LONG THE TARGET OF CRITICISM, ARE CHANGING. DEREGULATION, NEW MANUFACTURING IMPERATIVES, consumer behavior, and the economy have interacted to reshape Japanese distribution. The trends have important implications for global business, since the system now offers areas of opportunity for Western manufacturers and retailers.

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02-Operations-500

Improve Data Quality for Competitive Advantage

  • Research Feature
  • Read Time: 18 min 
ERRORS IN DATA CAN COST A COMPANY MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, ALIENATE CUSTOMERS, AND MAKE IMPLEMENTING NEW STRATEGIES DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE. The author describes a process AT&T uses to recognize poor data and improve their quality. He proposes a three-step method for identifying data-quality problems, treating data as an asset, and applying quality systems to the processes that create data.