|The Customer Profitability Conundrum: When to Love 'Em or Leave 'Em
The customer may always be right, according to the old adage. But here is a not-so-old adage that is just as true: The customer may not always be profitable. That's why more companies are starting to take a harder look to determine which customers are worth serving and which should take their business elsewhere. The notion of eliminating customers may seem counterintuitive but in many industries analyzing customer behavior, and responding with strategies to make them as profitable as possible, is essential to long term success.
|The Changing Face of Strategic Alliances in Latin America
Strategic alliances are more important than ever for Latin American companies that wish to grow and compete in a global marketplace. At the same time, multinational corporations from outside the region in search of their own growth opportunities continue to forge alliances and acquire companies to gain entry into Latin America and other parts of the world.
|Consumers Take Charge: Defined-Contribution Health Plans
After twenty rocky years, employers, physicians, patients, and politicians are growing more and more frustrated with managed care, and are supporting a new consumer-driven system. The goal is to temper rising costs and improve service quality by giving consumers better information and greater control over how they spend their health-care dollars. Defined-contribution plans won’t replace managed care plans, but they will be the next dominant form.
|When Art Meets Science: The Challenge of ROI Marketing
These days, there’s more pressure than ever to make marketing more of a quantifiable science than an ephemeral art. In response, a new management discipline called ROI marketing is emerging to help businesses attain the highest possible return on their marketing investments.
|The Challenge of Customization: Bringing Operations and Marketing Together
Customers want more customized, personalized products and services, but companies struggle to cost-effectively deliver them. Improving communication and coordination between operations and sales and marketing is one critical path to profitable customization.
|How Companies Turn Customers' Big Ideas into Innovations
The most effective product development and commercialization processes encourage dynamic communication and idea sharing among engineers, marketers, and customers.
|Can a National Healthcare Information Network Work?
A central medical records database could yield economic and social benefits. However, the network will only succeed if it is designed for all healthcare system stakeholders.
|Reining in Outsourcing Risk
Exporting business processes raises the potential for trouble, but companies can do much to reduce the threats.
|China: Reform from the Outside In
Beijing is selling off ownership stakes in its state-owned companies. The goal isn’t capital; it’s transparency.
|Innovating Customer Service: Retail Banking’s New Frontier
As more U.S. banks reach the federally mandated limit for deposits, they’ll have to find a new way to grow.