Despite Uncertainty, It's Time to Start Thinking Long-Term - Modern Distribution Management

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Despite Uncertainty, It’s Time to Start Thinking Long-Term

Short-term thinking is out; the big picture is in.

Though confidence seems to be recovering – somewhat – a whole slew of new challenges will emerge as the economy begins its shaky recovery. In fact, one uncertainty involves whether the economy will fully recover, or if it will back-slide first.

A recent article at one of my favorite management sites – Knowledge@Wharton from the University of Pennsylvania – examines strategy in such an environment. It points out that not all segments or products will benefit immediately from a recovery. The author also says that we could be seeing a "jobless recovery," where more companies are trying to do more with less – and not rehiring or ramping up employment to match economic progress.
Despite lingering uncertainty, the author and those he quote say that companies need to stop thinking short-term and start viewing the bigger picture. The article quotes a Deloitte report that warns that firms are "fixating on concerns like liquidity and customer retention, not worrying about forward-looking areas like talent, profitable growth and structural change."
Customers are starting to look forward as well – a Wharton management professor is quoted as saying "This is a moment when clients are re-examining what they need, and they want value for their money. Clients may be more willing to try new suppliers or switch suppliers, so companies themselves should be looking around for new clients."
The fact represents both an opportunity and a challenge as distributors craft strategy going forward.

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