2K10 to 2K20 – What Does This Decada Hold for US

So now that we have reached the start of the second decade of the new millennium.  What will 2K20 look like for business, retailer and cookware in particular.

If we had asked this question at the turn of the millennium, the projections thor the decade may have included the dot com bust as things were moving too fast to hold up in 2000.  But no one would have  predicted the terrorist attack which was the foundation for two wars.  Nor would there have been any projection for the worst recession in 70 years.

So how do we  project for the next 10 years?

Of course the easy part of projections is the continuation of things we can observe today.  But as several forecasters have said in the past, ” there is a high probability that a very low probability event will occur.”  This the difficult part of forecasting.

So looking at things we can project:

1.  Mobility

Mobility will continue to dominate changes in personal and business behavior.

This will have implications for businesses  as more professional workers and office administrative workers will work more often form home (or at least not at the office) or work for more than one employer.  Concepts of collaboration wil change from local work groups within an organization to multinational interest groups.

Mobility for retailers will allow constant evalutation of value offereings of physical versus virtual stores.  Value offerings go way beyond price for a product and will include provisioning, service and information for the life of the product.

Mobility for individuals will continue the trend of connectivity everywhere – all the time.  But the connections will be dynamically defined by the individual.  Individuals will be able to tuen in or out business networks, social networks, interest groups based on their  personal definitions   So you may have thousands of Facebook and Twitter friends, but they haveb to tune you in to make a connections.  Connections will be very important.

2. Globalization

Globalization or multi-national integrations is another current trend that will continue.

More and more companies are moving part of their business processes to service providers both locally and internationally.  The service driven business model will continue to evolve which will result in centers if excellence that will both collaborate with like minded people from around the world but will also migrate closer to the users of the service.  So while customer service call centers will most likely transition to the lowest cost providers in the world, manufacturing and assembly of products will migrate to locations that provide the best value for the processes.  This could result in the rebirty of specialty manufacturing services in the US.

3.  Consolidation

Consolidation with industries will continue but innovation will not follow.

The more industry sectors that you look at, the more evidence there is that each sector, over time, will be dominated by one, two or possibly three large entities who control the vast majority of their market.  The number of auto manufacturers continues to decline, there are only two commercial aircraft manufacturers, appliance makers, warehouse stores, and the list goes on.  Only banks seem to lag this trend but the financial crisis has caused a large number of mergers or takeovers here as well.

However, innovation of new products and services continues to come mostly from start up and small businesses (many of which are quickly acquired by Apple or Oracle it seems).

The mobility issue also reduces barriers of new business creation. So the large will get larger but new companies will continue to create new products and services that will modify markets and infrequently competitors.  The key issue for these emerging companies will be, as has been the case from a long time, getting the attention of a niche of customers that will make them profitable.

There are many other projections that could be discovered by there three could create significant discussion from which more ideas will emerge.

More on retailing and cookware next.

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