Umbrex is pleased to welcome Matthew Kien-Meng Ly. Matthew spent four years at Bain & Company helping companies understand market insights and develop growth strategies. Prior to Bain, Matthew was a software engineer and technology professional. Matthew has particular expertise in identifying customer / competitive insights and new markets, assessing policy / regulatory impact on markets, and developing growth strategies / plans. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his fiancée and enjoys woodworking in his spare time. He holds a JD from Harvard and a BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Matthew is happy to collaborate on projects in US and Canada.
This article on Sean McCoy’s company blog explains why long-term forces and trends are forcing many heavy industries to reshape value chains, change economics, and disrupt business models.
Digital technologies are making it possible for firms to expand their offering and meet new customer needs and serve new customers. For a manufacturer or heavy industrial company, this means companies that were not your competitor yesterday are your competitor today and tomorrow. The executives at GM and Ford lose many hours of sleep wondering if and how Google and Apple will eat their lunch.
Competitive intensity is also increased by changes in the cost of resources and location economics. Those changes are drying up some profit pools, increasing competition at the remaining ones. Low-cost manufacturers in China used to win on price, and domestic manufacturers on speed. For years, low-cost manufacturers have been re-shoring production as rising labor costs in China neutralized the cost advantage. Now, low-cost manufacturers can win on price and speed. The producers that stayed domestic are finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Even if your market is stable, disruptions in other markets can dry up other profit pools, driving competitors into your space. When oil prices tumbled and oil companies needed less metal, metal companies and mines serving the oil and gas industry looked to other sectors that need metal, e.g., construction, utilities, ship builders. As a result, the mines and plants serving those industries had to deal with price pressures and declining volumes, hurting ROA.
Read the full article, Responding to competitive pressures in heavy industry & manufacturing, on the McCoy Consulting Group website.