Business & Financial Markets
Fundamentals of Business
Is about application of tools, methods and techniques to improve production and processes. Nothing is as obvious as technology, whether in households or Businesses. The intensity and type of technology use varies depending on the type of economic activities an enterprise is involved in.
There will be no point of analysing every single technology available in all industries and their applications as I will need to write volumes and volumes of books to cover this one subject.
The most important concept for an enterprise to monitor is:
Technology life cycle cycles.
For any product or technology there is a finite life, it may be measured in decades or even centuries but eventually it gets old and something comes along to replace it. It is obvious with some of today's computer and communication technologies this life cycle is very short and may be measured in months rather than years.
Extracts from the book by Utterback, J., Mastering the dynamics of innovation. 1994, Boston, MA:
Harvard Business School Press.
Abernathy and Utterback took this idea - and the experience of many different sectors and showed that there are different phases in the technology life cycle.
|Character Characteristics||Fluid pattern||Transition phase||Specific phase|
|Competitive emphasis placed on||Functional product performance||Product variation||Cost reduction|
|Innovation stimulated by||Information on user needs, technical inputs||Opportunities created by expanding internal technical capability||Pressure to reduce cost, improve quality|
|Predominant type of innovation||Frequent major changes in product||Major process innovation required by rising volume||Incremental product and process innovation|
|Product line||Diverse often include custom designs||Include at least one stable or dominant design||Mostly undifferentiated standard products|
|Production processes||Flexible and inefficient - aim is to experiment and make frequent changes||Becoming more rigid and defined||Efficient, often capital intensive and relatively rigid|
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