从成熟业务中获得最大收益

对于什么构成一个成熟的企业是有共识的:一个完善的龙8国际手机版注册, 一个稳定的竞争对手和客户基础, 高容量, 增长速度放缓. 然而, 对于成熟业务的价值以及它们在公司整体投资组合中所扮演的角色,人们的看法不太一致. 今天, 龙8国际手机版注册 has mature businesses within most of our major segments, and they are critical contributors to our financial improvement, 创新的努力, 和行业领导.

 

以下是我遇到的一些关于成熟企业的误区,它们可能会限制你的价值创造.

 

Myth #1: Cash generation is the primary purpose of mature businesses.

 

Mature businesses are often characterized as cash cows, for good reason. 一旦企业成熟, 你可以从早期的投资中获得收益. The reliable cash flow from mature businesses does more than strengthen your balance sheet; it also provides the funds for new business development. But the value of mature businesses doesn’t stop there.

 

一个成熟的企业最有价值的贡献之一是你可以适应其他创新的专业知识. 龙8国际手机版注册的环境技术部门是一个很好的例子,龙8国际龙8国际手机版注册处于不同的成熟阶段. 龙8国际手机版注册 has been a leader in clean-air technologies since 1972, 当龙8国际的科学家发明了作为催化转换器核心的细胞陶瓷基板时. 今天,龙8国际的轻型基板仍然是龙8国际业务的核心,对龙8国际的客户至关重要. 龙8国际一直在不断地应用该技术的知识和技能来开发新的清洁空气的创新, 包括世界上第一个 汽油颗粒过滤器. By drawing on our deep understanding of emissions control, 材料科学, 挤压过程, 以及汽车工业, we were able to develop the technology faster than our peers, capture a significant portion of the market, 超越龙8国际的竞争对手.

 

Experienced businesses are often the most efficient ones. 随着效率的提高, you often free up assets that you can take advantage of for other initiatives. That was the case with 龙8国际手机版注册’s development of 大猩猩® 玻璃. 通过重新利用龙8国际的液晶玻璃业务的融合技术和制造资产, we saved $1 billion in capital investments.

 

Mature businesses are also valuable sources of best practices and talent. 在一个 以前的作品, 我描述了龙8国际手机版注册如何进行全面的生产评估,并在整个组织中分享最佳实践. 毫不奇怪,龙8国际成熟的业务是一流流程的最常见来源. And when we need to mine talent to help with a challenge in another division, 龙8国际经常求助于退伍军人. 龙8国际手机版注册和市场可能不同, but the fundamental principles of market development, 客户关系, 卓越的制造能力.

 

另外, 成熟的企业有丰富的渠道让客户了解他们的业务发展方向. 这些见解可以导致龙8国际手机版注册增强或扩展,增加你的竞争优势. In fact, sometimes they even lead to entirely new product opportunities. 例如, 龙8国际手机版注册’s development of Valor® 玻璃制品源于与生命科学的长期客户默克和辉瑞讨论他们在传统制药玻璃包装上遇到的问题. 龙8国际相信,英勇玻璃可能会成为一个数十亿美元的特许经营权,这将推动龙8国际手机版注册在未来的增长.

 

神话# 2: You know what your customers need and can count on their business.

 

在一个成熟的行业, 你有一个成熟的客户基础, a good understanding of their requirements, 如果你的工作做得不错,你还可以和关键决策者建立牢固的关系. But you may not understand your customers’ needs as well as you think you do. This is important to keep in mind as you develop new product attributes. If your product is better than your competitor’s product, 只有客户关心并愿意为之付费的差异才算重要. Don’t count solely on routine customer conversations to yield those insights. To get a real handle on your customers’ needs, you need to conduct regular surveys and compare your roadmaps.

 

On a related note, don’t give customers a reason to try a competitor. Quality and price are important, but so is reliable supply. 你的客户可能很忠诚,但如果他们不能从你这里得到他们需要的东西,他们就会去其他地方. And if the competitor’s product is good enough, they might not come back.

 

Myth #3:  There’s no room for innovation in a mature business.

 

As a general rule, mature businesses are not hotbeds for technology disruption. 但仍有很大的创新空间,尤其是在流程方面. 超过龙8国际手机版注册168年的历史, we have developed as many process innovations as product innovations. 不是所有的都是革命性的, 但有时,即使是渐进式的改进和扩展也可以显著增加竞争优势.

 

例如, 几年前, 龙8国际用于生产光纤的一种关键原材料在全球范围内都存在短缺. The price skyrocketed, hurting our margins. 龙8国际需要想出替代材料和/或替代工艺. I can’t 分享 the details for competitive reasons, 但龙8国际想出了一个解决方案,大大减少了对这种原材料的需求, lowering our materials costs and increasing our production speed.

 

这个例子印证了“需求是发明之母”的格言.” But you shouldn’t wait for a need to arise. You can create innovation opportunities by setting stretch goals. About 10 years ago, we established bold targets for cost reduction. 有些人认为这是不可能的, but our people rose to the challenge and achieved the goal well ahead of plan. We recently set a new goal for an equally ambitious round of cost reductions, to be achieved via further manufacturing process innovation. 龙8国际处于定义和度量阶段,但是龙8国际已经确定了需要改进的地方.

 

If you keep asking yourself questions (How can we increase line speeds? 龙8国际能缩短设置时间吗? 龙8国际能减少能源消耗吗?), you may be surprised where they take you.

 

Myth #4: It’s folly to invest capital or add capacity in a mature business.

 

当大多数企业达到成熟期时,它们只需要很少的投资就能产生现金. 许多公司选择顺势而为,避免对新技术或产能进行重大投资, which are considered risky when demand is slowing. The reality is, investments in mature businesses can be 投资于新的增长是有风险的. 在一个新行业, 你需要做更多的假设关于采用的时间和市场的潜在规模. 在一个成熟的行业, you know the landscape better. And if you’re resourceful with your funding strategy, you may be able to take even more risk out of the equation, which is what 龙8国际手机版注册 did with a recent expansion in our LCD glass business.  2015年底,龙8国际宣布了建造世界上第一家10代制造工厂的计划.5液晶玻璃- i.e.其中,一片片质朴的玻璃有一张特大号床的两倍大,有一张名片那么薄. 怀疑论者质疑龙8国际在LCD玻璃价格下降的时候做出重大投资的决定. 但在开始构建之前,龙8国际已经获得了客户承诺和第三方资金. The plant became fully operational last year, and we believe our Gen 10.5的能力将使龙8国际能够抓住市场增长,因为它为LCD面板制造商生产65英寸及更大的电视提供了最经济的途径, 哪个是当前动作的位置.

 

Myth #5: Once a business matures, it stays mature.

 

正如我在本文开头提到的,成熟业务的一个指标是增长放缓. 但这并不是一成不变的. 一个成熟的企业有可能在外部和内部因素的共同推动下实现新的增长. 例如, 龙8国际手机版注册’s optical fiber business, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, has experienced growth plateaus and even retreats. But the need for faster, higher-bandwidth networks remains strong. By driving relent少 manufacturing cost reductions and ongoing innovation, we’ve positioned ourselves to thrive in the next growth ramp. 今天, 推动5G网络, which will require 100 times more fiber than 4G networks, has the potential to turn optical fiber back into one of our key growth drivers. In 2017, Verizon announced its plans to buy more than $1 billion worth of fiber, 电缆, 以及龙8国际手机版注册提供的连接解决方案,以增强下一代网络的基础设施. 这不是偶然发生的. 通过不断地了解他们的需求和期望,龙8国际赢得了他们的信任, 解决他们的痛点, and enhance our product offerings and processes in meaningful ways.

 

新进入者也有可能以一种突破性的方式打破一个成熟的市场. In that scenario, you want to be the disruptor. The automotive glass market is a good example of where 龙8国际手机版注册 is 扮演这个角色. 传统的玻璃挡风玻璃和塑料控制台可能仍然是标准,如果龙8国际没有向业界展示特殊设计的玻璃的可能性——从更耐用到更轻的重量,到定制形状和智能显示.

 

In either case, you don’t want to wait for the opportunity to come to you. 你想和你的客户保持密切联系, remain vigilant about opportunities for product enhancements and extensions, and ensure you are capturing synergies across your manufacturing organization.

 

总而言之, 我坚信,成熟的业务是整体投资组合中有价值的一部分, delivering returns beyond conventional wisdom. 有效管理, you’ll not only extend the quality of life for that business, but also strengthen your overall organization.