|Harvard professor explains how disruptive technologies carve up markets
Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen explains his research on disruptive technologies during a May 5 visit.
It doesn’t necessarily take a better product to rule today’s marketplace, all companies need to do is find the right segment to flip the market upside-down.
Over the past two decades, Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen has seen a growing trend of upstart businesses like Dell Computers that began at the bottom and eventually drove the established companies away. Christensen, the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, discussed the subject before a capacity crowd on May 5.
“The entrant will win if they go after a lesser market and create a situation where a leader would rather flee than fight,” Christensen said.
Disruptions occur either at the low-end of the market, which caters to customers currently ignored by larger companies or in a new market, when an inferior product takes advantage of an emerging market, Christensen said.
Mini steel mills championed the first disruption in the 1980s when they cranked out lower quality steel made from scrap iron and recycled cars that were predominately used in road construction. As the product improved, the mini mills moved into more profitable markets and pushed the established mills out of the industry. The practice has gone on to affect everything from cars, computers and department stores.
“Toyota was just a rusty sub-compact and occasionally the Big Three automakers would send down a Chevette or a Pinto, but over the years Toyota evolved to the point where now it looks like you drive a Lexus,” he said.
The only way an industry leader can stay on top is to develop its own disrupters to weed out potential predators, Christensen said. Kodak saw its future collapsing with the advent of digital cameras over film-based cameras. The company started early at the low-end of the digital camera market and slowly over time evolved their product and market share, he said. Kodak’s proactive maneuvering has resulted in a 28 percent stake of the market.
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Business plan competition final round held today
The Center for Entrepreneurship is holding the 2006 Deloitte Business Plan Competition today. The Center for Entrepreneurship received over 60 entries for this year’s competition.
• American Bio-Energy
• MESA Technologies
• Minimally Invasive Devices
• One InSight Marketing
• UV Hygenics
In the final round, each team will give an oral presentation of its plan to executives of leading sponsor companies. The top three finalists will share in more than $130,000 in start-up funds and services.
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InfoSys Consulting leader touts
new technology-based model
When Steve Pratt and a team of talented consultants left their posts at some of the industry’s top firms to create a revolutionary consulting model, they had time on their side. That was because the consulting world was stuck in a 70-year rut, said Pratt, the CEO and managing director of InfoSys Consulting.
InfoSys Consulting CEO Steve Pratt waits for the next question during his interview as a part of the Sander Flaum Speaker Series on May 12. The interview, conducted by Jim Lane, director of Fisher Professional Services, was recorded for future use.
Pratt was the featured guest for the Sander Flaum Speaker Series on May 12, hosted by Jim Lane, director of Fisher Professional Services. According to Pratt, most consulting models were still linked to the 1920s platform created by Booz Allen Hamilton and McKinsey & Company or a 1980s system championed by accounting firms.
Pratt, who left Deloitte Consulting, and his new colleagues at InfoSys Consulting knew it was time for an updated model that utilized new technology. Their efforts resulted in a more simplified and cost-efficient global network that has garnered the consulting group industry recognition.
“The problem with the old model was that it was very expensive and very unnecessary. A better business model ensures a lower cost and because the world spins, you create a 24-hour work day that never stops,” said Pratt, who made “Consulting Magazine’s” list of Top 25 Consultants in 2003 and 2005. Last December, Forrester Research recognized InfoSys for its business success in India vendor consulting and its competitiveness against the Big Five consulting companies.
Currently, the team at Infosys Consulting has 200 consultants on staff with hopes of growing to 500 by next year. Pratt said the company’s success will hinge on its client’s success.
“You could leave a trail of burning clients, but we link every bonus we get to the client mutual fund so if we get $1 million from Microsoft or $500,000 from Neiman-Marcus we invest it right back into them. So when you wake up in the morning your very concerned with how our clients are performing rather than the next big sale.”
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Matta stresses leadership, team
building to undergrad students
Ohio State mens' basketball coach Thad Matta (far left) speaks to a group of undergrad students to start off Fisher Pride Week. Matta stressed to the students the importance of building a list of goals to help guide them through their careers. Matta said that he aims to over-achieve by meeting the standards "plus one." He also encouraged the students to be unselfish in their endeavors and to work for the betterment of their team.
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EJOR recognizes Benton, Current
article as most influential
When professors W.C. Benton and John Current set out to conduct a review on the industrial vendor selection process neither expected that the 1991 article would eventually pop up all around the world.
The article, “Vendor selection criteria and methods,” surprised the authors again late last year when it was selected as one of the 30 most influential articles ever published in the “European Journal of Operational Research.”
Benton, professor of operations and systems management, and Current, professor of management sciences, penned the article along with then doctoral student, Chuck Weber, who now serves as a project manager with the Institute for Defense Analysis in Arlington, Va. and is also a part-time business instructor at Johns Hopkins University.
Selection to the influential list was determined largely by number of times an article was cited and the time period it was written in. The article has been citied 96 times, Current said.
The professors' review examined 74 related articles written on the vendor selection process from 1966 until the time of its writing. It also explored the rise of the Just-In-Time manufacturing strategy pioneered by corporations like Honda in the mid-1980s as a way to cut down on inventory costs, Benton said. Such an overhaul forced companies to find stable suppliers that wouldn’t jeopardize production.
“Vendor selection became very important and it hadn’t been changed like this since World War II,” Benton said. “Companies like IBM and General Motors went from a hundred vendors to one or two, which meant they had to select them better and there was far more competition. This article has been referenced all around the world because we kind of put it into perspective.”
The honor of being recognized by a major journal caught both professors off guard.
You start to go down the list and see some pretty famous names like W.W. Cooper, Fred Glover and Thomas Saaty and then “There are some real famous names that didn’t make it on this list,” Current said. “It’s quite a honor to be on there with them.”
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Ernst & Young awards minority
Ernst & Young's Ebony Thomas (from left to right) presents scholarships on behalf of the firm to Isiah Harris, senior in accounting, Tanisha Strong, a sophomore in accounting and logistics management, Laura Rodriguez, a senior in accounting, Ashley Hassell, a freshman in accounting and Rebecca Schmidt, a sophomore in accounting, along with David Harrison, the director of Minority Student Services. Earlier this month, Ernst & Young pledged $75,000 over the next five years for the scholarships.
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Fisher People: Lisa Faiello
Title: Program Assistant for the Initiative for Managing Services
Hobbies: Cooking, biking, drawing and painting, and anything outdoors with my daughters.
FisherLure: The stellar faculty and staff, especially in IMS.
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Ramona R. Reyes, human resources specialist for Nationwide Insurance, will be the keynote speaker at the 2006 Fisher Diversity Awards Program. The awards ceremony, alumni reunion and reception will be from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Blackwell.
The annual UTSAV - Indian Cultural Festival will feature Indian dance, songs, a fashion show, tasty Indian food and more. The festival will run from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in front of Fisher Hall. More information is online at http://fisherrsvp.student-hub.com/
John Alexander, a retired Bank One executive, will be the speaker at the Executive Luncheon from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in 161 Gerlach Hall. More information is available online at: http://fisherrsvp.student-hub.com/
Faculty members honored at Pace Setters
Five members of the Fisher faculty were honored for their work at the 2006 Pace Setters Awards. The Daniel Westerbeck Teaching Excellence Awards were presented to Thomas Otter, assistant professor of marketing for undergrad instruction and Robert Leone, professor of marketing for graduate teaching. Karen Hopper Wruck, Associate Dean for MBA Programs, was bestowed with The Bostic-Georges Faculty Service Award and Keely Croxton, associate professor of logistics, and Mona Makhija, assistant professor of management and human resources, earned the Outstanding Research Award.
Hobart wins distinguished staff award
Donna Hobart, director of the fiscal office, was recently named a recipient of the University's Distinguished Staff Award. The award is granted to staff members who have made a significant difference in the lives of co-workers, provided outstanding service to the university and their unit and who have developed creative solutions to significant operational problems. Hobart won the award while working for the university administration as well as Fisher.
MAcc pre-commencement speaker named
Julie Kunkel, a partner in the Assurance and Advisory Business Services practice of Ernst & Young, will serve as the 2006 MAcc pre-commencement speaker.
Kunkel, who has named the firm’s managing partner of the Columbus’ office in 2003, is responsible for knowledge management and training for AABS personnel serving clients in retail and wholesale.
She also works closely with the National Accounting and Professional Practice Groups to monitor recently issued and pending accounting pronouncements that impact retail and consumer products companies. She also spent two years with National Accounting advising clients on complex financial accounting and reporting issues.
Kunkel serves on the board of directors of the Columbus Zoological Park Association and Amethyst Inc.
FisherServes, the graduate student volunteer organization, has announced its president, treasurer and executive committee members for next year.
Nathan MacCarter and Aseel Shtayyeh will serve as co-presidents and Patrick Foy was elected treasurer. Executive Committee members include: Terrence Bubb, Zach Inman, Gaurav Manchanda and Jeremy Sell, all full-time MBA students and Angelia Lincoln, MLHR. A MAcc and first-year MBA representative will be selected from the incoming class and a part-time MBA representative will be selected soon.
The new leaders for the Spring 2006 Fisher Fellows were recently named. Leading the Fellows, a group of students that serve on Columbus-area non-profit board are: Ray Vargas, chair, Marisa Althoff, vice chair, Bill D'Onofrio, treasurer and director of training, Drew Purcell, director of operations, Mike Saucedo, director of recruiting, Laura Scott, director of marketing, Chris Malik, director of outreach and Austin Barger, director of alumni relations.
Other members of the fellows include, Abigail Glass, Avion Hackett, David Hays, Katie Hedrick and Jason Torpy.
Andrew Karolyi, professor of finance, was quoted and paraphrased in the April 21 edition of Business First on hedge funds.
Karolyi told the paper the funds wouldn’t be an appropriate investment for the average person because of long-term lock-up period.
Oded Shenkar, Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management, was quoted in the May 3 edition of the Columbus Dispatch on the growing trend of business training minorities in their native language.
Shenkar told the paper, that it cuts down on costs and increases comprehension and evokes loyalty with the worker because they feel comfortable.