Gaining Unfair Market Advantages with Intellectual Property in the Post-crisis World

One year after the economic collapse of world economies and the outset of the Great Recession, companies are looking toward calendar year 2010 as one of hope and trepidation. Hope in the sense that the markets continue to rebound, manufacturers continue to increase production, and consumer spending returns, inparticularthose large ticket durable goods items. Trepidation that, after all of the cost cutting and resource reductions over the past 12-16 months, resources will be stretched to deliver on business objectives that depend heavily on growth and expansion from 2009 levels.

While this may seem like an excercise in “crystal balling” and “Ouji boarding,” we do know some things about how the post-crisis world will operate. First, we know that most organizations, regardless of industry sector, will operate leaner and smaller than in 2009 and probably 2008. Most economists agree that in the face of a “jobless recovery” companies will take the art of “doing more with less” to the next level. We also know that collaboration, and the technologies that enable sharing of information, processes, and design data have continued and will mature while effective price points for these tools will fall. Just in the past three years, the average total cost of a desktop engineering design station fell from roughly $US 28,000 per year to closer to $US 16,000 per year while capabilities have increased.

Finally we know that governance bodies, including operating boards and committees, will have increased accountability and transparency. This is already evident in very large TARP funded banks and automakers, and continues through most manufacturers, service organizations, and even not for profit agencies. Corporate sustainability is no longer an option; for most organizations sustainability will be the mantra of the post-crisis world. Companies that do not align their operating models to sustainable growth policies and procedures will find it increasingly difficult to secure investment capital, comply with regulations, and be good corporate citizens.

Management teams will need to change their behavior in order to deliver on business objectives, leverage technology, and increase transparency to provide product to the marketplace in a sustainable fashion. Based on research conducted by the University of Michigan – Dearborn and our professional observations in the marketplace, Newport Consulting Group is advising its clients to prepare for three key game-changers in the development of new intellectual property and how to manage new products through commercialization.

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