For many years, business sales teams have been dominated by individuals understood to have the “gift of the gab”. The remaining nearly six in ten salespeople expect they will fail to hit their quota, and businesses often cannot identify the root cause.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is enabling those organisations to unlock the true potential of their staff, by identifying what works among the top performers, highlighting the key moments revenue is won and lost, and teaching the middle band of the team how to apply the lessons.
Cars are becoming increasingly autonomous, with manufacturers moving ever closer towards fully driverless vehicles. For the insurance industry, the potential ramifications are transformational.
In view of this change, insurers clearly need to address some questions. First, who will be accountable in the case of accidents involving driverless vehicles? And will anyone need car insurance when they are not actually drivers of their vehicles?
There is little doubt that healthy and engaged employees are a significant driver of business success. As part of this, bosses must create a culture of openness and honesty that ensures health and wellbeing initiatives genuinely help employees. Yet traditionally many employers have fallen into the trap of making generalised assumptions about what their people need or want.
“In many situations, assumptions have driven organisations’ wellbeing strategies. As well-meaning as this might be, it often leads to a disconnect between what employees need and what businesses offer,” says Dr Mark Winwood, director of psychological services at AXA PPP healthcare. “Engagement is crucial if the health and wellbeing process is to work for each individual and deliver positive returns.’’
Stock, currency and commodity traders have long kept their insights and ideas to themselves, but information-sharing on dedicated platforms is enabling others to make money by copying or monitoring their actions. As retail traders share strategies, fund managers have a powerful new measure of market sentiment.
The identity and preference of drivers are becoming increasingly intertwined with their vehicles. We ask Roger
Lanctot, associate director at the global automotive practice of Strategy Analytics, what the future holds for connected services and security and the importance of consumer experience.
For many organisations, working with a long tail of smaller suppliers is time consuming and inefficient. Keeping on top of such a wide array of business relationships is near impossible. In addition, lack of data limits opportunities to negotiate better deals with preferred suppliers.
Data centre business Equinix has pulled together a digital vision for its procurement, beginning by shifting focus from transactional purchase management towards the lifecycle value of end-to-end source-to-pay (S2P). The fresh approach went live in May for its Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, ahead of a mirrored change this year in its America and Asia-Pacific locations.
Consumers constantly demand more from packaging. They want products to be environmentally friendly, and most are more likely to buy goods in packaging that represents them and their lifestyle. Glass gives brands endlessly recyclable and customisable packaging that empowers them to stand out even in the most fiercely competitive markets. It also allows them to preserve the subtle taste and texture of their products.
While glass, as with all packaging, had for some been viewed as a cost, the material is now increasingly viewed as a powerful brand asset. Euromonitor data shows a steady increase in glass usage since 2016. High glass-share segments, such as premium alcoholic beverages, are continually growing, and there is now increasing use of glass for packaging food and non-alcoholic drinks.
Shifting attitudes about what is possible, coupled with the deployments of new technology, mean risk engineering is ever-changing. As buyers are increasingly aware of on-demand and flexible cover in personal insurance, demand is also emerging for risk engineering to be clearly aligned with their business purpose.
Large insurers in siloed and highly specialist fields are switching to have much more regular and deeper engagement with clients, and alignment to their strategies, backed by transparency and smart technology.
Any individual’s experience of looking after their own wellbeing could typically involve factors such as good eating, exercise and treatments from medical specialists when needed. But a wealth of new technologies are now being made available to empower people in addressing their own health issues more consistently and help companies support employees in this area.
“Technology is putting control of a medical condition or a wellness desire in the hands of the consumer, and enabling them to be much more proactive in terms of health management and getting a better quality of life,” explains Richard Cooper, head of digital and ecommerce at private healthcare firm AXA PPP healthcare.
The market for renewable energy is undergoing significant change as government subsidies and support schemes are scaled back, in the context of budgetary pressure and a surge in new installations. As a result, new ways of trading green energy are taking over.
Investors in renewable energy markets have, in recent years, become much more exposed to open market forces; the lack of government support means investors no longer have guarantees and fixed prices they took for granted.
A selection of articles, reports and other content.