Arthur D. Little: Business is back in business

Executives’ optimism is linked to the lasting benefits of the fundamental restructuring that businesses could not avoid. These include lower working capital, higher productivity through redundancies, re-engineered processes, higher capacity through cutbacks, and a rationalized manufacturing and logistics footprint – going back to basics.
Despite this level of optimism, there are two key barriers; hesitant consumer demand and the impact of government spending cuts. Over 80% of executives surveyed believe that economic uncertainty means consumers remain reluctant to part with their cash, with over 60% also pointing to government budget deficits having a significantly negative effect on public investment.
Executives recognize innovation as a trigger for increased consumer demand. Whether through new product launches, entry into new segments or bringing in new clients/projects, innovation is seen as the key driver for success.
It is clear from the results of this survey that despite the obvious negative effects of the downturn, there are opportunities to be gained from the introspective look at core business structures that took place. The challenge now is finding innovative ways to persuade hesitant consumers to spend again.
“Executives will openly admit that whilst business leaders can blame others for putting their industries into this mess, businesses will only have themselves to blame for not getting back out of it,” concludes Dr Michael Traem, Arthur D. Little’s CEO. “What we are left with is a shift in culture back to where the emphasis should lie, with the customer.”
To access the full findings of Arthur D. Little’s second global executive survey, please visit:

Notes for Editors

About Arthur D. Little
Founded in 1886, Arthur D. Little was the world’s first professional management consulting firm. Arthur D. Little is a global leader in management consultancy, linking strategy, innovation and technology with deep industry knowledge. These last years, Arthur D. Little developed partnerships with more than 70% of Fortune 100 companies. Its teams conceive and implement sustainable, innovative and operational solutions. Arthur D Little is present in over 20 countries with more than 1000 consultants. With its partners Altran Technologies, the firm has access to a network of over 17.000 professionals.

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