A survey from Accenture reveals that executives predict that
loyalty will be even more critical next year, to prepare for the upswing.
Nine out of ten executives say that a focus on providing customer service and building customer loyalty will be critical in the new year – not only to weather the downturn, but also to prepare for the upswing when it comes. They chose as the top business strategies for 2002: CRM (38%), new product development (26%), enterprise resource management (17%) and supply chain management (15%).
This was revealed in a study conducted by Accenture, in which 150 high level executives in Fortune 1000 companies were questioned.
In addition to focusing more on customers, another priority for executives in the coming year will be outsourcing non-core functions. According to the survey, 27% will continue to outsource non-core functions and an additional 28% say they will consider additional outsourcing alternatives. And 17% say they are likely to explore outsourcing.
Seven out of ten executives plan either to upgrade existing software or technology, or to consolidate IT infrastructure. The research suggests that corporate spending will continue, but predominantly in areas that will help to optimise existing investments rather than investing in brand new IT initiatives.
The employment predictions are more optimistic than circumstances would indicate. Six out of ten plan to maintain current staffing levels (or nearly so) and one in five expect no lay-offs at all next year. Almost two thirds plan to recruit new employees. Unsurprisingly, a significant majority intend to introduce formal crisis management and greater computer and network security. We live and learn.