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OPPORTUNITY EXISTS EVERYWHERE - PART 2

 

This is a continuation of our Opportunity Everywhere series. I am going to focus on opportunities created by drones. In my last blog I discussed wearables. By discussing these products, my intent is to really open your mind up to the idea that you should be able to pick up the newspaper and see an opportunity for your business every day. Don’t get trapped into the mindset that you have to always look for a specific thing. Yes, that's good - - you always want to stay focused. You want to always make sure that you're capitalizing on what you do best because that's leverageable. It builds on your core, it helps you with your competitive differentiation. Doing what you do best is a huge formula or ingredient for success, but you may be missing some great opportunities that are not within the parameters of your exact search.

How do you really analyze what's going on in the business environment right now so that you can present what you do best to businesses that, at the moment, may not even know they need you? Let’s use drones as illustrations of this process, because you may not think that drones have anything to do with your business. These flying machines going around doing stuff here and there - that's kind of a hobby, recreation kind of thing, right? That's not something that impacts what you do. You’re in staffing; you’re in chemical manufacturing; you’re in construction. What would drones have to do with you?

Well, let's just think about this and let's talk about Henry Ford for example. Now it made a lot of sense that somebody would say, well, if I didn't have to deal with horses -- you know, you have to feed them; you have to care for them. They only live so long. They can only go so long a day. So then he decided he was going to make a horseless carriage. People thought he was crazy, but then it was proven that it could be done. The untold story about the horseless carriage is the industry that it created. I want you to think about the automobile industry as it exists today, and the opportunity that has been created for what we call “prom suppliers” (those suppliers that are direct to the car manufacturers: second tier, third tier, fourth tier). Just think about all the various services that a car manufacturer needs. You name it - from soup to nuts. They require medical services. They need construction to build plants. They need people skills. They need technology. They need pretty much everything. They buy computers, they buy refrigerators, they buy office supplies, they buy medical equipment, they buy just so many various things. It's staggering to start looking at what all they purchase - and only because someone decided that they wanted a horseless carriage. Think about what drones mean to the automobile or the transportation industry in general today. Yes -- major disruption. The whole notion that Amazon might actually be able to stop using vehicles is impactful. They're experimenting with using drones to actually deliver packages right now. Just imagine what that means if you have a company that has a fleet of vehicles for cargo services. I don't really care how big or small the cargo service is. What does that mean? How much savings might they have if they can abandon the cost of the fleet and move to drones, which at this point are unregulated. There is going to be a whole host of issues, but if it turns out that economic benefit is there, they’re going to find a way to get greater utilization of drones.

What does it mean if your business can bring a solution utilizing drones to an existing customer? Think about how you would deliver your service if either you were bringing a solution to them to use drones, or they were using drones and you anticipated some of their other needs that occur from using drones. For example, who's going to fly the drones? How are they going to be maintained? How do you train people on that? Where do you get the skills from the pilot, the drones or to do drone repair? What do you do if you have issues while the drones are in flight, or if they get some place and they get stuck or other kinds of things? What opportunities are created just by the mere fact that somebody is using a new technology? What are the additional technologies that they're going to need?

These issues are similar to what the horseless carriage was like. It's one thing to get it out. It's another to actually build it into a production facility. What might somebody need to support a horseless carriage industry? What might someone need to support a drone industry? What are going to be the impacts on the people, processes and technologies in that company, and how might my company help?

If you know that there is a new industry being created around drones, how might you insert your business into that industry? Now we are talking about the innovation and the type of thinking that actually helps fortune 500 companies advance their cause. Now you are looking at bringing innovation in, and now you are beginning to show them what it is your company can do to help them become more productive, to add more value, to save money, to reduce operating costs. You're now in that process where you're looking at just the mere fact that we're getting into driverless cars. If Uber, Lyft, and it looks like General Motors are actually looking at more self-driving cars, what's going to be the impact of that as companies begin to roll it out? And what might be the role you can play to help them adopt that technology into their business, because they're going to need
things that they haven't really thought of just yet -- and that's going to create huge opportunities for the supply base.

With these illustrations, I hope to open your mind to realizing that when you read the newspaper every single day, you should see opportunities for your business -- ways you can play in different parts of the fortune 500 supply chain, and take your business to levels you hadn't even begun to imagine.


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