Market Updates

May 24, 2017

Business Disruption – Are you making the most of it?

Business disruption seems to be affecting all industries, from taxis and restaurants, to information and retailing.  With new technologies constantly being developed and quickly spreading globally, business disruption is moving at a much faster rate than in prior decades.

The question is: will your business or industry go the way of taxis and be swamped by the equivalent of Uber?  Or, will an Airbnb disrupt your industry, just as it did to the hotel industry? 

In response to these types of disruptive pressures, businesses are implementing various strategies to diminish the effects of new competitors, or are looking to become disruptors themselves.

For example, UberEATS is changing the way people order food and eat takeaway food at home.  In response, some restaurants are embracing the collaborative approach of serving customers, while other food businesses are relying on their old business model and eschewing UderEATS.  Ultimately, some restaurants could remove their kitchen completely and instead Uber the food in, just as food preparation facilities could be set up specifically for this purpose.

With rapid growth in technology use, businesses will increasingly require designers and technicians, rather than blue-collar worker.  This will result in greater demand for offices, which are likely to become more campus-style.  A good example of this is the rebirth of the ex-Phillip Morris property in Moorabbin, now known as HQ.  What was a large-scale manufacturing facility will become large floor plate designed office spaces, with on-site childcare services, a variety of food and entertainment offerings, and a gym.  Many businesses will be based at HQ, rather than a single multinational firm.

Manufacturing will continue to be disrupted, with smart businesses using technology to their advantage.  For example, some manufacturers are looking to link two or three products to create new offerings.  A local company in Braeside called General Innovation Australia has created a new product that combines LED lights with speakers.  It is looking at combining a security camera.  This business did not invent the light, speaker or camera, yet linked these components in a way not seen before to disrupt the lighting and speaker markets.

These examples highlight the opportunities available from business disruption across a range of business and industries.  In response, it is important for businesses to plan and collaborate across the value chain.  This can be done by firms sitting down with their best clients and building a better relationship by asking them “how could we both be doing this better?”

Engaging a strategic consultant to work through businesses needs can be money well spent.  This outside help can be crucial as business disruption has already arrived, and businesses, industries and linkages will change at a rapid rate.  We all need to consider “repositioning” ourselves and our businesses to avoid being left behind.

For further discussion on how your business may be affected contact Matt Nichols on 0418 186 488 or