Speeding Up Corporate Processes Difficult, Survey Reports

Companies seeking to speed up their organizational processes are finding only moderate success, according to a survey by The Conference Board, a business membership and research organization based in New York. Survey participants included executives from 95 leading manufacturing and service companies in the United States and Europe. Fewer than half of the companies has been able to translate their speed effort into higher revenues and better customer retention. "A paradox in this movement toward speed is that the supply of new capital is increasing the need for radically different new products and services, but the need for speed is resulting in more derivative products and services that are really just more of the same," says Marilyn Zuckerman Michaels, author of the report, entitled "Speed: Linking Innovation, Process, and Time to Market." Some of the major obstacles that companies site in success of speed initiatives are the reluctance to kill low-return products, the lack of alignment across business units, the rejection of ideas and improvements from outside the existing corporate culture, and poor information technology (IT) tools. The report can be ordered by calling The Conference Board's customer service department at 212-339-0345.

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