Feature Story: Global perspectives for private companies

Late last year, Deloitte conducted a global survey of almost 1,900 executives in 30 countries at mid-sized companies about their expectations, experiences and plans for becoming more competitive in the current economy. The inaugural Deloitte Private global report, entitled “Global perspectives for private companies: Plans, priorities, and expectations,” finds that private company leaders around the world have more in common than you might think, with the views of survey participants closely aligned across all regions.

The survey revealed roughly two-thirds of the executives from each region – the Americas; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Asia Pacific – are optimistic about the success of their company over the next two years, and the majority of respondents also expect their revenues, profits, productivity, and capital investments to go up in the year ahead.

In our view, this optimism reflects global economic alignment taking hold for the first time in years. And in the face of increased uncertainty, private companies are making the most of their inherent agility to gain a competitive edge.

We highlight some of the more interesting survey results below.

Bank on global markets for more than just sales

Many survey respondents expect to boost sales overseas in the coming years. 79% of the private companies already rely on international markets for a portion of their revenue and almost half (43%) rely on international markets for more than a quarter of their revenue. As well as being important for sales, over half (57%) say that global trade is important for their supply chain. Often we think of international markets in terms of a destination for our products and services, however they have also proven to be an important part of the supply chain.

Embrace disruption as an opportunity

Technologies such as cloud computing and analytics are giving all private companies access to technology platforms that previously were unaffordable. Two-thirds of respondents believe these technological advancements provide their companies with new opportunities and positive outcomes, and 46% of respondents are using technology to improve customer engagement. Developing technologies are essential to private companies’ strategies to accelerate innovation and drive business results. Private companies are both vulnerable to digital-driven disruption while also embracing it for competitive gains. Although perspectives on disruption vary across the globe, nearly half of all respondents, and 58% from the Asia Pacific region, believe disruption from non-traditional competitors is likely in the next two to three years. Companies in New Zealand should continue to frame disruption as an opportunity, rather than solely as a threat, in order to keep up with change and stay ahead of the competition.

Make game-changing talent investments

The survey shows that private companies are maturing in their approach to talent management. Many respondents pointed to a workforce strategy that includes talent investment: balancing hiring new people with educating and training the staff they already have. As technology is making processes easier, this can free up an employee’s capacity to focus on other business initiatives and allows private companies to sharpen their focus on talent investment. To overcome talent challenges and to try and keep up with growing workforce needs, 46% of respondents plan to invest in employee training in the next year and a third of respondents are investing in leadership development programmes.

The full Deloitte Private global report can be read here.

07 March, 2018

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