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The automobile business has been around a long time; so have I.  When I started in this business we dealt with many business concepts from a historical perspective.  For example, we waited over a month to “know” how healthy or ailing our business was.  A financial statement reflecting 30 days of business was only available in the best of conditions ten days after the month closed.   In the “old” days” we used to give awards for being this slow!


Think about that, we got a view of how our business fared ten days (under the best of conditions) after the last month stopped mattering and a new month started.  A business event, good or bad that happened on the first day of the month might go unnoticed or unrecognized for 40 plus days.  It was impossible to recognize, adjust and take corrective action before the current month was, once again, history.


We then got a new tool…the “daily operating control”.  The office manager made manual entries of “yesterday’s” business… and in aggregate, we began to develop some degree of insight into how our business, and its various departments were performing.


And then along came the computerization of the business.  We could get the “history” easier and faster and even schedule the history lesson.  It was, however, still just a history lesson…only things that got entered or posted were reflected.  We could only course correct or take advantage of something by looking at taillights!


That is a single company view of history. Imagine how much more complex a large company with various business units turns out to be.  Still the same history though.  And did I mention global companies, with not only geographically dispersed business units, but also country specific business processes, measures and reporting?


In the little free time we had while developing, digesting and reacting to these history lessons we had dreams about how things might be, how they should be. We dreamed about business in real-time. We intuitively “knew” that we would someday get there, leaving “history” behind and living life live.

That day is dawning on the automotive industry.  It is here.  With our current technology in computing, data management, and applications, we have the ability to “know”.  And know right now, this second!  We have found the ability to “run live”, and to “run smart”; to know, decide and react live, as events, needs, demands, opportunities, risks and threats develop.  We can react immediately to stimuli.

Yes, we finally moved beyond history. 


Wait, hold on…something else is happening.  Our automotive business is transforming.  Yes, we are able to run live…but we can also re-imagine “all” of our business.  We can do things differently.  Our most valuable assets, our people, can become knowledge workers focused on moving the business forward instead of simply staying on top of the day.


People can re-imagine products and develop them collaboratively across the globe. They can analyze and predict outcomes while eliminating manual steps.  They can do this in such a manner that they can completely disrupt the business, leaving the competition behind in a cloud of creative dust.  People can re imagine business, creating new business models and revenue opportunities, disrupting the competitive landscape, simply and live.


Join us at SapphireNOW 2016 to experience this new and disruptive world. See how business is re- imagined by companies eagerly pursuing the new “live” world.

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