Robotic Software + Accounting Firms

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of a software robot or “bot” that replicates the actions of a human to execute tasks across multiple computer systems.  According to a 2015 Accenture report, robotics is predicted to automate or eliminate up to 40% of transactional accounting work by 2020.  Read this 2017 newspaper article from the StarTribune in Minneapolis to learn more about how robotic software is sweeping large accounting firms and their clients.


Biotechnology And Its Applications

Another core technology altering nearly every dimension of our lives as outlined in a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article is biotechnology. Biotechnology is really the combination of technology, chemistry, and life sciences.  At first glance, many business leaders may believe that biotechnology only impacts the health care field. The rapid advances in biotechnology, however, show enormous promise and have the potential to “both expand existing industry boundaries and create entirely new industries,” according to Dr. Albert H. Segars, author of the article and PNC Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Biotechnology Applications

  • Industrial Processing – applications in product development, pollution control, bio-recycling, and hazardous waste.
  • Biometrics/Bio-identification – expanding the use of biomarkers as a gateway to information access and commerce.
  • Bioinformatics – analysis of large sets of data used in the Human Genome Project, Disney’s theme park design, and more.
  • Medical – advancements in the field of genomics, production of vaccines, antibiotics, gene therapy, and personalization of implantable devices.
  • Food & Agriculture – significant gains in the production of plants, improved quality of livestock, pest-resistance crops, nutrient supplementation, and manufactured power fibers.
  • Energy – alternative energy sources, production of biofuels from algae and other plant and waste sources.

Click here to read the entire MIT Sloan Management Review article.


Slack = Collaboration + Communication

Recently Croixstone Consulting joined Industrious Charlotte and our fellow coworking companies on a newly launched Slack Channel. We are enjoying the opportunity to build community through the enhanced communication the channel provides. Launched in 2014, Slack is the fastest growing business application in history, and the company boasts 9 million weekly active users and 50,000+ paying companies including 43 companies from the Fortune 100 list. Slack, a cloud-powered team collaboration and communication tool, is capable of bringing together team communication and giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations, decisions and work are organized and accessible. Additionally, Slack’s App Directory allows users to find apps and integrations including Dropbox, Google Docs, and Salesforce to name a few. You can even order Domino’s Pizza through Slack and book your next hotel room with an emoji on Slack.

  • Learn why Fast Company thinks Slack is one of the most innovative companies of 2017 here.
  • Find out why you should Slack it up for workplace collaboration and communication here.
  • Built on a game foundation, read more about why Slack can’t slow down here.

Re-Envisioning the Future with Generative Design
Could the current manufacturing, distribution, assembly and maintenance processes become obsolete in the not too distant future?  Today, we take a look at generative design as an innovative approach to thinking outside the box when it comes to design and its implications to manufacturing.
 .
At Croixstone we are inspired by mavericks…those unconventional thinkers who can see past conformity and who can accomplish what others say can’t be done.  Generative design has the ability to generate unconventional design options that go beyond our imagination alone and can be used to create everything from running shoes, earbuds and airplane partitions, to a revolutionary approach to designing the office space and buildings of the future.
 .
So what is generative design? According to Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, “Generative design is a technology that mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. It starts with your design goals and then explores all of the possible permutations of a solution to find the best option. Using cloud computing, generative design software quickly cycles through thousands—or even millions—of design choices, testing configurations and learning from each iteration what works and what doesn’t. The process lets designers generate brand new options, beyond what a human alone could create, to arrive at the most effective design.”  To better understand what generative design is all about, click here for a short video.
.
  • Learn how generative design and additive manufacturing (i.e., 3-D printing) is changing the manufacturing world here.
  • Check out how generative design could radically transform the look of our world here.
  • Delve into a new world of highly efficient products made by generative design here.
  • Take a sneak peak into the first large-scale generative designed office here.

Trends Shaping the Consulting Industry
In the 2017 Management Consulting Outlook report prepared by Greentarget, a strategic public relations firm focused exclusively on business-to-business organizations, the global management consulting market has been growing revenue approximately 4 percent annually over the past few years. As the most mature market, the U.S. market grew 7.7 percent in 2015 to reach $54.7 billion, up from $50.8 billion in 2014. The global management consulting industry is now delivering an estimated $150 billion in revenue, and the growth trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. accounting for nearly half (44 percent) of the global market.
 .
We at Croixstone know it is important to keep abreast of the many forces and trends shaping the consulting industry. Demand for change as result of disruptive technologies and competition from new market competitors continues to drive investment in consulting.  What else is new in the consulting industry?
 .
  • Learn more about the who’s who of the consulting world in 2017 here.
  • What makes a great consultant?  Here are 10 attributes required for long term success as a consultant.
  • Read here about five consulting technology trends in 2017 that are more than buzzwords.

Keeping Up With Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has by now made its way to nearly all industries, and therefore, it comes up in Croixstone’s conversations almost daily. Why is digital transformation so important? Quite simply, if organizations don’t modernize and become fully digitalized then they will be left behind and the threat of disruption becomes very real. With companies investing millions to digitalize their businesses, they are hoping for outcomes that will increase revenue, reduce cost, create more products and services, improve customer satisfaction, enhance differentiation, and ultimately mitigate the risk of digital disruption.

Regardless of your area of expertise, digital transformation will impact everyone. Companies are looking for change drivers to help them weed through the digital transformation myths, create a culture that makes data-based decisions, and sift through an avalanche of digital initiatives to reshape their organizations.

Read about a new practical guide to a successful digital transformation here.

Learn some insights into helping your C-suite understand digital transformation here.

See how three companies are thriving with digital transformation here.


Gaining the Competitive Edge Through Digitized Supply Chain

Just like everywhere else, digital transformation has impacted the optimization of supply chain efficiency.  Advances include crewless ship operations, new warehouse automation breakthroughs with robots, development of autonomous-vehicle supply chains, advancements in 3D printing, and the emerging role of blockchain.

Learn more about how a digitized supply chain can give you a competitive edge here.

Demystify 3D printing and its disruption in industry here.

Your roadmap to a digital supply chain is here.