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.
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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.
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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.
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  • 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.

Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through Predictive Analytics
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to predict the future? According to a recent Harvard Business Review webinar, companies, governments, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and universities are using the power of big data, new technologies, and analytics to predict whether we’re going to “click, buy, lie, or die.”
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So, what is the difference between forecasting and predictive analytics? Forecasting provides an estimate to anticipate trends for a large group over time, while predictive analytics goes much further and is focused on predicting the behavior of a single individual. For example, forecasting might provide an estimate of the total sales for a particular product line next quarter, while predictive analytics tells which customer will likely buy the product. Major industries such as Banking and Finance, Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas Utilities, Government, E-commerce and Travel and Hospitality embrace predictive analytics to boost sales, improve operations, reduce risks, and gain a competitive advantage.
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  • What is Predictive Analytics? Learn the about the process, applications, software and more here.
  • Read how to convert analytics into action 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.
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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?
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  • 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.


Ideas Worth Spreading…TEDxCharlotte

With TEDxCharlotte taking place in little over 2 months on October 13th, this is a great time to listen to a TED Talk.  TED began in 1984 as a conference resulting from Richard Saul Wurman‘s observation of the convergence among three fields: Technology, Entertainment and Design. Today TED Conferences, TED Talks, TEDx events, TED-ED and many other variations of TED continue to share “ideas worth spreading” (the TED mission).

Learn about the history of TED through a Q&A with Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED, here.

Below are two of our favorite TED Talks:


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.


Disruptive Innovation via Big Data
Big Data in the marketplace is a disruptive force that requires new technologies, skills, tools and an open mind to drive innovation in business.  According to the May 6, 2017 cover story in The Economist, “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.
Learn more about 5 trends in Big Data here.
Where is the value in Big Data? Find out here.

Virtual Reality (VR) + Business

Last week, MacRumors reported Apple’s purchase of SensoMotoric Instruments which could be a major step toward making virtual reality (VR) mainstream.

At Croixstone Consulting, we understand that the potential implementations of VR in business are too numerous to count. Currently, VR is being used to give virtual tours of entire business environments and to provide training to new employees (especially where it involves equipment). At Stanford Health Care, doctors are using VR technology as a sophisticated visual tool during brain surgery and to train future neurosurgeons. VR can also provide 360 views of products and a more cost-effective way of developing product prototypes to detect design based issues at an earlier stage, issues that can lead to subsequent problems down the road.

Learn more about what VR is here.

See more on how VR can transform a host of industries—and business operations here.

For WSJ subscribers, check out: Virtual Reality Finally Catches On – With Businesses


Is Blockchain Technology the New Internet?

Blockchain here.  Blockchain there.  Blockchain Blockchain everywhere. 

It’s rare for the Croixstone Consulting team to go a day without running into a conversation about Blockchain.  And for good reason…many believe that Blockchain technology has the transformative powers to be the “new internet”.

Learn more about Blockchain from the folks at Blockgeeks – where the world’s brightest Blockchain advocates go to discuss and share trends and opportunities in the world of Blockchain.  Click here.

 


The Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017

These are the top 10 strategic trends Gartner sees breaking out of the emerging space to have a potentially substantial impact over consumers and industries during the next five years.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Machine Learning
  • Intelligent Apps like VPAs (virtual personal assistants) and VCAs (virtual customer assistants)
  • Intelligent Things like drones, autonomous vehicles, and smart appliances
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Digital Twins
  • Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers
  • Conversational Systems
  • Mesh App and Service Architecture (MASA)
  • Digital Technology Platforms
  • Adaptive Security Architecture

Learn more about each of these top 10 strategy trends via Forbes here.