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The power of people and technology

Accenture Technology Vision for Consumer Goods

People and technology

Digital is creating sizeable challenges and opportunities for CG&S companies.

Its disruptive power means businesses must understand how it impacts and reshapes every stage of the value chain, from consumers to the enterprise itself.

The theme of the Accenture Technology Vision 2016, is "People First." This describes how technology is enabling people to think, work and create value in completely new ways. For CG&S businesses whose traditional focus has been on manufacturing and distribution, the digitally-driven transformation to a People First approach is nothing short of a seismic shift, fundamentally changing how they engage with their customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Accenture’s analysis explores how the five key trends that support the People First agenda will shape the development of CG&S business and operating models:

Intelligent Automation, Liquid Workforce, Platform Economy, Predictable Disruption and Digital Trust

Those that get this right, as digital front-runners, will be able to drive ever-greater consumer engagement and capture a disproportionate share of industry growth.

Intelligent automation

Intelligent automation is the newest recruit to the CG&S workforce. While the focus of investment in automation to date has been largely on cost saving and operational efficiency, industry leaders are turning their attention to the potential of automation to engage the digital consumer.

Powered by advances in AI, ubiquitous sensors and connectivity via the IoT, intelligent automation is creating new possibilities for CG&S companies to become a more intelligent part of their customers’ lives, shaping and delivering the seamless and engaging experiences that consumers increasingly demand.

Liquid workforce

Staying ahead in the digitalized marketplace requires a liquid workforce that’s designed for constant and rapid change. Enabled by technology, the liquid workforce is critical to meeting the demands of highly dynamic consumer behaviors and preferences.

Extending well beyond the traditional hiring of contingent labor or outsourcing, the liquid workforce focuses on projects that match skills to available talent, using digital platforms and crowdsourcing to tap into relevant skillsets and know-how—including among consumers themselves. It’s a whole new approach to finding and harnessing the talent that will enable CG&S companies to constantly innovate and adapt to a fast-changing digital marketplace.

Platform economy

The platform economy is a huge shift in value creation. While technology and born-digital businesses have led the way, opportunities are now opening for businesses in every sector. For CG&S companies, the platform economy opens up a new world of value beyond products. Instead they’re using knowledge, rich data and digital capabilities to support and augment physical experiences that can generate new revenue streams. But to be successful, platforms also require a more open and collaborative approach, engaging with digital partners, suppliers, customers—and even competitors—to connect and grow an ecosystem of value greater than the sum of its parts.

Predictable disruption

Scale is no longer sufficient to protect large CG&S businesses from the impact of smaller, nimble players that can harness digital platforms and tools to quickly gain market share and disrupt traditional leaders’ dominance.

Accordingly, CG&S companies are responding by investing in the digital platforms and capabilities that will enable them to compete with the disruptive new players that are changing the rules of the game. In a world that’s shifting from the four P’s of product, price, promotion and place to the four E’s of experience, exchange, evangelism and everywhere, CG&S businesses need to develop new digital strategies that can turn them from disrupted into disruptors.

Digital trust

Trust and trustworthiness have always been precious commodities for CG&S companies. But in the digital era, the responsible and ethical stewardship of consumers’ personal data is creating a wide range of additional challenges.

As they collect and manage increasing volumes of data, CG&S companies have to make sure it is secure. But that’s only the starting point. Transparency is key. How consumers’ data is collected, stored, used and (potentially) monetized needs to be made crystal clear. It’s a new world that requires CG&S companies to take a very different approach to data security, privacy and transparency—right across the value chain.

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