Bain & Company’s 15th Management Tools & Trends survey shows executives are confident and upbeat: 74% said their current financial performance is strong and 55% believe economic conditions are improving in their industry. Despite the challenges ahead, 75% of respondents feel they are better positioned for the future, saying their ability to adapt is a significant competitive advantage.
Top 10 tools through the years
This interactive chart shows the most popular tools cited by executives in the latest survey and how they compare to the most widely used tools of past years. View
Customer Relationship Management is a process companies use to understand their customer groups and respond quickly—and at times, instantly—to shifting customer desires.
Benchmarking displaced strategic planning from the number one spot during the downturn. Although benchmarking still tops the list in this year's study, its use varies by region as executive priorities begin to shift toward growth and the tools that support it.
Employee Engagement Surveys measure whether employees
are fully involved and enthusiastic about their work and company.
Strategic Planning is a comprehensive process for determining what a business should become and how it can best achieve that goal.
Outsourcing is among the cost-cutting tools that appear to be losing favor as executives seek growth. Along with downsizing and shared service centers—which also are used to reduce headcount—outsourcing earns below-average satisfaction scores.
A Balanced Scorecard defines what management means by "performance" and measures whether management is achieving desired results.
Along with strategic planning, mission and vision statements are among the most widely used tools, and consistently rank above average in satisfaction.
Supply Chain Management synchronizes the efforts of all parties—suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, customers, and so on—involved in meeting a customer's needs.
Change Management Programs are a new addition to our study this year, and are particularly favored by European firms, who are the leading users.
Customer Segmentation—another growth oriented tool—is most effective when a company tailors offerings to segments that are the most profitable and serves them with distinct competitive advantages.
Management Tools identifies and explains the most important concepts and tactics used in business today, based on Bain & Company research.
An executive's guide
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