Innovate to survive

“As the environment and the channels change we have to keep up - and even try to get ahead of the market. It’s a continuous battle to innovate and adapt. Our business is mostly digital now but even with the bulk of our systems switching to support this, it still doesn’t mean we can stay still. Fortunately, we have begun developing partnerships with other organisations to produce products that the market is demanding and that will give us a competitive edge moving forward. We see this as being one of the ways we can develop and progress in the current market conditions.”

Swets Enjoys Change

It isn’t only on the technological and product front that there are challenges; tremendous commercial challenges have faced the business in recent years, not just fuelled by technical change, but also the economic environment that has affected all business, government and academic markets. Perla Van Belle, Commercial Manager of Swets, reflects on some of the problems they have faced. ‘Even though Swets is such a major player, especially in the domestic market, we have faced considerable difficulties with the business. We have a diverse and well-segmented customer base – but most of our conversations with companies over the past few years have been around the same topic; how can we reduce our costs by 30, 40, 50%? We still have our academic and government customers – but there are pressures there too to reduce costs. And within the next year a third of our entire business will go to tender which is a big threat and challenge to us. Tendering is a lot of work, with long timescales and it requires structure and process – fortunately this is playing to one of our strengths.”

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Innovate to survive

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Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times