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Will you provide an overview of Active’s international operations and where you see the greatest growth opportunities?
Active’s headquarters are in New York and we currently have offices in 15 countries around the world. We’ve invested heavily in our international division and the scope of our international operations gives Active a footprint that none of our independent competition can match.
With regard to Active’s evolution, how do you see the company positioned for the future?
When the company was founded more than 30 years ago, companies primarily came to us to solve an immediate problem. Our business model provided a financial benefit that improved the bottom line for companies in virtually every industry. Over time, and based on proven results, our clients realized that we could do more for them than simply be a problem solver, that we could help them achieve more.
We live in a world where people are their own channels – defined and courted as influencers, controlling when, where, and how they’ll engage. Everything is connected, and consumers want a frictionless experience. For instance, one in three banking and insurance customers globally would consider switching their accounts from established banks to Google, Amazon, or Facebook if these Silicon Valley giants offered financial services. As consumers, millennials see the world in a whole different way, and the brands they trust aren’t the ones their parents trusted. There’s a new brand establishment happening.
Today’s marketplace is very complex. Technology has driven disruption in every industry. Whether you are an established brand, a retailer, a manufacturer, a technology company, a media company, a corporate trade company – no one is immune. Within organizations, technology has upended how companies do business – from supply chain to procurement to finance to media and marketing.
We refer to this as the “What’s Next Economy” and define this as the volatile, shape-shifting business environment fueled by accelerating change in technology and consumer behavior. It really expresses everything regarding today’s complexity in the marketplace.
Though it's only June, many retailers are beginning to plan for the upcoming holiday season. There is no doubt most retailers are bulking up their supply chain capabilities and fine-tuning their inventory planning to prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year in November and December, when roughly 30 percent of the industry's annual sales are on the line.
One of the main challenges that the hospitality industry faces in any market environment is how to properly allocate money for property improvement plans (PIP), which are the investment plans that hotel owners and management companies oversee in order to remain a part of their corporate brand(s). Hotel owners and managers want to ensure they get the highest average daily rate (ADR) possible, and one of the ways to do that is to invest in updating their properties and rooms with the latest technologies and amenities.
Managing supply chain risk requires much more than addressing logistical issues. The most effective supply chain risk management capabilities align and integrate with related marketing and finance processes and considerations.
It might be tough to see how corporate trade, travel, and charitable donations are connected, but Active International’s strength is its unique ability to recover or create value through corporate trading. In this case, there was an opportunity to create a donations program using our clients’ everyday budgeted group meetings and Active’s existing travel investments and inventories in our portfolio of hotels and resorts.
The volatile, shape-shifting business environment—fueled by accelerating change in technology and consumer behavior. As a result of this economy, boundaries are disappearing. Companies are no longer content, or able, to stay in their swim lanes.