A Flattening World Business marketing is my degree and with that degree I would like to be a sports marketing specialist. Once I graduate college, I would like to work for an established marketing firm to build to some experience and then apply myself towards finding for my dream job. Would I would really enjoy as a career would to eventually work for a sports team who is struggling to market themselves on a professional level. My thought process is to take a struggling organization and bring them to the level of a high profile team that’s known in every household in America.
I feel this would be a great accomplishment and something that would lead to a substantial salary where I can support my hobbies and dreams throughout life. Achieving my goal of becoming a sports marketer is becoming increasingly difficult due to the never ending advancement of technology and the phenomenon known as the flattening world. The world we live in today is far different from the world that we knew twenty years ago, technologically speaking.
Just two decades ago, the world prominently favored the more industrialized and technologically savvy countries.
One of the main reasons for this was the fact citizens in these counties (chiefly The United States of America) had access to many of the tools and resources to be successful. In Thomas L. Friedman’s article, “It’s a Flat World, After All”, he emphasizes the theory of how quickly the business playing field is leveling out right before our eyes. Friedman describes forces, known as the “10 Flatteners”, which have forever transformed and ‘flattened’ the world. To understand Friedman’s point of view, one has to think like an economist, working from a global standpoint.
The first of the “10 flatteners” came when the Berlin Wall was torn down, symbolizing the end of the Cold War. Even though the wall coming down was a significant moment in history, sparking the dissolution of the Soviet Union, unifying Germany, and eliminating what was known as the Iron Curtain, the end of the Cold War also marked the year that personal computers first connected the world. Microsoft came out with the groundbreaking computer interface called “Windows 3. 0”. Windows 3. allowed the world to connect to a point, but it only connected to what amounted to an insignificant amount of people. It wasn’t until almost six years later, in 1995, that the world truly realized the potential of personal computing. A relatively unknown product known Netscape exploded across the globe. Netscape made the internet publicly accessible with the installation of fiber optic cables, designed to connect the masses to the Internet. This was noteworthy, allowing many more people to connect and work with each other with levels of speed and efficiency that were once but a dream.
Netscape was only a “foot in the door” when it came to flattening the world. The true flattening of the world as a phenomenon occurred with the development and widespread availability of workflow software that enabled people to connect and share productivity, giving rise to the concept of “synergy. ” Workflow software enabled computers to operate with minimal, if any, human contact. Netscape connected people through the internet; the workflow software released to the masses started a revolution that connected people through applications.
The first three flatteners, which are referenced above, lead credibility to the remaining six flatteners. The next flattener, Outsourcing, is based off of workflow. Outsourcing made it possible to get (relatively speaking) the same amount of work done for less money spent. Companies could now send data across the globe within minutes, to have equally talented individuals perform a service at a fraction of the cost it might have cost them at their home location, for example. The question remains: Why stop at outsourcing though?
The next flattener is off-shoring, where instead of a few documents being sent overseas like outsourcing, the whole company moves its operations to a developing country or an adjoining state with favorable tax incentives. There is a lot to be said for a country that is willing to perform the same job for less money, or a state that is willing to offer economic incentives to entice a company to move to their state. The right company will bring significant improvements to the economy, bringing jobs and revenue in the long run, via taxes and infrastructure improvements.
The sixth flattener is open-sourcing, which is best described as the computer operating system known as Linux. Linux is an open source operating system that was offered free and anyone with knowledge of the system can make minor or major changes to the overall lines of code, thus changing the overall experience for the end user. Open sourcing is in direct contrast to programs such as Microsoft, or Apple’s iOS, for example, Linux and Android being examples of open source software commonly seen in use across global computing. The seventh flattener is insourcing.
For example, letting another company come in and take over a part of the operation in the interests of productivity improvements. A good example of this is the service companies such as FedEx or UPS provide. While a company could use their own mail system, the cost of such a service being designed and implemented would be too expensive for most people. With a cargo specialist such as UPS, a package of any size can go anywhere in the world for less money than any other method. Sometimes, it’s better to let the companies who specialize in such things do their job than attempt to insource it.
Supply-chaining is the seventh flattener which is when a company uses does everything from distribution to shipping. Examples of this would include certain industries in high tech environments where security is crucial and doesn’t have as big an effect on the world as some might give it credit for. Informing is the eighth flattener and this is made possible because of what Google has done. They have made any and all information available to anyone, using the World Wide Web as a primary source for inquisitive minds.
The “steroid” flattener is the developed world’s ability to garner wireless access to the internet on a mobile device at any given time. The phenomenon known as flattening will continue for some time. Currently the flattening phenomenon is impacting organizations in three major ways. First, the flattening phenomenon is impacting organizations via outsourcing. A prime example of how outsourcing has affected organizations in the United States would be the manner in which confidential medical tests are analyzed. Efficiency is key when it comes to making a diagnosis, for numerous reasons.
For example, a trend has emerged in the outpatient MRI field. When a patient undergoes an MRI, it is becoming common place to outsource the results to a doctor who specializes in making diagnoses using MRI’s as reference. A limited specialty, the medical practitioner can be anywhere in the world and that is all that s/he does. The reason for this is simple: Medical Doctors are expensive resources for the average hospital and MRI clinic. By outsourcing the results, the most important thing is to have a certified MRI technician to take the images, which is far more cost effective.
A small fee to UPS and the patient has results in one to three days. Multiple clinics can use the same doctor for the same purpose to make the diagnosis, thus saving money and in theory, improving efficiency. Another way what the flattening world has impacted organizations is the increasing manner in which tech support for major brands in the United States has been outsourced to India. This has happened for a number of reasons, especially due to the time difference, the cost of paying these people to provide tech support, but ultimately, the fact that Americans aren’t willing to pay the extra money to have an American answer the phone.
In other words, Companies cannot afford to provide a premium service at a wholesale price, for something that someone may or may not ever have to use. By cutting such expenses, (i. e. paying tech support technicians a federally mandated minimum wage, which doesn’t exist in India) we are able to keep prices low, thereby keeping the economy flowing and to some extent, fighting inflation. The third and final way that the flattening world has affected organizations is a trend known as globalization.
A good example of a company who contributed extensively to the flattening world is Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart uses a “just in time” method of ordering, which is to say, they only order as far ahead as they need to, and gamble that they will have enough product on hand. The ultimate gain to this concept is the fact that Wal-Mart doesn’t have a lot of excess product lying around. Using the latest technology, Wal-Mart can track the hottest trends and use their massive buying power to command a lower price than anyone else.
Suppliers will not hesitate to make five cents profit on a product sold to Wal-Mart (versus a lesser known retailer with a smaller order) because Wal-Mart will sell so much of their product, they stand to make money. What Wal-Mart has mastered as a company was a simple concept alluded to by Sam Walton: You may make less profit selling just the one item, but sell ten times as much of that same product and make a greater overall profit. It’s really an economy of scale and has made Wal-Mart the largest retailer in the world. The flattening world affects organizations in many ways but it specifically affects me in three ways.
The first way the flattening world affects me: My ability to get a job. Many companies want the best employees for the job, as they should. Before globalization, the concept of applying for a job used to be working to be the best employee you can be and make your mark on a regional or national level, to advance you career. Employers usually looked for employees in the United States to fill those positions. With the ever so shrinking world, the companies are looking globally at the opportunity to fill that same position, I as an American, would formerly been the only consideration for.
In order to land a dream job, I need to keep advancing my education and experience so I am competitive on a global level. I understand that now that so many jobs deal with companies overseas, that there is a possibility I will have to learn a new language in order to land a job. The qualifications and requirements for jobs are increasing while the availability of career-level jobs is decreasing. The second way the flattening world affects me is the advancement of technology. Simply put, jobs are being lost due to relocation overseas or even the cold, relentless efficiency of a computer.
The human element makes mistakes that computers don’t. If I don’t make an impact in my job for a company, I could be replaced, creating a viscous cycle where my chosen profession is constantly undermined by the “more work, less time for less money” philosophy that is so common in today’s world. For example, this is already taking place at Wal-Mart stores across the nation by the installment of the self-checkouts at the front of the store, a change to a retail concept that has been working for over a century.
While not well received by most, they are simple replacements to humans doing the same amount of work, although one cashier can supervise six registers and administer help as needed instead of continually checking out customers. The third and final way the flattening phenomenon is impacting me is the manner in which I choose to make my living and the quality of live that I expect. It would not seem unreasonable to expect my job to be outsourced to another country or company if they are willing to do the same amount of work for less money.
This has nothing to do with my performance as an employee; companies have investors and the bottom line to look at. One of the easiest ways to cut expenses quickly is to set up an email server in a developing country and train engineers in a foreign country how to do the job for a fraction of the money that I am making as an employee in the United States. In simple terms “Why should they pay me $32,000/year, with full benefits, when someone is willing to do the same thing for a tenth the cost and no benefits? ” That is a terrifying reality in today’s world. ——————————————– [ 1 ]. Friedman, T. (2005, April 05).
It’s a Flat World, After All. New York Times. [ 2 ]. Microsoft Windows. A history of Windows – Microsoft Windows. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://windows. microsoft. com/en-US/windows/history [ 3 ]. Friedman, T. (2005, April 05). It’s a Flat World, After All. New York Times [ 4 ]. WiseGEEK. What Is Linux®?. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-linux. htm [ 5 ]. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Just in time (business) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Just_in_time_(business) [ 6 ]. Sam Walton: Made in America a Money Book Summary
Cite this The Flattening World
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