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Craftsmen are the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of today.

Philippe Reniers

A smooth transformation into a network organization

Notwithstanding we are facing uncertain times, there is little doubt about the fact that the power of very large organizations is coming to an end. Causes must be sought in the way markets function today. The classic ‘supply chain’ of goods and services has been replaced by a ‘supply loop’ of information. Customers, who are at the center of this so-called network economy, pump information about e.g. their buying experience or feedback on usage of products or services, around faster and faster.

Market are becoming network of information and, in order to survive, companies will have to get access to this information and turn it into insights. Further, as customers are constantly looking for information, companies will have to feed the network as well with relevant and correct product or service information. Only then firms might be able to offer a unique buying experience to their customers and establish loyalty among them.

With the network era we also enter the era of craftsmen. Craftsmen are niche players who excel in what they do and stick to their areas of competence. Craftsmen are the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of today.

When we look at the dynamics of networks, we can identify characteristics such as velocity, adaptability, agility, flexibility, scalability and accessibility. The same characteristics we can find back in Small and Medium Businesses. Therefore, those SMEs that adapt their internal organization to Self-Management structures and implement network-oriented solutions like Omni-Channel Sales & Marketing, Data analytics, Cooperation, Servitization, and so on, will be the motor of the ever-growing network economy.

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