May 16, 2020

Nine in ten businesses are caught out by unplanned growth

Business
growth
development
Epicor
Nell Walker
3 min
Nine in ten businesses are caught out by unplanned growth
New research shows that businesses are not prepared for rapid growth.

Nine out of ten (89 percent) organisations across the globe were left exposed to...

New research shows that businesses are not prepared for rapid growth.

Nine out of ten (89 percent) organisations across the globe were left exposed to significant business dangers in 2015, due to the impact of unplanned growth that happened as a result of a growth surge. New international research from Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software, has unveiled the potential pitfalls of business growth when it is unplanned.

The research, which was conducted by MORAR Consulting and commissioned by Epicor, involved posing questions to over 1,800 business leaders from 12 countries across the globe.

Of those surveyed globally, 58 percent of businesses reported growth in 2015, and nearly 70 percent expect to grow in 2016. However, only 11 percent experienced growth totally in line with their plans in 2015.

The business leaders surveyed admitted they often fear the consequences of growth, citing a number of negative impacts when growth is not planned for effectively. Half (48 percent) said they worry that business growth puts excessive pressure on operations, damaging quality and customer satisfaction. A substantial number of businesses (42 percent) were also concerned that their business IT systems may prove unable to cope with managing a larger, more complex, business model. The top concern cited by CEOs was the perceived loss of customer intimacy that may come about as a result of growth.

Growth also poses a number of concerns about resource availability as business activities scale. Forty-five percent of business leaders said that as a result of growth, they worry that their business might take on large or complex projects that they lack the skillset and technology to deliver effectively, damaging their brand reputation. They were also concerned that by growing the business, workloads may increase to a level that places too much pressure on staff, prompting key personnel to leave the organisation (43 percent).  Just under half (45 percent) of business leaders polled worry they are not personally prepared for the challenges of managing a larger, more diverse business.

Globally, significant levels of unplanned growth were more likely to be experienced by mid-sized businesses with 100-999 employees (37 percent), than larger enterprises with over 1,000 employees (29 percent). Unplanned growth can bring challenges and pitfalls which nearly three quarters of businesses agreed are of at least some concern to them. Growth was most likely to be described as painful (in as many as one in ten cases) by smaller mid-sized businesses (100-249 staff) as they make the difficult transition from small to mid-sized enterprise.

In the light of this it is not surprising that business leaders across the globe found growth to be difficult as well as rewarding, suggesting businesses across the globe need to prepare for growth more effectively.  Nearly half (45%) admitted that they found growth challenging in 2015.

To support business growth, and prepare for its challenges better, 79 percent of businesses believe that an effective and integrated IT infrastructure is essential. “This adoption of new technologies should position organisations to reap the benefits of newfound efficiencies and pave the way for growth,” said Malcolm Fox, Vice President of Product Marketing at Epicor.

“Although the majority of businesses intend to grow in 2016, it’s clear that there are significant concerns with regard to businesses ability to deal with growth,” said Fox. “These concerns are not altogether unfounded, as our research shows even when businesses plan to grow, this growth can still surprise them; putting unexpected pressures on the organization. The proper time to prepare for growth surges is well in advance, as having an information framework to enable an organization to respond and keep pace in the face of growth has never been more vital.”

To help manufacturing businesses plan growth better Epicor has released a new eBook that outlines the key success factors that manufacturers believe contribute to their growth. Download the eBook here.

 

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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing

 

What is Ultium Cells LLC?

Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”

Who is Li-Cycle?

Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.

As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”

Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?

By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.

“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).

"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.

"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.

Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.

"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.

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