Saving EAPLCOMS: A Consultancy Project
Positive change is what Ealplcoms needs. Over the past years, the place shut itself inwards from the changing world. Rondinelli, et al. (1998) realized that the forces of economic interaction across the globe in the 21st century would impact economic growth in cities a great deal. Ealpcoms must therefore carry out what they failed to do in the past years, interact and turn to the outside world to grow based on global successes benchmark.
The Most significant trends in urban and economic change which will impact on their city over the next ten years
Many cities for more, specifically South American cities, for example Rio de Janeiro and San Paulo in Brazil, have employed new trends for urban and economic growth despite the fact that they still have a long way to go and that they enjoy significant amount of growth. Eaplcoms should therefore follow suit.
1 a) Improvement and optimum utilization of infrastructure
Technology has become the main driver for integrative management and production processes. According to Rondinelli, et al. (1998), the primary engine of urban economic development has shifted from one based on mass-production industries and low-skill service jobs to a more sophisticated technology- and knowledge-based system of production and service” (p. 72).
One of the reasons as to why manufacturing industries for Eaplcoms is due to its refusal to employ technology in their production processes. Ultimately, production is the connection to the global marketplace, investors, global benchmarks, sources of ideas and business partners among others.
The government of Brazil for instance has ensured promotion of implementation of technology in different sectors of the economy. The most significant move is the IBM developed data center in the city. Up to 30 government agencies are monitored by the command center thus, coordinating work in different economic sectors including weather forecasts, power supply and transport system among other related sectors. According to Singer (2012), this “could lay the groundwork for a multi-billion dollar business” (p.1).
b) Investment in Human Capital
Eaplcoms is faced by a dire need for energetic and specialized workforce. With the current staff aging increasingly, the city must look for ways of utilizing the people around. For one, there are still efforts to get young people (stop them from fleeing by creating job opportunities) and ladies into the labor force. With a diverse workforce, the organization will realize many benefits (public and private).
Generally, men and women have various strengths. Young people are known to have innovative minds. Therefore, they have the ideas for present context bearing in mind that they are up to date with modern trends and concepts. Additionally, young people ensure continuity into the future. As a result, the city should invest to encourage them to stay. The city nonetheless should additionally invest in creation of a workforce that is well conversant with modern ideas to facilitate success in the global marketplace.
Heinrich (2010) recommended the implementation of incentive-compatible policies to help promote human capital. As a result, the city should invest in education. Learning has become quite significant in acquisition of skills that contribute to productivity growth and financial mobility (Heinrich 2010).
Eaplcoms through corporate social responsibility in education can create a sufficient human capital base. The Bolsa Familia program in Brazil for instance offered scholarships to students thus reducing “out-of-pocket expenditures and opportunity costs for low-income families” (Heinrich 2010, p. 84) to enhance learning demand. Additionally, the city should cooperate with its institutions of higher learning and schools to create a curriculum that is up to date.
The marketplace across the globe is highly competitive. It considers being ‘special’ to attract the market way attention from rivals. Innovation is additionally what puts one on top of the game. It is also all about enhancing the lives of the people and ensuring it is more convenient to do some things.
Technology implementation in Brazil is part of the country’s general innovation culture that is promoted by the government. By implementing the technology is not just enough based on the fact that it is more on utilizing it just like other innovative resources. The data center in Rio developed by IBM is a motivated project. The company admitted that while it has developed similar centers in the past, it was only for single agencies for example (such as police departments).
Therefore, innovation involves different issues including culture and structure; knowledge management system and ideas by ideal utilization of ICT. This therefore takes into consideration effective business management elements including flexibility, agility and innovation capacity among others.
Eaplcoms should start to create a culture of innovation. For instance, the city should create a reward system that enhances creative ideas from young people.
d) Economies of Agglomeration (Creating Centralized Urban Cores)
Every city has its focal centers of commerce. Economic of agglomeration lies on the fact that even as a city improves continually, it should focus mainly on its commerce especially in core areas (Glaeser & Gottlieb 2009). Research studies reveal many benefits of enhanced commercial development density in urban centers. They provide a wide range of sustainability benefits including intra and inter sector knowledge spillovers, enhanced specialization, boosting and facilitating innovation, competition, larger labor markets as well as economies of scale among others.
Sao Paulo for instance has changed from where it was as a minor commercial center in 1890 to the largest urban agglomeration in Brazil. The country has managed this by becoming industrialization hub in Brazil. To date, the city contributes up to 50 percent of the country’s industrial output (Cohen 2003, p. 23). Maybe Eaplcoms can utilize this history to reinstate its manufacturing power.
Benchmarking the City’s Performance against Its Competitors in the Global Economy
Luque-Martinez and Munoz-Leiva (2005, cited in Holloway & Wazjer 2008) consider city benchmarking as “the systematic continuous method that consists of identifying, learning and implementing the most effective practices and capacities from other cities in order to improve one’s own city to improve its action in what it offers” (p.3). Once Eaplcoms has settled for the city’s or the country’s benchmarking, there are three levels it can utilize including policies and processes that would ensure enhanced performance (Holloway & Wazjer 2008).
In this regard, it should also understand what city-country benchmarking is all about in terms of projects and policy. The second benchmarking level takes a look at the country’s/city’s benchmark achieved results. Lastly, Eaplcoms decides what to engage in (imitate or improve on) to promote growth and to compete. In this regard, let us consider how Eaplcoms can learn from tourism and travel industry in Brazil.
Public Policy, and Processes and Projects
The public policy in Brazil that is applicable in different sectors of the economy has been favorable to growth. Its public policy is ‘aligning innovation with strategy’. The country in other worlds realizes that being innovative is not just enough. Innovation calls for the right strategies to achieve a positive result. For instance, the government has implemented technology culture utilizing modern communication methods to sell itself (that is, an image) as an ideal tourism attraction and enhanced its business for example in its travel and tourism distribution system.
The country has 10,000 travel agencies and 60 percent of them offer international tickets. With tight competition in the industry, the agencies struggle to enhance its efficacy as competitive advantage issue. Use on technology in this regard helps to ensure quick and efficient online network. Many tourists in the country use travel agencies.
There are tourists who purchase tickets online. Brazil also has active and creative agencies known for its “extensive experience in developing successful domestic brands” (Mariutti 2013, p.13). The country in 2014, will host the 2014 World Cup to market it even further. The tournament has earned the international attention even more and this is great for its tourism (especially if the tournament is a success).
Based on the processes and policy that the government of Brazil has employed, its travel and tourism industry still enjoys significant growth especially in the past years. Its tourism and travel industry has for the past years achieved global exposure. This has tapped many investors and increased the number of tourists.
Today, the country receives about 5 million international tourists annually. The number may appear small considering that other countries (such as the US, France, among others) receive but it is a major improvement compared to the past years. Growth in the industry has also impacted other areas positively for example generation of revenue (foreign income) and job creation.
Projections for instance still show how the industry will generate 8.9 percent of total employment opportunities (direct and indirect) by 2021 (Mariuti 2013, p. 14).
What Eaplcoms Should Do
Eaplcoms can learn from Brazil. It should not only be creative but it should also utilize its creativity innovatively and strategically. It should market itself as well as its travel and tourism industry to attract investors and tourists. As in the case of Brazil, technology can do a lot to enhance this goal. Even so, Anholt (2007, cited Mariutti, p. 13) writes: “Almost every place on Earth gets the image it deserves”. The notion is not to copy the country’s benchmark (Brazil’s) image but context is a significant consideration.
Eaplcoms should therefore adopt a customized marketing strategy to create a different identity to help promote its tourism in the region. For instance, the city has a famous football club in the Europa League. This is quite essential in generating marketing opportunities.
The situation of Ecalpemos is not hopeless. Even so, understanding new urban and economic development concepts does not guarantee automatic success. It begins with the true will to transform the city into a better global context. The management must also create the ideal framework and mindset to ensure change. It is a matter of culture.
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