Monday, April 28, 2008

Harbinger Number Eleven - Impact of Skyrocketing Fuel Prices on PSF Clients

Earlier this year, we posted insights about ten current major market trends and their impact on Professional Service Firm clients written by Mike Wien who is a partner with Creative Growth Group. Here’s an April 2008 update from Mike in which he shares Harbinger Number Eleven.

The Top Ten Harbingers were written at the end of 2007 to help consultants engage in meaningful relationships with their clients. By developing implications for these macro-trends on specific industries or businesses, consultants initiate thought provoking conversations with their clients and help them anticipate future needs. With the price of oil now approaching $120 per barrel, one bonus Harbinger has been added to the list.

Mid Year Bonus Harbinger Number Eleven – The 80% increase in the price of crude oil in the past 12 months will have a profound effect on almost all professional service firm clients and almost all of the businesses and people they serve.

A. The increase in price will create an oil rush in secondary oil sites like North and South Dakota, Eastern Colorado and Wyoming and Nebraska as the new economics justify greater investments in bring oil out of the ground.

B. Transportation companies will be placing a higher premium on creating greater efficiencies in distribution methods.

C. Higher prices at the pump will lead to less summer vacation travel, more telecommuting, greater use of public transportation, the death of SUVs and the growth of alternative energy.

D. A preference for shorter commutes will drive property values in-town and lower property values in the suburbs.

Sample Implication: Employers will need to consider a whole new set of employee benefits to address the work force transportation needs to stay competitive in attracting top talent. This may include new policies regarding telecommuting, company sponsored van pools and car pools, and vans to link the office with public transportation. Organizations will need help in structuring these programs to effectively communicate the details to their employees, structure the programs in a tax advantaged way, and define the program to reduce potential liabilities.

Now, how can you take this and the other ten Harbingers and make marketing "hay" with them?

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