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Case Studies: 5 Companies that Adapted in Times of Change

December 18, 2017

We are all familiar with how Uber flipped the taxi industry on its head and how Netflix changed the way we watch movies, but there are plenty of other examples of organizations that adjusted with—and sometimes influenced—emerging trends. Here’s a look at just a few.

> Philips Lighting. Once considered only a light bulb manufacturer, Philips transformed its business approach when LED technology interrupted the bulb replacement model. Today, Philips uses wireless technology to deliver customized lighting systems that are interconnected, programmable, and adaptable to changing preferences and needs.  

> Amazon. What began as an online bookseller has erupted into a merchandiser giant. Using an array of digital technologies in logistics, streaming, and cloud services, Amazon has diversified its portfolio to include 1-click purchasing, marketplace integration, drone delivery, fulfillment robotics, and subscription services. 

> U.S. Department of Defense. For years, the Government purchased aircraft with an agreement to pay the contractor time and materials for future maintenance. Realizing the arrangement incentivized suppliers to skimp on quality by underutilizing production technology, the DOD adopted performance-based contracting, which instead pays contractors only for the time the aircraft is in service.  

> Ford Motor Company. 3-D technology is one of industry’s biggest disruptors, already changing business models in medicine, architecture, jewelry, and automotive manufacturing. Earlier this year, Ford announced it will test 3-D technology in several areas of parts production, including interior parts and exterior spoilers. 

> Microsoft. Remember when software like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop had to be manually updated every year by purchasing and installing a new CD? Cloud technology changed all that, and software companies reinvented their business models to match. Today, users enjoy more seamless and reliable updates with a subscription-based model.