The ushering in of a new year brings with it an opportunity for reflection – and the potential for transformation. As we look back at 2021, we saw continued uncertainty, pandemic-induced economic and social challenges, and changes in the financial landscape. LIBOR has officially sunset, taking its place in history, while rising inflation, supply chain disruptions and the continued navigation of the digital age remain constant.
As a go-to resource for insights on a variety of financial, economic and business topics, Regions Commercial Insights magazine tackles these topics and more in its Winter 2022 issue, available now.
An electronic version was emailed to Commercial Banking clients on Jan. 10, with hard copies arriving the week of Feb. 18.
“In order to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape, it’s essential for all businesses to ramp up investment in technology and digital capabilities,” said Brian Willman, head of Commercial Banking at Region. “But where should you begin?”
Check out insights on navigating the digital landscape and more in a preview of Commercial Insights in this latest issue below or read the full issue.
The Factory of the Future
The manufacturing industry is often thought of as being traditional, staid, and behind the times — an undeserved reputation for an industry whose impact has gone far beyond introducing us to new energy sources, cutting-edge technology, and new modes of transportation.
Do You Need a Cybersecurity Attorney?
If your company collects data, conducts business online, or otherwise relies on cloud services, you may eventually find yourself in need of legal counsel specializing in cybersecurity.
“The greater the volume or sensitivity of the data, the more you should be doing to protect that data preemptively,” said Christine Baylet Bergeron, assistant general counsel at Regions. Likewise, international business relationships can further complicate adjudicating exposure and legal needs.
From the Sunbelt to Tech Alley
Despite the South’s impressive roster of tech companies — nearly 10,000 in total, according to Crunchbase — the region’s tech scene has largely flown under the national radar. However, thanks to the recent influx of venture capital (VC) activity centered around Atlanta, the South is finally starting to receive the recognition it deserves. Take TechCrunch, which recently labeled the region “a vibrant ecosystem teeming with a herd of the billion-dollar tech businesses.” That’s high praise from one of the tech industry’s most prominent publications.
“The tech sector in the South is really robust, growing and varied,” said Dave Sozio, managing director of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group at Regions.
Help Found: Manufacturing Workers for the Digital Age
Even before the pandemic upended business models and supply chains, the manufacturing industry was dealing with unprecedented transformation. From increased automation to artificial intelligence, new technology required new systems and exceptional changes to plant operations.
Then the pandemic accelerated the pace of change, forcing many manufacturers to speed digital adoption and automation in order to improve safety and overcome fragmented supply chains.
Roadmap to Transformation
The last two years have brought dramatic, rapid change, and many companies are struggling to keep up. A May 2021 McKinsey study noted that nine in 10 business leaders say their organization will have to adopt a new, digital-first business model by 2023 in order to remain economically viable.
Why the urgency? Because digital transformation, when done right, provides clear, significant benefits. A recent study conducted by Deloitte found that companies with a higher level of digital maturity significantly outperformed competitors on key financial metrics. These companies were three times more likely to report annual net revenue growth and net profit margins significantly above their industry average. The companies outperformed in other ways, too, reporting significantly higher efficiency, product/service quality, customer satisfaction and employee engagement than their competitors.
The Science of Simplicity: Using Technology to Transform Customer Experience
No matter your industry, it’s safe to say that your customers’ expectations and behaviors have changed significantly over the last two years. Case in point: Today’s consumers are three times more likely to conduct at least 80 percent of their transactions online than they were before the pandemic.
We sat down with Abbas Merchant, chief marketing officer at Regions, to discuss how consumer behavior has shifted over the last two years and how business leaders can leverage technology to better address those needs.
An Effective Use of Credit for Savvy Investors
There are many ways for investors to make the most of today’s low-interest rate environment, but have you considered all of your options? One strategy that you may have overlooked is establishing a securities-based line of credit, which can provide easy access to cash and a number of other advantages.
“Whether you need money to pay a large tax bill or major medical expenses, or make a lifestyle purchase like a vacation property or business investment, a securities-based line of credit can give you access to liquidity at a low cost,” said Grace Jackson, banking product and development manager at Regions Private Wealth Management.
Protecting Your Business Against Fraud
Fraud continues to reach record highs, and businesses are particularly vulnerable. According to a 2020 survey conducted by PwC, 56 percent of U.S. companies say they’ve experienced fraud within the previous two years, with customer fraud, cybercrime and asset misappropriation being most common.
In this timely article, the team explores understanding the threat, spotting the signs and how to report fraud.
In addition to Commercial Insights magazine, the Commercial Banking team launched the complementary Commercial Insights podcast series in 2021 featuring an array of financial professionals throughout Regions taking a deeper dive into these timely business topics and more. You can always access up-to-date business insights available via Regions.com/commercial.