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Executives Peer-to-peer Groups And Their Benefits: Asia Pacific

At peer groups, you meet with leaders who match your level of management to utilize one another experience and convert knowledge to business value in everyday business life.

You learn, share and apply your knowledge in a professional peer group, and inspire each other with new perspectives, whatever the industry.

Members of a peer group are likely to influence other’s behavior and beliefs. They discuss, comment on and help other members of the group make their business better.

Peer-to-peer groups are a great way to get inexpensive and quality advice. Peer-to-peer groups can be intensely bonding and can provide solutions to long-standing business problems that you might be trying to overcome. At TheNewHandshake, the leaders come together to support each other’s professional development.

To keep ahead in a fast-moving industry, leading Asia-Pacific fashion retailer Bossini needed to have better visibility into its business and operational processes through the synchronization of real-time data across multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units.

By leveraging the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), Bossini is able to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.
The intuitive development environment of the webMethods ESB has enabled Bossini's programmers to easily, and quickly, build the large number of interfaces required to meet its complex integration requirements.

Upon transforming to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Bossini could synchronize real-time data from multiple orders, shipments and stock-keeping units (SKUs) across its Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and Warehouse Management System (WMS) inventory.

Benefits include:

• Better visibility into real-time processes with dynamic synchronization of data between point of sale and warehouse management systems
• Additional business capabilities, e.g. late shipment and sales performance monitoring via dashboards/SMS and stock-on-hand monitoring for all markets.
• Factory order allocation reduced from three days to one
• Finance month-end closing slashed from 25 days to seven
• Developer and IT productivity increased by up to 30 percent through user-friendly intuitive interface and re-use of programming objects from the webMethods ESB.

A standards-based solution

With the webMethods Enterprise Service Bus, Bossini is able to take full advantage of the standards-based interfaces to integrate with their existing systems and utilize service orchestration to connect their existing systems to their processes. This allows Bossini to speed up the deployment of new applications and processes and bring new partners on board much more quickly.

Subsequent changes are also easier to implement, and the company enjoys cost savings resulting from the re-use of the service components. "The webMethods ESB enables us to achieve real-time interoperability across numerous disparate applications, including independence from the constraints of their operating systems and hardware platforms," said Mr. Andrew Ling, Director of IT and Supply Chain of the Bossini Group.

Of equal importance is the platform's flexibility and ease of use. "This was crucial in our ability to gain competitive advantage in the fickle world of apparel retailing," said Ling. "In our decision, we also took into account the faster adoption, lower training costs and quicker return-on-investment enabled by the very intuitive design of the webMethods ESB."

Strategic Management Of Technological Innovation

Two kinds of peer-to-peer groups are: moderated group, where the members moderate meetings themselves, and facilitated groups, where a trained facilitator runs the meetings.

There are organizations who help put together these groups with a very formalized structure.

While putting together a peer-to-peer group, the important steps are:

  1. Confidentiality. Trust is likely the most important thing the group must have. Everything that happens in the group must stay in the group.
  2. Keep the group membership small. It’s important that everyone in the group has time to speak.
  3. Mandatory meeting attendance. Commitment to the group is one of the keys for group’s success. Meet face-to-face. Meet atleast four times a year; better is to meet once a month.
  4. Agenda. Time is important and make sure its well spent.
  5. Frank and honest discussion. You need to be honest and ask open-ended questions. No personal attacks in group. Peer-to-peer groups help you find your own answers.
  6. Limit Advice. Give advice only when asked. First, learn to listen. Peer-to-peer groups need to understand an issue before anyone starts to give advice.
  7. Different people. Have people from different industries in your group, and you’ll get different points of views. Respect others.
  8. Learning plan. Members must create a learning plan. A good plan sets performance goals.

Peer learning groups in TheNewHandshake accelerate growth for leaders and managers. Peer-to-peer coaching in groups is a powerful approach to leadership development. Peer groups provide a more formalized outlet for learning from the experiences of peers.

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Start with trust – work to create trust within the peer relationships. Curate membership – create a group with shared core values and an environment for growth. Work on relationships.

Peer groups are a fast track to better management. In a peer group everything gets shared and everyone is accountable to each other. Be sure to have an open mind as you enter a peer group. Set some goals on what you want to get out of the experience.

TheNewHandshake is more than just a Business network