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The Well-Timed Strategy: Managing the Business Cycle for Competitive Advantage (paperback) Paperback – January 23, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In The Well-Timed Strategy, Navarro provides a useful primer on business cycle risks and opportunities. Recognizing that business success depends most of all on human capital, he makes the crucial observation that the trough of a recession is the best time to find good people and the most important time to focus on retaining them. This and other insights about investment, production and marketing give todays executives a useful checklist for building and maintaining competitive advantage."

--Michael Milken , Chairman, The Milken Institute

From the Back Cover

Most companies ignore one of their best opportunities for honing competitive advantage: the opportunity to proactively manage business cycles and macroeconomic turbulence. Despite the profound impact that the business cycle has on the fortunes and fate of so many businesses large and small--and the employees and investors that depend on them--not fa single book offers a comprehensive guide to strategically and tactically managing the business cycle. The Well-Timed Strategy shows how to manage not just the business cycle and industry cycles but also today's unprecedented level of macroeconomic turbulence. Peter Navarro shows how to align every facet of business strategy, tactics, and operations to reflect changing business conditions. Drawing on hundreds of examples, Navarro distills clear, simple management principles for managing economic upswings and downswings. Navarro addresses everything from inventory, production, and supply chain management to marketing, pricing, and long-term capital investment. Navarro presents examples from around the globe, ranging from Broadcom and Cemex to Paccar and Xilinx Chinese real estate developers to U.S. small caps. Clear, concise, and exceptionally readable, The Well-Timed Strategy makes complex macroeconomic forecasting easy to understand -- and even easier to act upon.

 

Introduction  xvii

 

Chapter 1: Strategies and Tactics of the Master Cyclist Executive  1

Chapter 2: Countercycling Your Capital Expenditures  15

Chapter 3: The Acquisitive Master Cyclist Buys Low and Sells High  39

Chapter 4: The Art of “Cherry Picking” and Other Well-Timed Tactics of the Human Resources Manager  55

Chapter 5: “Macromanaging” Your Production, Inventory, and Supply Chain  75

Chapter 6: Master Cyclist Marketing Through the Business Cycle Seasons  95

Chapter 7: Pricing the Cycle and Managing Credit and Account Receivables  111

Chapter 8: Proactive Profiting From Oil Price Spikes, Interest Rate Hikes, and Exchange Rate Risks  129

Chapter 9: When You Can’t Beat the Business Cycle, Hedge Its Risks!  149

Chapter 10: Surviving—and Prospering from—the Economic Shocks of War, Terrorism, Drought, and Disease  169

Chapter 11: The Master Cyclist’s Favorite Forecasting Tools  185

 

Concluding Thoughts  211

 

Appendix A: The Master Cyclist Project’s Treasure Trove of Data and All-Star Team  213

Appendix B: A Business Cycle Primer  223

 

Notes  233

 

Index  239

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (January 23, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0138022925
  • ISBN-13: 978-0138022921
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Navarro is a Harvard Ph.D. economist and professor of public policy at the University of California, Irvine. His latest book Death By China is a sequel to his best-selling book The Coming China Wars and is now a documenatry film (www.deathbychina.com).

In addition to his work on China, Professor Navarro has written numerous books on strategically managing the business cycle from both an executive and a stock trading point of view. His books include: "The Well-Timed Strategy," "Always a Winner," "If It's Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks," "What the Best MBAs Know," and "When the Market Moves, Will You Be Ready?"

A widely sought-after and gifted public speaker, Professor Navarro has appeared frequently on Bloomberg TV, CNN, CNBC, NPR, and all three major network news shows as well as 60 Minutes. Navarro's articles have appeared in a wide range of leading publications, including Barrons, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Sloan Management Review. His weekly newsletter on the economy and stock market is distributed widely and is available to the public at www.peternavarro.com .

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Most business people who went to college were exposed to the principles of microeconomic analysis at some point. But most don't apply what they learned to their businesses. Professor Navarro's book is a lively look at some of the opportunities that are presented by adjusting your timing to buy low and sell high for:

- capital expenditures

- acquisitions

- hiring people

- adjusting your supply chain

- marketing (especially advertising and promotion)

- extending credit and collecting receivables

- dealing with volatility in raw materials, interest rates and foreign currency

- eliminating unnecessary risks when the environment is clouded

- dealing with natural calamities and wars

In addition, the book explains a variety of economic analysis tools that have proven to be helpful for business people.

Each chapter is clearly outlined and summarized. The key points are illuminated by vignettes about successes and flops (usually among those who ignored risk or didn't think it through properly).

The writing style is popular, rather than academic. You'll feel like you are reading a series of articles from the local business pages rather than a professor's book.

Much of the research for the book was done by students. That gives the book a lot of breadth. The weakness of that approach is that sometimes the students and Professor Navarro don't quite get it right.

I began to get nervous when Moore's Law was misstated as saying that the number of transistors on a chip double every year . . . rather than every two years. That concern increased when I read examples that I knew well from personal experience.
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Format: Hardcover
There are plenty of business books that tell you *what* to do and *how* to do it, but few which talk about *when*. That's the key difference in Peter Navarro's The Well Timed Strategy: Managing the Business Cycle for Competitive Advantage. By understanding the timing of business cycles, a business person can make moves that position them well for the coming up- or down-tick in the economy.

Contents: Strategies and Tactics of the Master Cyclist Executive; Countercycling Your Capital Expenditures; The Acquisitive Master Cyclist Buys Low and Sells High; The Art of "Cherry Picking" and Other Well-Timed Tactics of the Human Resource Manager; "Macromanaging" Your Production, Inventory, and Supply Chain; Master Cyclist Marketing Through the Business Cycle Seasons; Pricing the Cycle and Managing Credit and Account Receivables; Proactive Profiting from Oil Price Spikes, Interest Rate Hikes, and Exchange Rate Risks; When You Can't Beat the Business Cycle, Hedge Its Risks!; Surviving - and Prospering from - the Economic Shocks of War, Terrorism, Drought, and Disease; The Master Cyclist's Favorite Forecasting Tools; Concluding Thoughts; The Master Cyclist Project's Treasure Trove of Data and All-Star Team; A Business Cycle Primer; Notes; Index

Navarro argues that a close examination of the business cycle (becoming a Master Cyclist) can help you make the right choices for your business in terms of when to do certain things. Based on economic forecasting tools (covered near the end), it's possible to have a better than average view into where the economy is headed, whether it's a recession or an expansion. These indicators, when followed, almost appear to make you look like a bit of a contrarian.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I always enoy those shows on televiion where people are predicting the future. The overwhelming tendency is for the forecasters to predict that the future is going to continue about what it's doing now. If we're in a recession, they see nothing that looks like it's going to pull us out of the recession. If we're in a boom, the general consensus is that we are just starting a boom and that there's nothing that looks like it means the end of the boom.

Instead we have a lot of evidence that whatever is going on will change. Boom cycles, bust cycles happen. Most companies, it seems, ignore any idea at all of a long term trend. This quarter is down, fire people (really good for morale), cut back everything you can. This quarter is up, try to expand like crazy, making up for lost time -- just in time for the next down turn.

Dr. Navarro understands the business cycle and in this book explains the cycle that business follows with special attention to people, production, credit and so on.

Then there's a chapter on forecasting tools. Knowing what to do is a lot easier if you know what the future holds. Here the model shows weakness. There are a lot of stories about companies that guess right, or wrong about the future. Predicting the future however reminds me of the old saying: 'Predicting the future is easy, it's being right that's hard.'
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A business professor at the University of California at Irvine as well as the publisher of a solid weekly newsletter on the economy, author Peter Navarro has written a sharp, timely tome on how executives can better manage their own businesses through economic cycles they inevitably deem unpredictable. What I like about Navarro's text is that unlike others who seem to thrive on crystal-ball methodologies, he doesn't pretend to hold all the answers to such macroeconomic turbulence. Instead, Navarro provides well-researched pointers on how to use existing economic indicators to formulate strategies to insulate firms better from the inherent volatility of business cycles.

Anyone can imagine that it has to be a daunting task to conquer trends perceived to be unforeseeable, especially since the executive teams of many well-known large corporations have failed so miserably at it. Through his comprehensive research, however, he identifies those who have indeed mastered these cycles by taking what outsiders would likely view as high-risk moves toward a less vulnerable future. Key examples that Navarro points out are those managers who fundamentally buy high and sell low, whether it means counter-cycling capital expenditures or snapping up great employees at low wages when a surrounding recession has forced competitors to lay off talented workers.

The greatest value Navarro provides here is how he unearths the hard-earned experiences of real companies that have managed not only to persevere but actually thrive during the business downturns. A particularly stellar case of a CEO paying attention to key economic indicators is Johnson & Johnson's Ralph Larsen.
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