Intellectual Capital discovery journey – a case of ICM Programme in Hong Kong

A journey to the “Right Station”


The world is changing. Logistics companies running on old business model using fax, email and silo IT applications for communication, information sharing and data interchange are difficult to compete in the new international trade environment.


To survive, SME Third Party Logistics (3PL) companies can change their operations by leveraging advanced Web solutions for instant interaction and communication, sharing and collaboration and integrated IT applications connecting to their customers and partners in a global scale. Therefore there are opportunities for Hong Kong entrepreneurs if they are able to establish a business which can provide enterprise level IT applications and Web solutions in a reasonable cost affordable by 3PLs.


An entrepreneur in Hong Kong who has an office in Hong Kong Science Park believes that he can do it. He trusts that his idea and service of an open logistics platform is unique in the 3PL market. However, there are many competitors working on the traditional closed and proprietary approach, which are still very successful in the logistics IT market currently.


When comparing to the current market leader, this entrepreneur is taking on a different approach. He believes that the following differentiations of his business will be the critical success factors in long run, i.e. open community platform, low cost, enterprise technology and cloud computing ready. But the question here is how well his company can deliver the values to 3PLs based on these differentiations.


One day, this entrepreneur received a call from his friend in a nearby company in the Hong Kong Science Park. His friend told him that an Intellectual Capital Management Consultant from the Intellectual Property Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was in his office and asked him if he would like to join the ICM Consultancy Programme and the consultant could explain the programme to him.


Finally, the entrepreneur joined the Programme in 2010 before its closure. Looking back, he found that the Programme was a valuable exercise for his company. Through the consultancy, his company has undergone a thorough review, examination and analysis of company’s Intellectual Capital, which has all along been a hidden treasure of his company and is surprisingly important for company’s future value creation.


To take one step further, the entrepreneur has compiled his company’s Intellectual Capital Report. In the report, he systematically documented the business overview, the vision and mission, management philosophy and core values of his company.


He also classified the stakeholders of his company and analyzed the company’s values and relationships with the stakeholders. He reviewed the company’s competitive advantages, risks facing his team and what the mitigation measures are.


More importantly, he has taken stock of his company’s Intellectual Capital inventory (in terms of the importance per each intellectual capital item in generating value to stakeholders) and gained a comprehensive understanding of their relationships and values to the company.


The following paragraph written by the entrepreneur in his IC Report has clearly summed up his experience in joining the ICM Consultancy Programme: “The photo ( of Earth Rise taken by Apollo spaceship in December 1968 can illustrate the value of the Intellectual Capital discovery journey. We cannot fully appreciate the beauty of our Earth while we are living in it until we look at it in the space journey. Similarly, we cannot fully understand the important Intellectual Capital of our company during our day-to-day work in the company until we take an opportunity to look at it in this Intellectual Capital discovery journey”.


Note: The IC report can be viewed at:


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