Ferguson's Build.com online platform is providing customers with an augmented-reality in-app option that allows them to interact with products. "We've seen AR-enabled product sales double since launching In-Home Preview," said Dan Davis, the platform's chief technology officer.
The internet of things has many applications for improving accuracy in the supply chain, Paul Washicko of CalAmp writes. More automatically generated information provides more insight and greater delivery velocity, he argues.
The Indian government's reluctance to embrace foreign ownership of multi-brand retail operations has held Walmart back from growing in the country, where it runs 21 wholesale stores but no retail outlets. Rules established in 2011 allow for 51% foreign direct ownership, but few major international retailers have opted to take this path.
Amazon could become the largest grocery retailer by 2030, especially if it continues to boost its growth through acquisitions, according to business analyst Brittain Ladd. Amazon needs to grow its grocery infrastructure and could do so by acquiring another national chain such as Target, Ladd said.
Traits of leaders with high emotional intelligence include being empathetic, positive and authentic, and they practice those traits whenever possible, writes Joel Garfinkle. "Beyond work, think of ways to apply yourself at home, in social and community situations," he writes.
Offering your opinion too early or answering your own questions are bad habits that shut down input, writes Camille Fournier. People will listen to their bosses, but they will be wary of speaking up if they feel they won't be heard, Fournier notes.
Cromwell, a London-based subsidiary of W.W. Grainger, is introducing Zoro UK, a website providing industrial products to British customers. Grainger also has Zoro-branded offerings in Japan and the US.
Customer application reviews and field engineering are two on-site ways to detect and mitigate packaging issues, writes Megan Ray Nichols. Laboratory-based testing for climatic and mechanical faults provides the benefit of a static, predictable testing environment, she notes.
Four factors including misguided hiring practices based on candidate likability may underlie sluggish sales, Bill Blades writes. Make training a priority, shore up social skills and remember the role of humor, he recommends.
Using digital techniques such as ultrasonic leak detectors to monitor compressed air system usage helped a Ford plant save $400,000 per year, according to retired manager Joe Ghislain. Start with baseline measurements, which Ghislain says are useful for determining what needs to be improved and for obtaining the funding to continue.
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