Products, relationships and other perceived benefits are only valuable sales tools if they help customers solve their problems through excellent service, writes Mike Marks, managing partner at Indian River Consulting Group. "Reliability today is merely table stakes for keeping customers," he writes.
US factory output rose at a 1.9% annualized rate in the second quarter of 2018, with June's automotive production recovering from supply chain interruptions in May according to Federal Reserve data. "Demand is up, production is up, [and there's] really robust hiring overall," says National Association of Manufacturers Chief Economist Chad Moutray.
Chief information officers are taking the lead on the latest generation of digital technologies, using tools such as additive manufacturing, augmented reality and deep learning to overhaul business models, says Forrester Research. "The more firms recognize that they are essentially software businesses, the role of the CIO shifts from a cost to a profit center," Forrester's Brian Hopkins says.
Digital technologies in manufacturing operations are not new, but their scope and reach is, says Nigel Thomas of Capgemini. "The difference is that digital is now connecting the different parts of an enterprise so that you get the ability to make decisions at a business level based on an enabled, end-to-end, front-to-back, top-to-bottom strategy," he says.
UPS is working on a predictive analytics tool capable of using the company's logistic network data to volume forecasting, delivery status and package flow. The machine-learning project is being developed in-house and will allow the company to better compete with Amazon and FedEx.
Shippers are looking for innovative solutions to ensure volume capacity, such as shorter-term contracts and volume guarantees. Assured volumes help shippers to know there will be a truck available when they need it.
The equation of what it means to eat well is different for every consumer. For a few it remains a simple calculation of product cost plus the convenience of serving it. However, according FMI's US Grocery Shopper Trends 2018, the eat-well equation for most shoppers today involves a complex consideration of numerous factors, including the ethics of production methods; environmental impact of the package; and its contents, nutritional value and sense of taste discovery. Read more.
Evaluating the people, processes and technologies for omnichannel success is the focus of the FMI program at the upcoming Groceryshop event to be held October 28 to 31 in Las Vegas. If you are interested in bringing a team of operations, technology and marketing team members to the event, apply online for the Hosted Retailers & Brands Program, which provides you with travel reimbursement and curated meetings for your group.
The Joint Industry Unsaleables Leadership Team provides strategies and educational content to help the consumer packaged goods industry reduce unsaleables. The team has recently compiled five guiding principles that should frame any successful unsaleables management program. This webinar covers these principles and also discusses how a company can assess its level of organizational maturity in unsaleables management by benchmarking against industry best practices. Speakers include Mike Boersig, manager of supply chain solutions at CHEP, and Don Ilg, director of sales operations at The J.M. Smucker Co. Listen to the recording or check out the presentation.
Traceability plays a critical role in food safety and protecting our global food supply chain. This webinar discusses the role of the Global Food Traceability Center and some of the resources GFTC has available for the food industry to improve traceability and advance food safety. Listen to the recording, or watch the slides.