A "leadership revolution" is coming that will see leaders value their credibility and work to create trust by behaving with integrity and honesty, writes Michael Winston, a longtime executive and Countrywide whistleblower. "The system is about to change. It must. The best leaders create trust by matching their words with their deeds and keeping their promises," he writes.
Rapidly growing customer demand and omnichannel fulfillment have forced retailers to balance customer wants with operational costs, Bridget McCrea writes. Other trends include warehouse automation and radio frequency identification, according to researcher Brian Gibson.
Most companies fail to realize the value of end-to-end image tracking, Puga Sankara writes. Picture-based documentation can help lower costs and boost customer confidence in a company’s distribution model, he explains.
Recent lawsuits alleging large companies such as Costco and Nestle sell products with slave labor materials highlight the need for businesses to take a closer look at their supply chains. Governments and consumer groups also are putting pressure on businesses to boost transparency within supply lines, and risk analysis is an essential step. This article examines how Intel works to improve visibility in its supply chains.
Using the Internet of Things within the supply chain -- such as with radio-frequency identification, wearables and smartphones -- can help companies improve inventory tracking, accuracy and overall efficiency, writes Malcolm Ross, Appian's vice president of product marketing. For example, Ryder invested in a mobile application to boost customer experience and had a 50% reduction in rental transaction times. "You can't just design applications for the flavor of the moment; new mobile and wearable devices are continually introduced," he writes.
Costco, Sam's Club and other warehouse chains have had a more profound effect on the retail industry than Amazon and other online retailers, according to the University of Chicago researchers. The four biggest warehouse clubs accounted for 8% of total retail sales in 2012, ringing up almost 50% more than online retail sales that year. That balance could shift in the future as retailers improve their digital capabilities, writes Sarah Halzack.
Creating a respectful and positive work environment starts with small actions, writes Dean Brenner. Listening to people, acknowledging good work and showing up on time will be noticed and emulated. "Little demonstrations of respect here and there, all of them seemingly small and unnoticed, eventually add up to something significant," Brenner writes.
If your team doesn't get the budget it requested, you still have many ways to meet your goals, Mark Miller writes. A lack of cash can drive a well-led team to find new solutions or less costly ways of achieving the same results, Miller explains. He offers eight ways to move forward, including delaying the project until a better time.
Chief marketing officers for business-to-business companies need to take on the responsibility for customer experience across the organization, integrating it into a seamless, easy process to appeal to buyers who want the simplicity of an Amazon-like purchase, Forrester Research's Sheryl Pattek writes. "Success will hinge on an aligned organization that can pivot toward customer obsession, where value is built around the customer, rather than a singular channel or product. As the CMO, it's up to you to lead that charge," she writes.
Tech Data's acquisition of STG does not greatly affect overall revenue, but it does serve as a value-add, Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky says. "Because it's a partner-driven model, they know how to make the partner look better in the eyes of the customer," he says in this slideshow.
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