Toyota continues to expand its use of the Toyota Production System and is likely to incorporate agile principles, says Toyota Connected agile chief Nigel Thurlow. "One of the key values from the agile manifesto is responding to change over following a plan," he says.
There is no doubt trade restrictions and tariffs would force change within supply chains, but the uncertainty they've created thus far will alter global supply chains going forward, writes Willy Shih. Concerns from the US regarding overdependence on China, emerging manufacturing in China and regional focus on goods-producing supply chains will change the way supply chains operate, Shih adds.
Realizing the benefits of diversity -- including to the bottom line -- requires ending the "illusion of inclusion" in favor of deep and intentional strategies to create an inclusive corporate culture, writes Sona Jepsen. Senior leadership must mix with every level of the company to "absorb diverse viewpoints" and spark innovation, Jepsen argues.
Associated Wholesale Grocers' loyalty program for retailers makes it easy for companies to access data and offer custom coupons and promotions, among other benefits.
Distributors that are creative and able to respond to market trends quickly are in the best position for success, says Steve Raymund, founder and former chairman of Tech Data. "One of the reasons we were successful was because we tried to embed humility and curiosity into the business," he says.
Genuine Parts' profit increased by 72.2% in the fourth quarter and 31.5% for full-year 2018, with revenue also up for both periods compared with year-earlier figures. The company's industrial parts group also enjoyed higher revenue and profit for 2018.
Speakers at the recent Reverse Logistics Association conference discussed the importance of relationships with third-party logistics providers when it comes to reverse logistics. "E-commerce companies and omnichannel retailers are increasingly outsourcing reverse logistics as a way to build brand loyalty," says Kate Vitasek of the University of Tennessee.
Do-it-yourself clubs are one way that consumers are encouraging repair of goods, both personally and through right-to-repair legislation, writes Anne Kadet. "People are starting to realize that they can repair their stuff even though there are companies and manufacturers putting up roadblocks," says Vincent Lai of New York City-based volunteer group Fixers' Collective.
Companies and governments are encouraging product reuse in recent years, writes GreenBiz Chairman Joel Makower. Examples include Ben & Jerry's returnable ice cream container, Sweden's tax breaks for product repairs and Replenish's refillable cleaning product containers.
Online furniture retailer Wayfair on Friday opened an outlet store in Florence, Ky., to resell products that have been returned and are in good condition. The store will be in the same building as Wayfair's return center.
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