UPS' multiyear, $20 billion investment in technology is beginning to pay off, according to CEO David Abney. UPS is better able to compete against FedEx and potentially Amazon, thanks to investments in systems that improve sorting accuracy and speed up the package-handling process.
Electronic logging devices could create questions about contractor and employee distinctions for truck drivers, writes David Sparkman. The additional oversight by management may exhibit too much control over drivers and blur the line between which drivers are employed by the company and which are independent.
Amazon Prime members in 50 US cities can now take advantage of a new direct-to-garage delivery service that uses Key Smart Garage Kits and LiftMaster Wi-Fi garage door openers to allow drivers to deposit packages in the garage. Members simply need to link their connected garage-door openers to the feature on the Amazon Key app to use the service.
The Department of Transportation may make changes to its 100 air-mile "short-haul" exemption, due in part to 5,200-plus comments filed by truck drivers over the hours-of-service regulation, and expand it from 12 hours on-duty to 14, which would keep it in line with long-haul driver regulations. Additional changes could alter adverse condition rules, the 30-minute break rule after eight hours and the choice to split the 10-hour off-duty rest break requirements.
Leaders who take time for weekly reflection -- and encourage their teams to do the same -- will see an improvement in overall performance, writes Alaina Love, CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting. Take a walk outside, she recommends, and journal about any insights.
Walmart is stressing grocery as the focal point of its growth strategy in China, where it plans to grow from 23 to 40 Sam's Club stores by next year. The retailer has teamed with e-commerce player JD.com to stake a claim in the fast-growing, competitive field of grocery delivery in China.
There's no such thing as communicating too much, but leaders must communicate effectively by telling inspiring stories and engaging all levels of the organization, writes Robert Ford, president of The Ford Consultancy Group. "When leadership communication is absent during change, as an individual it is the loudest, clearest most powerful message heard," he says.
Wakefern Food's ShopRite aims to grow its private brands from 13% to 30% of its market share within five years by adding about 1,000 new SKUs and focusing on premium products, executive Chris Skyers said. The company will work first on rebranding its core offerings and then on innovating in the premium products category, he said.
Pricing strategy overhauls are more successful when distributors take an incremental approach to change, according to experts at an industry event. Distributors can start by examining the 10 worst-performing accounts for ways to improve and then determining the most effective tactics by gathering feedback from their top five accounts, said D. Bruce Merrifield of WayPoint Analytics.
Distributors are increasingly looking to serve less of an enabler role in sales and function more like doctors, answering customers' questions and addressing important issues they might not have considered, writes Gretchen Friedrich of AFFLINK. Like actual doctors, they should "not start pitching a prescription" immediately, but "custom-tailor their recommendation to [fit] the patient," says Jonathan Prichard of Mattress Insider.