Transforming Consumer Value Chains: Navigating the Power Shift to the Shopper

By | Big data supply chains, customer-centric supply chains, Supply Chain Excellence, Supply Chain Insights, Supply Chain Insights Community, Supply Chain Leadership | 2 Comments

Last week Walmart announced the closing of 269 stores and the layoffs of 10,000 employees. In addition, Macy’s announced the closure of 36 stores and K-Mart followed suit with announcements of 27 store closings. For December 2015 retail sales were the lowest since 2009. What does this mean? I think three things: Decline in Customer Sentiment. The turbulence in the January stock market has an impact on customer sentiment. Customers are…

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Getting Down to Brass Tacks: Can We Really Collaborate?

By | Market-Driven | 11 Comments

Definition: Brass tacks are a type of pin or nail. The phrase to come (or get) down to brass tacks is sometimes used idiomatically to consider the basic facts of a situation. Source Wikipedia In the 1990s suppliers had channel power. The formula for success seemed foolproof. A new product was launched, the ads ran on national TV and “poof” a new brand was created. This all changed with the disintermediation of national media. During…

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What Is the Value of a Scorecard?

By | Demand, Market-Driven, Supply Chain | One Comment

It is about the right balance of the carrot and the stick. Progress happens when you measure. Relationships happen faster when there is more carrot than a stick. Over the last decade, scorecards have become more of a stick than a carrot.   Reflections Some days, in my coverage of consumer value networks, it seems like we are making slow progress. So slow, that I often feel like I am…

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What Should Be the Role of the Store?

By | Bricks Matter, Demand | No Comments

I love retail research. While some gals would call it retail therapy, I actively converge my days of shopping with supply chain research. Let me give you an example. Recently, I needed new bowls for French onion soup. So I placed the same order on Amazon, Macy’s and JC Penney’s websites. I had some trepidation. The reviews on Amazon listed “in-transit breakage” as a problem, but I shrugged my shoulders…

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A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? Acronym Babble? Digital Icing on a Stale Cake? Yes, I Think So.

By | Market-Driven, Supply Chain | 2 Comments

“A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” is an idiom of Biblical origin. It is used to describe those playing a role contrary to their real character, with whom contact is dangerous.  – Wikipedia Buzz words filled the air at the NRF Big Show, held at the Javitz Convention Center in New York last week.  The air was thick.  Words like big data, omni-channel fulfillment, smarter commerce,  mobility and customer-centric retail filled the room. I believe in each of these…

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The BIG Show: Clouds of Sensors and Sensing

By | Market-Driven | No Comments

This week, I am attending the annual NRF event in New York. For those that have never been, it lives up to its claim of being a BIG show. Few attendees leave without blisters and the lines of people try your patience. Retailers packed the halls. I spoke yesterday on Big Data and signed some copies of the book that I have written, Bricks Matter. It is exciting to hold…

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Yes, I Am a Zealot. I Still Believe. Do You?

By | Big data supply chains, Supplier development, Supply Chain | 6 Comments

I take supply chain seriously. My friends might tell you TOO seriously.  I think that the entire world should. I believe that better supply chain practices can save the world, and I think that it makes a difference in warfare and welfare. I think that it is at the core of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Yes, I am an unabashed zealot. I have been at it for a long time….

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Convergence Is REAL. It Is NOW.

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This morning I am sitting at my kitchen table, sipping coffee, writing a report. The coffee is good, the sunflowers are blooming on the deck and the words are flowing from my fingers.  The results of the Supply Chain Insights retail mobility study are compiled, and I am excited to report on the data.  I think that it is compelling. Tomorrow, I will roll my suitcase onto yet another airplane to…

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Insights from the First Day of NRF

By | Demand driven, New technologies | No Comments

It is cold in New York.  My feet are tired, but I have enjoyed the first day of the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show.  (Twitter hashtag #NRF12). I had the luxury to stay in the same room and hear some great presentations. Here are my insights.  1) Shopper Insights are the Way to Drive True Collaboration.  I got up early.  I moderated a panel for Coca-Cola for a session at…

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Carrots and Sticks

By | Demand driven | No Comments

This week, I spoke at the Vendor Compliance Federation (VCF).  While 2009 was a bad year for VCF conference attendance (and for conferences in general), 2010 is turning out to be a banner year.  There were over 300 attendees in the audience.  The title of my presentation was “Carrots and Sticks”.  The conference is aimed to connect vendors– soft goods manufacturers (think apparel, footwear, etc) and consumer durable manufacturers (think…

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