Gabor Shoes has launched an e-commerce platform that sells directly while routing many orders to the nearest merchant for fulfillment. "Even if we grow our own end-customer business, it's important for us to keep our retailers stable," said Markus Reheis, chief marketing officer.
Manufacturers are using Industry 4.0 tools to increase productivity and to realize other benefits, many of which relate to logistics. "We know you're not going to order a skid-steer loader on your smartphone but there's a whole generation of supply chain executives that are being raised with the Amazon expectations at the top of their mind, and they want infinite flexibility," said Pete Guarraia of Bain & Co.
Narrowband cellular internet of things technology is advancing and will eventually offer "near 100% coverage (above, on or underground) with near zero transmission cost and power consumption," writes Rory Dear of DSL. The next step, he notes, is bringing the right infrastructure to market.
Safety signs and labels have different benefits for companies, and either can be used as long as they're clearly visible, Kelsey Rzepecki writes. Labels are easy to apply but require replacing, and signs cost more but are more durable.
Amazon's easy return policy has been part of its appeal to online shoppers, but some customers have had their accounts suspended for making too many returns. "We want everyone to be able to use Amazon, but there are rare occasions where someone abuses our service over an extended period of time," said an Amazon spokesman.
The "Supply Chain Top 25" from Gartner places Unilever at the top of the list for the third year in a row, with Inditex S.A. coming in second. McDonald's qualified for the list's elite "Masters" category for its sustained supply chain leadership.
Kroger's deal with high-tech British retailer Ocado could lead to orders for its ClickList service being fulfilled in warehouses instead of on store floors, company executives said. "Obviously, this is built as our online deliver-to-home solution in the US," said Kroger's John Schlotman of the Ocado technology.
Amazon took a big step toward expanding its overall retail market share with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, which expanded its ability to reach grocery shoppers on a weekly basis. "Food is the platform for selling you everything else," said Walter Robb, Whole Foods' former co-CEO.
Research has determined that high expectations can lead to specific performance improvements, and this means the subtle actions people take each day add up over time, writes Shane Parrish. "Although we rarely notice it (unless we are on the receiving end of overt racism, sexism, and other forms of bias), those expectations dictate the opportunities we are offered, how we are spoken to, and the praise and criticism we receive," he writes.
Internet of things adoption has been slow because of perceived risks and because people don't always make a business case, says Avnet executive Lou Lutostanski. Avnet acts as a solutions provider to manage every aspect of a company's IoT transition, he says.