IT market growth and new technologies mean Tech Data and its partners must be prepared to respond, says CEO Rich Hume, who cited the company's purchase of Avnet's Technology Solutions unit as a motivator. "I would not want to be in this job if we didn't make this acquisition," he said.
Everyone wants to increase market share, but big obstacles include having customers only interested in low-margin products, the challenge of acquiring new customers and what total market of customer spend is available, writes Devin Ferreira. To figure out spending capacity, "survey your customers at the beginning of your program with questions designed toward discovering this number," Ferreira writes.
Existing customer relationships, personal interaction and product knowledge are just a few of the ways outside sales teams deliver value for distributors looking to compete in e-commerce, writes Bridget McCrea. These individuals, she writes, can close complex deals offline and maintain great customer service.
Convenience and cost matter for consumers with returns, with most not wanting to pay for returned items while also having the option to return online orders to brick-and-mortar locations, writes e-tailing group President Lauren Freedman. At least 30 days of return availability should be standard, she argues.
There are five distinct business models related to the circular economy, according to Accenture, including resource recovery and product life-cycle extension. "[I]t is important that companies understand the financial benefits of embracing these new business models, including the opportunity for new revenue streams, reduced costs, more efficient supply chains and improved business intelligence," writes Anne van Riel of ING Americas.
European online-only fashion retailer Zalando hopes to rejuvenate sales growth, in part, by reselling more of its returned goods. The company also plans to offer sizing recommendations to help ensure fewer items are returned.
Products that are returned for preventable reasons are a valuable opportunity for manufacturers to identify and correct software glitches and other problems, writes Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, founder and CEO of Instrumental. "Savvy companies can act quickly and use these early field failures to course-correct a product that is already shipping, achieving margin improvements in the short term," writes Shedletsky.
Operational technology and informational technology teams must work together to resolve some of the most common threats to infrastructure security, writes Michael Fabian, a principal consultant at Synopsys Software Integrity Group. Fabian explores five common vulnerabilities and best practices for handling them.
Buying directly from suppliers, comparing vendor prices and a consolidated supply base are several solutions that help companies minimize long-tail spending, Nicole Garman writes. "Identify the bottlenecks related to particular parts or materials in order to isolate and eliminate delays," she adds.
- Page 1