Costco and Walmart are streamlining operations to reduce the middleman by controlling every aspect of the production of some of their products, creating a farmer-to-shopping cart strategy. Walmart's new Ft. Wayne, Ind., plant works with 30 farmers and cooperatives within 140 miles to produce milk, while Costco has its own grow-slaughter-distribution chicken facility in Fremont, Neb.
Amazon Day for Business is a service that allows the company's Business Prime members to set a recurring day of the week to receive delivery for purchases made from the site. By creating such a plan, the firm can decrease delivery truck traffic, carbon footprints and the number of boxes per shipment.
Aluminum manufacturers are going where the profit margin is, prioritizing new aluminum sheets for automotive uses, rather than recycling scrap cans for a variety of buyers. Alcoa has increased its production of can sheet over the past couple of years, however.
People who consider themselves servant-leaders will help teams feel supported by asking for creative solutions and making room for them to emerge as leaders themselves, writes Keith Corbin. "Servant-leadership is not about taking the easy way, it is about bettering those around you and helping them grow," he writes.
Use your perfectionist tendencies in a healthy way by focusing on the most important competencies, delegating other tasks and understanding the "why" behind your drive to excel, writes LaRae Quy. "Once you understand your motivation, you can choose how to respond to a situation rather than let your emotions react in ways that can sabotage you," she writes.
The internet of things, cybersecurity and other technology trends are creating challenges for companies in the security sector, says Anixter executive Jarod Booth. "Anixter is investigating several options to harden our security offering with unique hardware and software upgrades that differentiate our customers, add value for the end user and reduce commoditization," he says.
While Amazon is increasingly competitive in the business-to-business space and is even exploring value-add services, B2B distributors should realize they can work with Amazon without giving up their identity, says Applico CEO Alex Moazed. "What electrical distributors that really want to be on the forefront should be trying to figure out is, 'How do I sell on the other marketplaces?' " he says.
Free and easy product returns are a deal breaker for UK consumers, according to a report by Klarna. The report also found that the number of product returns had increased 14% since 2017, with poor quality increasingly the cause.
US municipalities are curtailing or ending recycling programs because of cost increases sparked by China's restrictions on waste imports, followed by similar rules in India and Thailand. Some local governments are sending collected recyclables to landfills, while others are choosing waste-to-energy facilities.
Indonesian government officials are working with the Global Plastic Action Partnership to gather waste-management data in Jakarta as the first step in improving recycling rates, creating a circular economy and other actions.