Brands are Becoming Retailers

Brands are Becoming Retailers

The traditional value chain boundaries separating manufacturers and retailers are starting to blur under a digital, omnichannel setting. Brands are becoming retailers and increasingly playing an active role  in the consumer Research – Shop – Buy cycle

Continue reading “Brands are Becoming Retailers”

Muji, William Gibson and the Future of No Brand

Muji, William Gibson and the Future of No Brand

In 2003,  William Gibson wrote a prescient novel – Pattern Recognition –  that explored  the tension between art and mass commercialization in retailing, among other interestingly speculative themes. 

Continue reading “Muji, William Gibson and the Future of No Brand”

The Future Model for Big Box Last Mile Delivery

The Future Model for Big Box Last Mile Delivery

Last mile home delivery is a key driver shaping the growth of the US online sales. While efficient and innovative delivery models abound for parcel products, large format product categories such as white goods, furniture and large electronics remain stuck in an ineffective and inefficient supply chain model, preventing their full potential growth.

Continue reading “The Future Model for Big Box Last Mile Delivery”

Product Outsourcing Success in CPG & Retail

With escalating pressures to continually provide innovative offerings and demonstrating sustainable, profitable growth, it’s no surprise that product outsourcing success is becoming a strategic topic in Consumer and Retail. For example,  Coca-Cola is transforming their traditional fountain machines for consumer engagementPeapod is taking the store front to where consumers are through mobile commerce technologies. And Rebecca Minkoff is changing the store experience with digital interactivity.

Continue reading “Product Outsourcing Success in CPG & Retail”

Spain’s Colonial Wealth and Enterprise Building

During the 16th century, Spain transformed from a modest European kingdom to a global hegemony. Spain’s success was driven by monetizing innovations in trans-ocean navigation and firearms to appropriate vast quantities of minerals (silver, copper, gold) from American conquest. However, like any mismanaged enterprise, Spain’s disastrous deployment of its new found capital led to its inevitable decline. In short, Imperial Spain made three strategic enterprise building lessons:

Continue reading “Spain’s Colonial Wealth and Enterprise Building”

The Prince and Insights in M&A Success

The Prince and Insights in M&A Success

Business is often seen as war and statecraft. Take for example how we describe numerous management terms such as competitive positioning, stick vs. carrot, or war-gamming. If business is war then merger and acquisition, would be analogous to the capture and annexation of new principalities. In both scenarios, the acquirer must manage institutional complexity, cultural resistance and political machinations to  unlock economic value.

Continue reading “The Prince and Insights in M&A Success”

Procurement success under time pressure

Procurement success under time pressure

Emergency room (ER) physicians constantly make critical decisions with limited information and under extreme time pressure. What separates best-in-class ER physicians from the pack is that they not only “do the right things,” but also “do things right.”

Continue reading “Procurement success under time pressure”

Strategic outsourcing is not an oxymoron

Strategic outsourcing is not an oxymoron

The term “strategic outsourcing” may sound like an oxymoron. Traditional dogma of outsourcing calls for companies to sequester strategic capabilities in-house and only source non-core or commoditized capabilities from 3rd parties.  The situation becomes more complex in a dynamic market context since (i) what may be deemed a core competency today may become peripheral tomorrow and (ii) firms may increasingly find a deficit of in-house critical capabilities and know-how as they react to new markets and consumer changes. One key implication is that outsourcing must recognize and anticipate the underlying industry structural trends (consumer, technology, macro-economic) that can unexpectedly change a firm’s value chain capabilities landscape.

Continue reading “Strategic outsourcing is not an oxymoron”