e-tailing and fulfillment

Melody Treece Vargas has just written the third piece on the Retail Industry in About.com. She writes that we can see a significant growth in outsourced fulfillment providers like UPS I wrote about earlier. As the holiday season starts off more and more consumers would find their packages being delivered by providers who work for the company they ordered from. I guess these providers will be much more efficient than the 1999-2000 season where we saw so many snafus. People just did not get their Christmas shopping deliveries in time. Luckily things are much better now. The "fulfilling" industry has crossed 1.5 B $ according to Vargas and in doing so has created a new distribution and logistics channel in the 21st Century!

China and Taiwan

How interesting can globalization get? On one hand you have strong words from China about US getting into arms deals with Taiwan reported in the Boston Globe. Just hours before that Dominic Gates the Seattle Times Aerospace reporter wrote that Boeing is getting  Taikoo (Xiamen) Aircraft Engineering to modify some freighters while Evergreen Aviation Technologies will do some similar work. The interesting part is that apparently Xiamen is in China while Evergreen is in Taiwan. …

Govt. Outsourcer-Provider ‘s distributor

We just finished talking about supply chains in my Global Outsourcing class. One emerging idea was that opportunities might be available for the new age working with either a provider or outsourcer.

In the Government Outsourcer and Provider interface Steve Charles has a great new idea. Steve suggests that Providers and Government Outsourcers might want to have a middleman (distributor) who will handle data collection and the relationship interface as the tasks are getting delivered. Distribution theorists will enjoy this concept because this sits well with distribution theory. Is’nt that what makes theory charming?

4E’s and one P in GE

I got hold of Jack Welch's book "Straight from the Gut" at an unusual place. From a charity fundraiser shelf at the local Stop n' Shop. "One more book !" my wife objected so I moved some others to the basement and promptly congratulated myself displaying  2  of the 4 E's (Edge and Execution)!

Interacting with numerous executives,students and alumni of GE , its customers and suppliers makes Jack Welch's stuff resonate with me. How can you possibly make an elephant like GE dance ?  Well apparently you can and Jack did and I believe Jeff Immelt continues to do. For leadership and "high pot" ( read high potential) GE started with evaluating managers for high personal Energy (E1); Ability to Energize others (E2) ; Having Edge or ability to decide quickly (E3). Yet despite high scores on all three E's , some managers still did not get results and the numbers they were supposed to achieve. So Jack Welch figured that there was a 4th E ie Execution that was vital. You needed to deliver the first three E's or it really did'nt matter! Threading all of this is Passion – (the P) to get things done. Graph and more on 4E's and one P in a recent post.

Contact StratoServe.

Skype

We were talking about supply chains in class yesterday and the fact that what has changed in the last five years is the ability of the of the supply chain members to share information via the Internet instantaneously. The topic of Skype, the free telephone service,  came up as a transformational force in telecom and the class was abuzz! Then a student commented that the instant messenger systems also allow talking. As the Internet and cable Internet penetrates this is really going to transform the telecom industry.

Connecting With Customers

I really look forward to meeting my students in the two classes I teach, one on New Product Development on Mondays and the other on Global Outsourcing tonight i.e. Thursdays. Most students work in the area and are really in this to upgrade their careers. They hold responsible positions and are willing to work  hard and remind me of  the Apprentice candidates on NBC.My New Product Development class is working on products/services  for the "Echo Boomers" so I asked them to see the first episode of Martha Stewart’s Apprentice. I recorded it and hope to have enjoyable discussions next Monday. "Connecting with customers" was Martha’s message… simple from a Marketing viewpoint but so very difficult to "get it" as no doubt Donald Trump will let us know tonight.

MBA Class Starts

Finally my much awaited MBA class (listed as an elective in Marketing and International Business) started yesterday in room H 203 at UNH. It’s a smart classroom with great technology. But what made the class greater were the students who signed up for it. Enthusiastic learners, the entire class have great job experience and most have day jobs and attend school in the evenings. Their commitment to thrive in a global world is inspiring.

Knowing that  that the number of articles on outsourcing in the scholarly and popular press has grown from only 116 articles before 1990 to over 36,800 articles in 2005, including more than 2100 scholarly peer-reviewed articles (PROQUEST SEARCH, July 2005) made deciding a book really difficult.

So I settled for an overview reading of "The Flat World" by Thomas Friedman. It really sets the context for my MBA course and I included a critique as part of the course assignments.

Re-skilling

I was looking at the Apple Computer packaging boxes and noticed that they state prominently "Designed in California, Made in China." Therein lies the question of re-skilling the American workforce. We need to move into more creative, more interdisciplinary, more human-technology kind of interdisciplinary areas. My MBA students are required to do a personal plan in the fall term and will find this article by Steve Lohr of NY Times interesting.

My Outsourced Life- New Hollywood Movie

AJ Jacobs, Editor at Large of Esquire Magazine undertook a one month exercise of outsourcing his personal and professional tasks to two firms in Bangalore.  These tasks included buying movie tickets and fighting with his wife via outsourced email.

Times of India reports that Jay Roach of "Meet the Fockers" fame will be directing a movie for Universal based on Jacobs’ experiences. Hilarious!

Customer Aggregation for rental car companies

Just returned from a wonderful trip to the South West including a great presentation at the Summer American Marketing Association at San Francisco. My presentation on ‘Managing Intellectual Property in Global Outsourcing of Services’ was well received. Several senior scholars felt that the topic was really exciting. Encouraging!

Drove through scenic 101 through  Silicon Valley, Santa Barbara, LA, north San Diego,Flagstaff -Grand Canyon and Socorro, New Mexico – an exilhilarating 1700 miles partly through historic Route 66. At Albuquerque (ABQ) airport returned the car and noticed that different rental company customers are aggregated and take the same bus to the terminal. Neat- reduces congestion, improves frequency, improves vehicle seat utilization. Do the companies collaborate better in New Mexico?

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