Pampering at The Local

Pampering at The Local

October 4, 2017

Article Title: Nordstrom Is the First Retailer That Actually Understands What We Want

Author of Article: Thomaï Serdari

Date of article: September 15, 2017

Source URL: http://fortune.com/2017/09/15/nordstrom-local-retail/

Nordstrom Local is a new concept in personalized retailing developed by Nordstrom to address multiple customer pain points. Rather than selling clothes, the Local (the first location is in Los Angeles) provides personal stylists to help pull together outfits for customers to try on while getting a manicure and enjoying drinks in the in-store bar.  Tailors are on-site to make alternations.  Clothing and other merchandise can be purchased through any retail channel with convenient pickups and returns at the Local.

For Nordstrom Local to be successful, its retail operations must focus on delivering “fabulousness” to its customers instead of a transactional point of sale experience.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the challenges of retail operations in today’s business environment? How is Nordstrom responding to these challenges?

Guidance: Topics might include competition from e-tailers, inability to make rapid changes in response to changing customer wants and needs, the need to build loyalty to the brand and a relationship with customers.

2. Explain the importance of a ‘people focus’ Continue reading

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Managing Inventory with Surgical Precision

Managing Inventory with Surgical Precision

October 2, 2017

Article Title: How can your ASC reduce waste by 5% and accrue savings? Manage your inventory

Author of Article: Mary Rechtoris

Date of article: September 11, 2017

Source URL: http://www.beckersasc.com/asc-turnarounds-ideas-to-improve-performance/how-can-your-asc-reduce-waste-by-5-accrue-savings-manage-your-inventory.html

Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) have untapped opportunities to reduce waste by better managing inventory. One recommendation is to collect data on the supplies surgeons are actually using during surgeries, to better match supply with demand. A surgical center which did this analysis saved 5% on inventory, and the savings went straight to the bottom line. Inventory management in an ASC takes a team, though, so the key is employee engagement.

Discussion Questions
1. Consider the types of inventory waste mentioned for ASCs. What comparable wastes do you see in your organization?

Guidance: Since all businesses have to manage inventory, whether raw materials, finished goods, or indirect supplies, this can generate a discussion about different types of inventory and symptoms of excess inventory.

2. What effects does inventory waste have on you or your organization?

Guidance: This question can provide an opportunity to discuss resource management, how waste affects the environment, the community, morale, and productivity.

3. This article is about healthcare, but what do Continue reading

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Out with the Old, in with the Cloud

Out with the Old, in with the Cloud

October 1, 2017

Article Title: 4 ways your legacy supply chain systems are costing you money

Author of Article: Margaret Harrist

Date of article: September 13, 2017

Source URL: https://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2017/09/13/4-ways-your-legacy-supply-chain-systems-are-costing-you-money/#2c437f1c7e72

Legacy supply chain issues include  lack of agility, lack of timely information flow, limited ability to incorporate new technologies, and technology security risks.  Agility requires the supply chain to close the gap between forecasted and actual demand.  Despite the name, a supply chain isn’t linear, it’s a global network, ‘an interconnected web, with the customer in the center.’

Discussion Questions
1. What can be done to improve forecasting accuracy above 90%?

Guidance: The discussion should include qualitative techniques and collaborative forecasting.

2. How can the bullwhip effect be minimized?

Guidance: The discussion can be geared toward understanding the bullwhip effect, and how collaborative forecasting and communication within the channel can minimize the effect.

3. Using the Supply Chain Framework, how can the bullwhip effect be minimized for each of the four strategies?

Guidance: This is a broader discussion to include the technology and information flow requirements for each strategy.

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