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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Turning Beer into Water

Turning Beer into Water

September 29, 2017

Article Title: Anheuser-Busch pauses beer production to send water to Harvey victims

Author of Article: Kavita Kumar

Date of article: August 29, 2017

Source URL: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anheuser-busch-pauses-beer-production-to-send-water-to-houston-hurricane-harvey-victims/

The Anheuser-Busch factory in Cartersvill, Georgia shifted production from beer to water to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey, in a coordinated effort that is part of the company’s emergency drinking water program. This brief article illustrates flexible manufacturing and strategic capacity management. Assemble-to-order manufacturing allows the plant to quickly transition to emergency water canning operations instead of beer production. Since this particular plant has been designated by the firm for emergency water production, it is inferred that strategic capacity management has been considered by the parent corporation in order to accommodate a decrease in beer production by one plant while still meeting targeted beer production goals. It is possible that the plant uses the “plant within a plant” concept.

Discussion Questions
1. What type of manufacturing process does this plant likely use?

Guidance: Focus the discussion on assemble-to-order and customer decoupling point.

2. In order for the company to allow this one plant to produce water instead of beer, what capacity management concepts may have been employed?

Guidance: Suitable Continue reading

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