Rexel USA has taken a regional approach to its operations and encourages area leaders to make decisions for a faster, simpler experience for its customers, says CEO Jeff Baker. The company's remaining tasks in 2018 include resetting more than 50 branches and relocating a dozen others.
Distributors must integrate themselves into customers' operations as part of the approach to e-commerce, writes MarginPoint CEO Vince Sheeran. "By linking the customers' material inventory management and replenishment to the order process, a distributor can become the preferred supplier," he writes.
McKesson posted a net loss of $1.15 billion on revenue of $51.6 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31. Asset-impairment charges in its European and Canadian retail segments contributed to the loss despite global revenue growth.
Millennials represent 35% of the US labor pool and value money, security and time off, per Manpower Millennial and Pew Research Center data. Pathfinder Consultants President Eric Borden argues millennials are a critical segment for electrical distributors and that companies can attract them by understanding their values and by relaxing some traditional rules.
Starbucks has introduced drinks topped or sweetened with cascara, which comes from coffee husks. Aida Batlle, an El Salvadorian coffee farmer, is selling cascara for $7 a pound, while the average price for coffee is around $1.20.
The EU passed rules and targets for waste management this week, hoping to make reusing and recycling a priority over landfilling. The EU's new recycling targets for packaging waste are 65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030.
Manufacturers can run their software and operating systems to failure, but they should at least plan for it and understand the risks, says Alan Stanfill of Stone Technologies. IT should work closely with operations on upgrades and patches, he says.
Millennial preferences in products are leading a transition to mass customization in manufacturing, which requires machines that adapt to the products or packages being made, says John Kowal of B&R. These adaptive machines allow each product to be independently controlled, he says, saving on inventory costs and streamlining supply chains.
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