Tag Archive: statistics

Holiday Sales are Expected to be UP by Double Digits in E-Commerce

December 17th, 2018

Black Friday has already gotten off to a strong start!  According to Coresight Research, holiday sales are expected to be up by 4% whereas e-commerce will be up 16%!   Target had a goal to hire more than 120,000 people for the holiday season which is a 20% increase. UPS planned to hire 100,000 which is up 5,000 from last year (maybe because they had to spent $125 million extra last year to fix delays because they were short staffed).  And FedEx planned to hire 55,000 additional seasonal workers which was a slight increase from last year (and they expect a record-breaking year).

Is your business seasonal?  What are you expecting? Is anyone in your supply chain focused on seasonal business?  Perhaps you should find out!

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Are you prepared for the holiday season?  I find this is somehow a common issue among clients.  The smartest of clients tend to miss holiday season trends.  For example, I worked with one client for several years and key workers took off during the holiday season for extended vacations every year.  Yet, it seemed to be a constant surprise when we struggled to keep up with demand.  Of course, our customer’s demand didn’t decrease, even in a non-holiday industry. Of course, clients focused on consumer products always struggle to predict holiday sales as you cannot start producing in December! When I worked with Coca-Cola Enterprises, employees only got Christmas day off because holidays were always BIG.  

Think beyond your company.  Given the statistics above, do you think your carriers might be a bit busy during the holiday season?  How about your suppliers that might supply other holiday-intensive industries? Your trusted advisors? No matter the supply chain partner, perhaps a heads up surrounding holiday activity and expectations would be a good idea. Holiday season volatility is another good example of why you should create a resilient supply chain to navigate disruption and achieve peak performance.

Check out our new video and article series as well as our soon-to-be offered Rapid Resilient Supply Chain Assessment service.



People Rule

July 4th, 2018

Why does Southwest Airlines outperform the competition by a long shot in employee turnover (7% vs. 25% industry average)?  People!

As our long-term readers know, we believe that people rule!  There is just no doubt about it – our most successful clients are similar to Southwest and JetBlue as it relates to people – executives view them as assets; not costs.  Instead of stifling creativity and success, they encourage it!

We have to imagine that no one sets out to stifle creativity when they leave for work in the morning (it sounds like a miserable existence) . Yet that is what we find in the vast majority of companies.  Sometimes, it is due to the rules and regulations that are supposed to protect threats.

For example, recently we received dismal service from a major bank.  Certainly, the employee helping us with the transactions meant no harm and wanted to help. However, her overriding need was to remain employed which meant following rules to the T….and beyond.  Taking zero risks while servicing customers is clearly celebrated and we felt the pain. Our account kept going on hold for no reason. Checks bounced. Silly requirements were communicated (we ‘the bank’ missed a space on this form and so you must jump through 10 hoops so we can get our paperwork in order). The list wents on. We went up the chain to no avail. We must follow the 10 hoops, avoid cracks on the sidewalk (reminded me of Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets), swim the English channel and more…

On the other hand, a business bank focused on service was able to navigate the same federal and state requirements remotely and immediately.  What was blamed on rules and regulations were clearly bank policies. Are you making your customers avoid the cracks in the sidewalk to work with you?  Or are you rolling out the red carpet? It didn’t cost more at one bank vs. the other, although we would have paid more by the time we went through the first few hoops.  

Do you care about what your customers care about or do you care about rules for the sake of rules? Or, put another way – do you care about the customer result or the process used along the way? (assuming no bad motivations)

Related statistics
According to Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged at work.  Yet, companies with highly engaged workers outperform their peers by 147%.  

We have no doubt the employee at the large bank fell into the 85% category whereas the business bank is more likely in the 15%. We know the banker at the business bank will go over and beyond.  

Which employee would you rather have service you and your firm?

 



LA Metro & Innovative Transportation

May 4th, 2018

 

L.A. Metro & Innovative Transportation

I was able to hear Joshua Schank, Director of Innovation of L.A. Metro talk at a ProVisors meeting last week.  So, it seemed appropriate to share the complexity of L.A.’s transportation network and some of the innovations starting to gain momentum.

The single largest innovation he discussed is the ability for L.A. Metro to receive unsolicited proposals for ideas. Since they implemented this idea in 2016, they’ve received over 100. Many of these are gaining momentum – and getting implemented in a private/ public partnership QUICKER than ever before and under budget.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also have submitted a strategic plan for approval that goes beyond on-time arrival to improving mobility.  He told us an interesting statistic – in the recent past, 2.3 million people were added to the L.A. area and 2.1 million cars were added during the same time period.  It will require innovation to bring L.A. Metro from last resort transportation to attractive to its potential customer base!

One tip to implement this week:
Interesting that even with one of the areas not typically seen as modern (a governmental agency related to transportation), innovation is seen as a priority – so much so that they have a position dedicated to it.

The Amazonian marketplace has even made its way to transportation as I heard him say customer focus and quicker delivery of projects multiple times. He said projects used to typically finish far later than the delivery date and significantly over budget.  Now, many are delivered early and under budget. If an governmental agency can increase speed, why can’t you?

Of course, it isn’t as simple as dictating quicker delivery.  Put some thought into what it would take to come up with innovative ideas.  In their case, they allowed for unsolicited proposals. That was probably seen as radical.  

Are you merely content with continuous improvement or are you taking the stance of L.A. Metro to look at dramatic change?  What would you need to do to encourage your employees, customers, suppliers and others to tell you about their ideas for positive innovations?  

Put thought into how you could encourage that – there’s no time to delay if you plan on  remaining competitive!