Tag Archive: Whole Foods

Is Your Business Model Old?

November 27th, 2017

Amazon and Whole Foods
It seems like Amazon is in the news on a daily basis lately.  Their purchase of Whole Foods is shaking the entire grocery industry.  How can an already slim-margin industry respond FASTER and less expensively to customer needs and preferences (think organic) whenever and wherever they need it? Amazon thinks it has the answer.  And they just might.

Offer Value
My Mom wants me to get her Prime membership so that she can receive discounts at Whole Foods.  And, she is quite excited that the tea she purchases was on a great sale.  Although she wants to pick her own produce and get her meats split up the way she prefers, she wouldn’t be opposed to having deliveries of staples if it was convenient and inexpensive.  How do you convert an entirely new segment of people?  Offer value.

Stay Ahead of Your Competition
Instead of running to keep up with your customers and competitors on a daily basis, what can you do to GET AHEAD of them?  For example, I received a call from a potential client recently who found me in an online search for VMI (vendor managed inventory) expertise.  This CEO realized that instead of responding to his top customer’s request for consignment inventory as a way to win a significant new contract, perhaps he should expand his thinking to a strategic VMI partnership to create more of a win-win.

Are you thinking beyond your immediate obstacle or idea?  After 13+ years of consulting, I can guarantee that my most successful clients are always thinking…..



Whole Foods CEO and Conscious Capitalism

November 9th, 2017

Whole Foods and Amazon
John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods, was a keynote speaker at APICS 2017.   Of course, we were all interested because of the recent acquisition by Amazon and what it means for the grocery business.  What is telling is that John Mackey still works at Whole Foods and thought it made sense to partner with Amazon.   He stopped taking a salary more than $1 in 2006 and sold his business earlier this year, and so he certainly doesn’t have to work! 

Conscious Capitalism
John is passionate about conscious capitalism which also happens to be the title of his book – Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business .  He argues that both business and capitalism are inherently good and used some examples such as Southwest Airlines.  He said that business is about the real lives of real people. 

A few of the tenants of conscious capitalism include:

  1. Instead of profit maximization, purpose maximization – Thinking about higher purpose can yield interesting results.
  2. Stakeholder integration – Focusing the extended team on purpose maximization.
  3. Conscious leaders – It all starts with leadership!
  4. Conscious culture – Since culture is the set of beliefs that governs behavior, a conscious culture is the bedrock to ensuring success.

Creating Strong Business for the Greater Good
John is interested in creating strong businesses, moving capitalism closer to its higher potential and fostering a positive environment for all….a noble purpose.  Perhaps we should pay attention and consider themes that might be valuable.  After all, he grew Whole Foods from scratch to $16 billion!

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Vision Backed by BIG Goals and Leadership 



Amazon and Whole Foods

July 6th, 2017

Amazon hit the news big time with the purchase of Whole Foods. It even got my mom’s attention, and she asked the store manager if they would continue to exist. He assured her that they planned to stay.

It just so happens that I spoke on the Amazon Effect at the Future Ports Annual Conference and at an IOT (internet of things)/ Supply Chain Data event almost immediately after the announcement. We had some fascinating discussions at the IOT event about Amazon and their strategy and impacts. Certainly this move will shake up traditional retail grocery stores! Are you thinking about the impacts of Amazon Fresh, whether it seems to relate or NOT to your industry? You should!

Whole Foods

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Amazon is continually innovative and surprising us with a fresh look at old topics. I think they saw the opportunity with Whole Foods to gain a footprint not just in grocery retail but also with a trendy, organic store that could benefit from lower prices and fresh ideas. Why not deliver items that make sense (taking advantage of their vast network) and gain a footprint in addition to serving those customers who would like to pick out their own bread and meat?

We should all take a lesson from their playbook to look for opportunities where others don’t. What is someone trying to dump or sees as a nuisance that might be a gem for you?

On the other side of things, we should definitely be on the lookout for the continual radical change of retail, now extending to grocery as well. It is bound to have implications on commercial space, transportation networks, and the like. What do you think will change about the footprint of Whole Foods and commercial space? Will it become mixed use? We had some fascinating discussion in my presentation on the Amazon Effect. The bottom line is as follows — at a minimum, kick start your thinking or you’ll be left in the dust. After all, Sears Roebuck was Amazon before Amazon existed….