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Tips for Small and Mid-Sized Firms

20 Nov

Formulating and articulating plans and tactics are as important for small and mid-sized firms as for large firms. Being thorough, systematic, and consistent are crucial to success.

As Knowledge@Wharton and SAP recently stated:

“Whether you are a company with 10 or 100,000 employees, running a business is getting quite complicated these days. An interconnected global economy has opened opportunities for Main Street businesses to sell to overseas markets, but they come with challenging complexities in logistics, currency translation, taxation, labor regulations, and other areas. Even expanding locally tacks on complexity from an influx of vendors, customers, and additional staff. Meanwhile, digital technologies bring in massive amounts of data that need to be sorted through to maximize business strategies while real-time user feedback is also changing the way companies operate.”


Click the image to access “Simplifying Small Businesses and Midsize Companies to Unlock Growth.”


Best Books of 2015 for Entrepreneurs

18 Nov

Thinking of a starting a new business? If the answer is yes, then you need the best information and advice possible. And there are a lot of excellent books out there to choose from and read.

Geoffrey James, an Inc. contributing editor, recently published a top ten list of the best books of 2015 for starting a business:

“2015 could arguably be named the ‘year of the entrepreneur.’ Shark Tank became must-see TV, the SEC allowed regular folks to invest in startups, and has become one of the most-visited business websites in the world.”

“Not surprisingly, 2015 had a bumper crop of excellent books for entrepreneurs. That’s a very good thing, because to be useful ‘start your own business’ books must be grounded in the economic reality. In other words, if you’re starting your own business, you need access to the latest and greatest thinking on the subject. With that in mind, here are ten brand-new and updated books that you should read by the end of the year.”

Here is James’ top ten list. Clicking a book title will bring you to Amazon’s page for that book.

  1. The Art of the Start 2.0
  2. Disrupt You!
  3. The End of Jobs
  4. Quit Your Job in 6 Months
  5. Job Escape Plan
  6. The One Page Business Plan
  7. Bold
  8. The School of Greatness
  9. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster
  10. Think Big, Act Bigger


Will Tally Be a Winner for Inventory Management?

17 Nov

As we know, managing inventory properly can possibly make or break a firm’s sales and profit goals. So, companies should be as efficient and accurate as possible in their inventory management efforts.  Nonetheless, many organizations rely on physical inventory counts done by humans, which can result in errors.

With that in mind, consider the new Tally automated system, from Simbe Robotics:

“Tally is the world’s first robotic autonomous shelf auditing and analytics solution. The solution consists of one or more mobile robots that can autonomously traverse large brick-and-mortar retail environments to capture, report, and analyze the state and availability of merchandise and help ensure compliance with the store’s planogram [planned layout of merchandise] – the ideal placement of products on shelves in order to maximize sales. Tally performs the repetitive and laborious tasks of auditing shelves for out-of-stock items, low stock items, misplaced items, and pricing errors. Tally operates safely during normal store hours alongside shoppers and employees.”

Take a look at the YouTube video to learn more about Tally.


Bloomberg 2016 Forecasts

10 Nov

About this time each year, a number of well-known, reliable sources produce their forecasts for the  following year.

Bloomberg (via its Bloomberg Businessweek) has just published its “The Year Ahead 2016” issue. Here is a video overview of the year ahead. It is followed by a link to the 50 companies to watch in 2016. Just click the chart to see an online discussion of the 50 companies covered.




24/7 Wall St.: A Valuable Site to Visit

2 Nov

24/7 Wall St. is a very useful site about which you may be unfamiliar. It has articles across all areas of business, top ten lists, and a lot more.

Here’s one interesting area in which 24/7 Wall St. reports:

“Each year, 24/7 Wall St. identifies 10 American brands that we predict will disappear, either through bankruptcies or because of mergers. Bankruptcies of large public companies in 2015 have already exceeded 2014 totals. Similarly, the total value of mergers and acquisitions is projected to hit a record high in 2015. While some of the companies on this list may disappear because they continue to be at the bottom of their industry, some may disappear because they are doing well. Over the years, some of our predictions have been better than others. Some of our predictions — like Alaska Air — have been dead wrong. Other brands we said would disappear — like Aeropostale — have survived but are still failing companies. Blockbuster, DirecTV, American Apparel, and Sony Ericsson are among the brands that have gone bankrupt or have been acquired since appearing on our list. These brands have not yet disappeared completely, but may still in the near future.”


And here are some specific examples of what 24/7 Wall St. publishes:


Click the image to visit 24/7 Wall St.


A McKinsey Report: How Innovative Are the Chinese?

26 Oct

McKinsey & Company regularly publishes reports about doing business in China. Click here to visit its McKinsey China Web site.

McKinsey firm has just produced a new report on Chinese innovativeness:

“New research by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggests that to realize consensus growth forecasts—5.5 to 6.5 percent a year—during the coming decade, China must generate two to three percentage points of annual GDP growth through innovation, broadly defined. If it does, innovation could contribute much of the $3 trillion to $5 trillion a year to GDP by 2025. China will have evolved from an ‘innovation sponge,’ absorbing and adapting existing technology and knowledge from around the world, into a global innovation leader.”

“Our analysis suggests that this transformation is possible, though far from inevitable. To date, when we have evaluated how well Chinese companies commercialize new ideas and use them to raise market share and profits and to compete around the world, the picture has been decidedly mixed. China has become a strong innovator in areas such as consumer electronics and construction equipment. Yet in others—creating new drugs or designing automobile engines, for example—the country still isn’t globally competitive. That’s true even though every year it spends more than $200 billion on research (second only to the United States), turns out close to 30,000 Ph.Ds in science and engineering, and leads the world in patent applications (more than 820,000 in 2013).”

“When we look ahead, though, we see broad swaths of opportunity. Our analysis suggests that by 2025, such new innovation opportunities could contribute $1.0 trillion to $2.2 trillion a year to the Chinese economy—or equivalent to up to 24 percent of total GDP growth.”

Click the image to access the full report.


UPS: Monitoring Change in the Global Supply Chain

23 Oct

The global supply chain is sure getting more complex. UPS annually conducts a B2B survey to see what is changing in how the supply chain moves merchandise from manufacturers to their customers.

To read about UPS’ latest research and view on industry trends, download its 5th annual UPS Change in the (Supply) Chain survey by clicking here.

And take a look at this summary UPS video.




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