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Smarties: A Halloween Favorite And An American Candy Classic, Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 31, 2019 8:00:00 AM

For three generations Smarties candies have been a favorite among Halloween trick-or-treaters who love the pastel-colored wafers that are even good for some allergen-sensitive children. On Wednesday the Smarties Candy Co. celebrates its 70th anniversary at its manufacturing headquarters in Union, New Jersey.

The company, founded by 96-year-old patriarch, Edward Dee has a lot to celebrate. It is one of the few family-owned mass-production confectionery companies left in the United States, and it turns out more than 2 billion rolls of the candies every year.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Food Technology, Infor, CloudSuite Food & Beverage

Infor's Inforum 2019: Embracing Agile For ERP Success

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 29, 2019 8:00:00 AM

According to Infor, the next wave of its ERP innovations will be driven by agile deployments as it opts for a series of short iterations.

How often does a typical business decide on a new ERP system? Perhaps once a decade. It is a big decision and one that incurs massive costs if errors are made – on both a financial and an operational level.

A bad ERP strategy can ruin a company’s bottom line and stifle its growth moving forward – the irony being that growth was probably the very factor that informed the need for an ERP system in the first place.

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Topics: Infor, Inforum

Is Clothing Rental The Panacea For The Ailing Fashion Retail Industry

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 24, 2019 8:00:00 AM

A recent report valued the rental subscription market at around 1 billion dollars in 2018 and forecast it grows more than 20 percent a year, reaching 2.5 billion dollars by 2023. This trend isn’t lost on traditional retailers: over the last year everyone in the industry seems to be launching their own clothing rental service.

Recent research from GlobalData confirms the explosive growth of clothing rental and / or subscription services: it’s expected to reach 2.5 billion dollars value by 2023, prompting brands such as Banana Republic, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Trunk Club or J.C. Penney to announce their own apparel rental services.

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Topics: Fashion & Retail, Retail, Fashion & Apparel, Infor Retail, Online Retail, Fashion PLM, CloudSuite Retail

O Canada: Why McDonald’s, Tim Hortons And Starbucks Are Testing New Food Items Up North

Posted by Michael Lea on Oct 22, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Of course, the renewed and now emphatically changing world of Farm-to-Table is upon us and growing in popularity at rapid speed. I do find it all so very interesting because many years ago I did work with Gardenburger (in Portland, OR) prior to Kellogg’s purchasing them. 

Morningstar Farms were popular items (and still are today) but also were products that were sold primarily to vegans or vegetarians and often sold at local organic food co-ops or whole food markets (or similar). Might be a stretch analogy but let’s recall that decades ago major automobile companies were making electric cars but in similar terms the renewed and recent popularity can be directed at Tesla. Beyond meat and Impossible foods (and many others to come) will also need to be certain they can support the new demand so that they are not like Popeye’s chicken franchises that gained major popularity with their chicken sandwiches but had a complete failure with keeping up with the demand (failed supply chain).

As to the article, I think that the following words really show how McDonald's and others are afraid of falling behind, but also somewhat skeptical about whether this growth vertical will continue. Let alone, let’s be frank, McDonald's has never been the first to initiate or ingratiate itself to healthy menu items (and lifestyle-consumer) choices.

The experiment shows that the company has paid attention to consumers’ growing interest in plant-based burgers.

However, the P.L.T. is not vegan.

The stakes are smaller. If McDonald’s P.L.T. is a flop, it can quickly pull it from the market and go back to the drawing board.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Infor M3, PLM, Infor Optiva, CloudSuite Food & Beverage

Malls Are Dying, But There’s A 3-Step Plan That Can Save Them

Posted by Mitchell Chi on Oct 17, 2019 8:00:00 AM

I read a recent article in Forbes that talked about upheaval in the shopping mall industry. There's a link to it at the end of my commentary and I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on it as well. Here are mine:

“HURRY AND DIE MALLS."

Your days are over. People want a social experience, not products. Mark-downs and sales clerks. As we all know, the hype, “Retail is Dead” is just that, hype. Consider the following. 87% of consumer retail is transacted in brick & mortar, physical stores. Yes, you heard me…87%. In fact, a recent NRF report stated retail sales, in stores, are up 4.9%. NOT e/comm, by true shopping and social interaction.

The net is, if you fear Amazon will put you out of business, shame on you! You “owned” your customers for decades, but did you do anything to earn their loyalty except showcase your products? 30% of my personal shopping is on-line. Mostly under $50 commodities. 70% is spent with retailers who invest in their employees training & wages, innovative products, and exceptional customer service, both pre and post sale. Malls are (I hate this word), “transforming” into social town centers with entertainment (movies, concerts, festivals), attractions (claiming walls, work-out centers, VR and the like), hard goods (driver training hosted by auto manufacturers, cooking classes hosted by appliance manufacturers and the like) and most of all, a place to stop texting and start socializing”. Mall dead? Yes, while town centers are thriving!”

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Topics: Fashion & Retail, Retail, Infor Retail, Online Retail, CloudSuite Retail, Shopping mall

Manufacturers, It's Time To Put Data To Work

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 15, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Manufacturers everywhere have an extremely underutilized employee. This employee is a robust repository of institutional knowledge, facts, and random trivia. However, this employee is full of latent potential that hasn’t yet been tapped, and they are ready to do so much more.

Ok, so maybe this is a quirky metaphor, but—in case it wasn’t clear—this underutilized employee is your organization’s data. And Data could be doing so much more to help your human employees make better decisions.

For many manufacturers, the collected data is sitting in various databases and spreadsheets, waiting to be called upon, sorted, and analyzed to inform decisions across your organization.

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Topics: ERP, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage, Enterprise Resource Planning

Podcast: #NoFilter: Authentic Videos Are The Future Of Experiential Retail

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 10, 2019 8:00:00 AM

To date, retailers have been cautious with live product broadcasts, but a wealth of opportunity exists to connect with customers, build their brands, and significantly increase sales with authentic video content. From combining influencers with real life people trying products to gamification and interactive broadcasting, brands should be looking to authentic video content as they move into the future of retail. In this episode of Reinventing Retail, we chat with Dave Dabbah of Agora.io, an API platform that’s bringing peer-to-peer video to retailers and fashion brands.

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Topics: Fashion & Retail, Retail, CloudSuite Retail

Podcast: DOM Is The Heartbeat Of Your Network

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 8, 2019 8:00:00 AM

This podcast will look at the future of how order management will evolve from simply executing orders to truly optimizing how to best serve your customer. Listen as Guy Courtin and Tim Nelson discuss what to anticipate with the evolution of order management: next generation optimization rather than simply execution of orders. The cost to serve a customer will become more important than simply the cost to fulfill.

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Topics: Fashion & Retail, Retail, Supply Chain, CloudSuite Retail

Happy National Manufacturing Day - 2019

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 4, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Launched annually on the first Friday in October, and with events continuing throughout the month, MFG Day helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders. Over the next decade, manufacturers will need to fill 4.6 million jobs—jobs that are high skill, high tech and high paying. These career opportunities include high pay and exposure to cutting-edge technology and innovations. MFG Day is a time for manufacturers to open their doors and open minds, to connect the future workforce to potential employers and change the narrative around manufacturing.

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Topics: Manufacturing, National Manufacturing Day

Mobile Retail Is Alive, And Consumers Are Here For It

Posted by Harriet Schneider on Oct 3, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Stop and think about a day you could go without your smartphone. You are checking your calendar to see when or if that is even possible. And yet you may not realize that checking email, texting your doctor or tracking your children’s usage is only part of the life your smart device breathes into you. Last year, Americans made almost 30% of purchases through a mobile device. Next-day and same-day delivery created a market for mobile shoppers and retailers are responding.

The one where the market creator remains the market leader

Amazon, the retail Goliath, created the market for instant gratification with its online presence and product availability.

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Topics: Fashion & Retail, Retail, Fashion & Apparel, Infor Retail, Online Retail, Fashion PLM, CloudSuite Retail

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Embracing thought leadership as a pathway for growth, represents the true spirit of progressive change that will make a difference in technology-driven industries. As a consulting company, ICCG customers look to us as their value-added resource. They expect us to be proactive about solving their immediate challenges and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. It is this that drives us to share our best practices, knowledge-base, years of experience, and tried and true methodologies. These have been the hallmarks of our corporate brand.

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