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jerryking : cost-cutting   63

GE: industrial stalwart contemplates a general overhaul
OCTOBER 5, 2018 | Financial Times | by Ed Crooks in New York.

“GE Power is at death’s door,” says Scott Davis, an analyst at Melius Research. “It’s going to require a massive change in strategy to fix it.”

The Alstom deal is far from being GE’s only strategic mis-step. But it is emblematic of two of the company’s flaws: a weakness for dealmaking, and an inability to respond effectively to a changing market. Together, those failings go a long way to explaining why one of the greatest names in American business, an original member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at its creation in 1896, has lost more than 80 per cent of its market capitalisation since 2000......while GE’s leaders were focused on a deal that might have been perfect 10 or 20 years ago, they were underestimating the scale of the changes hitting the electricity industry. As the costs of wind and solar power have plunged, they have become competitive against the gas-fired and coal-fired power plants that are GE and Alstom’s forte. It is a mistake that companies often make at times of structural change, says Kingsmill Bond of the Carbon Tracker Initiative: “They confused the current size of the market with the future growth of the market.”.....As the scale of the problem emerged, Mr Flannery moved to cut costs. Last December he announced 12,000 jobs would go from the power division. But reducing headcount is slow work in Europe, especially in France, where Mr Immelt had pledged to create a net 1,000 additional jobs by the end of 2018......The urgency of the crisis creates opportunities to make radical changes. A group of investors including hedge fund manager Sir Christopher Hohn of the Children’s Investment Fund on Friday published a letter to Mr Culp, urging him to scale back investment in gas and coal power and embrace clean energy.....Giving up on selling new turbines to concentrate on the more lucrative services business would be a momentous step, but Mr Davis says that like General Motors during the 2008 financial crisis, the business is in urgent need of a radical rethink.
Alstom  CEOs  change  cost-cutting  deal-making  DJIA  energy  GE  Jack_Welch  Jeffrey_Immelt  shifting_tastes  Siemens  structural_change  John_Flannery  exits 
october 2018 by jerryking
3G Capital’s rigorous diet of cost cutting is weighing down Tim Hortons owner RBI, Kraft Heinz
APRIL 18, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | by IAN MCGUGAN.

Tough, cost-conscious management is a vital ingredient at any good company. But right now, shareholders in Restaurant Brands International Inc. and Kraft Heinz Co. should be asking whether a lean and mean operating style is hitting its limits when it comes to peddling doughnuts and ketchup.

In recent months, RBI, the parent of Tim Hortons, and Kraft Heinz, maker of your favourite burger condiment, have disappointed investors....... the 3G approach is beginning to show some flaws. Critics argue that managers who focus on streamlining existing operations can create a temporary bump in earnings, but have less time to spend on product development, corporate innovation and brand building. The danger, skeptics say, is that efficiency increases but sales and earnings per share don’t.

“We harbor serious doubts about the management team’s ability to generate sufficient product innovation to grow its collection of ‘retro’ brands in highly commoditized categories,” Robert Moskow of Credit Suisse wrote this week in a report that downgraded Kraft Heinz to “underperform” status.....But softer measures suggest the profits are coming at a cost. Consider a survey of 1,501 Canadian adults published this week by Angus Reid Institute. Thirty five per cent of respondents said their opinion of Tim Hortons had worsened in recent years. While Tim Hortons’ advertising campaigns have tirelessly promoted the chain’s deep roots in Canadian communities, the reality on the ground appears to be shifting.

At Kraft Heinz, signs of stress are also becoming apparent, according to Mr. Moskow. The company’s Oscar Mayer cold cuts and Kraft natural cheese brands are losing market share to private labels, while Canadian retailers recently reduced their inventories, he said.

Employees may not be all that happy, either. Mr. Moskow said industry sources have expressed concern about growing turnover rates among Kraft Heinz staffers.
3G_Capital  Tim_Hortons  cost-cutting  product_development  innovation  Kraft_Heinz 
april 2018 by jerryking
How One Investor Made a Fortune Picking Over the Retail Apocalypse - WSJ
By Khadeeja Safdar and Miriam Gottfried
March 21, 2018

While private-equity firms and public investors have been shying away from traditional retail, Sycamore has made bigger bets on the sector. It bought Staples Inc. in September for $6.8 billion—the largest U.S. leveraged buyout of 2017.... strong demand from pension funds and other institutions to co-invest to tap Sycamore’s retail wizardry.

With Sycamore’s strategy, it isn’t necessary to spruce up a purchased company. The firm often buys struggling retailers and sells off their most valuable pieces. It cuts costs at whatever remains, sometimes using the savings to extract dividends.

The firm tells investors its returns “need not depend” on successfully identifying growth opportunities for its retail targets, according to documents for its new fund.

Sycamore also extracts returns from clothing chains by acting as a middleman between them and suppliers, using a company it owns to sell inventory to the retailers, sometimes as they struggle to remain solvent, according to industry executives and court filings.....“Sycamore is the best of the bunch in the retail sector,” .....Sycamore’s team doesn’t usually get involved in day-to-day operational decisions such as selecting merchandise and designing store layouts, preferring instead to hire consultants and veteran retail executives, said former executives at some of its portfolio companies.
apparel  bricks-and-mortar  cost-cutting  investors  private_equity  retailers  selling_off  Staples 
march 2018 by jerryking
Torstar cuts jobs, internship programs; board chair says the company is fighting for survival - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY ROBERTSON
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 13, 2018 | |

Torstar Corp. is fighting for survival......The struggles precipitated by declining print advertising, and by a booming digital economy that has been dominated largely by Facebook and Google – at the expense of others who would survive on digital advertising – have led to widespread job cuts. On Monday, the company tightened its belt one more notch, cutting 13 jobs in its digital and sales operations, slashing the Toronto Star's travel and freelance budgets and suspending its summer and year-long internship programs. The Star's internships were among the most prestigious in the country for training young journalists.

While cutting costs, Torstar is also attempting to establish its digital future....... What is your view of the impact consolidation has had in Canadian media? How much more consolidation is to come?

As you know, we just announced a consolidation deal. [In November, Torstar and Postmedia Network Canada Corp. swapped 41 newspapers and subsequently shut down most of them.] Publishing newspapers – dailies and weeklies – is becoming more and more challenging. In an effort to lengthen the runway, give us more time, these amalgamation deals have been done.
Susan_Krashinsky  Torstar  digital_media  digital_strategies  newspapers  digital_first  cost-cutting  subscriptions  paywalls  layoffs  consolidation 
february 2018 by jerryking
GE and Siemens: power pioneers flying too far from the sun
November 12, 2017 | FT | by Ed Crooks in New York and Patrick McGee in Frankfurt.

Rivals GE and Siemens both face difficult challenges ahead with the threats emanating in the 21st century from the renewable energy revolution that risks rendering obsolete their century-old strengths in supplying equipment for the electricity industry.....As the costs of solar and wind power have plunged, making them cheaper than fossil fuel generation in many parts of the world, the traditional model of the industry has changed. Capital spending on the new technologies has soared. Battery storage is also starting to be a cost-effective solution for supporting the grid, challenging the market for “peaker” gas turbines that are used when demand is at its highest. Yet both groups have taken positions in renewable energy but have stumbled along the way.

The result is that GE and Siemens are being forced to drive down costs dramatically in their core power businesses. Siemens is looking to cut thousands of jobs in its power and gas unit....while both groups face a turbulent environment, the immediate outlook is considerably brighter at Siemens, which appears to be better positioned to adjust to the disruption sweeping through the energy industry....GE’s 2017 has been a disaster.....GE's CEO, John Flannery, has already moved fast to signal his intentions: clearing out many top executives, grounding corporate jets, stopping the cars provided to senior managers, cutting back the network of global research centres and promising to sell peripheral and underperforming businesses worth up to $20bn....GE's sales of aeroderivative gas turbines, used to support grids at times of peak load, were half the planned numbers, while sales of packages for improving the performance of gas-fired plants were just a third of projections.....“All major vendors got the market [i.e. for gas turbines] wrong,” ...The next big worry is servicing for turbines — once a gold mine but one that is bound to decline as new orders fall. With turbines being sold at no margin or sometimes at a loss, competition for servicing contracts is heating up, further eroding margins.

For the foreseeable future, the gas turbine market is likely to remain difficult,...“The question is whether this is just a cyclical problem, or whether there is something structural in the industry that is really starting to cause problems.”

There is good reason to think that it is structural, given the plunge in solar and wind costs. ... “a combination of rooftop solar and battery storage could make economic sense in India, African countries and other places where they don’t have well-developed power grids”......According to the IEA, in 2016 $316bn was invested in renewable energy worldwide last year, almost three times as much as the $117bn in fossil fuel power generation.....If Mr Flannery founders, then breaking up GE might come to seem like the only option left to investors. It would not magically dispel the problems of the business, and would be difficult because of the group’s complex tax position and liabilities, including insurance claims dating from before GE pulled out of the industry in 2004-2006.

To avoid a break-up, GE might follow the template Siemens created in 2014 for a more decentralised structure. Mr Kaeser calls it a “fleet of ships” model, with divisions becoming semi-autonomous and separately listed. Siemens’ largest division, its medical equipment unit, is scheduled to list next year.

“The time of old-fashioned conglomerates is over,” he says. “They are definitely not going to survive.”
CEOs  Siemens  GE  industrial_age  founders  19th_century  decentralization  conglomerates  renewable  obsolescence  solar  batteries  cost-cutting  turnarounds  divestitures  wind_power  under-performing  power_grid  electric_power 
november 2017 by jerryking
Best Buy’s Secrets for Thriving in the Amazon Age
SEPT. 18, 2017 | The New York Times | By KEVIN ROOSE.

Here are the keys to Best Buy’s turnaround, according to Mr. Joly:

1. Price, price, price

The most worrisome trend in big-box retail was “showrooming” .....To combat showrooming and persuade customers to complete their purchases at Best Buy, Mr. Joly announced a price-matching guarantee....Price-matching costs Best Buy real money, but it also gives customers a reason to stay in the store, and avoids handing business to competitors.

2. Focus on humans

Mr. Joly also realized that if Best Buy was going to compete with Amazon, which has spent billions building a speedy delivery system and plans to use drones to become even more efficient, it needed to get better at things that robots can’t do well — namely, customer service & customer experience....Best Buy fixed its internal product search engine. It also restored a much-loved employee discount that had been suspended and embarked on an ambitious program to retrain its employees so they could answer questions about entirely new categories of electronics, such as virtual reality headsets and smart home appliances.....Customers had always loved Best Buy’s Geek Squad.....sometimes, people needed help before they bought big and expensive gadgets. So it started an adviser program that allows customers to get free in-home consultations about what product they should buy, and how it should be installed....a pilot program last year, the service is now being rolled out nationwide.

3. Turn brick-and-mortar into showcase-and-ship

Best Buy’s online ordering system was completely divorced from its stores. If a customer placed an order on the website, it would ship from a central warehouse. If that warehouse didn’t have the item in stock, the customer was out of luck.....Mr. Joly realized that with some minor changes, each of Best Buy’s 1,000-plus big-box stores could ship packages to customers, serving as a mini warehouse for its surrounding area. Now, when a customer orders a product on Best Buy’s website, the item is sent from the location that can deliver it the fastest — a store down the street, perhaps, or a warehouse five states away. It was a small, subtle change, but it allowed Best Buy to improve its shipping times, and made immediate gratification possible for customers. Now, roughly 40 % of Best Buy’s online orders are either shipped or picked up from a store.

Best Buy also struck deals with large electronics companies like Samsung, Apple and Microsoft to feature their products in branded areas within the store. Now, rather than jamming these companies’ products next to one another on shelves, Best Buy allows them to set up their own dedicated kiosks. (Apple’s area inside a Best Buy, for example, has the same sleek wooden tables and minimalist design as an Apple Store.) It’s a concept borrowed from department stores, and it’s created a lucrative new revenue stream. Even Amazon has set up kiosks in Best Buy stores to show off its voice-activated Alexa gadgets.

4. Cut costs quietly

Almost every business turnaround plan includes cutting costs. Best Buy has used the scalpel as quietly as possible, gradually letting leases expire for unprofitable stores and consolidating its overseas divisions, trimming a layer of middle managers in 2014, and reassigned roughly 400 Geek Squad employees within the company. No public rounds of layoffs, which can crater employee morale and create a sinking-ship vibe.

Best Buy has also found more creative penny-pinching methods. Once, the company noticed that an unusually high number of flat-screen TVs were being dropped in its warehouses. It revamped the handling process, reducing the number of times TVs were picked up by a clamp lift and adding new carts to prevent TV boxes from falling over. The changes resulted in less broken inventory and bigger profits.

5. Get lucky, stay humble and don’t tempt fate

It’s lucky that the products it specializes in selling, like big-screen TVs and high-end audio equipment, are big-ticket items that many customers still feel uncomfortable buying sight unseen from a website. It’s lucky that several large competitors have gone out of business, shrinking its list of rivals. And it’s lucky that the vendors who make the products it sells, like Apple and Samsung, have kept churning out expensive blockbuster gadgets.

“They’re at the mercy of the product cycles,” said Stephen Baker, a tech industry analyst at NPD Group. “If people stop buying PCs or they don’t care about big-screen TVs anymore, they have a challenge.”

Mr. Joly knows that despite Best Buy’s recent momentum, it’s not out of the woods yet. To succeed over the long term, it will need to do more than cut costs and match prices. Walmart, another big-box behemoth, is investing billions of dollars in a digital expansion with the acquisition of e-commerce companies like Jet and Bonobos, and could prove to be a fierce rival. Amazon has been expanding into brick-and-mortar retail with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and is moving into Best Buy’s home installation and services market....
“Once you’ve had a near-death experience,” he said, “arrogance, if you had it in your bones, has disappeared forever.”
Amazon  Best_Buy  big-box  CEOs  turnarounds  pilot_programs  nationwide  contra-Amazon  brands  kiosks  cost-cutting  luck  Wal-Mart  Jet  Bonobos  pricing  showrooming  price-matching  customer_service  search_engines  in-home  BOPIS  Samsung  Apple  Microsoft  store_within_a_store  consumer_electronics  product_cycles  customer_experience 
september 2017 by jerryking
Hard sell for the ad men
| Financial Times |

Consumer goods groups are cutting costs amid slowing growth – the advertising industry is first to feel the pinch
CPG  cost-cutting  shareholder_activism  advertising  Big_Food  advertising_agencies  P&G  bots  marketing  budgets  Unilever  ABInBev  Mondelez  WPP  Interpublic  brands  Nestlé  slow_growth 
august 2017 by jerryking
The High Cost of Raising Prices - WSJ
By Andy Kessler
July 30, 2017

The more prices rise, the more customers bolt. It’s like running up a down escalator and never getting to the top. With the stock market hitting highs just about every day, investors need to be wary of companies that raise prices to make their numbers. These stocks make for spectacular sell-offs on even the slightest earnings miss......I had a friend who worked at General Electric for decades. He told me that in strategy sessions with his management, Jack Welch would constantly berate them, saying, “Any idiot can raise prices.” Except he used a stronger word than idiot to coax them into squeezing out costs, adding features, improving services and generally delighting customers. Contrast this with Berkshire Hathaway . Vice Chairman Charlie Munger found that with See’s Candies “we could raise prices 10% a year and no one cared. Learning that changed Berkshire.” .........There’s a long list of price bumpers. Walk down any supermarket aisle. Kellogg’s prices constantly snap, crackle and mostly pop. Procter & Gamble toothpaste sizes shrink faster than my cavity count, always less for the same price. Now private-equity firms are circling P&G. Same for Nestlé . Expect rising beer and liquor prices soon....Empires are lost on rising prices. Until recently, rather than innovate in mobile or cloud computing, Microsoft kept raising the price of its Windows operating system to computer manufacturers. Tablets and phones ate their lunch. Fees rose at eBay until Amazon took its growth away. .........Increasing prices attracts others to attack your market. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos warns: “Your margin is my opportunity.”....Competition solves much of this problem. Investors love protected businesses, but eventually relentless price increases kill them all. Consumers are the kangaroo at the bar in the old cartoon: The bartender says, “Say, we don’t get a lot of kangaroos in here.” The kangaroo replies, “No, and with these prices, I can see why!” Call me a kangaroo, but I prefer to invest in companies that lower prices and offer more.
Andy_Kessler  pricing  price_hikes  drawbacks  margins  Charlie_Munger  CPG  shareholder_activism  P&G  Nestlé  Kellogg  Jack_Welch  GE  large_companies  cost-cutting  Amazon  Jeff_Bezos  staying_hungry  delighting_customers  high-cost 
july 2017 by jerryking
Strategies for cutting how much you pay for your wireless plan - The Globe and Mail
CHRISTINE DOBBY - TELECOM REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jul. 12, 2015

Planhub.ca
cost-cutting  wireless  Canadian  Canada 
may 2017 by jerryking
Time Inc. Decides Not to Sell Itself
APRIL 28, 2017 | The New York Times | By SYDNEY EMBER.

Time Inc. (home to Sports Illustrated, People and Time,) has decided to go it alone (e.g. remain independent and not sell itself), choosing a path filled with challenges that no legacy publisher has completely mastered.

Instead, the company said it would pursue the strategic plan its new management team had laid out, which includes increasing its digital audience and pursuing new opportunities for revenue growth......Print advertising and circulation revenues continue to fall, starving magazine companies of the lifeblood that long sustained them. Most publishers have shifted their focus to increasing non-print revenue, but new revenue sources have yet to make up the shortfall. To compensate, publishers continue to slash costs, transforming themselves into leaner companies with fewer employees and diminished resources.... As a publisher of magazines that highlighted stellar photography and weekly updates on news, sports and celebrities, Time Inc. was an empire that left an indelible mark on American culture.

But like many magazine publishers, Time Inc. has struggled to adapt to a digital age. The brutal economics of the publishing industry have made that challenge more daunting. In the last decade, Time Inc.’s revenue and operating profit have fallen sharply. Its work force has dropped from 11,000 to just over 7,000......[Time] has embarked on an aggressive strategy to increase Time Inc.’s digital revenue, including enhancing advertising technology abilities and offering customers paid services, such as a food-and-wine club. Last year, advertising revenue increased 3 percent, driven by substantial growth in digital advertising. Executives project that digital advertising revenue will increase to more than $600 million this year and $1 billion in the coming years.

But Time Inc.’s overall financial results have yet to improve, in large part because the company is still tied to its declining print business. About two-thirds of its annual revenue is still derived from magazines.

The company will report its first-quarter earnings on May 10.

Time Inc. is aiming to make $100 million in cost cuts this year, and Mr. Battista said the company would continue to be aggressive about cost management, particularly in its print business.
magazines  digital_media  ad-tech  CEOs  print_journalism  TIME_Inc.  cost-cutting  layoffs  newsstand_circulation  Meredith  structural_decline 
april 2017 by jerryking
Can 3G Capital Keep Thriving on Acquisitions and Cost Cutting? - The New York Times
By STEVEN DAVIDOFF SOLOMON MARCH 7, 2017

the larger question about 3G is whether it is possible to keep creating value by acquisition. At some point, you might think, the music stops playing.

Were that to happen, it would become clear how much long-term value is actually being created, and how much of the gains are short-term lifts from acquisitions and cost cuts. Restaurant Brands, for example, has reduced costs but revenue has remained relatively flat. Last quarter, Kraft Heinz’s revenue fell 3.7 percent.

In other words, with flat revenue, income has to come from somewhere, and you can only slash so much.

It’s a model that private equity firms don’t follow. To be sure, they also cut costs, but private equity also prides itself on revenue expansion and innovation. And the reason is simple: If the merger and acquisition pipeline dries up, so does the growth.....one has to wonder if a firm can succeed simply by cutting. To be sure there will be some gains and value made from the cuts, but eventually part of running a business means actually building something.

Like it or not, that will require spending on new products and the business itself, something 3G’s managers appear to hate above all else, as opposed to simply acquiring more companies.
3G_Capital  mergers_&_acquisitions  cost-cutting  new_products  private_equity 
march 2017 by jerryking
Inside the brutal transformation of Tim Hortons - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22, 2017

Since taking over the iconic chain in 2014, its new Brazilian owner, 3G Capital, has purged head office, slashed costs and squeezed suppliers. Shareholders are happy, but is 3G tearing the heart out of Timmy’s?.....3G is regarded as ultra-disciplined owners who are sticking to the same playbook they have followed at companies including Burger King, Anheuser-Busch, Kraft Foods and Heinz: massive layoffs, replacing legacy managers with hungry youngsters and, above all, a fanatical devotion to financial benchmarks and cost-cutting. (It remains to be seen whether this will also be the approach for RBI’s latest acquisition, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.)....Will 3G's analytics-driven overhaul of Tim Hortons—using the same template the private equity firm’s founders have deployed at railroads, brewers and food makers—succeed in the long run, or is it in danger of cutting the heart out of a Canadian icon? ......Suppliers are also feeling the squeeze. From the get-go, RBI made it clear it would be reviewing vendor relationships. And the company pushed for better terms, including extensions on bill payments to as much as 120 days from 30 days or less. Maple Leaf Foods, a major partner that supplied meat to Tim Hortons, declined to accept the new terms, and walked away....
Former employees also say RBI has cut back on product research and development spending at Tim Hortons, offloading some of that work to suppliers. That’s not uncommon in the fast-food world, but it can be risky. “Suppliers can do a great job with innovating and R&D, but you’re limited to what the supplier is trying to develop,” ......3G has never encountered a brand quite like Tim Hortons. It isn’t just another coffee company. It is a Canadian destination, an integral part of many Canadians’ day and a brand that defines us, to some degree, around the world.......“The risk, in looking at Tim Hortons through the lens of efficiency alone, is to miss the greatest value of the asset, and that is the Tim’s brand and its deep connection to the fabric of the country,” says Joe Jackman, founder of strategic retail consultant Jackman Reinvents, whose clients have included Old Navy, Hertz, Rexall and FreshCo. “You can’t cost-cut your way to retail nirvana.”
3G_Capital  brands  Canadiana  coffee  community_support  cost-cutting  cultural_touchpoints  data_driven  downsizing  efficiencies  fast-food  franchising  goodwill  head_offices  iconic  JWT  layoffs  Maple_Leaf_Foods  Marina_Strauss  organizational_culture  playbooks  private_equity  R&D  RBI  restructurings  staying_hungry  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tim_Hortons  transformational  walking_away 
february 2017 by jerryking
The ‘Warren Buffett of Brazil’ Behind the Offer for Unilever
FEB. 17, 2017 | The New York Times | by LIZ MOYER.
Profile of Jorge Paulo Lemann.

Mr. Lemann, 77, a Harvard-educated former Brazilian tennis champion, ranks 19th on the Forbes list of world billionaires, with a fortune estimated at $29 billion. He and his partners at 3G have developed over the years what many call a playbook for extracting costs from companies by eliminating frivolities like corporate-owned aircraft and expensive office space, revamping management and slashing jobs.

They instill strict austerity that forces managers to justify expenses beyond basic operating needs. Their model makes expansion overseas crucial for increasing returns.

They have also focused on major consumer brands rather than on diversifying......Mr. Lemann and Mr. Buffett share a similar investment philosophy: patience. Instead of selling his portfolio after he has cut and remodeled companies, Mr. Lemann has used Anheuser-Busch InBev and now Kraft Heinz as base camps for further global expansion.
3G_Capital  private_equity  Brazilian  patience  Unilever  Kraft_Heinz  Harvard  moguls  high_net_worth  cost-cutting  Warren_Buffett  playbooks 
february 2017 by jerryking
Auction houses embracing digital technology to sell to the new global rich
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014 by: John Dizard.

....The auction houses have been under pressure to adapt to this changing universe. While the most visible aspect of the houses’ digital revolution may be their online auctions, the most essential is in the systematising and networking of their customer, market and lot information. Without that, the auctioneers would lose control of their ability to charge gross margins in the mid-teens as intermediaries of the $30bn global art auction market....Within the quasi-duopoly of Christie’s and Sotheby’s at the top of the auction world, Christie’s has now moved to implement what it calls its “digital strategy”....Christie’s now has James Map (as in founder James Christie), a sort of private internal social network that allows specialists, client service staff, support staff and executives to see what is known about a client and his tastes. Past auction records, relatives’ purchases and sales, statistical inferences on how likely clients are to move from buying an expensive watch online to participating in a high-end evening sale – it all can be in the mix.

The idea, Murphy explains, was “to create an internal app that spiders into our database of information and brings up on our internal [screen] environment lots of connectivity. This is faster and better than the email chains [that it replaced].”....This summer, Sotheby’s announced a partnership with eBay, the online auction giant. While the details of the partnership are still being developed, it is understood eBay will distribute live Sotheby’s auctions to its global audience of 150m buyers.

Ken Citron, Christie’s head of IT

The digital strategy is also making it easier to take part in auctions. Even with all the unseen know-your-customer checks now required by financial supervisory agencies, it has become much faster and easier to register as an auction house client. About half now do so online.

But while the online revolution may have left some auction houses behind, for others it is generating new business. Auction houses used to regard the sale of smaller, cheaper objects from, for example, estate liquidations as an annoying loss-leader business that just wasted their specialists’ time. Now, however, many are making money selling objects for $2,000-$3,000; it’s just a matter of cutting transaction costs. “We have a new app with which you can take a picture, push a button, and it goes to a specialist, with a description. Then the specialist can decide if it might fit into an auction,” says Citron.
auctions  Sotheby's  Christie's  data  art  collectors  high_net_worth  partnerships  eBay  duopolies  digital_strategies  CRM  IT  margins  intermediaries  internal_systems  loss-leaders  transaction_costs  cost-cutting  know_your_customer  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  estate_planning  liquidity_events  online_auctions  digital_revolution 
november 2016 by jerryking
More Wretched News for Newspapers as Advertising Woes Drive Anxiety - The New York Times
By SYDNEY EMBER OCT. 27, 2016

With print advertising continuing to drop precipitously, you would be hard-pressed to find a newsroom devoid of uncertainty anywhere in the country....Across the country, those working in the newspaper industry are fretting as the end of the year approaches. Driving much of the anxiety is a steep drop in print ad revenue, once the lifeblood for newspapers....At the same time, digital advertising and other forms of revenue have been slow to pick up the slack, leading news companies, including The New York Times, The Guardian and Gannett, the owner of USA Today, to cut costs by downsizing....Across the industry, similar declines in print advertising coupled with the shift to digital and, increasingly, mobile, are driving newspaper companies to reconfigure their newsrooms. ...The Times has also announced its intent to make subscriptions the driving source of its revenue...
newspapers  advertising  layoffs  WSJ  NYT  digital_media  cost-cutting  subscriptions  print_journalism 
october 2016 by jerryking
Loblaw’s price war spreads through Canada’s grocery sector - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016
Loblaws  cost-cutting  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  price_wars 
august 2016 by jerryking
Sears Canada races to close more stores amid cost-cutting efforts - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 24, 2016 | G&M | MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

Sears Canada Inc. is stepping up its efforts to close another round of stores, raising more questions about its fate and putting pressure on landlords who already have a lot of empty retail space.

The struggling Sears has instructed real estate firm CBRE to look for alternative uses for Sears’s weakest stores, such as its clearance outlets... As well, Sears officials are working internally to shrink its store network, he said....Sears’s most recent store-closing plans differ from previous shutdowns, which involved landlords often approaching Sears with offers to buy back the retailer’s store leases to replace Sears with alluring foreign retailers, such as United States-based Nordstrom Inc., which could draw more customers.

But amid the rash of retailers such as Target that have closed stores, landlords no longer have compelling new retailers to fill so much space. ...Sears is determined to turn around its core business and remain in many locations, although some may be downsized or closed when the lease expires. He hired Carrie Kirkman, a seasoned merchant, late last year as Sears’s new president, aiming to lure younger consumers with new styles and store layouts. He’s looking to improve the state of some of Sears’s stores.
Marina_Strauss  retailers  cost-cutting  commercial_real_estate  CBRE  consolidation  store_footprints  under-performing  downsizing  small_spaces  Sears_Canada  RioCan 
january 2016 by jerryking
Britain resigns as a world power
May 21, 2015 |The Washington Post | Fareed Zakaria
"I was struck by just how parochial it has become. After an extraordinary 300-year run, Britain has essentially resigned as a global power.

Over the next few years, Britain’s army will shrink to about 80,000."... Why does this matter? Because on almost all global issues, Britain has a voice that is intelligent, engaged and forward-looking. It wants to strengthen and uphold today’s international system — one based on the free flow of ideas, goods and services around the world, one that promotes individual rights and the rule of law.

This is not an accident. Britain essentially created the world we live in. In his excellent book “God and Gold,” Walter Russell Mead points out that in the 16th century many countries were poised to advance economically and politically — Northern Italy’s city-states, the Hanseatic League, the Low Countries, France, Spain. But Britain managed to edge out the others, becoming the first great industrial economy and the modern world’s first superpower. It colonized and shaped countries and cultures from Australia to India to Africa to the Western Hemisphere, including of course, its settlements in North America. Had Spain or Germany become the world’s leading power, things would look very different today.
BBC  books  cosmopolitan  cost-cutting  cutbacks  David_Cameron  drawdowns  EU  Fareed_Zakaria  foreign_policy  forward_looking  geopolitics  globalization  industrial_economy  international_relations  international_system  internationalism  leadership  London  middle-powers  parochialism  punch-above-its-weight  retreats  rule_of_law  superpowers  United_Kingdom  Walter_Russell_Mead 
may 2015 by jerryking
A Hard Turnaround for Software: Software Companies Caught in a Downward Spiral Find It Exceptionally Difficult to Escape. Yet a Determined Few Succeed
Summer 2002 |The McKinsey Quarterly By Blumling, Mark; Frick, Kevin A.; Meehan, William F.,, III

While executing a turnaround in any industry can be a difficult task, digging a software business ou...
category_killers  cost-cutting  downward_spirals  howto  increasing_returns_to_scale  McKinsey  software  switching_costs  turnarounds  winner-take-all 
january 2015 by jerryking
How CEOs Can Manage Information Technology - WSJ
By JEANNE W. ROSS And PETER WEILL
April 25, 2011
Question No. 1
Are we using technology to transform our business, or are we just adding bells and whistles to existing processes?
Question No. 2
Are you ignoring important business differences as you standardize processes
across the company?
Question No. 3
Who is making sure the company's digital strategy is being implemented?
Question No. 4
Is electronic data empowering your people or controlling them?
Bonus: Question No. 5
What is the investment in reducing IT cost to Run-the-Business versus investing in business advantage initiatives in order to Change-the-Business?
CEOs  questions  IT  company  transformational  cost-cutting  CIOs  digital_strategies 
october 2014 by jerryking
3G Capital, the latest private equity darling - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 25 2014 | G&M | JACQUELINE NELSON.

“It is something that’s embedded in our culture is that we are going to continuously look for areas to find efficiencies and to operate our business in a smarter way,” said Josh Kobza, Burger King’s chief financial officer, discussing costs on a recent earnings call with analysts. “That’s another area that will continue to be focused on over the next few years, in trying to be the most efficient operator in our sector. And that is really how we think about driving underlying growth in our business and those are the big focuses for our model going forward.”
3G_Capital  cost-cutting  Berkshire_Hathaway  Burger_King  efficiencies  hedge_funds  private_equity  Tim_Hortons 
august 2014 by jerryking
Mayor Ford’s dubious budget claims don’t stand up - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 14 2014

A summary of the report from the University of Toronto’s Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance says flatly that “Toronto does not have a ‘spending problem’ – with expenditures roughly the same as they were a decade ago, when inflation and population growth are taken into account.”....To put it another way, the authors believe that the city has a revenue problem, not a spending problem. The mayor did not mention that “interesting point” when he used the report to tout his record.
Marcus_Gee  Rob_Ford  Toronto  cost-cutting  uToronto  expenditures  budgets 
august 2014 by jerryking
Blair’s ouster is a chance to pursue real change in policing - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 08 2014

“Canada’s police are pricing themselves out of business,” writes analyst Christian Leuprecht in a recent paper for the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. “Police budgets have increased at a rate double that of GDP over the last decade, while calls from the public for service have remained stable.” Nearly 40 per cent of Toronto Police Service’s work force shows up on the “sunshine list” of public employees making over $100,000.

He notes that many of the duties performed by police do not require an armed, highly trained uniformed officer. One U.S. study he cites showed that only 5 per cent of calls required police to use some kind of force to ensure the safety of the public or the officer.

“Many of the duties that police perform,” Prof. Leuprecht writes, “can be performed as effectively and efficiently by non-sworn members, special constables, community safety officers, or private security companies.” In Britain, where the law now allows police to send community-support officers to escort prisoners and even investigate minor crimes, civilians outnumber sworn officers in some police forces.

Introducing such sharp change in Toronto would not be easy. Police commanders and union leaders naturally resist seeing their duties handed to other, less-trained workers. Although much police work these days may indeed by a kind of social work, those like Mr. McCormack argue that police often find themselves in dangerous situations and that shootings and stabbings are still unfortunately commonplace on the streets of the city.
Marcus_Gee  Bill_Blair  civilian_oversight  budgets  cost-cutting  Toronto_Police_Service  Toronto_Police_Services_Board 
august 2014 by jerryking
Buyers and Brands Beware in China - WSJ
July 24, 2014 | WSJ | Editorials.

...Husi's behavior is a classic case of "quality fade," a term coined in the mid-2000s by China manufacturing expert Paul Midler. Companies often start out supplying high-quality products, and Husi enjoyed a top hygiene rating. But they start to cut corners in alarming ways, such as the 2007 scandal of cheap lead-based paint in children's toys.

This is especially likely to happen when customers demand lower prices but don't take an interest in how those savings are achieved. ...Lack of trust is the hallmark of life in China today, which is one reason many rich Chinese choose to move abroad....New supreme leader Xi Jinping's anticorruption campaign may bring some temporary improvement. But if he doesn't build government institutions with integrity, the cheating will resume as soon as the campaign is over.....The lesson for managers is that they must always distrust and verify what their suppliers tell them. Regularly scheduled inspections are useless as the factory will be spruced up for their visit. Surprise visits and spot checks are the only defense against fraud and fakery. In the wild west of the China market, caveat emptor is the only reliable law.
brands  caveat_emptor  China  food_safety  KFC  McDonald's  scandals  trustworthiness  lessons_learned  editorials  product_recalls  skepticism  cost-cutting  quality  high-quality 
august 2014 by jerryking
Mukherjee's take: Why he and Bill Blair couldn't see eye-to-eye on Toronto's police costs - The Globe and Mail
ROBYN DOOLITTLE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 01 2014

Police forces had completely overhauled their operations, homing in on the core duties required of a police service. Mr. Mukherjee remembers one service in particular where all non-police functions – accounting, human relations, IT, the help desk, etc. – had been farmed out to a private company. The head of that company worked in partnership with the service’s chief. A sort of mirrored chain of command between the business and the service was setup all the way down the through the ranks.

This was exactly the sort of thing Mr. Mukherjee been advocating for in Toronto. In 2011, while grappling with how to deal with a budget that had ballooned to nearly $1-billion, Mr. Mukherjee wrote a lengthy discussion paper entitled “Avoiding Crisis; An opportunity: Transforming the Toronto Police Service.” It called for contracting out administrative functions, scaling back the number of officers in management positions and rethinking some of the tasks currently being performed by police officers. Mr. Mukherjee was inspired by what he saw happening – and working – in Britain. Chief Bill Blair was horrified.
Bill_Blair  Toronto  civilian_oversight  Toronto_Police_Service  cost-cutting  Rob_Ford  Toronto_Police_Services_Board  Alok_Mukherjee 
august 2014 by jerryking
Blair’s problem is that it’s 2014, not 2004 - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jul. 31 2014,

There is good reason that the heads of most major police forces are lucky to last a decade on the job, as Chief Blair has, let alone beyond it. Over the years, the mandate from civilians will inevitably change, as old challenges are addressed and new ones arise. And for a variety of reasons, the loss of public trust to inevitable controversies and the difficulty of maintaining support among police rank-and-file among them, a chief who comes in driving one agenda is not often willing or able to pivot to a different one....But partly because the city has on the whole become safer, the police board’s criteria for a suitable chief have changed. As governments at all levels tighten their belts, there is a growing push to rein in police costs that have mostly been given a free pass – climbing, in Toronto, to more than $1-billion annually.

As the board has pushed him to find savings, Chief Blair has aggressively resisted. Had he not done so, it is unlikely he would have been able to keep his force behind him for as long as he has. But that just adds to the impetus to bring in someone new.

So, too, does the perception that having in recent years been surrounded by a tight circle of confidantes, Chief Blair is too set in his ways to seriously consider structural changes that could improve efficiencies – merging or even eliminating certain units, for instance, or replacing officers with civilians for office tasks.

The desire for institutional reform helps explain why there is speculation that the board, which may have unusual latitude in choosing his successor given the city’s lack of a functional mayor, will bring in a fresh set of eyes from outside the force. Executive-leadership skills will probably count for more than previously, and having climbed up through the ranks for less.

To his civilian overseers, in other words, Chief Blair looks like yesterday’s man.
Bill_Blair  Toronto  mayoral  cost-cutting  fresh_eyes  institutional_change  civilian_oversight  police  police_force  policing  Toronto_Police_Service  Toronto_Police_Services_Board  structural_change 
july 2014 by jerryking
Bay Street law firm launches legal ‘incubator’ in Halifax
Jul. 02 2014 | The Globe and Mail | JEFF GRAY - LAW REPORTER

Torys says its new Torys Legal Services Centre, due to open this fall, will act for the Bay Street firm’s established corporate clients, performing high-volume, recurring legal work such as reviewing contracts or performing due diligence on corporate deals.
Bay_Street  contracts  cost-cutting  Halifax  law_firms  legal  Torys  product_launches 
july 2014 by jerryking
Where are the jobs? Without good stats, it’s bad data in, bad policy out - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 11 2014

The latest revelations of Ottawa’s cost-cutting on labour market data come as no surprise. This Conservative government has a solid track record of sacrificing information for budget cuts. The long-form census, Statistics Canada and Canada’s environmental libraries have all fallen victim to the government’s red pen. Frustratingly, these funding cuts only seem to come to light after they’ve been carried out.
data  budgets  Conservative_Party  Canada  Don_Drummond  cost-cutting  labour_markets  Statistics_Canada  policymaking  budget_cuts 
june 2014 by jerryking
Sobeys slashes jobs, costs after Safeway acquisition - The Globe and Mail
MARINA STRAUSS - RETAILING REPORTER

The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Mar. 13 2014
Sobeys  cost-cutting  retailers  grocery  supermarkets  Marina_Strauss 
march 2014 by jerryking
Detroit wheel
July 1995 | Institutional Investor | by Hilary Rosenberg who profiles Jay Alix.
* Golden rules: scale down a company's cost structure to meet realistic revenue projections; never attempt revenue-driven turnarounds, which can collapse if the sales don't materialize.
AlixPartners  cost-cutting  cost-structure  Detroit  golden_rules  howto  private_equity  turnarounds 
july 2012 by jerryking
What's Next for Newsmagazines? - WSJ.com
April 4, 2008 | WSJ | By REBECCA DANA.
Fading Publications Try to Reinvent Themselves Yet Again

"Like any managers anywhere, we looked at a revenue picture that could be more thrilling and said, 'How can we accomplish two or three things?,' " Mr. Meacham said in an interview. " 'How can we control costs? How can we have money to rebuild and hire new voices and new reporting talent? And how can we do that in the service of what we've been trying to do with the magazine of the last year-and-a-half, which is make it more serious and try to make ourselves indispensable to the conversation?' "....."My whole view was there's more information out there than any time in human history. What people don't need more of is information," Mr. Stengel said. "They need a guide through the chaos."..."What's happened in the business as a whole is talk is cheap and reporting is expensive," said Newsweek writer Jonathan Alter, a 25-year veteran at the magazine who qualified for the buyout but declined it. But he adds, some of the change in culture is welcome. "In general, the office politics are at a much lower volume than in the past because the old fight of space is different than it was. If there's not room in the magazine for something, you can just do it online," he said.....At a recent speech at Columbia University, Mr. Meacham delivered a blistering response after he asked who reads Newsweek and none of the 100-odd students in attendance raised their hands.

"It's an incredible frustration that I've got some of the most decent, hard-working, honest, passionate, straight-shooting, non-ideological people who just want to tell the damn truth, and how to get this past this image that we're just middlebrow, you know, a magazine that your grandparents get, or something, that's the challenge," Mr. Meacham said. "And I just don't know how to do it, so if you've got any ideas, tell me."
chaos  commoditization_of_information  cost-controls  cost-cutting  curation  indispensable  information_overload  Jon_Meacham  journalists  journalism  magazines  multiple_targets  newsstand_circulation  office_politics  print_journalism  questions  reinvention  talent_acquisition  think_threes 
june 2012 by jerryking
ABC's 'Mr. Inside' Daniel Burke 1929-2011
OCTOBER 27, 2011 | WSJ | By STEPHEN MILLER.

Daniel Burke was the "Mr. Inside" management specialist in the merger of American Broadcasting Cos. with Capital Cities Communications, one of the signal deals of the 1980s and the first of the mergers that swept the "big three" television networks...A native of Albany, N.Y., Mr. Burke fought in the Korean War and attended Harvard Business School. He worked initially at the Jell-O division of General Foods before going to work for Mr. Murphy at what became Capital Cities, in 1961.

Mr. Burke's first job was to manage an Albany television station housed in a run down 19th-century former retirement home for nuns. As he climbed the ranks he developed a reputation as a cost cutter, and was in charge of melding Mr. Murphy's acquisitions into the growing Capital Cities empire.
ABC  obituaries  television  roll_ups  cost-cutting  HBS 
october 2011 by jerryking
With a Long List but Short on Money, F.D.A. Tackles Food Safety - NYTimes.com
By WILLIAM NEUMAN
August 22, 2011

A landmark food safety law passed by Congress last December is supposed
to reduce the frequency and severity of food safety problems, but the
roll call of recent cases underlines the magnitude of the task....The
agency is taking on the expanded mission at a time when Washington
budget-slashing means that regulators have little hope of getting
additional money and may instead have their budgets cut by Congress....A
budget freeze or cuts would have the greatest impact on the ambitious
increase in inspections called for under the new law, which ramp up each
year.

“Writing rules is inexpensive (jk: i.e. policymaking is easy); enforcing them is expensive (jk i.e. implementation is hard), said David W. Acheson, a former associate commissioner of the F.D.A. who is now a
food safety consultant. “There will be a public health impact because
enforcement won’t be to the extent they want to do it.”
product_recalls  implementation  food_safety  hard_work  FDA  cost-cutting  policymaking  public_health  enforcement  regulation  pairs  frequency_and_severity  regulators  cutbacks  quotes  rule-writing  budget_cuts 
august 2011 by jerryking
Gillette's in Razors: the 11-Cent Blade - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 1, 2010 | WSJ | By ELLEN BYRON.Winning over
low-income consumers in developing markets is crucial to the growth
strategy of P&G's chief executive, Robert McDonald. Over the next
five years, Mr. McDonald wants to boost the company's total customer
base for its many products to five billion of the world's expected
population of seven billion. Many of these new consumers will have to
come from markets like India, where P&G has a small presence
compared to Unilever PLC and some other competitors.The need to grow in
emerging markets is pushing P&G to change its product-development
strategy. P&G uses what it calls reverse engineering. Rather than
create an item and then assign a price to it—as in most developed
markets—the company starts with what consumers can afford and then
adjusts the features and manufacturing processes to meet the target.

For Gillette Guard, the target was five rupees, about the cost of
shampoo sachets or small tubes of toothpaste.
Gillette  innovation  India  P&G  personal_care_products  reverse_engineering  reverse_innovation  cost-cutting  emerging_markets  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  customer_growth  low-income 
october 2010 by jerryking
Be More Like Ike: Republicans should heed Robert Gates
August 16, 2010 | Newsweek | by Fareed Zakaria. "Robert
Gates’s latest efforts at reforming the Pentagon are modest. He is not
trying to cut the actual defense budget; he merely wants to increase
efficiency while reducing bureaucracy, waste, and duplication. The
savings he is trying to achieve are perfectly reasonable: $100 billion
over five years, during which period the Pentagon will spend
approximately $3.5 trillion. And yet he has aroused intense opposition
from the usual suspects—defense contractors, lobbyists, the military
bureaucracy, and hawkish commentators. He faces spirited opposition from
his own party, but it is the Republicans, not Gates, who are abandoning
their party’s best traditions in defense strategy."
Robert_Gates  Pentagon  Fareed_Zakaria  conservatism  GOP  cost-cutting  bureaucracies  SecDef  military-industrial_complex 
september 2010 by jerryking
The Importance of Frugal Engineering
May 25, 2010 | Strategy + Business | by Vikas Sehgal, Kevin
Dehoff, and Ganesh Panneer. Providing new goods and services to “bottom
of the pyramid” customers requires a radical rethinking of product
development. Frugal engineering is not simply low-cost engineering. It
is not a scheme to boost profit margins by squeezing the marrow out of
suppliers’ bones. It is not simply the latest take on the decades-long
focus on cost cutting.Cost discipline is an intrinsic part of the
process, but rather than simply cutting existing costs, frugal
engineering seeks to avoid needless costs in the first place. Frugal
engineering, addresses the billions of consumers at the bottom of the
pyramid who are quickly moving out of poverty in China, India, Brazil,
and other emerging nations.
innovation  C.K._Prahalad  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  product_development  Tata  BRIC  low-cost  emerging_markets  trickle-up  reverse_innovation  jugaad  frugality  cost-cutting  supply_chain_squeeze 
august 2010 by jerryking
Dear Book Lover: Keeping Libraries Open - WSJ.com
JULY 9, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By CYNTHIA CROSSEN.

I love my library. Now it looks like budget cuts are going to reduce hours and staff. Is there anything I can do?

—L.C., Washington

Free libraries are a privilege some of our forebears fought hard for. When they were first proposed in England in the mid-19th-century, opponents argued that libraries would give the lower classes ideas about ephemera like equality. Later, critics worried that they were a waste of time......So raise your voices, library lovers. Raise money, too. Donate your time. Talk up your library with your friends and neighbors, especially if one of them is Jay Leno. Describing my feelings now, the historian Barbara Tuchman wrote 25 years ago, "Nothing sickens me more than the closed door of a library."
Barbara_Tuchman  budget_cuts  cost-cutting  Cynthia_Crossen  libraries 
july 2010 by jerryking
Distressed companies provide valuable lessons in economic downturns - The Globe and Mail
May 3, 2010 10:29 | Globe & Mail | Harvey Schachter .
Distressed companies provide valuable lessons in economic downturns.

SPEED RATHER THAN PERFECTION;

CASH IS KING;

FOCUS ON HIGH–IMPACT ISSUES;

MAKE THE TOUGH PEOPLE CALLS (JCK i.e. get the right people in place);

UNFREEZE THE ORGANIZATION: In a distressed organization, decisions that usually take months to make can be taken in hours or days. Those rapid decisions, they argue, are at least as good as the slow, agonized decisions of the past - so unfreeze your organization with quicker decisions, and a willingness to shake up your systems to improve performance.

Avoid doing the following: CUT FAT, NOT MUSCLE; FOCUS ON MORE THAN SURVIVAL:
cash_reserves  cost-cutting  distressed_debt  economic_downturn  Harvey_Schachter  high-impact  Jeffrey_Gitomer  immobilize  lessons_learned  paralyze  recessions  speed  the_right_people  turnarounds  under-performing 
may 2010 by jerryking
Switch to the low-income customer
14-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Jeremy Grant. "When AG
Lafley came in [in 2000] and said, 'We're going to serve the world's
consumers', that led us to say, 'We don't have the product strategy, the
cost structure, to be effective in serving lower income consumers'.
"What's happened in the last five years has been one of the most
dramatic transformations I've seen in my career. We now have all of our
functions focused on that," says Mr Daley. P&G, the world's largest
consumer goods company, devotes about 30 %of its $1.9bn in annual
research and development spending to low-income markets, a 50 % increase
from 5 yrs. ago. Consumer research: spend time in consumers' homes to
gain insights into daily habits; Cost innovation: use proprietary
technology to design low-income products; Innovation productivity: use
"matchmakers" such as InnoCentive; Manufacturing efficiency: cut mfg.
costs by developing a network of suppliers in China, Brazil, Vietnam and
India.
P&G  BRIC  market_research  consumer_research  primary_field_research  customer_insights  innovation  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  A.G._Lafley  InnoCentive  supply_chains  China  Brazil  Vietnam  India  observations  insights  cost-structure  jugaad  proprietary  behavioural  cost-cutting  match-making  CPG  low-income 
december 2009 by jerryking
Fortune Magazine to Cut Number of Issues - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 23, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by SHIRA OVIDE.
Fortune is planning to publish about one-quarter fewer issues annually
and make other changes, joining the ranks of publications scrambling to
reinvent themselves in the advertising downturn.
Fortune  magazines  publishing  cost-cutting  economic_downturn  advertising  newsstand_circulation  reinvention 
october 2009 by jerryking
Recession Strategies: Companies Need to Focus on Future as Well as Present - WSJ.com
JUNE 22, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | Executive Briefing:

In Dr. Govindarajan’s three-box framework, Box One involves managing the present—for example, improving the efficiency of today’s businesses. Box Two involves selectively forgetting the past. And Box Three? That’s about creating the future. Often, Dr. Govindarajan maintains, companies spend too much of their time managing Box One—the present—and think that’s strategy. Instead, he argues, companies need to spend more time and energy on thinking about Box Two and Box Three.

Preparing for the Recovery
Despite the recession, companies must do more than just play defense.
When thinking about innovation, companies need to go beyond cost cutting
and spend more time thinking about what (Vijay Govindarajan) terms as
"Box Two and Box Three—selectively forgetting the past and creating the
future".

----
BUSINESS INSIGHT:Can companies really plan today for the year 2025?

DR. GOVINDARAJAN: You cannot plan for the year 2025, but you can prepare for it. There’s a big difference in my mind between planning for the future and preparing for it. Preparing for the future simply involves asking what the broad trends are. If people in your organization can at least have a shared perspective on some of the big, nonlinear shifts that may happen, you can begin to think about actions that may be relevant if such shifts occur—if say, technology in your business changes in certain ways. You want to do your current plan in a way that prepares your organization for the future.

The future is full of surprises; you know that. What you want is to be able to prepare to respond and adapt and benefit from surprises. And that’s what happens when you explicitly think about 2025 in 2009.
breakthroughs  contingency_planning  cost-cutting  economic_downturn  far-sightedness  foresight  forward_looking  high-risk  innovation  large_payoffs  nonlinear  offensive_tactics  recessions  scenario-planning  strategy  surprises  Vijay_Govindarajan 
june 2009 by jerryking
Bedroom Startups - BusinessWeek
April 17, 2009 | Business Week | Michelle Colin
start_ups  cost-cutting 
april 2009 by jerryking
Grand Openings in Grim Times - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 27, 2009, WSJ article by KATY MCLAUGHLIN on contrarian
chefs who are opening lavish new restaurants. Will they get burned?
opportunistic  restaurants  luxury  cost-cutting  restauranteurs  Katy_McLaughlin  hard_times 
march 2009 by jerryking
Finding opportunities with deep customer 'discovery'
February 23, 2009 G&M column by GEORGE STALK JR.

One approach that works for customer-supplier partnerships is something we call "discovery," which goes beyond cost reduction tactics to find opportunities for increasing revenues and improving entire processes....The discovery process goes behind traditional contact points to explore issues that affect the hand-offs, such as consumer usage, retail merchandising, promotional effectiveness and pricing.

By using fact-based analysis, information technology and strong project management, discovery has transformed purchasing department contacts into broader, deeper relationships, helped suppliers and customers create new value in their businesses, and led to dramatically more innovative products and services.
opportunities  business_development  George_Stalk_Jr.  discoveries  partnerships  process_improvements  IT  LBMA  OPMA  customer_insights  cost-cutting  BCG  merchandising  pricing  handoffs  purchasing  relationships  new_products 
february 2009 by jerryking
Six Deadly Orthodoxies of Recessions | Articles | Homepage
Jan./Feb. 2009, article in CEO Magazine by Pierre Loewe and
Dave Jones
* Reduce costs selectively, not indiscriminately, monitor carefully the
impact of cost cuts on staff.
* Don't stop investing - seek undervalued assets and opportunities to
upend rivals who only think of retrenching.
* De-risk and lower the costs of innovation efforts by reaching outside
company and by conducting well-designed experiments.
*If your company has developed a new product or business that
significantly enhances the customer value proposition, a recession is
the time to introduce it and get a lasting advantage over more timid
competitors.
*A recession is the time to bypass incremental cost reduction efforts
and to focus employees' energy on innovation aimed at dramatic cost
reduction.
*Even if you have to curtail innovation efforts to conserve cash,
maintain a sufficient level of activity so you can ramp-up efforts
quickly, retain your key innovators, and tap the pulse of the changing
dynamics of the mkt.
innovation  rethinking  lessons_learned  recessions  Michael_McDerment  counterintuitive  CEOs  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  economic_downturn  orthodoxy  conventional_wisdom  breakthroughs  new_products  de-risking  cost-cutting  new_categories  undervalued  incrementalism  marginal_improvements  experimentation  moonshots 
february 2009 by jerryking
Despite Cutbacks, Firms Invest in Developing Leaders - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 9, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | By DANA MATTIOLI.
Despite layoffs and recession-starved budgets, many employers are
investing in leadership-development programs, hoping not to be caught
short of strong managers when the economy recovers.
human_capital  Canon  corporate_universities  leadership_development  Freshbooks  cost-cutting  Dana_Mattioli 
february 2009 by jerryking
Best CEOs Braved a Brutal Year - WSJ.com
WSJ article with a a para on Pepsi cost cutting.
Jaya  marketing  pepsi  cost-cutting  CEOs 
december 2008 by jerryking

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