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jerryking : intermediaries   11

Food Distributors Make Changes as Costs Bite
Nov. 23, 2018 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

Food distributors, the intermediaries between packaged-food makers and farmers on one side and restaurants and grocers on the other, are especially sensitive to cost pressures. Their operations are less automated than those of some other businesses, increasing their exposure to the worker shortages and rising wages that come with a tight labor market. Surging demand is also pushing up the cost of for-hire transportation.

To adapt to rising logistics and shipping expenses, distributors say they are shifting some deliveries to smaller trucks that don’t need full rig loads. They are also trying to pack trucks more efficiently and break down delivery routes to make them shorter. Some distributors are also turning to online brokers, like the Freight unit of Uber Technologies Inc., that use technology to match cargo with available trucks, a process some say is faster and more efficient.
foodservice  Sysco  streamlining  intermediaries  cold_storage 
november 2018 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
A Middleman Who Doesn't Feel Squeezed by China
September 15, 2005 | New York Times |By JAMES FLANIGAN

Henry Fan expects growth from acquiring distressed apparel firms and gaining the size and strength to withstand the risks of supplying big retail companies even at the low prices that Chinese imports are dictating....Fan says he believes he can continue to compete by using the expertise he gained in the worlds of technology and finance to build an international supply network to handle the growing trade.

"We have overseas offices in Hong Kong and in many parts of China as well as Bangladesh and Thailand," he said. "We can design products here or overseas and ship them anywhere; we can tackle the job in numerous ways." In short, he wants to make Basic Elements a central part of the new supply equation of Chinese factories and American retailers.
intermediaries  Chinese  China  apparel  competitive_advantage  strategy  supply_chains  middlemen  economic_clout  Hong_Kong  Bangladesh  Thailand  roll_ups 
october 2011 by jerryking
Lunch Catered by Internet Middlemen - NYTimes.com
By DAMON DARLIN
September 24, 2011

San Francisco-based Cater2.me, delivers food from carts and small
restaurants to businesses that aren’t big enough to afford their own
chefs. The Web was supposedly eliminating the need for the layers of
brokers, agents, wholesalers & even retailers that separate the
consumer from the producer.

That has happened in some instances, e.g. drastically reducing the role
of travel agents. But consumers still need help and the Web has provided
the tools & the environment for companies like cater2.me to
flourish. It has made it easier for middlemen to reach consumers and
made it remarkably easy and inexpensive for these middlemen to create
companies to do just that.

While there has been a lot of talk about how the technology industry
does not create jobs on the scale of traditional manufacturing — a
shrunken GM still employs more people than a thriving Google — the
Internet has made it a lot easier to create a broad array of new small
businesses.
intermediaries  San_Francisco  disintermediation  5BO  delivery  food_trucks  middlemen  small_business  travel_agents  new_businesses  inexpensive 
september 2011 by jerryking

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