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jerryking : pilot_programs   21

America’s Biggest Supermarket Company Struggles With Online Grocery Upheaval
April 21, 2019 | WSJ | By Heather Haddon.

Kroger adjusts operations and invests in technology to hang on to customers who avoid stores; ‘we’ve got to get our butts in gear
Amazon  bricks-and-mortar  BOPIS  CDO  cultural_clash  delivery_services  digital_strategies  disruption  e-commerce  e-grocery  grocery  IBM  Instacart  Jet  Kroger  Microsoft  millennials  Ocado  Oracle  pilot_programs  post-deal_integration  retailers  same-day  Shipt  start_ups  supermarkets  Vitacost  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods 
april 2019 by jerryking
Want to See What’s Up Amazon’s Sleeve? Take a Tour of Seattle
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Karen Weise.

Amazon uses Seattle as a living laboratory, trying out new retail and logistics models.

Some trials never leave the city. But others, like the use of independent contractors to deliver packages, have found their ways to the rest of the country and abroad. The pilots point to a company, with ambitions that at times can seem boundless, investing deeply in figuring out its physical footprint and how to provide convenience at a lower cost.....In 2015 when Amazon first tested the Treasure Truck, a decorated vehicle that drives around and sells a daily deal like smart watches or plant-based burger patties, it delayed the public debut at least twice before finally going live. .....
Amazon  Amazon_Books  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Go  bookstores  business_models  cashierless  experimentation  new_businesses  Seattle  pilot_programs  product_returns  delivery_services 
september 2018 by jerryking
Globe editorial: A little transit miracle grows on King Street - The Globe and Mail
'Make no little plans," goes architect Daniel Burnman's oft quoted line. "They have no magic to stir men's blood."

A three-kilometre stretch of King Street, which runs through the heart of downtown and is home to the busiest streetcar route in the city, has been redesigned to give public transit priority. For decades, streetcars have been slowed to a walking pace at rush hour, held up by a crush of cars. As of a week ago, however, cars are being severely restricted on King, and must turn right off of the newly transit-centric street at every intersection. Under the one-year pilot project, only streetcars can use the downtown stretch of King as a thoroughfare.

The aim is to greatly speed up the King streetcar, which carries 65,000 passengers a day. That's more people than any above-ground transit route in the city, roughly as many as the 500 buses of the provincial GO Transit's entire suburban bus system, and more than the Toronto Transit Commission's Sheppard subway. (The Sheppard line was one of those Big Plans that never made sense based on ridership or economics, but which got built anyhow because it had the magic to stir the blood of well-connected politicians.)

The cost of this big change on one of the busiest transit routes in the city? Small. Instead of being measured in billions of dollars and decades of construction, it involved the exorbitant expense of trucking in a few concrete barriers, changing a handful of road signs and buying some yellow paint. Construction period? Counted in days. This in a city used to endlessly debating big, transformative transit solutions that, if they could get funded, would arrive around the time one of Jagmeet Singh's grandchildren is elected prime minister.

For example, look at the so-called Downtown Relief Line. It's a badly needed subway expansion that has been under consideration for more than half a century. Politicians, who have repeatedly shelved the DRL because it will do a better job of serving passengers than voters, have recently rediscovered it, and feasibility studies are once again moving forward. But even under the most optimistic timetable – and assuming Toronto, Queen's Park and Ottawa find the money to pay for it – it's still at least a decade and a half away from completion.

Meanwhile, between a Friday night and a Monday morning, King Street was transformed from a run-of-the-mill road into the country's newest public transit thru-way.

But beyond King Street, politicians and promoters continue searching for the biggest of big transit ideas for the GTA. For example, the provincial Liberals continue to push ahead with planning a $21-billion (before cost overruns) high-speed rail line between Toronto and Windsor. And the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, the quango that runs Pearson International Airport, is pushing the idea of making itself the region's second public-transit hub, a move it estimates will cost $11.2-billion. The concept, however questionable its value to most GTA commuters, aims to excite the new Canada Infrastructure Bank, while pleasing 905-region voters and the politicians who woo them.

The challenge is that much of the GTA is too low density to support high-intensity public transit. The two big exceptions are routes running from the periphery to the compact employment area of downtown Toronto, and transit within the central parts of Toronto, which are dense enough to allow many people to live car-free.
Toronto  commuting  traffic_congestion  pilot_programs  TTC  transit  editorials  DRL  GTA  density  HSR  GTAA  hubs  Pearson_International  YYZ  King_Street  Queen’s_Park 
november 2017 by jerryking
Pentagon Turns to High-Speed Traders to Fortify Markets Against Cyberattack
Oct. 15, 2017 7| WSJ | By Alexander Osipovich.

"What it would be like if a malicious actor wanted to cause havoc on U.S. financial markets?".....Dozens of high-speed traders and others from Wall Street are helping the Pentagon study how hackers could unleash chaos in the U.S. financial system. The Department of Defense’s research arm, DARPA, over the past year and a half has consulted executives at high-frequency trading firms and quantitative hedge funds, and people from exchanges and other financial companies, participants in the discussions said. Officials described the effort, the Financial Markets Vulnerabilities Project, as an early-stage pilot project aimed at identifying market vulnerabilities.

Among the potential scenarios: Hackers could cripple a widely used payroll system; they could inject false information into stock-data feeds, sending trading algorithms out of whack; or they could flood the stock market with fake sell orders and trigger a market crash......Among potential targets that could appeal to hackers given their broad reach are credit-card companies, payment processors and payroll companies such as ADP, which handles the paychecks for one in six U.S. workers, participants said.....The goal of Darpa’s project is to develop a simulation of U.S. markets, which could be used to test scenarios, Such software would need to model complex, interrelated markets—not just stocks but also markets such as futures—as well as the behavior of automated trading systems operating within them....Many quantitative trading firms already do something similar.......
In 2009, military experts took part in a two-day war game exploring a “global financial war” involving China and Russia, according to “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis,” a 2011 book by James Rickards. ....“Our charge at Darpa is to think far out,” he said. “It’s not ‘What is the attack today?’ but ‘What are the vectors of attack 20 years from now?’”
Pentagon  financial_markets  financial_system  vulnerabilities  DARPA  traders  hedge_funds  Wall_Street  hackers  books  rogue_actors  scenario-planning  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  cyberattacks  high-frequency_trading  pilot_programs  contagions 
october 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
Amazon Plans to Launch Prime Now Service in Canada This Year - WSJ
By David George-Cosh
Updated Aug. 31, 2017
Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 1.34% is working on plans to roll out its one- and two-hour membership delivery service into Canada later this year, a move that marks a broader push into the country by the Seattle-based retailer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Amazon could begin offering its Prime Now service in Vancouver and Toronto in November and January, respectively, under a pilot program that will deliver groceries and other items within a two-hour window, ......Grocery spending in Canada is approximately worth C$103 billion, but just 1.9% of that is spent online, according to Nielsen Co. Online grocery shopping is expected to grow to 5.3% of total spending by 2020, accounting for C$6 billion in sales, Nielsen said.

Any further entry by Amazon into the Canadian grocery-delivery space is expected to weigh on companies such as Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Empire Co. Ltd. as well as the domestic arms of stores such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. , which all have explored shipping online grocery orders to Canadian doorsteps.......Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, which costs U.S. customers $14.99 on top of annual Prime membership, is not yet available in Canada......it’s unlikely that Amazon will be able to create a comparable temperature-reliant supply chain in Canada for some time. “Amazon is not able to match the Canadian grocers in terms of procurement scale,”
Amazon  Canada  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Prime  pilot_programs  memberships  subscriptions  retailers  cold_storage  same-day 
september 2017 by jerryking
Harvard Law, Moving to Diversify Applicant Pool, Will Accept GRE Scores - The New York Times
By ELIZABETH OLSON MARCH 8, 2017

Harvard Law School, moving to open its doors to a larger, more diverse pool of applicants, said on Wednesday that it would accept the graduate record examination, known as the GRE, for the admission of students entering its fall 2018 class.

The law school, whose alumni include senators, chief executives, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and President Barack Obama, is the second accredited law school in the United States to accept the GRE for admission. It follows the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, which made the change a year ago.

At the time, Arizona’s decision provoked a heated debate in the legal profession, which has long supported the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, over whether that test should be relied on as a single valid predictor of law school success.

Since Arizona’s move, around 150 law school deans, including Martha Minow of Harvard Law, have expressed support for the change. Now Harvard Law is taking the same step. The school said it would start a pilot program in the fall, when students begin submitting applications for the three-year juris doctor program that begins in 2018.

The change “will encourage more students in the United States and internationally from a greater degree of disciplines to apply,” said Jessica Soban, assistant dean and chief admissions officer. Applicants who want to can still submit LSAT scores.
Harvard  law_schools  diversity  applicants  standardized_testing  HLS  pilot_programs 
march 2017 by jerryking
BlackRock to Push Wall Street Chat Tool - WSJ
By JUSTIN BAER and SARAH KROUSE
June 23, 2016

At Goldman Sachs Group Inc., a Symphony investor that contributed its own messaging developments to the platform, the service is now used by most of the firm’s employees across all of its businesses, according to a person familiar with the situation. Goldman traders, for instance, use Symphony to communicate with back-office employees charged with settling trades.

Elsewhere, though, Symphony remains little used or, in some cases, virtually unknown.

Of about a dozen employees reached at financial firms that have invested in the service, some were only aware of small-scale pilot programs in specific corners of their trading floors.

The lack of broader takeup has sown doubts that Symphony would become an alternative to Bloomberg’s multipronged service that costs financial firms $22,000 to $25,000 per employee a year. After attracting bankers and investors to its chat service, Symphony aims to pipe in data, news and other tools, coming closer to the array of functions Bloomberg provides. Symphony charges companies $15 a month per user for the chat service.
BlackRock  messaging  Symphony  Bloomberg  Goldman_Sachs  pilot_programs  traders  back-office  small-scale  chat  Communicating_&_Connecting 
june 2016 by jerryking
Hit the Ground Running--Or Else the perils of a new job
March 6, 2000 | Fortune Magazine | By Dan Ciampa.

What's the main reason people from the outside fail?

They don't read the culture of the place that they're joining.

Is that why you say a new person needs to be a cultural anthropologist?

Yes. In general, I think the most effective way to read the culture is to look at the artifacts--that's what an anthropologist does. What does it say that people greet you the way they do? What does it say that meetings are run the way they are? There are some organizations that eschew meetings. Well, that says something about what works and what doesn't in that culture, and it says something about the skills of the people who survive there.

What if you've been brought in to make change?

It's important to understand what you're going to change before you change it. I'd say that even if the board or the chairman has brought you in because of what you've done in the past, there's a lot that you don't know. And the degree to which you find those things out is a function of people's trusting you. The only way you can do that is by not coming in as though you're Attila the Hun--not coming in as though you have the answer--but rather coming in and asking more questions than making declarative statements, especially in the first several weeks. ....on day one you have a plan to make sure that the first 30 days are really successful.
first90days  outsiders  Michael_Watkins  failure  questions  pilot_programs  alliances  hiring  anthropologists  anthropology  unknowns  organizational_culture  change  change_agents  artifacts  cultural_anthropology 
december 2012 by jerryking
Immigrants Make Up Big, But Ignored, Niche
Nov 2002 | American Banker | Davenport, Todd Davenport.

Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among the banking companies that now let Mexican immigrants open bank accounts with a matricula consular, a form of basic identification offered by the Mexican consulate. Bank of America's pilot program to accept the matricula was so well received that it extended the program to all states on June 1. "The word is definitely out there among the immigrant communities," said Gillian Breidenbach, a spokeswoman for the Charlotte company.

Wells Fargo said it has opened 60,000 accounts since it started accepting the matricula a year ago. It now recognizes a similar card from the Guatemalan consulate and is "in conversations with other Latin American countries" to expand the program, said Wells spokeswoman Miriam Galicia Duarte. The San Francisco company is also talking with officials in the Philippines about the program, she said

The programs are popular, but it may be too early to say if they are profitable. Maintaining low-balance accounts is a costly proposition for a bank, and the means to recoup those expenses could deter consumers. Checking accounts with limited transactions, perhaps tied to a remittance product, could be a solution. Banks apparently need to be creative (in providing services) and patient.
immigrants  remittances  ProQuest  Mexican  niches  underserved  unbanked  pilot_programs 
june 2012 by jerryking
Climate Feedback: A new adaptation tool: climate insurance : Climate Feedback
22 Jul 2009 | 15:54 BST | Posted by Jeff Tollefson.

climate insurance is by no means a magic bullet. But clearly the tools of modern finance could certainly help make poor nations prepare for and respond to all manner of natural disasters big and small.

We explore some of these ideas in this week’s issue of Nature, taking a quick look at how the insurance debate is playing out in the ongoing United Nations climate talks. The upshot is that some kind of insurance mechanism is likely to make it into whatever climate deal is struck in Copenhagen and beyond.

One commonly cited option is index insurance, which is tied to things like rainfall that can be measured objectively. This cuts down on costs by eliminating the need for audits and investigations. In the case of something like crop insurance, moreover, it could put money in the hands of farmers immediately after the rains fail – and before the hunger sets in....Today these programs are being paid for largely by the farmers and nations buying the insurance, but industrialized nations would likely subsidize any insurance program deployed as part of an international climate agreement. The logic is that extreme weather variations – including droughts and heavy storms – are likely to increase in a warmer world, which means that both costs and premiums will rise as well.

A key challenge moving forward is how to scale up programs that benefit the world’s poorest farmers and communities. Dan Osgood, a researcher at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society, points out the pilot programs that are under way today have generally been deployed in areas where information – regarding weather, crops and the like – is available. This means it will only get more difficult moving forward....Osgood says the insurance question could also increase pressure on scientists and insurance companies to tease out the long-term impacts of global warming at very local scales.
insurance  crop_insurance  climate_change  natural_calamities  data  farming  poverty  hyperlocal  indices  microtargeting  audits  pilot_programs 
april 2012 by jerryking
How Smartphones and Handheld Computers Are Bringing on an Educational Revolution
April 1, 2010 | Fast Company | By: Anya Kamenetz

The U.S. Department of Education has earmarked $5 billion in competitive
school-reform grants to scale up pilot programs and evaluate best
practices of all kinds. Major foundations are specifically zeroing in on
handhelds for preschool and the primary grades. "Young kids and
multisensor-touch computing are a huge area of innovation," says Phoenix
Wang, the head of a startup philanthropic venture fund called Startl --
funded by the Gates, MacArthur, and Hewlett foundations -- that's
entirely focused on educational investing. For Pat Condon
education  mobile_phones  mobile_applications  pilot_programs  smartphones  revolution  teaching  learning  Anya_Kamenetz 
july 2011 by jerryking
"Advertising on video screens in high schools worries critics."
13 Oct. 2009 | Globe & Mail | : by John Lorinc. A plan to
install digital information screens in Toronto high schools is stirring
concerns about whether the school board is poised to sell advertising to
a captive audience of students.

The Toronto District School Board has asked prospective vendors to
submit proposals for a "digital signage" pilot project that includes a
"self-funded solution ... with an opportunity to generate revenue."

The 48-page request for proposals indicates that the supplier of video
signs would have the right to sell space on them to cover equipment and
operating costs. The request, which was posted on a public-sector
tendering website for two weeks in late September, states that if a
pilot in a handful of downtown Toronto schools is successful, the
project could be rolled out in high schools across the city, reaching
thousands of teens.
John_Lorinc  advertising  TDSB  digital_signage  pilot_programs 
june 2011 by jerryking
Diverse Views on What Women Want in Our Economy — Letters to the Editor - WSJ.com
April 18, 2011 | WSJ | letter to the editor by Pamela J. Tarchinski. Clearly, actor Geena Davis has made great strides in raising awareness of the need for increasing the diversity of female roles in entertainment ("Life Imitates Art: Geena Davis on how gender inequality on TV and in movies has a powerful impact on kids," The Journal Report on Women in the Economy, April 11).

If I were Ms. Davis, I would invite the entertainment world's top 100 women players to dip into their considerable discretionary incomes and back a production company, then hire from the vast pool of existing female talent: writers, producers, directors, actors and crew. Buy up and develop some scripts and pilots. Over the next 10 years, bring to fruition some 20 projects, big and small movies, TV, radio and Internet.
Like the big boys do.
letters_to_the_editor  women  glass_ceilings  pilot_programs  diversity  entertainment_industry  movies  television  writers  actors 
april 2011 by jerryking
Virtual you
Jan 1998 | Inc. Vol. 20, Iss. 1; pg. 84, 2 pgs | by Joshua
Macht . For years large companies have poured millions into employee
education and in-house corporate universities. But small companies have
been at a disadvantage. Distance learning with new technologies is
gaining credibility. However, it takes more than a modem to make
distance learning work. Not all distance-learning models are predicated
on complete isolation, though. Pat Schramm participates in a Wisconsin
distance-education pilot program that also has live class meetings once
every other month in 72 sites around the state.
corporate_universities  Freshbooks  pilot_programs  executive_education  distance_education  size  small_business  large_companies  in-house 
november 2009 by jerryking
Law Opens Up 'Encore' Careers - WSJ.com
APRIL 2, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by KELLY GREENE

a pilot project under way in California called Encore Fellows. This
yearlong program is designed to help people who have finished, or are
nearing the end of, their primary careers formally move into the
nonprofit sector.
Second_Acts  economic_downturn  nonprofit  retirement  pilot_programs 
april 2009 by jerryking
News: Will that be cash or cellphone?
Simon Avery column on Canadian pilot testing consumer's willingness to use mobile phones as method of payment.
mobile_phones  payments  Simon_Avery  pilot_programs 
january 2009 by jerryking

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