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jerryking : post-deal_integration   11

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
Every Company Is Now a Tech Company
Dec. 4, 2018 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.

There was a time when the primary role of leaders at most companies was management. The technology required to do the work of a company could be bought or siloed in an “IT department,” treated more as a cost center than a source of competitive advantage.

But now we’ve entered a period of upheaval, driven by connectivity, artificial intelligence and automation. The changes affect the world of business so profoundly that every company is now a tech company. But now companies born before the first internet bubble also must realize they can no longer function as non-tech businesses......The question is, how does a non-tech company become a tech company quickly? Increasingly, the answer is bringing tech talent into the highest executive ranks, adding deeply knowledgeable and indispensable “technical co-founders” long after the company was founded......To put it another way: When faced with a competitor like Amazon, do you do as Walmart did, and invest heavily in tech firms and technical knowledge? Or do you go the way of Sears…into bankruptcy court?

In August 2016, Walmart announced it would acquire e-commerce startup Jet.com for $3.3 billion, the largest ever deal of an old-line bricks-and-mortar company buying an e-commerce company. The acquisition was about a transfusion of new minds as much as Jet’s technology, which was far ahead of Walmart’s online operation at the time....Mr. Lore is now chief of e-commerce at Walmart......Walmart’s e-commerce business revenue grew 43% in the last quarter alone....Wal-Mart is successfully pursuing a “second-mover strategy” against Amazon....Things don’t always go this smoothly. In fact, when well-established companies acquire tech-savvy startups in order to bring aboard engineers and executives--acqui-hires-- it’s usually a disaster.....Within the first three years after an acquisition, 60% of employees at a startup leave......That rate of turnover is twice that of employees hired the old-fashioned way. What’s worse, the employees who leave tend to be the most aggressive and entrepreneurial—and more likely to launch a competing startup.....For large companies stuck between the rock of disruption and the hard place of acquiring startups that can’t hold on to key employees, what’s to be done?[sounds like a cultural clash] John Chambers, who was chief executive at Cisco for more than 20 years, where he oversaw 180 acquisitions, has some answers. In his new book, “Connecting the Dots,” Mr. Chambers outlines some rules. For one, corporate cultures should align. Also, it helps if the company you’re buying already has significant traction in the market..... it’s essential to promote the leaders of acquired companies into your own ranks. Mr. Chamber’s rule at Cisco was that a third of the company’s leaders should be promoted from within, a third should be recruited from outside, and a third should come from acquisitions. .......As the competitive landscape continues to change and technology becomes ever more essential to how business is done, investments that might have seemed too risky a few years ago now may sometimes turn out to be the best path to survival.
acquihires  artificial_intelligence  automation  Amazon  books  Christopher_Mims  connecting_the_dots  CTOs  Cisco  cultural_clash  digital_savvy  e-commerce  Jet  John_Chambers  large_companies  post-deal_integration  reinvention  silo_mentality  technology  Wal-Mart 
december 2018 by jerryking
Global shipping boss charts course through troubled waters
August 14, 2017 | Financial Times | by Richard Milne.

When AP Moller-Maersk came under cyber attack this year, chief executive Soren Skou was presented with a very basic problem: how to contact anyone. The June attack was so devastating that the Danish conglomerate shut down all its IT systems. The attack hit Maersk hard. Its container ships stood still at sea and its 76 port terminals around the world ground to a halt. ...Skou had no intuitive idea on how to move forward....Skou was “at a loss”, but he decided to do three things quickly.
(1) “I got deep in.” He participated in all crisis calls and meetings. “To begin with, I was just trying to find out what was happening. It was important to be visible, and take some decisions,” he says. Maersk is a conglomerate, so IT workers needed to know whether to get a system working for its oil business or container shipping line first.
(2) He focused on internal and external communication. Maersk sent out daily updates detailing which ports were open and closed; which booking systems were running and more. It also constructed a makeshift booking service from scratch.
(3)Skou says he made sure frontline staff in the 130 countries it operates in were able to “do what you think is right to serve the customer — don’t wait for the HQ, we’ll accept the cost”.

He says that he has learnt there is no way to prevent an attack. But in future, the company must “isolate an attack quicker and restore systems quicker”. He adds that Maersk will now approach its annual risk management exercises in a different spirit. “Until you have experienced something like this — people call them ‘black swan’ events — you don’t realize just what can happen, just how serious it can be.”

Danish conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk is planning to expand into transport and logistics ...

....Mr Skou’s plan for Maersk is about shrinking the company to grow — a “counterintuitive” approach, he concedes. Maersk’s revenues have stagnated since the global financial crisis and the solution has been to jettison what has often been its main provider of profits, the oil business.

In its place, Mr Skou has already placed his bet on consolidation in the shipping industry.....His real push is in bringing together the container shipping, port terminals, and freight forwarding businesses so as to make it “as simple to send a container from one end of the world to the other as it is to send a parcel with FedEx or UPS”. That requires quite a cultural shift in a group where independence was previously prized.....Another priority is to digitalise the group. “It is pretty messy,” Mr Skou says cheerfully. Unlike most businesses selling to consumers who offer few possibilities to change much, almost everything is up for negotiation between Maersk and its business customers — from delivery time, destination, cost, speed, and so on. “It’s easy to talk about digitalising things; it’s quite difficult to do in a B2B environment. It’s hard to digitalise that complexity,”
crisis  crisis_management  malware  cyber_security  cyberattacks  conglomerates  black_swan  improbables  CEOs  Denmark  Danish  IT  information_systems  think_threes  post-deal_integration  internal_communications  counterintuitive  digitalization  shipping  ports  containers  Maersk 
august 2017 by jerryking
Amazon and Whole Foods: What’s Next? - WSJ
By Laura Stevens
Updated Aug. 10,

The deal poses risks for Amazon.

Change Whole Foods too little, and the company continues to struggle with inefficiencies. Too much change, and it bleeds loyal customers and staff, potentially prolonging a same-store sales decline.

A look back at Amazon’s track record shows it is largely hands-off with its acquisitions, except in some cases where it has bought a company for scale or to remove a rival.
Amazon  Whole_Foods  post-deal_integration 
august 2017 by jerryking
For Non-Tech Companies, if You Can’t Build It, Buy a Start-Up - The New York Times
By LESLIE PICKER JAN. 2, 2017

Last year, the number of technology companies sold to non-tech companies surpassed those acquired by tech companies for the first time since the internet era began, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding private equity buyers, 682 tech companies were purchased by a company in an industry other than technology, while 655 were acquired by tech companies....Non-tech chief executives have been found mingling at technology conferences, trying to spot their next potential target. ....One major shift as to why non-tech executives are becoming more active in tech deal making is that they have become more comfortable with the technology itself.....The next challenge for many of these companies might be in integrating their tech start-ups with the main business.

When traditional companies acquired small technology companies, they typically would place them in a “digital division” separate from the rest of the company.

That too needs to change, according to Aryeh Bourkoff, the founder and chief executive of the investment bank LionTree.

“Technology should not be a division of a company, it should be integrated into every division,” he said.
acquihires  brands  Fortune_500  GE  Honeywell  large_companies  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  post-deal_integration  start_ups 
january 2017 by jerryking
The incredible shrinking retail sector - The Globe and Mail
BARRIE McKENNA
The incredible shrinking retail sector
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 12 2015

Entire categories of products are moving online, making many bricks-and-mortar stores redundant. Video and book stores are all but gone. Office supply, electronics and department stores are in retreat. A future without auto showrooms and movie theatres may be coming.

The era of the big-box store has peaked as city dwellers move back downtown, where space is at a premium.
Barrie_McKenna  retailers  size  mergers_&_acquisitions  downsizing  small_spaces  grocery  supermarkets  pharmacies  proximity  convenience_stores  store_footprints  post-deal_integration  bricks-and-mortar  consolidation  distribution_channels  Target  Wal-Mart  Loblaws  competitive_landscape  e-commerce  fresh_produce  perishables  big-box  supply_chains 
february 2015 by jerryking
Loblaw’s big bet on thinking small - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 16 2013 | G&M | SUSAN KRASHINSKY AND JOSH KERR.
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
The push into the small-format direction is driven by changing consumer habits, as demands on time force consumers to look for more one-stop shopping solutions in their neighbourhoods, without having to drive to bigger retailers. The convenience store industry has already responded by attempting to alter its down-market image and offering more fresh foods. Loblaw has integrated pharmacies, as well as health and beauty products, into its locations. And along with Shoppers, drugstores have increasingly been selling everything from digital cameras and iPods to milk and dry goods, household items, and expanded beauty products.

This not only helps those retailers to market themselves to busy, younger urban shoppers, but it also addresses Canada’s aging population. Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, and prefer to stick closer to home when running errands, Mr. Tyghe observed. “It’s very much about proximity and convenience.”

While the new general store model has worked for Shoppers – the price per share of Loblaw’s offer represents a 27-per-cent premium to Shoppers’ closing price a day before the announcement – there is room for Shoppers to improve in its food offerings, said Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival. The challenge, he said, will be to augment that section with some of Loblaw’s products without disrupting the overall shopping experience.

“They have to be very careful with the Shoppers Drug Mart model – a lot of allegiance there,” Mr. Stephens said.

Ultimately, the advantages for Shoppers stem from the buying power the chain inherits, which will allow it to provide whatever product mix works for changing consumer habits at a lower cost.

The “buying clout and synergies” Shoppers would gain post-acquisition will prompt competitors to find ways to match these benefits, said Kevin Grier, a senior market analyst at the George Morris Centre
big_bets  buying_power  convenience_stores  digital_cameras  downsizing  grocery  Loblaws  mergers_&_acquisitions  one-stop_shop  pharmacies  post-deal_integration  proximity  retailers  Shoppers  size  small_spaces  store_footprints  supermarkets  supply_chains  Susan_Krashinsky  synergies  time-strapped 
august 2013 by jerryking
Learn 'Languages' And You'll Always Land on Your Feet - WSJ.com
October 21, 1997|WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

Lesson 1: Learn as many "languages" as possible. Through all this, he learned the value of being a business linguist. He spoke fluent finance, law, investor relations, marketing and brand management.

"It helps your credibility when you can speak the language of other functions," he says.

Lesson 2: Build bridges to other functions.

During his six years at Allied, Mr. Simon had to deal with issues involving the company's toxic-waste cleanups. "We had all these Superfund sites and I had to learn about every one of them," he says.

So he sought out experts in other departments. "I worked a lot with people in strategic planning," he says.

He believed all areas of corporate communications -- media, investor, employee, community -- should be unified, so he spurned job offers that would pigeonhole him and sought training that would broaden him.

Lesson 3: Sometimes you've got to go down to move up.

In 1987, Mr. Simon joined Inspiration Resources, a mining company looking to create a combined media and investor-relations department. "I traded way down in size, but it was a chance to develop more broadly," he says. "It's easier to be a Goliath, but you learn a lot more with the Davids."

Lesson 4: Differentiate yourself by articulating your own philosophy.

When headhunters called, Mr. Simon would discuss the needs of the job, and often recommend someone for the post, even if he wasn't interested himself.

Lesson 5: Don't freeze in the midst of chaos -- act.

Within a year, the banking company was acquired by Fleet Bank and many Natwest people "gave up," Mr. Simon says. But he prepared a three-page summary on public-relations issues confronting the combined banks and requested a meeting with Fleet's vice chairman. The result: He was invited to join the integration team and his employment was extended a year.
action-oriented  advice  bias_for_action  bridge-builders  chaos  creating_valuable_content  crisis  crisis_management  contingency_planning  first_movers  Hal_Lancaster  immobilize  indispensable  lessons_learned  Managing_Your_Career  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  next_play  paralyze  post-deal_integration  rules_of_the_game  stress_response 
december 2012 by jerryking
Settling the Landscape After Merging Firms - WSJ.com
April 15, 2003 | WSJ | Paulette Thomas.

THE PROBLEM: A merger, intended to open new sales opportunities, introduces a host of unexpected hurdles.

Steve Thomas thought he'd hit upon a perfect solution to his marketing problem. His company sold enterprise software -- for multiple users within a company -- for corporate training. But the Columbus, Ohio-based Pathlore Software Corp. couldn't break into the top tier of companies. The $5 million business had about 200 smallish customers. "We would jokingly call ourselves "the quiet company," because no one had ever heard of us," he says.

So he pursued a merger with another company, coveting its big, fat client list. Silton-Bookman Systems in Cupertino, Calif., also sold software used for corporate training, but it was a modest, PC-based product. It had 2,000 customers, including most of the Fortune 100. Its owners quickly agreed to terms. So in late 1999, while other software companies were plotting IPOs, and primping for venture capitalists, they combined in a lowly stock-swap, with Pathlore taking the controlling position.

Happy ending, right? Pathlore would sell its more sophisticated, big ticket product using the entrée provided by Silton-Bookman's gold-plated client list.

Except that their sales teams were utterly incompatible. Pathlore's sales people were accustomed to meeting with top executives to pitch their $1 million product face-to-face, with a sale typically requiring 12 months of courting. Silton-Bookman's salespeople worked by phone, selling its $10,000 software using a methodical step-by-step program. Retraining was unsuccessful. Some of the Silton-Bookman sales team left in frustration, and some went to new Pathlore jobs.

Tech support was a challenge, too. Pathlore's product required lots of time on the phone with its customers, working through the challenges of its sprawling, Web-accessed product. Silton-Bookman tech support addressed fast, easy-to-solve problems at high volume.

"Sometimes you don't know what the issues are going to be until you get in," says Mr. Thomas. "We struggled."

THE SOLUTION: Playing to the strengths of the component companies.

In order to bolster the old Pathlore sales team, it raised $10 million in venture capital for new hires and training. With the new client list in place, aggressive spending for new sales hires -- with experience -- made sense.

Pathlore split up other tasks among the two companies. Its tech support staff -- newly trained to deal with both products -- moved to Columbus, where tech labor is cheaper and less prone to turnover. It put its product development team and marketing staff in Cupertino to take advantage of the deep reservoir of Silicon Valley talent. Sales -- now requiring about six months -- have reached $26 million, and they are profitable.

THE LESSON: Even the most straightforward mergers present unforeseen challenges. Expect surprises and stay flexible.

-- Paulette Thomas
mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  problems  incompatibilities  tech_support  venture_capital  lessons_learned  post-deal_integration  consolidation 
may 2012 by jerryking
Tarnished Brands at Bargain Prices: Will the Tech Sector's Latest Growth Strategy Pay Off?
June 09, 2010 | Knowledge@Wharton | Anonymous. "...The big
difference between what's happening in the tech sector and a traditional
leveraged buyout is that there is little to no debt involved in the
recent tech deals." ..."The challenge for the acquirers is that they
have to integrate their targets and then create a new market or product
category. "
growth  strategy  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  technology  fallen_angels  post-deal_integration  tarnished_brands  turnarounds  new_products  new_categories 
june 2010 by jerryking

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