The latest in retailer loyalty programs is here. Chains like Starbucks and Gap are increasingly tracking and rewarding customers who show up at their locations and check in via smartphone apps and social networking sites. Customers are offered real-time promotions on the spot based on their shopping habits and loyalty to the stores and/or brands. In theory, these kinds of retail promotions allow everyone to win; in reality, there is another story.Read More
By Robert Whitehair, Ph.D.Read More
More than ever, supply chain functional or line of business teams have been frustrated by their increasing needs for broader and more-timely business intelligence (BI). The reasons are many and in increasing cases, very valid. But more than ever, teams should now be turning their attention towards leveraging processes and technology anchored in prescriptive analytics.Read More
This blog post concludes our fifth post in our series on algorithms, mathematical optimization and business. Here, we’ll tie together how algorithms and mathematical optimization can both be leveraged together to generate unforeseen value into businesses.
(In case you missed them, here are parts one through four: "What is an Algorithm," "Defining Mathematical Optimization," "Algorithmic Business as the New 'It' Term in Business," and "The Importance of Mathematical Optimization in Modern Business.")Read More
In part four of our 5-part series on mathematical optimization, algorithms and business, we discuss the applicability of mathematical optimization in the business world and its ever-increasing importance. (Click here if you missed part three, Gartner's validation of algorithmic business as the new "it" word.)
It makes sense to incorporate expansion as part of your business model. Without continuous expansion, a business will likely stagnate and implode over time. A business that does not expand — rather, it maintains a steady rate of return — will be overtaken by things like inflation or other modes of economic flux. There's a real momentum to business, and should that be stilted, the push required to "get the ball rolling" again is often costlier than simply abandoning the failed venture. Naturally, any means of ensuring expansion will be sought.Read More
The key to increasing profitability is to identify which processes in your operations are or may become bottlenecks in the flow of work. Bottlenecks in business are the points where potential changes can have the most dramatic impact on the bottom line. While non-bottlenecks are important to consider from a cost accumulation standpoint, the majority of a manager’s focus should remain on the bottlenecks.Read More
First things first: what is a decision support system (also referred to as a DSS)? In short, it's a computer solution using decision logic and statistical data to help managers and operation planners overcome strategic deficiencies to implement streamlined, efficient solutions. DSS systems can be entirely optimized via computer, entirely human-powered or a hybrid of both.Read More
Gartner estimates that the majority of all Business Intelligence (BI) projects fail to meet their desired goals. In today’s data centric world, this is terrifying the majority of businesses. Ask any executive if they think BI is important, and nearly all will agree it is. However, most businesses still fail to unlock the potential gains from the insights in their information, even after investing loads of resources into BI solutions.
Terrified is the correct reaction to this, as the deciding factor between successful companies and ones that fail in the next several decades will, to a large degree, be determined by their ability to utilize analytics to optimize their business flows. Companies unable to do this simply won't be able to compete with the ones who are.Read More