Customer Satisfaction Is Down--What Can You Do Differently?
The following article is an excerpt from the Marsh report "Customer Centricity in the 21st Century: A Framework for Analyzing Strategic Risks and Opportunities."

For the most part, the ultimate customer--the end consumer--isn't happy with his or her experience. The annual assessment from the University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index for 2007 shows that overall satisfaction with retailers is down to 77 (from 81 in 2006) out of a score of 100. While it is interesting to contrast between who fared best (Amazon.com) and worst (Wal-Mart), the fact remains that the expectations gap is growing across the board.

To close the customer expectations gap,...
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Inventory Optimization: Balancing the Asset versus Service Tradeoff: Office Depot Case Study
APQC's consortium best-practice study and report, Inventory Optimization: Balancing the Asset versus Service Tradeoff, discusses how leading organizations deal with the conflicting pressures to reduce inventory investments, become more cost effective, and provide top-notch customer service at the same time.

The study focused on:...
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An Insider's Guide: FMCG Retailer Strategies for 2008
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers are on a demand-driven mission, aligning business strategies and technology initiatives to better serve customers profitably. To help guide those efforts, AMR Research offers the following strategies for 2008 that FMCG retailers will need to meet their goals

Master data management (MDM) is a business processes and its technology components that ensure information about business objects (such as customers, products, employees, and suppliers) is current, consistent, clean, and accurate when used inside or exchanged outside the enterprise.

MDM is the foundation for...
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Online Retailer Zappos.com Implements Kiva Systems Mobile Fulfillment System
Kiva Systems, active in development of mobile solutions for the distribution and order fulfillment industry, says that online retailer Zappos.com intends to install a Kiva Mobile Fulfillment System at one of the company's distribution centers. Zappos plans to use Kiva's ItemFetch split-case picking system and OrderFetch shipping sorter at its Shepherdsville, Ky., facility to store, move and sort a variety of products, including shoes, apparel and accessories.
Zappos.com currently stocks more than 3 million shoes, handbags, apparel items and accessories from over 1,000 brands in warehouse space totaling 905,000 square feet.
"Zappos needed a material handling solution that was...
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Most Wal-Mart Suppliers Yet to Get on RFID Bandwagon

Five years ago, when Wal-Mart Stores issued a startling mandate that its suppliers must adopt radio frequency identification technology, Daisy Brand Inc. quickly volunteered to be first out of the gate.
Today, the family-owned dairy products supplier is fully compliant with those Wal-Mart requirements, tagging every pallet that leaves its warehouses. The effort has been...
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Retailers, Your World Just Turned Upside Down
Amazon is getting into a new text business: text messaging. The online retail giant is rolling out its TextBuyIt service, in which people can send keywords from their cell phone to Amazon via text message and receive search results back, including prices. If they want to purchase an item, a subsequent response will...
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