Most companies go through some form of portfolio planning, whether they use that term or not, says Eric Symon, principal with Digital Tempus. He defines it as a strategic effort to determine "what products you're going to sell to whom, and what businesses you're going to invest in." The model can help businesses to understand which products are growing in demand, and which need to be phased out.
One night last January, Mark Shields was home in his kitchen making hummus, listening to This American Life, WBEZ's popular syndicated radio show. He was streaming the podcast on his Mac laptop via Apple's AirPort technology, which turned out to be an appropriate platform for listening to the episode, given that the subject was Apple itself.
There has been a recent renewal of interest in collaboration among supply-chain partners, according to Ann Grackin, chief executive officer of ChainLink Research. Reasons include a greater reliance on outsourcing and the general trend of globalization of trade. Yet another element is the desire to draw on sophisticated technology, including video, teleconferencing and social networks, to link all players throughout the chain. With such factors in mind, says Grackin, "you need working relationships with trading partners to be successful."
Zonar Systems has added fuel as an additional dimension to its suite of tools for electronic fleet inspection, tracking and operations management. Up to now, Zonar's vehicle telematics platforms have utilized four dimensions - latitude, longitude, time and odometer - of global positioning system (GPS) reporting.
The "cloud" can be a difficult concept to grasp, given the various definitions it has been assigned by software vendors and users. Greg Johnsen, executive vice president of marketing and sales with GT Nexus, calls it "an information replica of the physical supply chain." Cloud-based technology provides one place where managers can go to monitor critical supply-chain events. When an element is updated, "everybody gets the information."
If a customer slips and falls in a large box store and then decides to sue the store, it would certainly be appropriate for the retailer to examine the videotapes relating to the slip and fall, see whether the customer did - in fact - fall, observe how that person was behaving before the fall and afterward, and determine what the condition of the floor was at the time of the incident.