The total number of U.S. breweries reached a record level in 2015, according to a year-end review from the Brewers Association - the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers. As of the end of November, there are now 4,144 breweries in the country, topping the historic high of 4,131 breweries in 1873.
A new online service called PriceLocal aims to level the playing field and let local retailers price-match items and provide same day availability. PriceLocal was developed by a former Borders executive, Matt Chosid, as a way for smaller merchants to compete.
Firms that employ low-risk innovative initiatives produce valuable returns, while the most adept companies with a more aggressive innovation profile grow more quickly, says a survey by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) and CPA firm Cherry Bekaert LLP.
To profit- indeed, to survive - in 2015 and beyond, companies must not just adopt new, unanticipated and more decentralized forms of digitization and technological innovation, but must use them to reshape their business models. These advances are rapidly changing the commercial environment, inside and outside companies, but many business leaders are still unprepared for them.
Analyst Insight: Sales and operations planning (S&OP) has been evolving for over three decades; its most recent iteration is Integrated Business Planning (IBP). While many companies struggle to derive full value from S&OP/IBP, those that excel at it have gone beyond simply balancing supply and demand. Their IBP processes support better, faster and more profit-focused decisions and liberate untapped profit potential at key points in the supply chain. – Jim Snyder, Managing Director, and Brad Householder, Partner, PwC Advisory Practice
Analyst Insight: Optimization. It sounds simple enough, but when was the last time you thoroughly reviewed your supply chain, and more specifically, the transportation network and associated cost structure for complete optimization? Optimization has many spokes, yet the goal is to improve service and reduce costs. For many companies this awareness is event-driven, occurring only when something negatively impacts the supply chain such as congestion at ports or anywhere along the transportation network, supplier issues, or an imbalance in inventory. – John Haber, President & CEO, Spend Management Experts
Analyst Insight: Companies spent over $400bn on external management consultants in 2013 with a majority on strategy development and implementation. This figure shows companies struggle to develop and retain strategy as a skill in the talent toolbox. As a pioneer of process engineering and continuous improvement, supply chain has already proven to be an organization that can break complex problems down into simple, repeatable steps. It's now our turn to do the same with strategy. – Matt Davis, SVP Research at SCM World