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Smarter Commerce | July 30, 2014

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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Glorified Cash Registers? Not so fast…

December 29, 2011 |

Fresh off receiving $1.2M in seed capital, Rajeev Viswanathan, CEO of Own, a San Francisco via Detroit start-up, had the following to say: “Point of sale systems have under-served retailers because, until now, they’ve simply been glorified cash registers. There’s massive potential in equipping these owners and managers with real-time insights about who is in their store, what customers are saying and what they’re buying.

Viswanathan is right, up to a point. Many retailers simply let tills be tills, collecting tender for scanned items, for a a variety of reasons: some lack the application functionality to do much more; others worry about slowing down queues; others see point-of-sale (POS) as falling outside the consumers moment of purchase. The upshot is that most POS punch below their weight, and often sit idle – think of the last time you walked into a Target or Walmart or hypermarket during slow hours, greeted by the blink and hum of POS terminals waiting for the rush.

Recent IBM innovation helps to alleviate these concerns and break the tradeoff between always-ready, high-availability POS and a flexible point of service.

Not surprising, we got a little help from our friends. Friends who see nearly 2 million people visit their stores each week. Read More

Special Sneak Peek Alert: Watch first-ever IBM Smarter Commerce commercial before it airs

December 27, 2011 | | 3 Comments

On January 1, 2012, IBM will unveil its first TV commercial for Smarter Commerce during the ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown and on January 2nd during the Fiesta Bowl. But in the spirit of the holidays (and because we think it’s …

Supplier Management – Top of Mind for Some (but is it core to their procurement function?)

December 20, 2011 |

I recently had the opportunity to observe an excellent Procurement Leaders executive roundtable in London which Emptoris sponsored.

Held in the sublime surroundings of the recently refurbished Savoy Hotel, 11 leading CPOs from diverse industries and iconic global brands, came …

Join us at NRF in New York- Jan 15-18

December 20, 2011 |

If you are attending the retail industry’s largest conference, the NRF show in New York, stop by and visit us.  Within the IBM booth, we will be highlighting how our supply chain products can help you re-design your supply …

Mid-December: How Online Retail Sales Are Shaping Up

December 19, 2011 | | One Comment

Here we are, December 19th. Just five business days until the Christmas weekend. And everyone wants to know how online retail is doing.

The answer is that consumers are out shopping in force (at least online). Consider that …

Smarter Commerce Continues Momentum with Emptoris Acquisition

December 15, 2011 |

What a year! As 2011 comes to a close, I’m reminded again of the power customers hold in reshaping businesses around the world. The era of mobile and social networks has changed the commerce equation, shifting control from the seller to the buyer. Smarter Commerce helps businesses adapt to and capitalize on these changes.

At IBM we launched Smarter Commerce in March 2011 and throughout the year have helped many companies take a customer-centric approach to commerce. Along the way, we created a market and delivered a new portfolio of solutions and services to automate sourcing, marketing, sales and fulfillment. We have introduced a wide range of capabilities for cloud analytics, e-commerce, social business and supply chain planning and execution. In September, we kicked off our first Smarter Commerce Global Summit, with hundreds of clients and partners including keynote addresses by Sears Holdings Corporation and Whirlpool Corporation and other clients presenting their best practices in Smarter Commerce including David’s Bridal, Inc., GuideWell, HP Hood LLC, Kramp, True Value Co., and xpedx.

Our objective since the beginning was to help empower line-of-business leaders such as chief marketing officers (CMOs)as well as business and IT leaders. To that end, we conducted a global survey of CMOs and unveiled their needs, challenges and aspirations in October.

Just a week ago, we added the cloud analytics-based pricing, promotion and merchandising capabilities of DemandTec to our Smarter Commerce repertoire to assist customers in their marketing and sales functions. Read More

New Analytics Software Makes Smarter Supply Chain Network Decisions

December 14, 2011 |

As companies seek to achieve smarter commerce and put their customers at the center of their commerce processes, one of the primary challenges they face is dealing with complicated and extended supply chains.  With the complexity and volatility of today’s supply chains, companies are turning to supply chain analytics to optimize their networks on a more frequent basis.

To help clients with this challenge, IBM is leading the industry again in supply chain analytics with its latest release of the IBM ILOG LogicNet Plus XE supply chain design solution.  This solution provides powerful optimization and scenario analytics to determine optimal supply chain configurations, sourcing strategies and production plans.  It takes into account all cost and constraint variables, whether manufacturing, transportation or warehousing, across multiple tiers of even the most complex networks.

The new release introduces the industry’s first multi-objective optimization technology; enabling companies to gain a much deeper understanding of the trade-offs between conflicting objectives within their supply chain. This breakthrough in network modeling capabilities is achieved through complex mathematical capabilities. The new solution can move from single to two-dimensional analysis allowing companies to gain more insight and develop better business plans by directly balancing critical objectives. Read More

Using technology to understand unique on-line shopping markets

December 12, 2011 |

Understanding your consumer’s on-line shopping behavior is essential in the new age of the empowered customer. Culture, geography and demographics contribute significantly to on-line shopping behavior. Smarter Commerce helps you understand your market and serve it better.

To embrace Smarter Commerce, a company must evaluate whether its business practices are tailored to the customer’s needs. For instance, if you want to expand your online store into the Canadian market, what would be the unique key factors that attract customers to buy from you? As an avid on-line shopper living in Canada, I’ve shared below my personal expectations around on-line shopping to clarify some misconceptions that could aid in a successful e-commerce launch in Canada.

Let’s start with the basics, what do you know about Canadians?
First, an estimated 75 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles of the border (that is 161 kilometers in Canadian-speak). A strong Canadian dollar coupled with natural bargain-hunting instincts means Canadian shoppers are willing to hop in their cars and drive across the border to get the best price. The U.S. has a larger population, which results in greater product selection and cheaper prices (and don’t forget lower taxes). Read More

De-Risking the Supply Chain – Thoughts for 2012

December 9, 2011 |

At the CSCMP conference in Philadelphia recently, we spoke about what companies can do to “de-risk” their supply chains.   In the following video, Stephen Dean of Ryder and I spoke to Supply Chain Brain magazine about this topic.   The chief …

IBM to Acquire DemandTec, Inc.

December 8, 2011 |

Today IBM announced its intent to acquire DemandTec, Inc., one of the leaders in cloud-based pricing, promotion, and merchandising analytics. This deal, which is of course subject to DemandTec shareholder approval and all of the usual closing conditions, will …