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Top 46 Resource And Optimization Influencers (Plus A Few Others)

Jen Cohen Crompton

resource and optimizationFACT: According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, around a third of all the food produced in the world ends up being wasted somewhere along the production and consumption line.

FACT: Around the world, there are 884 million people who lack access to fresh water; by 2040, at least 3.5 billion people will run short of water.

FACT: The population living in urban areas is projected to increase from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion in 2050. Our environment is changing, and so must the way we do business.

These facts about our changing landscape affects all of us in one way or another, and they all point to one commonality – we need to learn how to optimize our resources for more efficient and effective management to ensure the sustainability of businesses, the economy, and the environment.

As companies realize this urgent call to action, they are working to more properly manage their supply chains to reduce waste and improve efficiency, and looking at sustainability and corporate social responsibility to limit, or reverse, the negative effects on resources.

Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of influencers who can share thoughts and insights on how the world is changing and what we can do to support positive change for businesses and for the greater good.

Here is a list of 46 influencers in supply chain management and sustainability, and 10 companies providing useful information. Enjoy!

Supply chain management influencers

1. Kevin O’Meara – Kevin has over 20 yeasr of experience with logistics and supply chain operations. He enjoys working with all things logistical and supply chain-related and has a special passion for alternative energy.

Twitter: @Logisticsexpert – Website: http://10xlogistics.blogspot.com/

2. Jeff Ashcroft – Jeff is a marketing, supply chain, and retail logistics specialist. He is an agent for green, RFID, social and airships.

Twitter: @JeffAshcroft – Website: scigroup.com

3. Steve Brady – Steve is a professor and has his PhD in supply chain. He is a consultant in areas of inventory, collaborative SCM, and space logistics

Twitter: @SCMProfessor – Website: http://theprofessornotes.com/

4. Sherrie Miller – Sherrie has an MBA and degrees in supply chain management and management information systems, and is interested in strategy, innovation, CRM, and BPM.

Twitter: @SupplyChainSher – Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/sherriemiller

5. Martin Murray – Martin is an author and About.com expert for logistics and supply chain.

Twitter: @AboutLogistics  – Website: logistics.about.com

6. Brian Hamrock – Brian is a supply chain industry expert, consultant, and social media guru.

Twitter: @scmtechtrends – Website: N/A

7. Dave Meyer – Dave is a senior environmental heath and safety advisor. He is an experienced sustainable business practitioner, advocating for sustainability and supply chain management.

Twitter: @DRMeyer1 – Website: valuestream2009.wordpress.com

8. Dave Inglis – Dave is all about providing practical supply chain management, process mapping, and business improvement.

Twitter: @SCMDude – Website: louisvilleconsult.co.uk

9. Cheryl Berklich – Cheryl has expertise in building top-performing, world-class procurement operations. She has a proven track record of driving dynamic cost reductions and productivity in expense and capital operations for small, mid-size, Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 settings.

Twitter: @cherylberklich – Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cherylberklich

10. Dustin Mattison – Dustin is an education innovator, social entrepreneur, teacher, and writer. He is interested in building knowledge platforms that create unique learning environments and interviews supply chain experts for the Kinaxis Supply Chain Expert Community.

Twitter: @dustinmattison – Webite: http://dustinmattison.com/

11. Matt Wilkerson – Matt is a supply chain, operations, and technology transformation leader.

Twitter:@SupplyChainIT – Website: synthesis-advisory.com

12. Mike Stay – Mike is a general manager with experience in leader operations, supply chain, and logistics.

Twitter: @MikeStay – Website: linkedin.com/in/mikestay

13. Tony Colwell – Tony is an executive interim manager and consultant in procurement, supply chain, and change management. He is passionate about stakeholder engagement and effective process.

Twitter: @tonycolwell – Website: acuityconsultants.com/wp/

14. Lisa Ellram – Lisa is a supply chain researcher, educator, and professional interested in sustainability, value enhancement, cost management, and offshoring/outsourcing.

Twitter: @SupplyChainLisa – Website: N/A

15. Paul Snell – Paul is a procurement and supply chain journalist at Supply Management and Supply Business.

Twitter: @procurementpaul – Website: supplymanagement.com

16. Lisa Anderson – Lisa is a supply chain expert and business consultant who helps manufacturers and distributors elevate business performance.

Twitter: @LisaAndersonLMA – Website: lma-consultinggroup.com  

17. Kenneth Kowal – Kenneth focuses on supply chain logistics, ecommerce order fulfillment, and social media. He has worked with hundreds of companies, from lone entrepreneurs with a vision to Fortune 100 companies, on virtually every aspect of their logistics supply chain.

Twitter: @kennethkowal – Website: logisticsbi.com

18. Randy McClure – Randy is advancing transportation and supply chain management through IT innovation. His current focus is to help shippers and transportation carriers achieve 100 percent on-time delivery and leverage 100 percent of transportation costs.

Twitter: @mcislog

19. Mark Gavoor – Mark is a supply chain and quality consultant, writer, speaker, and professor.

Twitter: @mgavoor – Website: http://cr-supplychain.com

20. Tom Napier – Tom focuses on discussing supply chain management, innovation, logistics, and project management ideas.

Twitter: @Tom_Napier – Website:  PSIengineering.com

21. Paul Baris – Paul is a supply chain guru and senior executive, involved with purchasing, distribution, forecasting, and transportation. He is a supply chain transformer and problem-solver with extensive experience driving results and changing cultures.

Twitter: @scguru – Website: N/A

Sustainability Influencers:

22. Marc Gunther – Marc is a writer and speaker on business and sustainability, editor-at-large Guardian Sustainable Business Us, and a contributor at Fortune.

Twitter: @MarcGunther – Website: marcgunther.com

23. Jim McClelland – Jim is a sustainable futurist, writer, and speaker. As a journalist, he  has written supplements to The Times, and has been quoted in The Guardian, Telegraph and Sunday Times.

Twitter: @SustMeme – Website: jimtheeditor.wordpress.com

24. Andrew Winston – Andrew is a globally recognized business consultant-speaker-writer, hoping to change minds. He is an author Green to Gold, Green Recovery, and The Big Pivot.

Twitter: @AndrewWinston – Website: andrewwinston.com

25. John Elkington – John is the co-founder of Volans, an environmental and sustainability data service. He wrote 18 books and blogs at Volans, CSRWire, and Guardian.

Twitter: @volansjohn – Website: volans.com

26. Chris Price – Chris is a young profession and entrepreneur in LA who is deep into everything green and sustainable.

Twitter: @ahtohg – Website: N/A

27. Dave Stangis – VP Public Affairs/CR for the Campbell’s CSR Foundation. He has experience in working across all levels of public corporations (Board of Directors to front lines), non-profit agencies, and with policymakers.

Twitter: @DaveStangis – Website: campbellsoupcompany.com/csr

28. Hunter Lovins – Hunter is a social entrepreneur who consults to large corporations, small businesses, communities, and dozens of nations around the world. She was named the 2008 Sustainability Pioneer by the European financial community for her 30 years of work framing the sustainability movement. She is also the Millennium TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet.

Twitter: @hlovis – Website: natcapsolutions.org

29. Jeffrey D. Sachs – Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the author of To Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace.

Twitter: @JeffDSachs – Website: jeffsachs.org

30. Jo Confino – Jo is an executive editor of the Guardian, chairman and editorial director of Guadian Sustainable Business, and advisor to Guardian Media Group.

Twitter: @joconfino – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/profile/joconfino

31. Christian Figueres – Christian is an executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and her passion is fighting climate change.

Twitter: @CFigueres – Website: unfccc.int

32. John Friedman – John Friedman is an award-winning communications professional and internationally recognized sustainability expert with more than 20 years of experience in internal and external communications, and a decade in corporate responsibility and sustainability. He currently works within Sodexo Corporate Responsibility Communications and is a Huffington Post blogger.

Twitter: @JohnFriedman – Website: huffingtonpost.com/john-friedman

33. Leon Kaye – Leon has over 2500 articles published on The Guardian, Triple Pundit, Inhabitat and Earth911 since 2009. He has insight on issues including environmental sustainability, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, water stewardship, and clean energy.

Twitter: @LeonKaye – Website:  greengopost.com

34. Tim Mohin – Tim is an author of Changing Business from the Inside Out. He is the director of Corporate Responsibility at AMD and has worked in CSR at Apple and Intel, and in policy at EPA and the Senate.

Twitter: @TimMohinAMD – Website: http://www.amd.com/us/aboutamd/corporate-information/corporate-responsibility/Pages/information.aspx

35. William McDonough – William is a designer, advisor, and co-author of Cradle to Cradle. He is a TIME Magazine Hero of the Planet who is changing the design of the world.

Twitter: @billmcdonough – Website: mcdonough.com

36. David Quilty – David is the founder of the daily environmental web magazine, The Good Human, and developed it into a well-respected and widely-sourced “green” brand. 

Twitter: @thegoodhuman – Website: thegoodhuman.com

37. Mike Barry – Mike is the director of Sustainable Business Marks and Spencer. He was voted Sustainable Business innovator of the year in 2011 and is leading the Plan A journey.

Twitter: @planamikebarry – Website: https://twitter.com/planamikebarry

38. Ramon Arratia – Ramon is the Sustainability Director for Interface EMEAI. He is an author of the book, Full Product Transparency and is avidly campaigning for radical sustainability.

Twitter: @RamonArratia – Website: interfacecutthefluff.com

39. Peter Gleick – Peter is the President of Pacific Institute. He is a climate/water scientist and a member of the National Academy of Science.

Twitter: @PeterGleick – Website: gleick.com

40. Sally Uren – Sally is the CEO of Forum For The Future. She is on a mission to create a sustainable future and focuses on sustainable business, sustainable food, and change.

Twitter: @sallyuren – Website: forumforthefuture.org

41. Stephanie Moram – Stephanie is an educational environmental lifestyle blogger and social media consultant. She is a freelance writer for ecosnobberysucks.com and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Good Girl Gone Green.

Twitter: @GGirlGGreen – Website:  ecosnobberysucks.com

42. Alexandra Michalko – Alexandra is a CSR/sustainability professional (currently at REI) with a decade of experience in the private and nonprofit sectors across industries. She has an MBA and a Master of Environmental Management with concentrations in strategy, environmental economics, and social entrepreneurship.

Twitter: @AlexRMichalko – Website: sustainablevalue.wordpress.com

43. Cindy Hoots – Cindy is a believer that a company’s true character is revealed by what it does when no one is watching. She is engaging stakeholders through their CSR initiative and sustainability issues.

Twitter: @ethicalbiz – Website: N/A

44. Beth Terry – Beth is attempting to live plastic-free and blogging all about it since 2007. She is advocating for the movement that we all could lead a plastic-free life.

Twitter: @PlasticfreeBeth – Website: myplasticfreelife.com

45. Steve R – Steve is all about sustainability – social responsibility, corporate and personal responsibility, energy, housing, and food and water conservation.

Twitter: @SustainablSteve – Website: N/A

46. Sarah Wechsberg – Sarah is a foodie, entrepreneur and vegan. She is passionate about sustainable business and a sustainable food system.

Twitter: @TheEcofoodie – Website: N/A

…and here are some companies to follow for supply chain management

Supply Chain Network – Supply Chain Network is a network developed to connect supply chain and logistics professionals to the people and information they need.

Twitter: @SupplyChainNtwk – Website: http://www.supplychainnetwork.com

Inbound Logistics – Inbound Logistics is an educational and supply chain resource for businesses seeking to better match demand to supply, and orient operations to support that shift.

Twitter: @ILMagazine – Website: http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/index.php

SupplyChainToday.com – Supply Chain Today offers social and business information relating to innovation, collaboration, and strategy.

Twitter: @SupplyChainBlog – Website: http://www.supplychaintoday.com/ 

Supply Chain Digest – Supply Chain offers supply chain related news and insights.

Twitter: @scdigest – Website: http://www.scdigest.com/

Supply Chain Management Revieve (SCMR) – SCMR is a magazine with content geared toward supply chain management professionals.

Twitter: @SCMR – Website: http://www.scmr.com/

Sustainability:

TreeHugger.com – Treehuggers shares links, ideas, and opens communication to foster conversations about all things green.

Twitter: @TreeHugger – Website: http://www.treehugger.com/

HuffPost Green – Huffington Post Green features the latest news on energy, environment, animals, and plenty more “green” content.

Twitter: @HuffPostGreen – Website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/green/

Guardian Environment – The Guardian Environment offers green news, commentary, and more.

Twitter: @guardianeco – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/environment

Grist – Grist is an online new organization that uses humor to interpret green issues with the overall goal of inspiring environmental action.

Twitter: @grist – Website: http://grist.org/

Sustainable Business – Sustainable Business is the global voice for cutting edge sustainability comment, debate, and expert insight.

Twitter: @GuardianSustBiz – Website: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business

————-

See other influencer lists

 

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About Jen Cohen Crompton

Jen Cohen Crompton is a SAP Blogging Correspondent reporting on big data, cloud computing, enterprise mobility, analytics, sports and tech, and anything else innovation-related. When she's not blogging, she can be caught marketing, using social media and/or presenting at conferences around the world. Disclosure: Jen is being compensated by SAP to produce a series of articles on the innovation topics covered on this site. The opinions reflected here are her own.

How Are Drones Influencing The Business World?

Mark Chesterman

Drones have long been viewed as little more than cool toys for adults (or at their worst, weapons of war). But people are now beginning to understand that drones can also be useful business tools.

How? They collect data, and data collection is big business. Collected efficiently and analyzed properly, the right data helps companies make good decisions faster than ever before.

Drones fill a perfect niche, easily accessing the airspace above the ground and below the clouds—that middle place that’s above surface of the earth but below airplanes and satellites. This perspective enables drones to scan, map, and record surfaces and objects in three dimensions with a level of clarity and detail never before possible.

Dronelife predicts that in 2017, companies will transition from exploring drones’ potential to implementing their use. Companies have already been purchasing drones to learn about their capabilities in the field. Now business owners are approaching developers with ideas about what drones can do for their companies.

Automated work processes

Automation is a primary area drones can be utilized. For example, instead of driving for hours to inspect crops, farmers can send a drone to take a look and record how things are progressing. Ranchers can check on their cows without riding the plains in search of them. Construction companies can keep an eye on construction sites and expensive equipment. Property inspectors and insurance agents can survey properties for damage or code violations.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, drones can be cost-effective as well. A job that may have previously taken up to six hours can now be done in one, freeing employees to work more efficiently. Such productivity gains will quickly offset the $2000-$3000 investment in the cost of a roof drone.

Employers and insurance companies are always looking for safer ways to perform difficult and dangerous tasks. A roof drone can safely inspect and record information on a damaged roof, for example, enabling the insurance inspector to analyze and report on recorded data from the safety of the office.

Disaster cleanup companies find drones very useful for estimating damage from flooding, rock slides, and other emergencies, guiding cleanup workers and helping them conduct rescues and repairs with minimal risk.

Better delivery and service

According to Business Insider, the drone industry will quickly change the way many companies do business. As an example, the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show was filled with quad-copters promising faster package delivery.

Emergency medical researchers have successfully tested an AED (automated external defibrillator), which can be quickly and efficiently dispatched via drone by 9-1-1 personnel to assist heart attack victims. The drone, which resembles a large spider, carries the AED in its body compartment. When the drone lands, the 9-1-1 caller (or others on the scene) simply follow voice commands issued by the unit to implement potential life-saving measures before the ambulance arrives.

Advertising tools

Drones are also changing the marketing industry. Since 2014, drones have been routinely used to display advertising banners. Since then, some restaurants have experimented with using them to serve food and for stunts such as hovering mistletoe over tables at Christmastime and displaying ads outside office building windows at lunchtime. Florists have dropped roses over city streets on Valentine’s Day. Many businesses agree that drones offer unique, innovative, and effective ways to advertise their products and services.

If a company needs an aerial photograph or a video of a major event, a manufactured prototype, or a new location site, a drone will do the job nicely without scaffolding or helicopters. Drones create stunning promotional photos and videos, while also showing the company as modern and innovative.

Regulatory concerns

Amidst the excitement, many companies are also taking a serious look at the insurance and liability aspects of drone flying. This quickly evolving issue has already resulted in insurance companies adding clauses to their contracts. Regulatory and safety concerns regarding drone use will undoubtedly cause many company owners to move cautiously.

Although few doubt that the commercial drone industry is poised for takeoff, many bugs still need to be worked out with the Federal Aviation Administration. The question of who has the right to use the air space above the earth has been a push-and-pull issue for decades.

To illustrate the importance of drone regulation, consider the recent Oroville Dam crisis, where government drones were used to monitor the erosion of the broken spillway ramp. Facing a seven- to ten-day window to clean the debris at the bottom of the ramp, government workers prohibited private drone owners, including media companies, from flying drones over the area. Any glitch in the cleanup timetable could have delayed the reactivation of the electric power plant downstream and caused the evacuation warning to remain in effect.

The quickly evolving nature of drone technology creates many questions about their commercial use and safety concerns. Recent crashes between drones and power lines and a highly publicized landing on the White House lawn put pressure on the FAA to develop a new set of regulations that will need to be updated frequently.

As entrepreneurs invent new ways for drones to impact the business world and society in general, companies will respond, using drones to reduce costs and increase safety and efficiency. As a bonus, the publicity that comes with innovative drone use could offer them a publicity boost.

For more on the role of drones in digital transformation, see Drones: Poised For Takeoff In The Digital Economy.

Image: Flickr

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About Mark Chesterman

Mark Chesterman is a drone enthusiast. He aspires to becoming a force to be reckoned with in this field. His passion for drones started after buying a simple quadcopter model and getting a passion for aerial photography. Mark recently started the Droneista project. The website offers useful advice for anyone who wants to learn how to choose a drone or how to fly with it. Also, Droneista focuses on extensive reviews.

Consumer-Driven Digital Enterprise: The Digital Future Of Consumer Products

Jim Cook

Across industries, there’s a lot of talk about how digital is rewriting the rules of engagement.

We are shown examples of how digital disruption is impacting almost every aspect of businesses – from reinventing business models to transforming business processes. Re-imagining a business platform is almost a requirement in today’s consumer-led and data-driven economy. (You know the businesses that are quoted in every article on digital.)

A key question here, though, is: whether the consumer products industry is indeed facing digital disruption, or does it really need deeper digital innovation? Disruption turns an industry on its head by offering consumers something that previously did not exist, while innovation enhances an existing value proposition – making it better, faster, or cheaper.

It is important to distinguish between the two, because hype often causes businesses to overlook the true value of digital transformation. Companies may presume such radical changes have nothing to do with them, especially if they are already in a dominant market position. So while digital is dramatically changing industries such as retail and healthcare, the disruption in the consumer product industry may not be as severe – not yet anyway. Instead, what consumer products businesses should focus on is how they can transform digitally to gain the capacity to build and grow “live brands.” This is preparation and not protectionism.

Create direct customer experiences: Secure the dominant market position

The digital age has fundamentally shifted customer and consumer expectations. Consumers increasingly value outcomes over products. To build ongoing engagement and loyalty, consumer products companies need to sense and engage consumers and customers in the moment, i.e. build “live brands” by seamlessly delivering highly personalized experiences – anytime, anywhere.

This ability to create direct customer experiences helps consumer products companies create a sharper competitive edge to secure dominant market positions. Leading consumer products companies know this well.

Red Bull sets a fine example in creating direct customer experiences to protect and strengthen its brand. Today, it has moved beyond a beverage company into a content media company spanning web, social, film, print, music, and TV – creating brand experiences of exhilaration and adventure. Red Bull collects data from every touch point that it has with the consumer, building an enhanced profile of every individual so that it can respond with products that consumers desire – whenever and how they want them.

Procter & Gamble recently launched an online, direct-to-consumer subscription business for its Tide Pods (its highest-priced laundry detergent). The service (currently only available in Atlanta), branded Tide On Demand, offers free shipping of Tide Pods at regular intervals. P&G has also been testing its delivery laundry service – Tide Spin – in Chicago. While the direct-to-consumer services may not form a bulk of its revenue, they allow P&G to quickly build a live understanding of its customers, their preferences and habits, and then hone in on these insights to create new offerings that customers want.

Build a real-time supply chain: Support lasting customer loyalty

As consumer products companies move towards sensing and engaging customers in the moment, they also need to ensure a fast and profitable response to dynamic demand.

This necessitates connecting customer insights that brand owners have collated and analyzed with supply chain insights to accelerate time to market. Ultimately, it is about transforming previously linear supply chains into customer-centric demand networks – where demand information is captured through new signals from various sources (such as retailers, wholesalers, sites like Amazon, directly from customers, or the Internet of Things) and fulfilled through the orchestration of a network of internal and external partners.

With that, consumer product companies can start getting answers to questions such as:

  • What are my short-, mid-, and long-term views of expected demand across channels?
  • How can I combine supply chain planning with strategic, financial, sales, and operational goals?
  • How can I extend planning by collaborating with customers, partners, and suppliers?
  • How can the company translate the plan into actionable targets for fulfillment systems?

All these should go full circle to help make manufacturing more responsive, optimizing capacity to help ensure availability of finished goods produced just-in-time to meet demand, thereby also lowering inventory costs.

Consumer products companies need to consider how they can create the digital future today. We invite you to learn more about digital transformation for the consumer products industry, where you will get access to valuable resources including whitepapers and customer case studies.

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Jim Cook

About Jim Cook

Jim Cook is the Industry Advisor for consumer industries in South East Asia, with over 20 years’ experience of IT and business consulting. He has held various roles from solution architect, project and program management, business development as well as managing an SAP partner organisation. Jim is passionate about transformation within consumer driven organisations. Jim is particular interested in customer engagement solutions and the value that can be achieved from end to end SAP deployments.

How Emotionally Aware Computing Can Bring Happiness to Your Organization

Christopher Koch


Do you feel me?

Just as once-novel voice recognition technology is now a ubiquitous part of human–machine relationships, so too could mood recognition technology (aka “affective computing”) soon pervade digital interactions.

Through the application of machine learning, Big Data inputs, image recognition, sensors, and in some cases robotics, artificially intelligent systems hunt for affective clues: widened eyes, quickened speech, and crossed arms, as well as heart rate or skin changes.




Emotions are big business

The global affective computing market is estimated to grow from just over US$9.3 billion a year in 2015 to more than $42.5 billion by 2020.

Source: “Affective Computing Market 2015 – Technology, Software, Hardware, Vertical, & Regional Forecasts to 2020 for the $42 Billion Industry” (Research and Markets, 2015)

Customer experience is the sweet spot

Forrester found that emotion was the number-one factor in determining customer loyalty in 17 out of the 18 industries it surveyed – far more important than the ease or effectiveness of customers’ interactions with a company.


Source: “You Can’t Afford to Overlook Your Customers’ Emotional Experience” (Forrester, 2015)


Humana gets an emotional clue

Source: “Artificial Intelligence Helps Humana Avoid Call Center Meltdowns” (The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2016)

Insurer Humana uses artificial intelligence software that can detect conversational cues to guide call-center workers through difficult customer calls. The system recognizes that a steady rise in the pitch of a customer’s voice or instances of agent and customer talking over one another are causes for concern.

The system has led to hard results: Humana says it has seen an 28% improvement in customer satisfaction, a 63% improvement in agent engagement, and a 6% improvement in first-contact resolution.


Spread happiness across the organization

Source: “Happiness and Productivity” (University of Warwick, February 10, 2014)

Employers could monitor employee moods to make organizational adjustments that increase productivity, effectiveness, and satisfaction. Happy employees are around 12% more productive.




Walking on emotional eggshells

Whether customers and employees will be comfortable having their emotions logged and broadcast by companies is an open question. Customers may find some uses of affective computing creepy or, worse, predatory. Be sure to get their permission.


Other limiting factors

The availability of the data required to infer a person’s emotional state is still limited. Further, it can be difficult to capture all the physical cues that may be relevant to an interaction, such as facial expression, tone of voice, or posture.



Get a head start


Discover the data

Companies should determine what inferences about mental states they want the system to make and how accurately those inferences can be made using the inputs available.


Work with IT

Involve IT and engineering groups to figure out the challenges of integrating with existing systems for collecting, assimilating, and analyzing large volumes of emotional data.


Consider the complexity

Some emotions may be more difficult to discern or respond to. Context is also key. An emotionally aware machine would need to respond differently to frustration in a user in an educational setting than to frustration in a user in a vehicle.

 


 

download arrowTo learn more about how affective computing can help your organization, read the feature story Empathy: The Killer App for Artificial Intelligence.


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About Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is the Editorial Director of the SAP Center for Business Insight. He is an experienced publishing professional, researcher, editor, and writer in business, technology, and B2B marketing. Share your thoughts with Chris on Twitter @Ckochster.

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In An Agile Environment, Revenue Models Are Flexible Too

Todd Wasserman

In 2012, Dollar Shave Club burst on the scene with a cheeky viral video that won praise for its creativity and marketing acumen. Less heralded at the time was the startup’s pricing model, which swapped traditional retail for subscriptions.

For as low as $1 a month (for five two-bladed cartridges), consumers got a package in the mail that saved them a trip to the pharmacy or grocery store. Dollar Shave Club received the ultimate vindication for the idea in 2016 when Unilever purchased the company for $1 billion.

As that example shows, new technology creates the possibility for new pricing models that can disrupt existing industries. The same phenomenon has occurred in software, in which the cloud and Web-based interfaces have ushered in Software as a Service (SaaS), which charges users on a monthly basis, like a utility, instead of the typical purchase-and-later-upgrade model.

Pricing, in other words, is a variable that can be used to disrupt industries. Other options include usage-based pricing and freemium.

Products as services, services as products

There are basically two ways that businesses can use pricing to disrupt the status quo: Turn products into services and turn services into products. Dollar Shave Club and SaaS are two examples of turning products into services.

Others include Amazon’s Dash, a bare-bones Internet of Things device that lets consumers reorder items ranging from Campbell’s Soup to Play-Doh. Another example is Rent the Runway, which rents high-end fashion items for a weekend rather than selling the items. Trunk Club offers a twist on this by sending items picked out by a stylist to users every month. Users pay for what they want and send back the rest.

The other option is productizing a service. Restaurant franchising is based on this model. While the restaurant offers food service to consumers, for entrepreneurs the franchise offers guidance and brand equity that can be condensed into a product format. For instance, a global HR firm called Littler has productized its offerings with Littler CaseSmart-Charges, which is designed for in-house attorneys and features software, project management tools, and access to flextime attorneys.

As that example shows, technology offers opportunities to try new revenue models. Another example is APIs, which have become a large source of revenue for companies. The monetization of APIs is often viewed as a side business that encompasses a wholly different pricing model that’s often engineered to create huge user bases with volume discounts.

Not a new idea

Though technology has opened up new vistas for businesses seeking alternate pricing models, Rajkumar Venkatesan, a marketing professor at University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, points out that this isn’t necessarily a new idea. For instance, King Gillette made his fortune in the early part of the 20th Century by realizing that a cheap shaving device would pave the way for a recurring revenue stream via replacement razor blades.

“The new variation was the Keurig,” said Venkatesan, referring to the coffee machine that relies on replaceable cartridges. “It has started becoming more prevalent in the last 10 years, but the fundamental model has been there.” For businesses, this can be an attractive model not only for the recurring revenue but also for the ability to cross-sell new goods to existing customers, Venkatesan said.

Another benefit to a subscription model is that it can also supply first-party data that companies can use to better understand and market to their customers. Some believe that Dollar Shave Club’s close relationship with its young male user base was one reason for Unilever’s purchase, for instance. In such a cut-throat market, such relationships can fetch a high price.

To learn more about how you can monetize disruption, watch this video overview of the new SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud.

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