Teaching professors to code

0408_CodeCleaning_Blog_1100x600

A new industry is emerging solely to repair the amateurish, yet often commercially useful software, routinely produced by academics.

The phenomenon has become so widespread that it caught the attention of The Economist, which recently published an article, titled “Of more than academic interest”, shedding light on the issue.

continue reading

Higher GST: an early warning for retailers

0301_GST_Blog_1100x600

It appears inevitable that sooner or later the GST rate in Australia will increase, despite the current disjointed and highly politicised tax debate.

When this happens, who will be hit the hardest? Which social-economic group will lose the most when the GST rate gets hiked to 15 per cent?

continue reading

The darkest place is under the candlestick

Malls_Blog_1100x600

For years now, industry experts and the media have debated the percentage of retail turnover that will ultimately end up online.

The growth of internet sales continues to exceed that of brick and mortar sales. Today, retailers derive somewhere between 1 and 5 per cent of their turnover from online sales.

continue reading

Don’t Leave Your Post

work-on-business-blog

On 15 July 1410, the Polish-Lithuanian coalition scored a decisive victory over the Teutonic Order in the battle of Grunwald. Many factors contributed to this outcome, which set the wheels in motion for the ultimate demise of the Order.

However, one element stands out: the Polish king controlled his army from a command post on a hill. In contrast, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights fought with his troops on the battlefield – the Order gained a great and committed soldier, but they lost a general.

continue reading

The Challenge of Technological Debt

TechDebt_Blog_1100x600

Retailers often use the term ‘technological debt’ when their systems become increasingly misaligned with their business. The term implies that their IT foundation suffers from missing functionality, poor speed, low data accuracy, and inability to access information in real-time. Retailers then start thinking that they need to introduce a new system, or add more parts to the existing one.

continue reading

Desiderata and the Media – Part 2

Desiderata_Blog_1100x600

In Part 1, I quoted Max Ehrmann’s poem Desiderata, where he counseled us to “Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.” In the article I focused on the relentless flow of misinformation, and even disinformation, which retailers must deal with in the age of universal digital media – advising them to be cautious about believing and acting upon what they see in the news.

continue reading

Don’t clean your dirty shelves

TQM Shelves_Blog_1100x600

In the early 1990s I worked at McEwans, which later morphed into Bunnings. To learn more about the business and how it operates, I would help out every Saturday on the shop floor at a branch located near where I lived.

One Saturday, I noticed dirt on the shelves in the paint department. My initial reaction was to clean them myself, but then it occurred to me: what if other stores have the same problem?

continue reading

WEN – White Elephant Network

Elephant_Blog_1100x600

In its mid-September issue of ‘Boss’ insert magazine The Australian Financial Review wrote about NBN and its CEO Bill Morrow. In one of the opening paragraphs the author of the feature, Joanne Gray, said that Morrow “tries to ensure the country’s biggest single infrastructure project since the Snowy Mountains hydroelectric scheme does not turn into a $50 billion white elephant.”

continue reading
1 2 3 4 5 7