The Challenge of Technological Debt

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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.

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Desiderata and the Media – Part 2

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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.

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Don’t clean your dirty shelves

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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?

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WEN – White Elephant Network

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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.”

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Do you really need training?

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Training attracts no controversy. On the contrary, people see it as a necessary activity, believing that it improves productivity and empowers employees. Almost ritualistically, many organisations invest in training, while the media routinely portrays it as an important factor in securing Australia’s economic future.

Yet, no one could argue that all training delivers the same value. Furthermore, have you ever considered that in some circumstances training could actually harm your business?

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We Don’t Deliver on Fridays

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Some years ago a small brewery in the UK became increasingly successful. The manager of the local supermarket called them to arrange for an additional delivery on Fridays, because the beer had become so popular that it sold out by Saturday each week.

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The Enigma of Quality

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Has it occurred to you to look at today’s digitally connected world as a living organism? Internet links can be viewed as synapses connecting this global nervous system, where each person plugged into it behaves like a sensory or a neuron cell. Internet storage then acts as memory.

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Why the Retail Mantra of “Can I help you?” Lost Its Power

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Recently, I walked into a retail outlet and, while pondering upon a product, a sales assistant approached me and uttered the magic words, “can I help you?”

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