Industries

100 articles

Making the Case for Technology Investments

Short-term calculations often imperil long-term growth.
Jess Szmajda | Optoro

Retail executives are no strangers to the annual “technology freeze,” a temporary hold placed on new investments, security tools or IT projects in preparation for the peak shopping – and returning – season. And while some industry experts say it’s a smart way to avoid rocking the boat during the industry’s busiest time, others argue that it […]

Reimagining Business: How to Cater to the Customer of the Future

Customers want to be empowered. To do that, companies must move from producers to enablers.
John Marshall | Lippincott

Dan Clay | Lippincott

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs onto a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she […]

4 Factors Driving the ‘Age of the Consumer’

The origins of e-commerce lie in the distant past. Its future, however, is ripe for disruption.
Derek Banta | UPS

Malcom McLean, a trucker from North Carolina, isn’t a household name – but you have certainly benefited from his innovation. Today’s global economy would not be possible without the intermodal shipping container, or the box, pioneered by McLean. This box helped standardize ocean shipping, shrunk the world of commerce and enabled global trade by reducing […]

Retail Revival: Can Stores Make a Comeback?

Physical retailers have distinct advantages that can spur business growth – as long as they evolve with their customers.

Though several major retailers have filed for bankruptcy protection this year and others have closed thousands of stores, all seemingly at the hands of online commerce, reports of the death of retail are greatly exaggerated. In fact, research shows that the industry is booming and that stores still matter. Recent data from the U.S. Census […]

Why Business in Asia is Changing

As the region continues to evolve, it's time to make way for a new generation of Asian entrepreneurs.

With the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam this week, it’s worth reflecting on just how much has changed since the first APEC meeting in 1989. The days of Asia’s “Tiger Economies” are fading into the rear-view mirror. While the rapid rise of Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea have largely […]

Cognitive Computing Redefines Vehicle Safety

The auto industry is transforming the driver and passenger experience.
Ben Stanley | IBM

My first car was a ’65 Chevy Impala, which I bought from my uncle. The engine was in bad shape so within the first week, I swapped it out with one I bought from the local junkyard. It was a pretty simple car – manual transmission, manual windows and locks, no air and an AM/FM […]

IoT in Manufacturing: Voices From the Field

How the Internet of Things is changing the way manufacturers work.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a transformative movement in technology, particularly in manufacturing. IoT in manufacturing applies the concept of connected devices to power smart manufacturing. To find out how IoT is affecting manufacturing organizations, we interviewed several industry leaders who see how IoT is changing their operations – and how they are preparing […]

How Cognitive Computing Is Reshaping Retail

The old retail playbook is no longer an option. Luckily, digital consumers are leaving clues for us to follow.
Andrew Busby | Retail Reflections

Cognitive computing is forever changing how we shop. How? Consider your social media activity. What did you post on Facebook this week? Twitter? Snapchat? You are sharing your one-of-a-kind digital footprint with the world through images, videos and chats that detail likes, dislikes, emotions and opinions. Retailers know they can “distinguish themselves by providing value […]

Learning to Walk

Here are five lessons forward-looking companies can learn from my infant daughter.
Sean O'Brien | UPS

As my 1-year-old daughter begins her journey toward mobility, she teaches me something new every day – and not just on the need to block the stairs and pad the fireplace. In the new global e-economy, companies and professionals are scrambling to respond to the infancy of this new order of commerce. From company boardrooms […]

4 Things Distributors Can Learn From Retailers

Industrial distributors would be wise to take a page out of retail history.
Kelly Brock | UPS

Several years ago, retailers stood at a crossroads: With e-commerce and shifting demographics disrupting the once-storied retail business model, they could either adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Now distributors find themselves in the same position: They face the most profound business model shift in decades. Generations of businesses have relied on industrial distributors to ensure […]

Digging Deeper With Omnichannel Analytics

What if retailers could do even more with all the data they collect?

Where do you do your shopping? If you’re like me, you’re all over the place. I’ll see a shoe I like in a magazine or on a fashion blog (Jessica Simpson’s are my personal fav) and start researching reviews, prices and availability online. Then, because comfort is key, I’ll find a store where I can […]

5 Tech Trends Shaping The Future Of Fashion

One chief executive officer breaks down five shifts disrupting the apparel industry.
Suuchi Ramesh | Suuchi Inc.

At the start of her career, Suuchi Ramesh worked in predictive sciences and analytics to improve the efficiency of retailers’ supply chains, based on data. Today, she’s CEO of a rapid-turn apparel design and manufacturing company, Suuchi Inc., which is growing at a supersonic pace – as fast as fashion trends come and go. In […]

The New Kids On the Block

A new generation of industrial buyers is rethinking how companies buy.
Kelly Brock | UPS

Millennials: Easy to skewer, impossible to ignore. Sure, they clutch their smartphones and other mobile devices like baby blankets. But be honest: Who doesn’t these days? The difference? Millennials – defined (roughly) as folks between ages 21-34 – don’t apologize for it. Millennials have quickly changed the world, leveraging their affinity for technology to reshape […]

Meet My Friends: Personalization and Customer Experience

Want to build customer loyalty? Start here.
Andrew Busby | Retail Reflections

Much is written about personalization and customer experience – the two are natural bedfellows – and if we believe much of what we read, we would be forgiven for thinking that both are highly sophisticated and mature. Both are the product of much development and investment, consequently delivering that most elusive of factors: customer stickability or […]

Industrial Buying Is Changing Fast

Like so many other corners of the region’s economy, Europe’s industrial supply sector is under pressure as tech-savvy, value-conscious customers switch to e-marketplaces.

It isn’t the side of European manufacturing that captures the headlines, but without Europe’s industrial supply sector, the continent’s factories would quickly grind to a halt. It’s the first law of manufacturing: To make things, factories need things – and not just raw materials. Industrial plants are little cities that require all kinds of stuff. […]

5 Trends for the Future of Manufacturing

The next Industrial Revolution will change the way we produce and consume goods.

Manufacturing is a hot topic again, undergoing the industry’s greatest change in more than 100 years. The way we build and deliver the goods and products that fuel our economies and our lives will never be the same. As Professor Klaus Schwab has articulated in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are in the middle of […]

America Deserves a Modern Transportation System

Here are five ways to improve transportation and infrastructure in the e-commerce era.
Tom Jensen | UPS

At UPS, we see the impacts of lagging infrastructure investment in real time, as 85,000 UPS drivers hit the roads every day. Congestion comes with costs  —  if our fleet is delayed by an extra five minutes every day, it costs us more than $100 million annually. And the impact is seen in more than […]

How to Read a Cardboard Box

Every box tells a story if you know how to decipher it.
Mary Roach | Bestselling Author

People whose profession involves cardboard boxes — making, packing and shipping things in them — don’t say cardboard box. That’s a layman’s term, vague and imprecise. Professionals say corrugated fiberboard container. Even that is imprecise. Do you mean singlewall corrugated fiberboard or doublewall – that is, is there one layer of corrugation between two linerboards […]

Global E-Commerce Fraud – Are Your Customers Real?

Here are four tips to reduce risk in the e-commerce space.

E-commerce brings many opportunities to quickly reach more customers nationwide and across the globe. It also brings risks of domestic and international fraud. In the U.S., online fraud increased 39 percent between January and June last year, according to the October 2016 Global Fraud Attack Index. Global e-commerce certainly carries risk, as well as opportunity. […]

Welcome to the Age of the Super-Powered Shopper

Let's take a trip down e-commerce memory lane. Here are seven ways e-commerce has changed over time.
Yura Choung | UPS Longitudes

In 1979, Michael Aldrich connected a telephone line to a television, which connected to a computer to create a concept called “teleshopping.” In other words, people could shop from home. Almost 40 years later, we live in a world where Cyber Monday is an online shopping holiday, and augmented reality lets us look in a […]

Shopping Redefined

Complex technologies and strategies produce a surprisingly simple approach.

The retail and logistics industries have developed a number of terms to define how consumers purchase products. Single channel, multichannel and omnichannel are just a few of these buzzwords. While these terms have their place, they can contribute to a disconnect between merchants and their customers. To consumers, it’s just shopping. The convergence of the […]

New Manufacturing Jobs Require New Manufacturing Skills

With a focus on reskilling, education and training, technology won’t control the manufacturing workforce.
Lisa Campbell | Autodesk

Making spare parts doesn’t sound like ground zero for a technological revolution. But at a time when the entire manufacturing workforce is bracing itself for the changes sweeping the industry, the concept of “replacements” takes on extra resonance. I recently met with managers on the shop floor of an industrial machining company, discussing the challenge […]

What American Manufacturers Can Learn From Henry Ford

Manufacturers must keep up with innovation or risk being outpaced by global competitors.
Bill Lydon | Automation.com

American manufacturers are competing not only against each other but also against their global counterparts. When it comes to automation, manufacturers don’t have a choice but to invest in new technologies. As history shows, it’s the early adopter who will get the worm. American manufacturing companies need to invest in industrial automation because their global competitors […]

High Fashion Meets Maker Manufacturing

The line between fashion and technology is blurring. What does this mean for future innovations?
Lyn Jeffery | Institute for the Future

Fashion has always been a form of communication and self-expression, a quick visual signal of one’s tastes, allegiances and socioeconomic position. During the next decade, personal fashion and personal computing will begin to blur, offering us a new way to think about what today we call “devices.” Whereas today’s personal devices help us communicate primarily through […]

Connected Consumers, IoT and What Retailers Need to Do Now

Check out this Q&A on how IoT will shape the future for retailers.

Doing your laundry and notice you’re low on detergent? That used to mean a trip to the grocery store. Now you have options: You can order it online. You can press your Tide Amazon Dash button to have it ordered automatically, or you can ask Alexa to order it for you. But in the future, […]

How to Unleash Your Creativity

The world of Formula 1 is a laboratory for exploring human creativity through drivers and their teams.
James Hewitt | Hintsa Performance

The Formula 1 season will begin later this month, pitting the most talented drivers in the most finely honed machines against one another. The image of a car designer sitting at a computer, working on a complex 3D visualization, is consistent with our perception of a creative person, but you may not immediately think about […]

It’s Pedal to the Metal for Driverless Cars

Why drive yourself when a self-driving car could be a safer alternative?
William Messner | Tufts University

When a May 2016 crash killed the person operating a Tesla Model S driving in Autopilot mode, advocates of autonomous vehicles feared a slowdown in development of self-driving cars. Instead the opposite has occurred. In August, Ford publicly committed to field self-driving cars by 2021. In September, Uber began picking up passengers with self-driving cars […]

The Factories of the Past are Turning into the Data Centers of the Future

Here's how our data-rich lives will transform our physical and social landscapes.
Graham Pickren | Roosevelt University

We live in a data-driven world. From social media to smart cities to the Internet of things, we now generate huge volumes of information about nearly every detail of life. This has revolutionized everything from business to government to the pursuit of romance. We tend to focus our attention on what is new about the […]

Closing the MRO Gaps

Companies that sell spare parts, chemicals and other maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies are scrambling to adapt to evolving customer expectations.

Manufacturing long-lasting equipment — think industrial machinery — can be a profitable business, especially for those who understand their markets and customers best. But the real profit opportunity comes after the machinery is sold. That’s because equipment owners typically spend many times the original purchase price on spare parts, chemicals and other materials required to […]

Manufacturing Customer Satisfaction

Can after-sales product support set manufacturers apart?
Harld Peters | UPS

For industrial manufacturers, it’s a classic “gap-in-the-market” opportunity. And it couldn’t come at a better time for the sector. Nearly four out of five buyers of capital goods — 78 percent to be exact — say they expect their industrial suppliers to provide speedy, on-site support and service for their products during the equipment’s long lifespan. Yet roughly one in nine […]