Why does any industry have standard practices? Every business is different, even within an industry, so what’s the point of trying to standardize?
Industry standard practices are a lot like the rules in a game. They provide a systematic, consistent, and proven framework within which the players develop their strategies and exercise their skills. Having rules doesn’t make you a winner, but they make it possible to become a winner by promoting the following competitive strengths: Continue reading →
One of the hottest topics in business analytics today is “big data,” defined by Wikipedia as “a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.”
How big is “big data?”
Last year, consumers and businesses around the world are estimated to have stored more than 13 exabytes of information on PCs, laptops and other devices — the equivalent of more than 52,000 times the information housed in the Library of Congress. An exabyte is 1 followed by 18 zeros, or a billion gigabytes. And the amount of data stored in such “technological memories” is growing 25 percent a year, said Martin Hilbert, a researcher at the University of Southern California. These were some of the estimates shared at the The Economist Big Data Conference last June in Santa Clara, CA. (for complete story see http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_745039.html). Continue reading →
I have become obsessed with the realization that chain store operators are leaving billions of dollars of sales on the table by failing to properly train and develop their talent in the real estate teams (total sales of US retail establishments is around $4 trillion according to the 2007 Economic Censuspublished in 2009).
Why is this? Laziness? Ignorance? I don’t think so. Some of the most clever AND street-wise people I’ve ever met are senior executives in chain store companies. I think that the training challenge is relatively new and requires adapting to new market conditions. It’s the natural evolution of the chain store business. Sears built an empire with selection (“Sears Has Everything”). Wal-Mart revolutionized retailing with their supply chain management. Apple has seemingly cornered the market on “cool” and “easy.” Here are some of the driving factors that have increased the priority of training from low-moderate to high: Continue reading →
We have some preliminary information about the state of training for analysts based on several different types of chain store operators: apparel retailer, casual dining restaurant, shopping center developer, and a quick serve restaurant. Continue reading →
Ray Kroc once said, “If we are going to go anywhere, we’ve got to have talent. And, I’m going to put my money in talent.” McDonald’s Hamburger University graduates about 5,000 people per year.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Training is recognized as essential in many areas of chain store operations. The National Restaurant Association conducted its one millionth training class last month. The NRA has been running its ServSafe Food Safety, ServSafe Alcohol, ProStart curriculum, ManageFirst, and other programs for the last 25 years. (http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/pressrelease/?ID=2137). Continue reading →