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Tag Archives: business behavior

Walmart 2015

Last week we participated in the Walmart US Manufacturing Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walmart has taken the lead and has ignited the Reshoring movement in America by committing to spend $250 Billion for products Made in the USA over the next few years. The annual Summit was an amazing event again this year, with an important “Open Call” day for suppliers pitching their American-made products to Walmart buyers.
Walmart estimates that 1 million new US jobs will be created through this initiative, including direct manufacturing job growth of approximately 250,000 jobs and indirect job growth of 750,000 in the support and service sectors. This alone is important for rebuilding the US economy, but because of Walmart’s size and influence, other retailers are likely to follow Walmart’s lead and establish initiatives of their own that will also result in more job creation in the US. And as we know, Retailers are the “Mothers of all Supply Chains.” These initiatives will affect manufacturers and their global supply chains.
Walmart is quickly becoming a catalyst for the Reshoring movement for another important reason. By igniting the US manufacturing movement, suppliers and their supply chains will cause the reshoring and redevelopment of key industries needed to support manufacturing in general. Take small motor manufacturers, for example. These small motors are in many consumer products such as lawn mowers, vacuums, hair dryers, and small appliances. Yet most of the small motor production was offshored to China in the early 2000s. Bringing back the production of these motors will help boost US content for many US manufactured industrial products.
Plastic injection molding, cut-and-sew equipment and other component parts will be reshored as a result of this movement. The skills to support all kinds of manufacturing were offshored too, and now skilled labor is in very high demand in America. So the Reshoring movement will drive the redevelopment of these industries and skills in America.
The federal government is supporting innovation through the bi-partisan Revitalize American Manufacturing Act of 2014 and the establishment of 45 Innovation Institutes, bringing together companies and universities to co-invest in advanced manufacturing technologies.
Walmart is the company that will make the difference because it is basing the need for innovation on the demand of its customers, and that is powerful.

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birthday 

Over the past year, I have joined and actively participated in several social networks.  While completing my profiles on these sites, I was asked for my date of birth, presumably because these services are attempting to qualify me and exclude underage kids.  But much to my chagrin, these services also sent out reminder notices to all of my contacts regarding my upcoming birthday.

I received dozens of electronic “happy birthdays”.  While I really do appreciate the warm wishes, this got me thinking about how social media and web 2.0 tools change our behavior.  What prompts my business colleagues and people I barely know to wish a heartfelt happy birthday?  Heartfelt?  Really?

To me, birthdays are a nice day, and these days, a grim reminder of age. I like to casually celebrate with a few close friends and family.  I am not sure about my entire social network participating and reminding me of another passing year.  But more importantly, is social media changing our behavior?

I am also guilty.  I have sent birthday greetings to people I barely know.  When a pop-up reminder flashes that so-and-so’s birthday is in 5 days, am I supposed to spring to action and buy a card or a gift? On the actual birthday, should I acknowledge people I barely know and have no idea how they view their own birthdays? Do they want warm wishes?  Or do they want their birthdays kept private? These are new questions I have never asked before.  My behavior seems to be changing.

I noticed too, that many people keep in touch through Facebook and Twitter these days vs. the old way of an occasional phone call or email.  Through Facebook, I learn more about people’s families, interests and activities than I did before. 

It will be interesting to watch how social networking changes business behavior in the future.  Will we tend to do more business with those people in our network and less with others?  Only time will tell.