Rent the Runway began as a high-touch, stylist-focused business that gave customers a chance to enjoy quality apparel without the hefty prices. New rental options and recent technology additions have allowed the couture company to meet customers' evolving needs without losing its reputation for one-on-one service. Read more in STORES.
Starbucks has introduced drinks topped or sweetened with cascara, which comes from coffee husks. Aida Batlle, an El Salvadorian coffee farmer, is selling cascara for $7 a pound, while the average price for coffee is around $1.20.
The EU passed rules and targets for waste management this week, hoping to make reusing and recycling a priority over landfilling. The EU's new recycling targets for packaging waste are 65% by 2025 and 70% by 2030.
To ensure your store is ready for summer, be sure to create a marketing plan, review staff schedules and prepare for upcoming community events, writes Rieva Lesonsky. "Many communities have annual summer festivals, street fairs, parades or other activities that can attract flocks of customers to your retail zone," she notes.
Many small businesses are seasonal, so Rhonda Abrams offers 10 tips to ensure your business survives during slow periods. Find counter-seasonal products to offer, keep your operating costs low and offer discounts to locals to increase off-season sales, she advises.
Manufacturers can run their software and operating systems to failure, but they should at least plan for it and understand the risks, says Alan Stanfill of Stone Technologies. IT should work closely with operations on upgrades and patches, he says.
Millennial preferences in products are leading a transition to mass customization in manufacturing, which requires machines that adapt to the products or packages being made, says John Kowal of B&R. These adaptive machines allow each product to be independently controlled, he says, saving on inventory costs and streamlining supply chains.
Cyberattacks on industrial equipment could be mitigated through the use of low-tech strategies. Andy Bochman of the Idaho National Laboratory recommends using vibration systems to detect breaches or having a backup system that could take over if malware is detected.
Manufacturers should stick to ordering from business-to-business companies if they want the best service and quality, Mike Roth writes. Business-to-consumer companies might be cheaper but financing, reliability and risk management are all concerns when using B2C firms.