China’s Economic Petri Dish: Why Alibaba Will Revolutionize “New Retail” and Become the World’s 5th Largest Economy by 2036

If you are Amazon, a major brick and mortar retailer or retail focused real estate developer, this post is your wake up call.  In 2012 Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba made an aggressive $16 million (100 million RMB) wager on the future of Chinese retail with Wang Jianlin, head of Dalian Wanda Group, a leading privately-held conglomerate (major retail developer) based in China.

Blockchain 101: Supply Chain Risks and Rewards

Despite the hype, Blockchain is not a "silver bullet" answer to all the problems supply chain faces today.  Instead, I think the value of Blockchain will be fully realized after a cumulative progression of new technologies and market disruptions (e.g. 3D printing, AI, big data, IoT) lay a more stable foundation for Blockchain to gain acceptance.  This …

Autonomous Trucks Vol. 2: Two Infrastructure Changes You Haven’t Considered.

Most discussions around autonomous vehicles focus on cars that move people from A to B, but when you consider the benefits of automating truck travel, automating systems for tracking product and the infrastructure necessary to support autonomous freight transit, the idea of autonomous cars quickly becomes secondary. Most commercial cargo traveling less than 500-600 miles …

LUXLOCK: The Internet of Product (IoP) and “The Barbell Effect” in Action.

Earlier this year, I made some predictions in Innovate or Die: 5 Omni-channel Strategies Amazon is Trying to Outrun.  As a part of those predictions, I talked a little bit about the "barbell effect" and how there would be a dichotomy between luxury/high-end, customized, boutique firms that offered a unique customer experience for a premium and hyper-local/convenience …

NARCOS vs. Apple: Two Addictive Products and Supply Chain Similarities (Legal or Not)

It has been said that smartphone devices are designed to provide a level of gratification on par with drug use or gambling, which piqued my interest.  After doing some basic research I quickly realized there are some interesting parallels between a Fortune 100 supply chain and a drug cartel. The success of the iPhone would …

The Company Town is No More: Property Life Cycle Changes and Consequences of Labor Shortage

We've all heard stories about the "Company Town."  Communities built around a manufacturer and labor forces so dependent on the company for employment that a closure or mass layoff would leave families and communities in dire straights.  There are a lot of company towns still in existence today (see list here), but in the last 10 years, the younger demographic has flipped the company town model on its head.  Now we're seeing many companies scrambling to follow skilled laborers and young professionals into markets that offer more than just a steady job.

Disaster Recovery Guide and Resources for When a Natural Disaster Strikes.

Lightning bolts, floods, fires and the occasional category 5 hurricane are inevitable.  They will come. It's just a matter of where and when. While it isn't sexy or fun to put a disaster recovery plan in place, it is critical to employee safety and business continuity when the worst does happen. It is also critical to understand that real estate is not the only facet of disaster recovery that may be affected if a building site is destroyed or disabled. Disasters will have a global effect on HR, IT, marketing, finance in addition to operations and real estate. A streamlined and updated Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) can save lives and reduce the the overall impact on your company.