Monthly Archives: June 2013

Blackberry Flounders in Mobile Market

Blackberry, previously called RIM, has been struggling to keep afloat in today’s touch-enthused mobile industry. Bobbi Rebell of Reuters discusses whether the company should reassess its game plan and make a deal:

 

5 Must-Have Apps for Small Business Owners

Today, managing business while on-the-go is not nearly as complicated as it was a mere decade ago. USA Today Money’s Small Business Tech Talk recently discussed five free apps that can contribute greatly to business owners and entrepreneurs without tacking on any additional fees. These include Google Maps, Evernote, Skype, SkyDrive, and TripIt.

Desaire Brown reports:

 

Experts Convene at the 1st Annual Marine Money Geneva Forum

This Thursday marks the debut of the Annual Marine Money Geneva Forum. Scheduled for the 27th of June, the event will be held at the President Wilson Hotel in Geneva.

The 2013 Marine Money Geneva Forum gathers leading international ship finance professionals from across the globe. Eagle Bulk Shipping Chairman and CEO Sophocles N. Zoullas will appear on a panel alongside Mr. Fabrice Piard of Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Mr. George Wells of Cargill, Mr. Minas Sorotos of Miralco Resources AG and Mr. John Su of Erasmus Shipinvest B.V.

Under the moderation of Mr. George Cambanis, the experts will discuss the trading houses and shipping, and how traders perceive the freight market in various sectors going forward. How, also, do they intend to participate in the market going forward- ownership, long-term charters, spot charters or spot voyages, COAs? Sophocles Zoullas will also discuss whether acquiring shipping assets now makes sense for trading houses to hedge shipping costs and support trading desks in the near future.

Other topics at the event will include commodity and trade finance, alternate sources of funding, finance to the shipping industry, and many others.

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Expertos se Reúnen en el Primer Foro Anual de Marine Money en Ginebra

Este martes marcó el debut del Foro Anual de Marine Money en Ginebra. Programado para el 27 de junio, el evento se llevará a cabo en el hotel President Wilson en Ginebra.

El  Foro de Marine Money del 2013 en Ginebra reunirá profesionales líderes en financiación naval de todo el mundo. El director y CEO de Eagle Bulk Shipping, Sophocles N. Zoullas, se presentará en un panel junto a el señor Fabrice Piard de Louis Dreyfus Commodities, el señor George Wells de Cargill, el señor Minas Sorotos de Miralco Resources AG y el señor John Su de Erasmus Shipinvest B.V.

Moderado por el señor George Cambanis, los expertos discutirán acerca de las casa de comercio y transporte marítimo, y cómo los comerciantes perciben el mercado de carga en diversos sectores en el futuro. También, ¿cómo piensan participar ellos en el futuro mercado- ser propietarios, fletes a largo plazo, flete a corto plazo o viajes cortos, COA? Sophocles Zoullas también discutirá si adquirir activos navieros ahora tiene sentido para las casas de comercio, cubrir los gastos de envío y mantener mesas de operaciones en el futuro cercano.

Otro tema en el evento incluirá mercancías y financiación del comercio, fuentes de financiación alternativa, financiación para la industria naviera y muchos más.

English Translation

Top 3 Business Stories This Week

Yesterday’s U.S. Day Ahead discussed the top 3 stories in business this week, including home prices, Tesla’s new battery system, and Facebook’s big announcement.

Webvan Gets Second Chance in the Form of AmazonFresh

Over a decade ago, online grocery start-up Webvan closed its doors after going through more than $800 million in venture capital and IPO proceeds in three years.

Four of Amazon’s major executives are actually former Webvan officials and today, after analyzing and fixing the problems, they are launching AmazonFresh. These key players include Doug Herrington, Peter Ham, Mick Mountz and Mark Mastandrea.

AmazonFresh, the online retailer’s newest project, involves the company’s new robotic resource Kiva Systems which was acquired last year for $775 million. Interestingly, Kiva Systems is based on various ideas and technologies originally developed at Webvan.

An early investor in Kiva explained: “When there are a large number of products and the shapes and sizes vary, as they do in grocery, you still need a human at the end to do the picking and packing. The Kiva System is the best solution out there for that combination of warehouse technology and human workers.”

Tom Furphy, a venture capitalist who helped start AmazonFresh, said: “We had a lot of Webvan DNA in the room and we drew on that experience a lot. That was a good formula for building the business responsibly.”

According to company officials, Amazon and its executive learned three major lessons from Webvan and its mistakes:

  • Expand Slowly
  • Limit Delivery (To High Concentration Areas)
  • Focus Relentlessly on Warehouse Efficiency

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Webvan Tiene una Segunda Oportunidad en la Forma de AmazonFresh

Hace una década, la tienda de comestibles en line emergente, Webvan, cerró sus puertas después de pasar por más de $800 millones en capital de riesgo y procesos IPO en tres años.

Cuatro de los ejecutivos más importantes de Amazon son ex funcionarios de Webvan y hoy, después de analizar y arreglar los problemas, lanzarán AmazonFresh. Estos jugadores claves incluyen a Doug Herrington, Peter Ham, Mick Mountz y Mark Mastandrea.

AmazonFresh, el último proyecto de la compañía vendedora de productos en línea, involucra un nuevo recurso robótico, Kiva Systems, que fue adquirido el año pasado por $775 millones. Es interesante que, Kiva Systems, esté basado en varias ideas y tecnología originalmente desarrolladas en  Webvan.

Uno de los primeros inversores de Kiva explicó: “Cuando hay un gran número de productos y la forma y el tamaño varían, como lo hacen los comestibles, aún necesitas un humano del otro lado para hacer la selección y el empaque. El Kiva System es la mejor solución que hay que combine tecnología de almacenamiento y trabajo humano.”

Tom Furphy, un inversionista de capital de riesgo, que ayudó a comenzar AmazonFresh, dijo: “Teníamos mucho ADN de Webvan y nos basamos mucho en esa experiencia. Fue una buena fórmula para construir la empresa de forma responsable.”

De acuerdo con funcionarios de la compañía, Amazon y sus ejecutivos aprendieron tres importantes lecciones de Webvan y sus errores:

•    Expandirse lentamente.
•    Límite de entregas (Para las zonas de alta concentración)
•    Centrarse sin descanso en la eficacia del almacén

English Translation

Companies Struggle to Raise Pricing

Though many businesses in the U.S. are hoping to raise their prices, many will have to weigh their options before implementing any changes. Walt Disney Co. is one of the few examples of companies who have successfully hiked their prices since 2009, recently raising its single-day admission prices to U.S. theme parks by up to 9.6%.

Companies like Kohl’s Corp., on the other hand, have had a harder time keeping their business once their prices increase. Two years ago the department store raised its prices only to send their shoppers elsewhere, and has been struggling to recover ever since.

Growth has been apparent throughout the States this year, but most Americans are still minimizing their spending.

“One of the early behaviors that we saw in the downturn was consumers trading down from higher to lower-priced products. You saw it in everything from soap to beer,” said Accenture managing director David Axson. “Consumer behavior, once it changes, takes a long time to change again.”

The change has been slow since the economy is still struggling.

“Typically, at this point we’d be much farther along, but recovering from a financial-led recession takes anywhere from seven to ten years, and we’re still a ways away,” Sam Bullard, senior economist at Wells Fargo, explained.

As a result, companies and retailers are cutting costs to bone in an effort to maintain profit margins. There is a limit though.

“At some point, they have to act on prices, and many have forgotten how to do it, and more importantly, have no educated their customers to expect it,” explained George Tacke of Simon- Kucher & Partners.

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Las Empresas Luchan por Levantar los Precios

A pesar de que muchas empresas en los Estados Unidos esperan aumentar sus precios, muchos tendrán que considerar sus opciones antes de implementar ningún cambio. Walt Disney Co. es uno de los pocos ejemplos de compañías que han aumentado sus precios exitosamente desde el 2009, recientemente aumentaron el pase por un día para sus parques de diversiones de Estados Unidos hasta un 9.6%.

Compañías como Kohl’s Corp., por el otro lado, han tenido dificultades en mantener sus negocios una vez que sus precios han subidos. Dos años atrás su tienda de almacenes aumentos sus precios solo para enviar a los compradores a otro lado, y han estado luchando para recuperarlos desde entonces.

El crecimiento ha sido evidente a lo largo de los Estados Unidos este año, pero la mayoría de los americanos aún están minimizando sus gastos.

“Uno de los primeros comportamientos que vimos en la recesión fue que los consumidores cambiaron productos de mayor precio por menor precio.  Lo vimos en todo, desde jabón hasta cerveza,” dijo el director general de Accenture, David Axson. “El comportamiento de los consumidores, una vez que cambia, toma mucho tiempo antes de que vuelva a cambiar.”

Los cambios han sido lentos, ya que la economía todavía está luchando.

“Usualmente, a este punto ya estaríamos mucho más avanzados, pero recuperarse de una resección económica lleva entre siete y diez años, y todavía estamos muy lejos,” explicó Sam Bullard, economista senior de Wells Fargo.

Como resultado, las compañías y vendedores minoristas están recortando los costos en un esfuerzo de mantener márgenes de ganancia. Aún así hay un límite.

“En algún momento tendrán que actuar con respecto a los precios, y muchos se han olvidado de cómo hacerlo y, más importante, no ha preparado a sus clientes para el cambio,” explicó George Tacke de Simon- Kucher & Partners.

English Translation

Harvard Business School Launches Family Business Development Program in India

Harvard Business School is preparing for a four-day leadership development program in India aimed at providing managerial tools for family businesses in the region. The program, called ‘Managing Family Businesses for Generational Success- India’, will take place at the end of the month at the HBS classroom in Mumbai.

The school explains that the executive education program targets family businesses operating in different stages and industries, offering them tools to address individual issues for any market.

John A. Davis, Senior Lecturer of Business Administration and faculty chair for the program said:

“Family-owned companies face unique challenges in India’s competitive business environment. This program explores topics critical to family-owned companies in India such as succession, ownership control and shareholder relationships. The participants will learn to implement business practices that drive high performance, shareholder loyalty and healthy family relationships.”

“At HBS, we help companies develop the skills they need to get different points of view on the table, sort them out, and negotiate as a family around these issues. When they know what to plan for, how to resolve differences, and how to structure the rules, policies and decision-making apparatus, then they can keep their families engaged and excited about running the business,” added Deepak Malhotra, Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.

To learn more about Harvard Business School and its alumni, visit Todd Meister.