COMPANY BLOG: Delaware Consulting

Everything seems to have become smart, lately. We set ourselves smart goals, the electricity grid is becoming smart, we want to live in smart cities, we call our data smart because we can base smart decisions on them… And of course, we all want to work for smart businesses, because they are the ones that will survive. Is smart the new green and are we just ‘smartwashing’ everything?

Let’s take a look at what a smart business is. Smart businesses are companies that are able to adapt to changing circumstances and contribute to a sustainable future. Change is the defining term for the society that we are living in. Over the last couple of decades the pace of change has accelerated enormously. Technology advances that used to take decades, now happen in just years. The digital revolution shapes opportunities for businesses, but you need to grab these opportunities.

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Make no mistake. It’s my home town Ghent, that is the smartest. And it deserves this title because in May 2016, it hosted the `JCI Smart City Challenge 2016. This massive brainstorming session brought together 230 people — citizens, representatives from companies and the midfield — to come up with great ideas to make the city a whole lot smarter. Put all these components together in the mix, and you get strong ideas that will now be realized.

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“The type of hobbies one chooses reflect in part of what type of person you are.” And in turn it influences your daily job, whether you notice it or not. Some of my previous blogs referred to my love for rugby, and what rugby can teach people working on projects. Earlier this year I read an article in the newspaper about a Belgian woman who, thanks to her yoga skills, survived 5 days in the Australian bush. It made me think about yoga and how my hobbies influence my job, or rather how I unconsciously use my passions in my job.

Yoga vs. project management

The article mentioned a quote from Véronique Biunkens:

“I used to be a Project Manager, and through my yoga I learned how I could calm myself whenever I started to feel anxious.”

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When you migrate to a new ERP backbone software system for your business, you don’t want a simple replacement. Instead, aim for long-term benefits that are in line with your strategic goals. This makes the presale phase especially challenging: normal features are expected to work, and candidate suppliers are compared based on long-term expectations. The danger, however, is that certain ‘special features’ will be immediately taken over into the implementation phase — hence the importance of phasing when undertaking any ERP backbone project. But how do you know which features that you, as a decision maker, should take into phase 1 of the implementation? And when should your (first) go-live take place?

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Ivo knew he had a problem. He had chaired yet another executive committee at his government agency where he felt like he was the only one who knew what direction the organization needed to take. The politicians responsible for the agency wanted it to become a modern service center that helped the government implement its policies. And Ivo knew exactly where the digital transformation should lead them. Unfortunately, most of the employees, including their managers, remained stuck in their ways. Change management was needed.

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The equivalent of a full-time job. That’s how much time the average company spends on manually entering product information into various types of retailer databases. A daunting task, to say the least — especially as the need for digitizing product information is increasing by the day. Even in sectors like the food industry, more and more products are being distributed through e-commerce channels, while EU regulations state that online purchasers should have access to exactly the same information as consumers buying a particular product in-store.

The digitization and online distribution of product information is a major and constant challenge for food manufacturers and retailers alike, that much is certain. These and other companies can definitely reap the rewards of a global and uniform product information database. That’s exactly where GDSN comes in.

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When given the chance, would you help to turn your town into a smart city? I would. And I did.

In just a few days from now, me and half a dozen other colleagues will facilitate the `JCI Smart City Challenge 2016’. A day-long massive brainstorming session between citizens, companies, town officials and academics. The goal? Unlock as many creative and innovative ideas that could improve life in the city of Ghent. My home town!

This is the start of an 18 month-long sustainability project. And we’re proud to support it as Delaware Consulting.

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Establishing a long-lasting competitive advantage through advanced segmentation: from data to insight and impact

Customers want services to be flexible and want to receive these services through various channels. Competition is getting tougher all the time, and margins are under enormous pressure.

Today’s retail landscape is fraught with challenges, that much is certain. Research by Gartner and Forrester pinpointed the crux of the matter: no less than 80% of your customer database is unprofitable or at break-even point and is therefore not generating any value for your business. At the same time, businesses are spending up to 50% of their marketing budgets on unprofitable customers. In other words: capturing the right customer insights and segmenting your customers through advanced methods will improve your sales and marketing efforts tremendously.

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New health trends are all over the place. Decrease your sugar intake. Increase your exercise. Avoid carbohydrates. That’s what experts like the World Health Organization, FOD Volksgezondheid and Pascale Naessens are telling you to do.

Lately, one topic in particular has been getting more and more attention: sitting. We are all sitting too much and for too long.

Sitting is harmful to your body

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In my previous ‘SAP Hybris Commerce for dummies’ article, I explained what Hybris Commerce is and elaborated on the various front-end solutions. Let’s continue with the other side of Hybris Commerce: the back-end tools. This is the stuff your consumer doesn’t see.

Product managers, customer service, administrators and other actors need help to provide a seamless UX, and Hybris business tools can help with that.

Hybris delivers a multi-channel cockpit that contains all the available tools the support teams need. 

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