News Items

Beefing up strategic defenses through acquisition

April 8, 2014
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Beefing up strategic defenses through acquisition

Lego is the world’s leader in snap-to construction block toys.  Mattel is the world’s leader in toys, but it did not have a competing product for the Lego blocks.  Recently, Mattel reached an acquisition agreement with MEGA Brands of Canada in which it will pay $460 million for the company, giving it the MEGA BLOKS…

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AmEx spins corporate travel into a joint venture

April 8, 2014
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AmEx spins corporate travel into a joint venture

Since 2011, AmEx revenue from travel commissions and fees has dropped by approximately 3%.  Recognizing a shift in business and consumer purchasing habits, the company is refocusing its efforts on consumer business.  For corporate travel business, it is creating a joint venture with an outside investor group under the leadership of Certares International Bank LLC. …

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Differentiation in the airline industry―keeping the customer happy with food and bags

March 12, 2014
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Differentiation in the airline industry―keeping the customer happy with food and bags

After all of the many efforts to cut costs resulted in unhappy customers, some airlines are starting to re-evaluate customer purchasing decisions.  Recently, Virgin American, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines revamped some of their on-board culinary selections.  Passengers still have to pay for these upgraded selections, however.  It appears that airlines will start competing…

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Narrowing the competition in e-content delivery

March 12, 2014
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Narrowing the competition in e-content delivery

The major college textbook publishers formed CourseSmart in 2007 in order to deliver textbook content in e-reader format to their educational users.  Macmillan, Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson give access to more than 90% of their higher education content to users around the world through CourseSmart.  This past week, Vital…

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JC Penney―Reinventing itself again?

February 10, 2014
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JC Penney―Reinventing itself again?

Once again, JCP is fiddling with its long term strategy.  In January, the company announced that it was closing under-performing stores and reducing its workforce. Additionally, it is returning to a commission-based sales system in the window coverings, furniture and fine jewelry departments, but not in the other departments.  In 2012, it eliminated the commission…

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Super Bowl XLVIII ads and return on investment

February 10, 2014
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Super Bowl XLVIII ads and return on investment

This year’s Super Bowl ad cost approximately $40 million for 30 seconds of air time.  While that may be little changed from 2013, the company behind the commercials has to be considering the real short and long term return for such a costly media investment.  Many of the commercials are from repeat buyers.  There is…

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Aircraft manufacturing―maturing product life cycle

November 1, 2013
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Aircraft manufacturing―maturing product life cycle

Boeing sees the market for its jumbo aircraft offers shifting toward smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft.  Reducing its pipeline for the versions of the jumbo B747 due to the slack in orders, Boeing is concentrating its efforts on its B777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Since 1966, the B747 production line has produced over 1400 of this…

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Innovating vision

November 1, 2013
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Innovating vision

The eyeglass industry is re-inventing itself with new offers to improve vision that go beyond the frame style.  Technology advances open doors to innovation solutions to vision limitations. Google Glass, adjustable focus lenses, BluTech and Unity lenses, and the GlassesOff app all offer differing alternatives to the vision-impaired and those desiring to augment their visual…

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Competing for customers―Airbus vs. Boeing

October 1, 2013
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Competing for customers―Airbus vs. Boeing

Aircraft manufacturers face tough competitive markets.  The cost of building a large commercial aircraft is enormous and is covered in part by advance payments from financing institutions for airline purchase commitments.  In continually pushing the efficiency rating for their products, Airbus and Boeing appeal to airline carriers wishing to improve operating costs.  In a recent…

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Airline cost cutting measures hurt the airport

October 1, 2013
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Airline cost cutting measures hurt the airport

Airlines increase profits by charging for services that once were included in the ticket price.  One of these fees is for baggage both in the suit and carried on.  As travelers seek ways to constrain the cost of air travel, the amount of luggage becomes important to the point that passengers worry about being charged…

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