Business Insights from the Shop Floors

I was riding the Light Rail Transit in Manila,Philippines a couple of days ago and couldn’t help but overhear a bunch of merchandise staff who are responsible for sales in one of the biggest malls in Asia. What’s notable about their conversation was the fact that they were discussing how to strategically position the products that they sell in various locations within the mall in order to increase their sales. Now, you might think that this is something normal for businesses who need to understand how their products and customers mesh together to become successful but you need to understand something. In Manila where job opportunities are scarce, the very people who are discussing strategies and business approaches didn’t even had the opportunity to get themselves into college. Some of them didn’t even finish high school. It reminds me of how Sam Walton – founder of Wal-Mart – asks each of his staff how to improve the business and eventually turned it to what it is today. He just understood the value of each staff – whether they’re management or rank-and-file. While I am a great fan of business intelligence and how we can use technology to gain business insight, there’s still no substitute for the guy who sees your customer smile everyday and understand what it takes to take your business to the next level

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