Lydia Dishman at Fast Company interviewed Darren Serrao, VP of beverages and breakthrough innovation at Campbell’s Soup, and he revealed an interesting thing he learned on the job well before he was a big-time executive.
He was a teenager flipping burgers at McDonald’s. There, he learned about the value of a process-driven company.
Serrao says he learned the value of a “disciplined, repeatable process” thanks to McDonald’s “operations machine” which is timed down to the second.
Everything in a McDonald’s is a set process. All the tasks behind the counter are logically related, so you as long as everyone does their specific jobs, things get done efficiently. That’s what allows McDonald’s to get the food to its customers so quickly.
And all of this can be applied to innovation. Under CEO Denise Morrison, Serrao has independent innovation teams working on projects for Campbell’s. The structure lets them move more quickly.
“From an innovation standpoint it’s highly relevant, because you are able to move through the process time and again no matter who you are working with,” he told Fast Company.
Dollar stores are booming in a struggling economy, and one of the big boys of the industry is doing so well it’s planning another period of explosive growth, reports Gail Hoffer and Drug Store News.
It will open 625 stores and hire around 6,000 employees over the course of 2012. The discount chain already has about 9,800 stores spread across 38 states, and some of the new stores will be in previously unoccupied states California and Massachusetts.
Dollar General has adopted an aggressive growth strategy since the start of the recession. This marks the third straight year it has opened hundreds of new locations, and the chain has created more than 21,000 jobs since 2009.
It’s not all about the economy though. Dollar General had to be smart in its expansion strategy too — after all, Walmart is its biggest competitor, and the world’s largest retailer has had similar success recently.
It thrives on hitting markets that Walmart hasn’t taken over, such as small towns that can’t support one of Walmart’s massive big box stores. It also competes with the other big dollar store chains, like Family Dollar. The hybrid concept — somewhere between a giant discounter and a small dollar store — has worked admirably.
Plus, while dollar store marketing plays a significant role in getting people through its doors, Dollar General is actually also a clear leader in price over both Walmart and its dollar store compatriots.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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