Romanian Distribution Committe Magazine Volume 3 Issue 2

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Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA



Editorial: Refusing to be passive recipients as customers and striving to contribute to the courageous map of this new world of consumer space by encouraging authentic partners in great tasks of transformation

Open letter by Maria Negreponti-Delivanis to Mrs. Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF (in relation to her statement that “Greeks do not pay taxes”)


Victor GREU


George Cosmin TĂNASE


Traian GOGA and Filip Vȃrlan


Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA


The Cognitive Approaches of the Communication and Information Technologies – A Leverage for the Progress of Knowledge Based Society

The Expansion of Online Retailing as a Supplementary Shopping Channel for Customers

Social Media: At the Crossroads of Efficient Marketing and Ethics

More than a Happy Coincidence: Twentieth Anniversary of Valahia University of Targoviste, and “Supply Chain Management for Efficient Consumer Response Conference 2012”, organized by ECR Department of Valahia University of Târgoviște First Announcement of the Second International Congress „Health-Nutrition-Wellbeing”, “SANABUNA International”, Autumn 2012, Fălticeni, Romania

The responsibility for the content of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.


Refusing to be passive recipients as customers and striving to contribute to the courageous map of this new world of consumer space by encouraging authentic partners in great tasks of transformation In our last editorial it was also remembered that everything we do in our life represents a choice, and we have to ask ourselves: are we really informed, smart, interested, engaged, and consulted? This time, allow us to ask another question. Who are those who have no respect for others’ perceived competence, who cannot distinguish the truth around or within themselves, but have as ideal the appearance and money, being full of uncontrolled ambition and intolerance, considering that they are not kept on earth by the same gravity as the others? Yes, we all know that they are so “close” to all of us… that is why we must treat them as if they were what they should be, even they still do not know and still do not try to find out because

they do not care than to continue growing mismatch between what they think, say and do, while running from the truth and authenticity. Paraphrasing a recent approach of “a turbulent week in a turbulent world” we can say that in the end we are left even by recent standards with hidden power structures subverting the “customer” will. And all these because those who are not kept on earth by the same gravity as the others are forgetting that: “The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be” (Socrates); according to the coherence theory (coherent meaning being logically connected), a particular statement is true if it is integrated within the framework of all other statements already accepted as

true; there is a real need of being a real eye-opening representative ready to really serve the community on the long term, and not just from time to time, and accepting novel ideas, and identifying and challenging your own assumptions; every marketing strategy is supported by the supply chain which is necessary to be designed from the customer inward, because, as we will see later, customers are not passive recipients of what this kind of marketers do… Or are they not? Because to be passive recipients as customers means to resign their personality.

Coming back to Marketing, and paraphrasing a well-known Marketing Professor Michael R. Solomon (Saint Joseph University, Philadelphia SUA, and author of the book “Conquering Consumer space: Marketing Strategies For A Branded World”, New York, AMACOM, 2003 - AMACOM.Conquering.Consumerspace.Marketing.Strategies.For.A.Branded.World. pdf), we can say that there is a feeling of having the permission to choose how, when and if customers will interact and contribute to the courageous map of this new world of consumer space: “I Consume, Therefore I Am!”; “Can I Play? Participatory Marketing”; “Are You What You Buy?”; “Learning by Observing: Do You Mind if I Watch?”; “Viral Marketing: Spread the Good Word”; “The Value of Me: Who Owns Our Minds, Our Bodies—and Our Data?”; “Escape from Freedom: The Paradox of Consumerspace”… Finally, Professor Michael R. Solomon argued that customers will be loyal to the companies << that enable them to ‘‘escape from Coming back to Marketing, and para-

phrasing a well-known Marketing Professor Michael R. Solomon (Saint Joseph University, Philadelphia SUA, and author of the book “Conquering Consumer space: Marketing Strategies For A Branded World”, New York, AMACOM, 2003 - LINK , we can say that there is a feeling of having the permission to choose how, when and if customers will interact and contribute to the courageous map of this new world of consumer space: “I Consume, Therefore I Am!”; “Can I Play? Participatory Marketing”; “Are You What You Buy?”; “Learning by Observing: Do You Mind if I Watch?”; “Viral Marketing: Spread the Good Word”; “The Value of Me: Who Owns Our Minds, Our Bodies—and Our Data?”; “Escape from Freedom: The Paradox of Consumerspace”… Finally, Professor Michael R. Solomon argued that customers will be loyal to the companies << that enable them to ‘‘escape from freedom’’ by simplifying and reducing options. >> Six years later, Paco Underhill underlined that customers like touching, trying, tasting, smelling, and exploring the world of desirable objects, and this artful juxtaposition of those objects can most of

the times make all the difference in the world, this being probably the most powerful incitement to shopping, giving the mentioned opportunity. Let us ask a question in the case of those who are not kept on earth by the same gravity as the others. What kind of supply chain is that which is supporting their marketing strategy? With so much as we are celebrating two decades since Martin Christopher argued that: “It is supply chains that compete, not companies”. Perhaps we will find out together the proper way to be prepared for this kind of supply chain uncertainties, taking into account the complex patterns of customer demand and rising customer expectations. Of course, the will to change the world exists thanks to great people that opened new ways to improve the thinking and acting, by encouraging authentic partners in great tasks of transformation, as Andrew Cohen (www.andrewcohen. org/andrew/spiritual-teacher. asp) would say, by planning for the unplannable (control tower, monitor, predict and so on) as Hans van Grieken (Vice President Business Innovation, Capgemini), would say.

Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor - in - Chief 1. Robin Lustig, 22 June 2012, 2. Paco Underhill - Why We Buy. The Science of Shopping, Updated and revised for the Internet, the global consumer and beyond, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, New York, 2009, p. 170 3. Martin Christopher - Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Pitmans, London, UK, 1992

Professor Maria Negreponti-Delivanis, the distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine” (Link ), allowed us on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, to publish her “Open letter to Mrs. Christine Lagarde, Head of the IMF”. It is worth to remember, within this context, that two years ago, Professor Maria Negreponti-Delivanis posted on July 6, 2010 some comments to James Galbraith’s expressed opinion on the occasion of his appearance, on June 30, 2010, before the US Commission on Deficit Reduction (July 4, 2010, LINK ). As Economist-former Rector and Professor in the University of Macedonia Maria Negreponti-Delivanis argued, while agreeing with the analysis made by James Galbraith, that the economic particularities of Greece make awfully dangerous for its future a long term austerity policy …

OPEN LETTER BY MARIA NEGREPONTI-DELIVANIS TO MRS. CHRISTINE LAGARDE, HEAD OF THE IMF (IN RELATION TO HER STATEMENT THAT “GREEKS DO NOT PAY TAXES”) Dear Mrs. Christine Lagarde, In spite of your highly offensive attitude towards Greece and the Greek people, inherent in your statement according to which the Greek people, currently going through a terrible ordeal, “do not pay taxes” and consequently “you have no sympathy for them but the children of the Niger”, I would like to think that you are a victim of biased information. The reason is that due to my long-term and very close relationship with France, its Universities and my fellow economists, as well as the deep appreciation, admiration and love which I feel for the French people, its history and civilization, I am desperately trying to find some sort of justification for the fact that, in spite of your official position, you allowed yourself to forget that you are addressing yourself to an equal member of the Eurozone. Let me also add that the moral support Greece receives on a daily basis on the part of numerous French intellectuals and students, writers and Mass Media, as well as the adverse criticism triggered by your statements on the part of the French government, represent a ray of hope and light for us, and a great help in dealing with the economic and social genocide we have been witnessing for the past two and a half years. I will therefore attempt, addressing myself to a fellow economist, to bring to your attention some evidence indicating that your relevant statements are unfounded and that Greeks do indeed pay taxes and quite heavy and inequitable ones for the matter. 1. On tax evasion In spite of the fact that tax evasion represents a world-wide and certainly not exclusively Greek phenomenon, it is nevertheless doubtful whether the latter– as well as the underground economy- are more marked in Greece, in comparison to the EU average. If however you did not “dislike” the Greeks -as you confess- you would certainly realize that the high levels of tax evasion prevailing in Greece are not due to the “corrupted Greek people” and can certainly not be eliminated by means of the inhuman and totally ineffective methods enforced on Greece by the Troika. Given the fact that I am addressing myself to a top-level economist, I believe it is sufficient for me to point out a Greek particularity which is of paramount importance as far as the problem of tax evasion is concerned. I will therefore refer you to the official Greek data, according to which the percentage of self-employed in total employment is more than double the EU average (40.7% in comparison to 16.6%). This is the primary reason for the low share of tax revenues in Greek GDP (i.e. for 2000: 34.6% compared to 40.4% in EU-27). However, in spite of the low share of tax revenues in Greece , one should point out that the tax burden of wage earners and pensioners is excessive. Indeed, their contribution to the total tax revenue is approximately double compared to the corresponding share of wages and pensions in GDP. On the contrary, the contribution of non-wage earners to the total tax burden is far lower than their income share in GDP.

Because of the fact that the high level of tax evasion in Greece is primarily due to the unorthodox employment structure of the country, I have been arguing for years that, in spite of its drawbacks, Greece should probably be better off adopting a consumption tax, as viewed by Kaldor, combined with elements of progressive taxation. The high level of tax evasion represents a major problem for Greece .However, it is impossible to eliminate it through patchy, unprepared and terribly unjust measures, such as those systematically selected and enforced by the Troika. These measures, in spite of the pauperization of wage earners and pensioners resulted –as you well know- in the plummeting and certainly not growth, of tax revenues for 2011 and 2012. It is obvious Mrs Lagarde that you will need to find a different reason for disliking the Greeks, rather that they “do not pay their taxes”. I wholeheartedly share your sympathy for the children of the Niger. I would have hoped therefore, that being in such a position of power, would have enabled you to convince the wealthy world economies to raise their inadmissibly small amount of aid towards the Third World . However, I am frankly at a loss to understand in what way the imposition of third world living conditions on a small European economy such as Greece, could alleviate the difficulties faced by the children of the Niger; for you must certainly be aware of the fact that this is where the Memorandums and loan contracts of the Troika have driven Greece.

For the 5th consecutive year, Greece is witnessing a harsh depression which has resulted in a 24% drop of GDP, 22% of unemployment, 7 out of 10 young people declaring that they would like to leave their country and emigrate abroad, 30% drop in wages and pensions, poverty embracing 40% of the people, one in three enterprises closing down, shop tenants unable to pay for their rent, the destruction of the welfare state and patients with terminal illness unable to procure the necessary medicine, soaring of criminality, unprecedented growth of suicides for economic reasons, rough sleepers taking over streets and pavements, people eating garbage and pupils fainting as a result of hunger in many schools. I therefore wonder whether this is the kind of Europe I have been fighting for since my student years. 2. Greek myths continued Mrs. Lagarde, your statement concerning the children of the Niger is not merely spontaneous, but also the source of justified concerns as to the intentions of the IMF which you are heading, and the other members of the Troika. The question is whether, apart from the obvious desire to cruelly punish Greece , there is any perspective for its salvation and an exit from the crisis. In spite of the fact that such a doubt should be dismissed as simplistic and ill-wishing – under normal circumstances- in the case of Greece it is undoubtedly well founded. Apart from the well known ruinous history of the IMF wherever it intervened, in the case of Greece, the programs imposed by the Troika are founded on a totally erroneous diagnosis of the real problems faced by the economy and it is therefore a priori certain that they will result in disastrous consequences. Apart from the myth that “Greeks do not pay taxes” because they are obviously more corrupt than other people, the programs imposed by the Troika are further based on the totally erroneous assumption that the public sector is oversized. This totally unfounded assumption is at the origin of the decisions concerning the measures imposed. Such an assumption should obviously be dismissed in the case of an economy like the Greek one, with such a high share of self-employment in total employment and such a low share of tax revenues compared to the EU average. Apart from this general ascertainment however, there is concrete statistical evidence – published by the OECD- indicating that the number of Greek civil servants as a share in total employment, is perfectly in line with the EU average and even among the lower ones in Europe . I would agree with you if you advanced the argument that the Greek public sector is not sufficiently efficient and should be improved, in spite of the fact that a number of relevant studies conclude that the average educational level of civil servants is quite satisfactory. I am at a loss to understand however, in what way the carnage involving the laying off 150.000-200.000 of civil servants which the Troika has decided and insists upon, could render the Greek public sector more efficient. As for the degree of corruption characterizing the Greek public sector, the daily announcements concerning widespread phenomena of corruption on both the European and the world level, cannot possibly convince me that Greece enjoys the place of honor. On the contrary, I am led to believe that my country has become the scapegoat for all kinds of insulting and unjust accusations and given the fact that –at least up to today- there has unfortunately been no counterargument, there is no limit

to what one may think. Still another myth on which the Troika bases the pogrom directed against Greek workers, relates to the “lazy Greeks”, in spite of official data pointing in exactly the opposite direction: that the weekly working hours of an average Greek worker are more than the EU average (38.5 vs 35). Furthermore, the cornerstone of the policy imposed by the Troika on Greece , that is the internal devaluation brutally enforced on the country during the last two years, did not have the slightest chance of success. This generally unsuccessful policy is based on the assumption that a lower production cost – i.e. wages- will stimulate exports and that their growth might help lead the country out of the crisis. The share of exports in Greek GDP however, is as low as 24% and it would be utopian to believe that it might rise to such an extent as to provide a solution for the problems faced by Greece , especially now when a large part of the country’s productive base has been rendered useless. Furthermore, approximately 50% of Greek exports have to compete with similar products provided by the emerging economies, whose low wages cannot possibly be adopted in Europe . It is true that there has been a slight growth in Greek exports, obviously the result of a drop in domestic consumption, which gave rise to jubilations as to the success of the program imposed by the Troika. It was not long however, before Greek exports dropped again. There is no need to point out that a policy based on a wrong diagnosis of the problems it is supposed to resolve, is a priori doomed to failure. This is exactly the case: in spite of the huge sacrifices committed by its citizens, the condition of the Greek economy is steadily worsening. The ratio of debt to GDP started out at 115% in 2009 and provided all goes well, is expected to rise to 132% by 2020! However, if we stick to the memorandum, there will be no Greece left by this point, given the fact that the country will have sold off all of its public property at a derogatory price, in the name of its alleged “exploitation”. The hopeless management of the Greek debt by the Troika is finally being acknowledged beyond all doubt by all serious economists and every single economic publication worldwide. The Troika however, is blind and deaf, while its leaders endlessly repeat that “ Greece must fulfill its obligations stipulated by the memorandum”. Furthermore, on the eve of national elections, Greece is being cruelly threatened and daily confronted with the dilemma “memorandum or reversion to the drachma”. I feel however, that this is a false dilemma, as everything seems to indicate that forces exogenous to Greece will be the decisive ones. Indeed Mrs. Lagarde, the very foundations of the EU and the Eurozone are trembling now that Spain is subject to some kind of supervision – certainly more lenient than that imposed on Greece , in spite of the fact that it represents a far more severe case, obviously because it did not attract your dislike. Spain is being closely followed by Italy with France a short way behind…So Mrs. Lagarde, I trust that you will agree that the decryption of the parameters and stipulations related to this dilemma you have presented us with, as well as your true intentions, is a matter of life and death for Greece. The question is, as long as by sticking to this fatal memorandum we are definitely doomed and with no hope left, why do you force us to choose it? If you are indeed preparing, under the utmost secrecy, our exit from the EU-Eurozone, obviously under circumstances that would suit you but not us, why should we remain idle? If Europe will consist of sovereigns and serfs in the future, should we not have the chance to decide whether we would like to remain in the euro, in spite of everything? Even more, if the same Europe which unfortunately did not honor any of its initial promises, is on its way to destruction, under what rationale would you expect us to deal with your likes or dislikes Mrs. Lagarde, instead of fighting with all our might to find the least destructive solution for us? Finally, I believe that the Greek people owe you their thanks, because as a result of your honest statement, as head of the IMF, you are helping them realize their true position and take the right decisions. You have told us the truth, Mrs. Lagarde: You don’t like us and obviously it is not only you…therefore your major concern cannot possibly be our salvation. But in this case, could you please tell us, why exactly are you blackmailing us into sticking to the memorandum?

Please accept my best regards, Maria Negreponti-Delivanis Thessaloniki, 11 June 2012 *Docteur ès Sciences Economiques de la Sorbonne Former Rector and Professor at the University of Macedonia Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur Membre de l’Académie des Sciences de la Roumanie Docteur Honoris Causa des 5 Universités President of the Delivanis’ Foundation

Victor GREU, Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Commitee and Member of the Editorial Board of the „Romanian Distribution Commitee Magazine”, is Professor of Communications (PhD in Communications Engineering), Brigadier general in activity (in 1991 exceptionally promoted Major- for best professional results), retired after octomber the first 2006; Author of 11 books and more than 80 papers in journals and international conferences proceedings (9 abroad); Author or co-author of winning reasearch grants; Author or co-author of 7 innovation certificates; Recipient of International Scientific awards; Member of IEEE (Communications; Antennas and Propagations - societies), since 1998; Senior Member IEEE, since februariy 2005; Member of AFCEA – USA, 1998-2010; Head of the Romanian Team at International Conference GPS-NAVSTAR (USA), Bled, Slovenia, 1995; Founder, chairman and technical committee member of the international conferences series COMMUNICATIONS (96, 98, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012) - (IEEE-Romania Section, Military Technical Academy - Politehnica University of Bucharest); Evaluation expert of National Council for Scientific Research in Higher Education (recipient of Attestation Certificate for Competence in Research Evaluation -2001), for many research programs (1998-2008) as: Excellence; Security (2006); Partnership in Priority Areas/Complex Projects (2008); Evaluation expert and president of evaluation commissions of the National Council for Scientific Research in Higher Education, for Excellence Centers (1999-2002; G.Asachi Technical University of Iasi; Technical University of Cluj); Official referee in commissions for doctoral thesis or doctoral studies process evaluation, at Politehnica University of Bucharest, G.Asachi Technical University of Iasi, Politehnica University of Timisoara, National University of Defence, Military Technical Academy (1996-2007); Leading University Graduating Works of students on co-tutelage with foreign universities from France (Toulouse-1998), Holland (Delft-2005), Germany-2007; Member of the Scientific Board of international conferences. Well known as constantly striving for perfection in everything he does, Victor GREU, Professor of Communications, has as hobbies music (high fidelity) and garden care, considered as means of communication with the spirit and the environment, practicing both arts sincerely, while meeting the nature thanks to this both special instruments which feed the soul too, proving that he does not know to rest, and telling us, including this way, what he is, it seems, the last but not the least, that he is confirming the words of Cicero that everything we need is only a garden and a library.

Prof. Eng. Ph.D. Victor GREU Abstract The paper presents an analysis of an actual family of approaches, we generally name “cognitive”, designed to optimize the resources and the development of communication and information technologies (CIT). This family of cognitive approaches and applications includes: cognitive wireless communications (an intelligent radio spectrum usage), cooperative/collaborative communications, context-aware communications, quality of user experience management, smart grid (power plants) networks, distant learning. The analysis shows how these CIT new approaches tend to have a leveraging role in the progress of Information Society (IS) toward the Knowledge Based Society (KBS) – providing more and more instruments and concepts generated for an optimized development of CIT, which soon could become useful, in generalized forms, for other fields too and generally for IS and then KBS.

The paper also presents the mechanisms by which, the main or specific cognitive approaches could improve the efficiency of CIT resources, generate refined knowledge and leverage the use of innovative potential of people in the progress of IS towards KBS. The paper concludes that the analyzed CIT cognitive approaches and further implications of their products, services and principles in IS represent long term and powerful instruments to optimize the resources management, providing for CIT (and beyond, in KBS) the versatile features that generate progressive matching processes in a ever-changing environment, either technological, economic, financial or social. Keywords: information/knowledge based society, communication and information technologies, cognitive communications, context-aware communications, quality of user experience. JEL Classification: M15, O32


Step by step, CIT – the most dynamic field of Information Society (IS) toward the Knowledge Based Society (KBS) – provide more and more instruments and concepts generated for an optimized development, which soon could become useful, in generalized forms, for other fields too and generally for IS and then KBS [7]. The last most relevant examples could be “network centric” and “cloud”, for which the reasons and mechanisms of action were presented in [3]. In the present, we may observe the proliferation and growth of a new family of approaches, we generally name it “cognitive”, designed to optimize the resources and the development of CIT. So we encountered some impressive approaches of CIT applications, as cognitive wireless communications (an intelligent radio spectrum usage), cooperative/collaborative communications, context-aware communications, intelligent (contextaware) services etc. Along with these main approaches, there are other issues (approaches), more specific, as quality of user experience management, integrated context management, semantic services, smart grid (power plants) networks, ubiquitous healthcare, distant learning, social networks etc. All these main or specific approaches have some cognitive features which could be further detailed in order to reveal their potential to become generalized approaches/instruments, in a diversity of forms and applications, useful to leverage the progress of IS and KBS. The main features of these approaches, beyond their potential as pure hard or soft CIT, could lend to other fields (outside CIT) their power of progress as essential ideas and principles which may include: - generation of instruments for a better efficiency of resources by functionally/real time usage of additional information from the application context (continuously matching with the context concrete conditions); - inserting feedback from users in the operational processes in order to offer them efficient satisfaction; - leveraging innovation and prosperity growth by attracting users’ potential in distributed management, accurate information for decision making, home working, healthcare networks, distant learning, social networks etc. It is important to notice that these features, among other, could be realized today in a diversity of activity fields (industry, commerce, finances, education, healthcare, culture etc.) as a direct contribution of CIT performant/real time products and services, but in the future they could be extended too as ideas, principles or methods regardless of the degree of CIT applications usage. This way, CIT could bring fundamental and continuously refined contributions to the ever-changing “knowledge” in IS and KBS.

2. HOW THE COGNITIVE APPROACHES WORK FOR BETTER, IN CIT AND BEYOND The development and operational use of the above mentioned cognitive approaches and applications aims to provide a better management of the CIT systems resources and in the same time greater services efficiency and customer satisfaction. More than these, the cognitive CIT leverage the participation and the education of involved people, by adding refined knowledge in the concrete activity fields where they are deployed. In order to reach these objectives, starting from the already high levels we have in present, the new cognitive CIT approaches are inherently very complex, i.e., difficult to design, implement and optimally use. This way, a serious challenge we encounter today is to design very performant and complex applications but a main requirement is to provide in the same time friendly features for the customer (user), i.e., a simple and efficient way of use. Technically, we have to offer friendly user interfaces and, as much as possible, simple maintenance and generally low TCO (total cost of ownership). So, the premises for the cognitive CIT approaches reflect the state of the art (very high) scientific and technological actual level but more and more they must include and reveal new ingredients (requirements) referring to an optimized management of user interfaces and experience – these new issues being also objectives for standardization. As a better understanding is possible by examples, without intending, in this paper space, to analyze more than partially, we can shortly overview some of the mentioned CIT cognitive approaches. The cognitive wireless communications (CWC) were the first opening to the cognitive CIT approaches. The CWC concept, in order to solve the consequences of limited available spectrum, is based on spectrum sensing devices (receivers) which provide accurate and real time information about the electromagnetic environment, i.e., the extend to which the frequency channels in the operating band is occupied (used by other communicators) [1]. Eventually, CWC could offer and use, in real time, refined “knowledge” about the current infrastructure status, useful in many other applications. The actual information could be then processed to allow for a secondary user to transmit in the free channels as long it does not disturb the primary user. Obviously, the CWC are more complicated than this, because, in the real applications, a diversity of other requirements must be fulfilled, including prior protocols between primary and secondary users. Beyond this issues, CWC applications become more complex and performant by using data bases with a diversity of environments (specific areas) and types of signals (standards), along with adaptive management systems (user friendly) and spectrum politics. As a similar approach, the cooperative/collaborative communications (CC) consist of improving the performance and operational efficiency by using, in real time, the possibilities of users and environmental networks to joint their available communications resources and information, in order to complement, in specific conditions, the communication needs [2]. A prominent feature of CC is providing and using the cooperative data dissemination, as base for a diversity of hosted or cooperative applications, in areas like emergency, crisis management, security and a diversity of resources managing applications. The context-aware communications (CAC) represent a new approach of CIT, referring to the use of all available information from the area of communications (the user real time area/position), in order to improve and extend the CIT services which could be offered instantly to the users [4]. Before any other details, it is important to notice that the “available information” is supposed to be generated by other communications devices which are present in the area, usually intended to offer a diversity of information that could be useful for the users in specific applications (exemples could start with the old GPS information and extend to weather, emergency, security, traveling, tourism, culture, education, healthcare, commerce, finances, billing or any web/Internet service). Notice that, like CWC, CAC are also a very powerful approach, due to its potential to extend and improve along with the CIT performances, especially as ubiquitous CIT services. Among other cognitive approaches, referring to more specific families of applications, we may include those which could generate further powerful development, as the quality of user experience management (QoEM), integrated context management (ICM), smart grid networks (SGN), distant learning (DL) etc. the ever-changing “knowledge” in IS and KBS.

QoEM is one of the new and promising cognitive approaches of CIT, due to its growing influence on the general development of CIT. This influence is achieved by the specific mechanism of growing CIT services as the user feedbacks leverage this growth. Perhaps the most relevant example for QoEM importance and functionality is generated by the consequences of the exponentially growth of CIT products and services by families as smart phones, notebooks, tablets, gaming stations, TV-s and similar gadgets, along with all web/Internet applications, including more and more content services. So it become clear that the development of such applications must include principles and mechanisms which could provide, along with customer satisfaction requirements, the self-growing features that insert the user experience (satisfaction), some time in real time, as a leveraging factor of progress (efficiency) [5]. Notice also that is very difficult to express and quantify the user experience in order to accurately influence the CIT products and services design, development, deployment, operation, prices or maintenance. ICM are referring to specific approaches that tend to maximize the efficacy and efficiency, by integrating mechanisms which are approximately similar to CAC. SGN cover a very special and important field, referring to green industry and beyond (virtual power plants), addressing the vital Earth challenges of resources (energy) fading and CO2 emission [8]. Applications of SGN already proved their efficiency and today we may speak about the amazing optimization of electric power consumption at distribution grid level, i.e., concrete ways to spare, in real time, amounts of electric energy that could be equivalent with virtual power plants [6]. Although DL is not a new field of CIT applications, its potential along with the new CAC features may provide impressive results in a growing “market” of users.

3. WITH COOPERATIVE AND INVENTIVE PEOPLE TOWARDS KBS Perhaps the DL importance, similar to home working/“mobile office” and generally to all cognitive CIT approaches, will prove step by step to be enormous for the KBS, as all these approaches will provide along with remote operation and mobility, in addition to considerably efficiency for the individual, enterprise or government (by sparing time, energy and other office resources), an optimized frame to leverage people’s cooperation, efficiency, creative potential and prosperity. On the other hand, the road of IS to KBS is long and full of challenges, including a progressive contribution of CIT, which have an impressive potential to generate improvements in all mankind activity fields and beyond – in all Earth processes [3]. The pace of CIT growth, as the most dynamic factor of KBS progress, is subject to many debates, as the technological progress brings also “secondary effects” for the mankind and Earth (climate changes and Earth resources fading being the most prominent). About the pace, there are analysts which believe that some premises could lead to the risk of slowing down the global growth and finally the progress and prosperity too. In this context, CIT remained the most dynamic field, by it is important to analyze with attention all the evolutions and select the most efficient and versatile solutions, because the mankind is traversing a complex and difficult period, where predictions are more and more unreliable. Unfortunately, the actual crisis has, among other, as causes, a slowing down of innovation processes. More than this, it is important to observe that CIT too could get into a vicious circle anyway, because one of the crisis main consequences is the slowing down of investments, including research and development and then innovation. That is why we have to find new approaches for the development, in order to leverage, with minimal costs (i.e., a better use of people’s creative potential), the innovation processes. So, a better resource management, irrespective the application and field of activity, is more than desirable and that is why cognitive CIT approaches and all their mentioned implications represent valuable contributions to refined knowledge, stable progress for KBS and prosperity for the mankind. Of course, the real processes, at Earth scale, are more complicated, but one of the subtle side is given by the complex mechanisms where the cognitive CIT approaches operates through their products, services and eventually the involved people (simple users or specialists), finally providing better results in all areas, along with refined knowledge. We consider that the main ingredient of this subtle side is the refined design of CIT applications, which is continuously improved by the mechanisms the new cognitive approaches include, i.e., by all the context factors and eventually people’s creative potential.

4. CONCLUSIONS The CIT cognitive approaches and further implications of their products, services and principles in IS represents long term and powerful instruments to optimize the resources management, including people’s potential, in order to continue and improve the innovation processes and refined knowledge generation towards KBS. Very important is to notice that the cognitive approaches provide for CIT (and beyond) the versatile features that generate progressive matching processes in an ever- changing environment, either technological, economic, financial or social. These new approaches also express a new and impressive step in the CIT evolution, which provide accurate instruments, with performance that could not have been imagined till now, useful for CIT, IS and Earth, in order to face the actual and yet to come challenges. REFERENCES [1] Ossama Younis et all, “Cognitive MANET design for mission critical networks”, IEEE Communications Magazine, oct.2009. [2] Jinfeng Du, Ming Xiao, Mikael Shoklund, Cooperative network coding strategies for wirelss relay networks with backhaul, IEEE Trans. On Communications, sep.2011. [3] Victor Greu, The network centric and cloud - a new paradigm for the optimization of the technical and human information systems, Romanian Distribution Committee MagazineVolume 4, Issue 4, 2011. [4] Carlos Baladron, Javier M.Aguiar, Belen Carro, Lorena Calavia, Alejandro Cadenas, Antonio Sanchez-Esguevillas, Framework for intelligent service adaptation to user’s context in next generation networks, IEEE Communications Magazine, mar.2012. [5] Khalil ur Rehman Laghari, Noel Crespi, Kay Connelly, Toward total quality of experience: a QoE model in a communication ecosystem, IEEE Communications Magazine, apr.2012. [6] Jean Kumagai, Virtual power plants, real power, IEEE Spectrum, mar.2012. [7] *** Towards a knowledge based Europe The European Union and the information society, European Commission Directorate General Press and Communication, October 2002. [8] Glen Anderson et al , Power Efficiency and Sustainable Information Technology, Intel Technology Journal, dec.2008.

THE EXPANSION OF ONLINE RETAILING AS A SUPPLEMENTARY SHOPPING CHANNEL FOR CUSTOMERS ABSTRACT In online retailing or electronic retailing (or e-retailing, electronic commerce, Internet retailing, e-commerce), retailers offer their products and services over the Internet. Merchandise is thus presented in Internet shops. Customers usually place their orders via electronic checkouts or they can use e-mail or traditional modes of communication (e.g. mail, phone and fax). While, in most cases, customers pay through traditional systems (e.g. credit card, purchasing on account), some Internet shops also offer electronic payment systems. In electronic retailing, according to their merchandise strategies, retailers can be divided into general merchandise and specialty retailers. KEYWORDS: Online Shops, Market Consolidation, Digital Products, Internet Auctions, Price Comparison Systems, Mobile Commerce, Live Shopping, Umbrella Brand Strategy JEL Classification: L81, M31, L86 Generally, all kinds of products can be sold over the Internet, but major sales are generated in such categories as books, CDs, DVDs, clothes, computer software, toys and home electronics. The Internet is also of high importance for digital products such as software, music and e-books that – unlike physical goods – can literally be transferred through electronic channels. In such cases, the Internet offers additional shopping convenience in terms of the direct and immediate availability of the products purchased (“transaction convenience”). The most prominent example of a successful Internet retailer is Amazon, which started off as a specialty retailer focusing on books, but has added more and more product categories to its portfolio since, such as music, toys, consumer electronics, pet supplies and even groceries. The “hype” that was associated with Internet shopping as a revolutionary retail format in the beginning has receded, and a market consolidation process has driven many Internet retailer innovators out of the market. Nonetheless, for several years electronic retailing – internationally – has been the retail format with the fastest growth. The relevance of the Internet as a shopping channel is prevalent all over the world. In 2010, there were 475 million Internet users in Europe, nearly 270 million in North America, nearly 850 million Internet users in Asia-Pacific and about 170 million Internet users in Africa and the Middle East. While this accounts for a world penetration of about 26% of

the total population, there are strong differences between the developed and developing world. With regard to online shopping, the percentage of people that use the Internet as a shopping channel varies and is as high as 70% of the Norwegian population, with an average penetration rate of 37 % in Europe. In 2010, US online retail sales were as high as 172.9 billion USD, with a predicted growth of about 20 billion USD per year until 2014. This trend of Internet shopping being a retail channel of growing importance seems to be a worldwide trend. For example, online sales in China experienced growth by almost 90 % from 2009 to 2010 to a total of 58 billion EUR. However, the relevance of the Internet as a retail channel is still rather low, with a market share of 7 % of all retail sales in North America and 5.5 % in Europe in 2010 (Reuters 2010). This is also reflected in the share of online shopping spending of customers. When the Internet was introduced as a shopping channel, there were pessimistic prognoses that predicted that electronic commerce would damage traditional bricks-andmortar stores, but the emerging reality rather proposes that e-commerce has become a supplementary shopping channel for customers.

With regard to price formats, the general price strategies can be differentiated in online retailing. For example, there are online discounters that sell products at prices below the average price line and there exist qualityoriented retailers that charge higher prices for more exclusive offers. In online retailing, low price formats such as value retailers, off-price stores and factory outlets also exist that offer products at lower than average prices as well as stock-outs and end of line stock. For example, on sites such as, Sears Outlet or Tesco Outlet, overstocks, remnants or products from the previous season are offered. A specific form of online closeout retailers are private shopping clubs such as Gilt Groupe or brands4friends where members can buy popular brands at high discounts. Through this shopping channel, retailers organise time-limited online shopping events in which remnants or liquidation stock in apparel, accessories, homewares or toys are sold only to club members, i.e. registered users. To become a member, consumers need to be invited by other members or they can get waitlisted to get membership. One advantage of the closed membership base is that offers from these online shopping clubs do not appear in price comparison sites, which would hurt the brand image of the offered designer brands. The emergence of Internet retailing has also led to new business models and new forms of retail transactions that are mediated by the computer. With regard to price formats, dynamic pricing models are important. For example, Internet auctions have emerged. While in online Dutch auctions prices start at a high level and are reduced until the first bidder accepts the price, the most common form of online auctions is the English auction where the initial price starts low and the price is bid up by successive bidders. This traditional type of auction is, for example, employed by eBay, the most successful online auction platform. Bids cannot be made for free in all cases. For example, bidding fee auctions (also labeled penny auctions) have emerged (e.g. Swoopo) where bidders must purchase credits to make bids. However, these types of auctions are controversially discussed and have been criticized as being a specific type of gambling. Another new price format is referred to as live shopping. This price format is characterized by a very limited assortment, often only a couple of products, that is available on the live shopping platform for a very low price, often the best online price of the day, but the offer is only available for a very limited time, usually 24 hours. This time limit and the lim-

ited availability of the products forces customers to make quick purchasing decisions and often impulse purchases are stimulated. Live shopping is applied by specialised retailers such as Woot, Groupon or Daily Deal, that operate live shopping websites, but traditional retailers such as Sears or Buy. com also integrate live shopping elements into their online shops. Other price formats that have been developed are Internet price comparison (e.g. froogle) or “name-your-own-price” systems (e.g., although not all of them are successful. Experiential and Community-based Online Retailing Technological developments in online communication offer new dimensions in online retailing with regard to experience shopping. With the use of videos, avatars, user communities or other interactive measures, many retailing websites have performed a trading-up process. Retailers that follow this approach usually use sophisticated methods to address their customers. Companies such as ASOS or Globetrotter, for example, provide emotional shopping environments with intensive information on product specifications and usage situations and use product rating systems where customers rate and discuss products, combined with further options to interact with customers as well as topic-related discussion forums. Even video shopping is offered where products are featured and can be put into a shopping cart right out of the video.

While in these types of online shops social communities are important but rather peripheral elements of the websites, community-based retailing sites have emerged that have been established around a social community or with a social community as an integral element of the retailing concept. For example, on the Amazon website, product ratings and discussions between members of the community are integral parts of the retailing concept. uses a community as the basis for a product search platform that links product from several retailer websites. Many retailers now use such features but some online shops also now focus on these social interactions in their marketing efforts. Online retailing also allows for new business models with regard to the products offered. A specific type of assortment strategy that has emerged mainly in the online environment relates to the individualisation of products. In Internet shops that focus on this type of strategy, customers are able to alter product specifications in order to assemble their individual products. Typically, customers can combine different product elements (e.g. form, colour, ingredients, etc.) and create their own, individualised configurations of the product. Usually, retailers provide a standardised set of product elements that is customisable in the hands of the end-user. On retailing sites such as spreadshirt, zazzle or chocri, customers can create or alter the product themselves; the product is then configured “on demand” and shipped to the consumers. Often, this strategy is applied by manufacturers that use the online channel to directly sell to consumers. Many manufacturers of soft goods such as apparel or shoes use this strategy, e.g. Nike with NIKEID or Adidas. It is also popular in the consumer electronics industry, with companies such as Apple or Dell providing product individualisation or personalization options. However, mass customisation is also applied in the food industry. For example, on sites such as or customers can create their own breakfast cereals.

MERCGABDUSE-ORIENTED SHOPS IN ONLINE RETAILING Assortment-oriented online retailers provide online shops in which customers primarily search for products. A common type of assortment strategy in online retailing is implemented as online department stores that - similar to their stationary pendant - carry a broad variety and a deep assortment. Amazon proudly announces that it has the widest possible assortment in most of the categories offered. Companies such as Otto or Walmart also make a mark in online retailing, mainly with their wide selections of products from a broad number of categories. This strategy corresponds to general merchandise catalogue retailers. More common in the online environment is specialty online retailing. This strategy implies a more focused assortment; thus, retailers concentrate on one or a few specific categories of merchandise. Similar to specialty stores, they offer deep but narrow assortments in specific market segments. Retailers that operate such specialty online shops are Lands’End or Next in apparel retailing or online bookstores. Because of the high transparency of prices on the Internet, these online specialty retailers are under high pressure because price aggressive formats are common online. Online category killers such as Microspot or Pixmania, both price aggressive online retailers in consumer electronics, Zalando as a price aggressive online retailer in the field of shoes, clothes and accessories or 123pneus, an online category killer in the field of tyres, offer complete assortments in their categories at low prices. However, online retailers have challenges with regard to customer attraction and awareness. Therefore, high communication efforts are often necessary to establish their online shops. Additionally, the operating costs of online shops may be very high, especially if the retailers focus on emotional or experiential shopping environments and want to use individualization options on their websites. A method to solve these problems is cooperation between retailers. In this context, platform strategies are common. Marketplaces or online shopping centres have emerged. On these platforms, a wide and deep selection of products can be accessed by customers. Contrary to traditional online stores that are operated by one retailer, the products on these sites are offered by many retailers. Examples are Stylight or Taobao, but also Amazon or eBay serve as electronic marketplaces as they operate platforms for third-party retailers.

MEDIA FOR ONLINE RETAILING While online shopping is often understood and investigated as purchasing on a retailer’s website by personal computer or laptop (“stationary Internet”), new digital devices (e.g. smartphones, tablet PCs or Internet-enabled TVs) provide new possibilities for customers to shop online. In particular, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is rapidly emerging as an alternative form of online shopping. While for a long time m-commerce was mainly associated with mobile phones, portable two-sided digital devices such as tablet PCs or media players are growing in significance for online shopping. Total US m-commerce grew 253 % from 396.3 million USD in 2008 to 1.4 billion USD in 2009 (ABI Research 2010), as more customers tend to choose mobile shopping over traditional online shopping. Regarding usage, access to online shopping is spreading from desktops to the living room, supported by the trend of more and more TVs offering Internet access. However, Internetenabled TV (IETV) sets are quickly becoming mainstream, with iSuppli (2010) estimating that global shipments will reach nearly 150 million units by 2014, representing 54 % of the total TV market. Thus, mobile Internet and Internet access via TV obviously differ from stationary Internet, and it is expected that these differences will bring new challenges and opportunities to online retailers.

MULTICHANNEL RETALING The term multichannel retailing refers to retailers using several retail channels in parallel to sell their merchandise. This strategy has been common for a long time, but has recently become more relevant and topical because of new channels of distribution, in particular the Internet. Many retailers act as multichannel retailers and combine several retail formats, such as bricks-and-mortar stores and/or traditional catalogues with Internet retailing. By doing so, companies can exploit the unique benefits of different retail formats and thus increase customer benefits. However, they also have to deal with the specific drawbacks associated with each retail format. The main reasons for evolving into multichannel retailers are: • Expanding market presence into new markets (e.g. new target groups, geographically new markets, etc.) • Leveraging skills and assets to increase revenues and profits (e.g. well-known retail brands, supplier relationships, buying power, customer information, supply chain systems, etc.) • Overcoming the limitations of existing formats (e.g. store size, flexibility in pricing and merchandise provision, information-provision modes, etc.) • Increasing customer share/share of wallet (customers’ percentage of total purchases with the retailer).

Multichannel retailers applying an umbrella brand strategy, which means that all retail formats of the company carry the same retail brand, must provide a consistent image to consumers across all channels. Thus, the integration of retail channels is one of the major issues with which retailers are still struggling. The provision of integrated retail channels is important in multichannel retailing, as customers in many cases use several retail channels in combination in their buying processes. For example, consumers can (1) gain initial information on brands and product types from the catalogue, (2) inspect the physical aspects (e.g. colours, materials, content) at the store, (3) check prices and (4) availability, (5) complete the transaction in the Internet shop and (6) pick up or (7) return products at or to the store. Successful multichannel retailers include Otto (catalogues, stores, Internet shop, mobile commerce and TV shopping), Lands’ End (catalogues, stores and Internet shop), Tesco or Carrefour (multiple store formats and Internet shop) and Douglas (stores and Internet shop). It is expected that these new developments in online retailing with new forms and situations of online access will bring new challenges and opportunities for multichannel retailers and profoundly reshape the retailing landscape, just as the Internet channel has done to date.

CONCLUSION With regard to the retailing landscape, a high share of companies is engaged in online and multichannel retailing. Almost all large retailers that operate stores have opened online shops, and most category specialists, with companies including retailers such as H&M, Deichmann, Best Buy or Decathlon, operate multichannel retailing systems. For remote ordering retailers, even though catalogues remain an important means of retailing, online channels are proving vital. However, many pure players in online retailing such as Amazon, Zalando, Pixmania and many others are among the most successful retailers in their industries, implying that multichannel retailing is not an indispensable strategy a retailer needs to choose. Thus, even though there are many successful examples of multichannel retailers, multichannel retailing is not appropriate for every retailer. For example, small and medium-sized retailers rarely possess the financial and managerial resources to create seamless multiple channel environments by consolidating disparate retail management systems into one customer-focused system. Additionally, the potential synergies of a multichannel system are not the same for all retailers.

REFERENCES [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

KRAFFT, M. /MANTRALA M.K. (2010) – “Retailing in the 21st Century: Current and Future Trends”, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. WILLIAMS, D.E. (2009): “The Evolution of E-tailing”, in: The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 219-249 ZENTES, J.; SWOBODA, B.; SCHRAMM-KLEIN, H. (2010): “Internationales Marketing”, 2nd edition, Munich. SCHRAMM-KLEIN, H. (2003): “Multi-Channel-Retailing – Verhaltenswissenschaftliche Analyse der Wirkung von Mehrkanalsysteme” im Handel, Wiesbaden. VERHAGEN, T.; VAN DOLEN, W. (2009): “Online purchase intentions: A multichannel store image perspective”, in: Information & Management, Vol. 46, No. 2. NESLIN, S.A.; VENKATESH, S. (2009): “Key Issues in Multichannel Customer Management: Current Knowledge and Future Directions”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 23. LEVY, M.; WEITZ, B. (2009): “Retailing Management”, 7th edition, Boston et al. ZENTES J., Morschett D., Schramm-Klein H. (2011) – “Strategic Retail Management”, Gabler Verlag, 2nd edition.




The Internet has changed the whole world through its scale and accessibility. Even if the information can be found easier than ever, it triggers a whole series of effects on many aspects of modern life as well as in a wide range of domains. Marketing is directly influenced by the Internet which has given the modern marketers new and countless possibilities. The development of the social networks led to a dynamic movement of information. The information quantity and quality along with the outsourcing process are among the challenges of today’s social media phenomena. Different kind of databases implied the need for an efficient management. Informal guidelines have appeared in order to facilitate good practices among social media users. That is a very sensitive chapter and requires not only a technical but also an ethical approach.


social networks, Internet, marketing, ethics, strategy, information, quantity, quality, outsourcing

JEL Classification:

M15, M31

The Internet development as a socialization mean led to the advent of a specific terminology which connects concepts coming from various domains with technical terms, forging not only an original mixture of meanings but also outstanding effects. We can speak about a true revolution of the communication channels with a direct impact over the option of searching, finding and obtaining the information. This easiness brought a big contribution to the widening process of forging new capacities in order to accede the commodities and market services. Thus, a new innovational and transnational image of the economical activity is outlined. Modern technological means such as the Internet give strenght and shape the market relations between the producers and the consumers. The online environment gained ground lately and the Internet social networks are among the innovations which shook the interaction among the people up within a very short period of time. Within the specific literature there are many aspects of this phenomena which rise along with a complex clasification initiative. First, the growth of social media provides a broad range of opportunities for brands. That includes the capacity and the knowhow which can both help to identify best customers. Moreover, finding and encouraging individuals with influence and leverage within the social networks is an important step towards a brand consolidation in the eye of the consumer. However, we can distinguish between several types of actors involved in talking about a brand or promoting it. As it will further be seen, there are not only the brand consumers who advocate the brand, but also the endorsement actors who may receive a form of compensation in exchange for their support. Key social communities like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many more others host many types of online social players divided in many groups. There is a strong ethical component directly related with the above ideas. Thus, depending on what it is done or what it isn’t may guarantee or not the success of an online brand support initiative. Secondly the information quantity brings itself a big question about the management and the quality of such big resource. Do the companies have the proper means to obtain, to handle and to make public the information? Would the outsourcing bring more cost efficiency?

Social networks – connecting people Connecting people through Internet is not just a simple communication process. Simplifying such a huge amount of factors would conceal the proper judgement of one of the most important trends of this century. There are many actors who participate in social systmes by connecting themselves and by bringing its own contribution in influencing each other behaviour. We can distinguish among several types of social network clasifications. However there is a common issue in the fact that, even if it isn’t mentioned in the same way, the social network has the same conceptual value. That’s the social media related with the idea of communication or networking. The enterprise relational system comes with an interesting position regarding the networking concept. Networking is defined through the development and the maintanance of relationship between individuals who have direct and indirect impact over the business. The stakeholders could obtain important value by strenghtening the interaction and building a network. According to some studies there can be outlined 3 types of networking. The commercial networking highlights the relationship among the entrepeneur and his company on one side and the individuals who take part to the economic transactions on the other. A second cathegory regards the networking only as a communication process between the company and the public institutions (local administrations, chamber of commerce, etc.) which are not involved in the transaction field. Nevertheless they are essential providers of usefull information for the business evolution. The third cathegory links the entrepeneur’s perception over his ongoing business. That has a social-mental meaning and it implies a psychological overview of how things should go on the company.

When talking about the business implications it is necessary to stress out the depths of its theoretical and practical horizon. Nowadays social media is widely used in a broad range of domains such as marketing, PR, recruiting, customer service or communication. One of the first tasks in establishing a social media strategy is to define the resources and the technological means in order to see the options and the limits of the social media implementation. Following the thread, a deep understanding of the objectives and obstacles will define what the organization wants to obtain through social media. After that, it is essential to choose the media channels and the type of content for each channel. At its turn, integration, the next step, will determine how social media will integrate within the existing communication channels. Action Planning will help to create a plan that includes two actions such as the internal buy-in and funding process along with the execution process for incorporating social media. Finally there is a strong learning component of the strategy as the information updates in a dynamic manner. Returning to the technological means, blogs and social networking sites are now starting to address a new issue. They may be seen as an electronic equivalent of a B2B Consumer Reports. There is a strong difference now as opposed to the mid- to late 1990s which shows that empowered buyers are now able to clear-cut their requirements by using technology and most importantly, without speaking with salespeople. That’s why, when we refer to the use of the means made available by the Internet, the implementation of a strategy is a compulsory element. The strategy should link the business concept to the web social networks and it would contain severeal steps. In the first place a link between the products/services and the posible client target connected online should be conceived. The second step is gathered around the need of identifying the IT resources and the type of the online „presence” (company’s site, blogs, social networks, etc.). In the next stage the information content regarding the company philosophy and products is ought to be sent to those individuals who make their interest visible. The last coordinate is essential for maintaining a constant interest of the clients. In this case, the permanent connection to the ideas and needs of the target individuals is the main task. Sometimes this process can be difficult as there is a difference between the time frame that the customers and the company often use. For example USA company which sells its products in Europe will likely hire someone who would work in shifts in order to cover Europe time zone. That means more resources more energy and costs increase. An overall perspective shows the need to integrate the social media channels with more traditional channels in order to create a holistic manner of communication between all company’s departments.

1.Schiller Dan, ”Digital capitalism Networking the Global Market System”, Mit Press, 1999, p. xiv 2.Ursu Dorel, ”Crearea și dezvoltarea afacerilor – planul de afaceri”, Modul 4, Promovarea culturii antreprenoriale şi formare antreprenorială în mediul de afaceri din judeţul Sălaj, Proiect cofinanţat 3. 4.Ibidem 5.MICHAEL T. BOSWORTH, JOHN R. HOLLAND, FRANK VISGATIS, “CUSTOMER CENTRIC SELLING”, Second Edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2010, pp.26-28 6.Mueller Bruno, ”Social Media, Social networks and Social Capital”, speech on 29th of September 2010 at the American German Business Club (Munich), p.5

din Fondul Social European prin Programul Operaţional Sectorial, Dezvoltarea Resurselor Umane 2007-2013, pp.31-32

Nevertheless, there has always been a challenging component for the marketers who have always tried to face the pressure with the less consuming efforts available. But now the economic landscape is constantly changing and the new type of promoting the products through Internet channels has set a different kind of pressure for the marketers. The power of engagement defines the succes in a marketing plan. The engagement also has the ability to measure the value and the impact on the brand. The value may reside in the fact that the social networks affect the beliefs, the perceptions and the actions through a wide range of structure mechanisms which relie uppon entities relationships. As a consequence, the direct interactions leave to a better informational flow among the entities. The degree of mutual interaction meets a significant increase even if there are third forces in the game (advertising agents, salesmen, etc.). A sumption in the networks analysis starts from the idea that the structure relationships may be regarded as dinamical processes. The networks find themselves in a permanent movement which allows them to reshape according to the type of member interaction. They are transformed by the composing entities according to the emerged advantages.

Ethics and trust In a classical way, ethics reffer to rules and standards the govern a person’s behavior in relation to another human being. The tie develops between individuals in a manner that creates a certain level of comfort inside the relation. To be more accurate, ethics influence the dynamic of the relationship by offering it its trend according to the player’s behaviour and intentions. The case of social networks brings into discussion two aspects of the utmost importance. First, ethics become a standard when one tries to set the behavior norms between the involved individuals. This transceeds the regular social media activity pattern, wether we reffer to trivial communication or marketing campaigns. Secondly, there is a strong dynamism within the online interaction. Ethics is not just the only thing the social media actors recurr to. There’s always a big search for truth and accurate information. The nowadays economical challenges set the stage for the „uniqueness” within a relationship between providers and clients. Apart from the offer details, there is confidence, faith and ethics what could bond the entities among them. The link between ethics and social media brought several debates whether they should be treated as two different concepts or not. Jay Shepherd, author of the book “Firing at Will: A Manager’s Guide” recommends keeping it simple: “My social media policy is just two words but covers everything: ‘Be professional.’ Unprofessional employees are going to act unethically whether or not they’re plugged in to social media.” One of the oldest non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to independent research and advancement of high ethical standards and practices in both public and private institutions, The Ethics Resource Center (ERC) produced many free for public reports in which they gathered information about employees’ perspectives of ethics in the workplace. A latest study tackles the relation between ethics and social media. The conclusions in the report point that “active social networkers show a higher tolerance for activities that could be considered unethical.” Dr. Patricia J. Harned, outlines the tendency of the social networkers “[…] to consider things that are ‘gray areas’ — issues that are not always clear in company policies as wrong; and that’s an area for further study.” Marketing leaders seek to develop ways to bring more efficiency when interacting with consumers on social media. In this search, trust and ethics are strong components. There is a new trend among the social media specialists regarding the way an Online Content Creator should manage the information in order to be ethic and to gain trust. Though this is not a general valid scheme, it may help to understand what ethics could mean when referring to social media.

Here are some guidelines of how it should be done : • The right to voice your opinion - Freedom of Speech, Information, Publication and Expression. These are strong components of a democracy and they should be protected permanently. • A critical point of view of the web creation including the own web creation – the importance of having an objective opinion about what goes on in society as well as how these events are presented. • A wise use of the power in order to shine a light on injustices or to protect abused. • The search for the truth – this implies also showing the facts as most objective as possible, trying to bring light and truth wherever is needed. Facts should be presented as they are, even if not everybody agrees with them. • Present the opinion as an opinion and not as an event, fact or data. • Keep an independent and objective position in order to gain confidence from the readers. This will show the allegiance for seeking the truth. • Reveal the information sources will ensure transparency and will give credibility to the content. • Critical attitude to the sources and independent verification. • Give proper attribution when quoting or basing the content on the work of others. • The intended meaning of a given statement should always be preserved. • Promote an open discussion where all the sides could voice their opinions. • Admit and correct the mistakes as soon as they are discovered. Another type of approach drives the attention towards what must not be done : • Concealed Endorsements - any form of compensation to a blogger or tweeter, it is considered a compensated endorsement. When that fact is revealed, the whole online campaign is marked with a negative image. • Improper Anonymity – commenting on a blog, social network without revealing the identity might be very risky. In such case the opinions and comments may come directly from the competition who more likely would try to harm a company’s image. Though, it is not illegal for the competition to hide behind an anonymous identity, ethically wise that could ruin the consumer trust. • Compromising Consumer Privacy - data available on individual consumers is a resource that companies always maximize. However there is a delicate border between using ethically the personal data and violating it. • Overly Enthusiastic Employees – employees who are brand consumers and who tend to over praise the brand features • Using the Online Community to Get Free Work – under a contest framework a company obtains for “free” on behalf of the participants ideas that it could easily use later. Social media, through its sheer scale, is one of the biggest databases that exist. Although the information is dissipated, a marketing department can gather valuable data about the consumer’s behavior towards a certain brand. Also, like in a classical social network, strong leverage figures appear online and the act of informing can become subject to manipulative behavior from the side of the producer and its marketers. Facing a period of decline the tabloid press is a good example of more or less concealed endorsers. Circulated tabloid newspapers are on decline, with the only real future for tabloids being with their online content. Even important figures of the British tabloid press, like Ian Katz or Graham Johnson describe this type of newspapers as “vehicles for media propaganda to serve corporate interests” and state that they have cut them-

7. 8.Della Penna Michael, “3 Ways Social Communities and Engagement Will Redefine Marketing”, June 30, 2011, 9.Sharlyn Lauby, Ethics and Social Media: Where Should You Draw The Line? March 17, 2012, 10.Ibidem 11. 12.Vinjamuri David, Contributor, “Ethics and the Five Deadly Sins of Social Media A brand guy speaking truth to power and teaching at NYU, CMO Network|11/03/2011”,

selves off from society given that their journalists and editors are predominantly private schooled and out of touch with the workingclass readers. Also, it is stated that tabloid journalists are trying to attract people of certain generations who are interested in celebrities and tend to use the Internet as their predominant source of news rather than newspapers . Nonetheless, the consumer can find out very easily if the information presented is true and, in the case of misleading facts or statements, can simply choose to abandon that brand and spread negative word-of-mouth. From this point of view ethics in social media may act basically as an unwritten ethics code both for the marketing activity and advertising.

There are some tasks that marketers prefer to outsource to third parties:

Information – quantity and quality There is a huge amount of information running on the social networks. That’s why whoever would benefit from it must also provide the proper services in order to arrange it or to have it arrange by the third party stakeholders. Stocking, sharing, or integrating, the data helps in deriving insight through analysis. As such, organizations can create a panoramic view of the business and the universe unlike any that has ever been seen before. This can be called the “socialization of data.” With the socialization of data, companies can exploit what consumers are doing and saying to enable smart, action-oriented business approaches that enhance customer understanding and engagement. Companies strive for data equity as they use cutting edge analytic technology to create real business value. We can distinguish between three main domains in which both the quality and quantity of information play a substantial role: • job creation - a study made public in September 2011 reveals that a lot of third-party companies that rely on Facebook and its social network platform have created jobs for between 182,000 and 235,644 people. The figures show also a contribution between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy. These third party companies are responsible for all of the Facebook apps and games that many users are increasingly addicted to. A higher use of the apps brings for Facebook an increase in revenues from advertising. Supposedly the figures are believed to be conservative estimates, concealing probably a higher number. It is said that the total amount of data stored on earth is doubling every 18 months. That’s why it is imperative for companies to empower their data to provide insights, rather than just occupying space. The forecast predicts a high need for new jobs and a dynamic labor market. Among these new professionals there will be specialists who will combine the abilities of programmers, statisticians and business analysts to create the data scientist. • efficiency in handling the data - because they are digital, scientists can collect more data, and more quickly, from modern social groups than they ever could before. This shows how important nodes in social networks are. People who have the most connections to other people, can be found and used to predict the rise of trends in the larger group. As billions of people come online it will be a radically increase of the number of nodes which can monitored through digital means. More of the world will be easily analyzed through social networks. That means that we have the possibility of really affecting things like the spread of AIDS, hatred and terrorism, and education.

Outsourcing content Outsourcing the content creation could be a cut cost strategy for major companies already used to externalize client service departments. However, is that efficient? When several marketers were asked if they were outsourcing any of their social media marketing efforts, there was an overwhelming majority with a negative answer. Notwithstanding the figures may show a different approach. The number of those who are outsourcing has doubled since a 2010 report, from 14% to 28%.

Fig. No: 1 Source: 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report Building a strong relationship with the customers has moved marketing from the single ownership of the marketing policy to a cross type involvement for all the company departments. In order to outsource the copywriting activities a company should keep in mind that any glitch occurred in the communicational system could hamper the process of a sane company-customer relationship. If not done properly, copywriting outside the company has the risks of counter producing value for the relationship.

Conclusions The development of the Internet led to a silent revolution that affects mankind in general and the way business unfolds, in particular. Comprehensive data about consumers are now available for the companies and the race without a finish line called marketing is more competitive than ever. Nowadays, the quantity of information is enormous, but the real challenge is to use the quality of it in order to engage the consumers to meet their needs and to fulfill them. Although it has provided a lot of opportunities, the Internet generated also a lot of threats. Misleading information or concealed endorsers are but a few of the factors that generate an untrue image of products and can lead consumers to make decisions based on wrong information. This is where ethics and correct information standards come into the play. A company can be truthful to its customers and have a strategic gain that can be felt in a longer period of time. At the same time that company can resort to black-hat marketing practices which can be exposed with a relative low effort.

Bibliography: [1] Della Penna Michael, “3 Ways Social Communities and Engagement Will Redefine Marketing”, June 30, 2011 [2 ] Lauby Sharlyn, Ethics and Social Media: Where Should You Draw The Line? March 17, 2012, http://mashable. com/2012/03/17/social-media-ethics/ [3] Mueller Bruno, ”Social Media, Social networks and Social Capital”, speech on 29th of September 2010 at the American German Business Club (Munich) [4] MICHAEL T. BOSWORTH, JOHN R. HOLLAND, FRANK VISGATIS, “CUSTOMER CENTRIC SELLING”, Second Edition, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2010 [5] Protalinsky Emil, “Facebook apps have created 200,000 US jobs (study)”, Sept. 2011 [6] Saenz Aaron, “How Social Networks Can Predict Epidemics And Control the World”, video, 21 Sept. 2010 [7] Schiller Dan, ”Digital capitalism Networking the Global Market System”, Mit Press, 1999 [8] Social Media to Grow Their Businesses”, Social Media Examiner, 2011 [9] Stelzner A. Michael, “2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. How Marketers Are Using [10] Ursu Dorel, ”Crearea și dezvoltarea afacerilor – planul de afaceri”, Modul 4, Promovarea culturii antreprenoriale şi formare antreprenorială în mediul de afaceri din judeţul Sălaj, Proiect cofinanţat din Fondul Social European prin Programul Operaţional Sectorial, Dezvoltarea Resurselor Umane 2007-2013 [11] Vinjamuri David, Contributor, “Ethics and the Five Deadly Sins of Social Media A brand guy speaking truth to power and teaching at NYU, CMO Network|11/03/2011” [12]

13. 14. 15. Protalinsky Emil, “Facebook apps have created 200,000 US jobs (study)”, Sept. 2011, 16. 17.Saenz Aaron, “How Social Networks Can Predict Epidemics And Control the World”, video, 21 Sept. 2010, 18.Stelzner A. Michael, “2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses”, Social Media Examiner, 2011, p.32




Vicennial anniversary is a major milestone, reinforcing the strengths of an educational citadel, testifying the importance of teamwork governed by values and principles. As there is always room for coincidence, sometimes the effort is rewarded by successful organizing in the same period of time of an unique scientific event tanks to one of the strengths that is unique, and this is the case of the existence of ECR Department of the Valahia University Targoviste which has received the Academic Alliance Membership accreditation from the International Commerce Institute of ECR Europe. The passion, the competence and the perseverance made possible to build a real brand, such as Supply Chain Management for Efficient Consumer Response Conference, which means more than a happy coincidence. It is important to adequately approach the agile supply chain so as to better support the company’s marketing strategy by considering today’s real challenge of being very responsive and giving feedback, while understanding that ECR allows companies to seek a competitive advantage by demonstrating their superior ability in working with trading partners to add value for the consumer. It is important to understand the necessity of supply chain transformation, by ensuring visibility, predictability and sustainability, by combining the advantages of leanness and agility, by learning the new lesson of collaboration in a crisis through collaboration programmes, by integrating the physical world with digital technology, and impacting the shopping experience.

Key words: teamwork, SCM, ECR, supply chain transformation, actionable intelligence JEL Classification: L81, M14, M31

On 1-2 June, 2012 Valahia University of Targoviste has celebrated 20 years from the beginning. On this occasion, the Romanian Agency of Quality Assurance within Higher Education (ARACIS) handed to the Rector Calin D. Oros the certificate attesting the award of High Degree of Trustiness Qualification for the Valahia University of Targoviste. As we all know (, Valahia University of Targoviste has proved its continuous concern for achieving its mission in optimal conditions: quality education and scientific research, study and decent life for students, professional integration at national, European academic openness. Testifying regarding the importance of teamwork governed by values and principles, taking action for the good of the educational citadel Following the invitation we have expressed our thanks to “The Four Musketeers” of Valahia University of Targoviste

Dear Rector Călin D. Oros, I would like to thank You and Mr. President of the Senate, Professor Ion Cucui, for the honorable Invitation on the occasion of the Anniversary of two decades of existence of the Valahia University of Targoviste. Indeed, the accomplishments obtained within this period of time allow us to look at the past with pride and with optimism towards the future of this educational citadel. As my soulful connection with the Valahia University of Targoviste – with the Founding Rector, Professor Florea Oprea, with You and the President of the Senate, with the Vice-Rector, Professor Leonardo Badea and the Dean, Professor Ion Stegăroiu, with Professor Virgil Popa, a traditional strategic partner and with other former (Professor Paraschiv Vagu, for example) and present colleagues – is strong, the celebration moment allows me to express my emotional attachment towards the valuable academic community of the Valahia University of Targoviste, that responsibly assumed the dimension of the cultural conformity of sharing the value systems specific to academic higher education at European and world level. I am glad that You assumed to write new pages of the beautiful dream, which became reality, stated by the distinguished ancestor, Rector and School Founder, Professor Florea Oprea and continued by Professor Ion Cucui. This Anniversary confirms the fact that dreams are a character-testing instrument, being a certain type of planning, which requires permanent nourishment, making the difference between dreams and the vision preceded by commitment. Due to the fact that having a large vision involves being ready to receive it and when it comes be ready to accept it, from the actions undertaken accordingly other dreams are outlined that will come true via actions as powerful as the vision. Today “The three ” Musketeers (with Your permission, I consider him the forth, namely “D’Artagnan” – our young and valuable colleague Leonardo Badea), reunited “after twenty years”, testify regarding the importance of teamwork governed by values and principles, taking action for the good of the educational citadel, confirming the respect for the passion, competence and perseverance of all those who - “All for one and one for all” (as Alexandre Dumas would say) – dedicated the activity to building and enhancing the prestige of Valahia University of Targoviste.

Happy Anniversary! With best regards, Theodor Valentin Purcărea

A significant meeting on the occasion of the Third ECR Academic Partnership – Romania, „Redesigning Supply Chain Management for Efficient Consumer Response”, 24 – 25 April, 2009 Three years ago, on April 24, 2009, I had the pleasure to meet and discuss for the first time with Professor Calin D. Oros, on the occasion of the Third ECR Academic Partnership – Romania, „Redesigning Supply Chain Management for Efficient Consumer Response”, 24 – 25 April, 2009, Symposium organized by the ECR Department, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Valahia University of Targoviste. On that occasion it has been remembered that the efficient distribution (distribution efficiency requires finding out inventory, location and transportation savings) facilitates innovation in the distribution process, new technology implementation, and also low price products’ at high quality and high service for the client. Professor Calin D. Oros proved to be a very intelligent talker, who has remembered me the words of James Russell Lowell: “A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions”. Let us have a look at some interesting ideas about Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) in the last years before this Symposium organized by the ECR Department, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Valahia University of Targoviste (ideas rediscussed on the occasion of the works of the SCM 4 ECR Symposium, 11-12 June 2010). Bob Belshaw , for example, has reminded us again in 2006 that applying value chain principles creates customer value and competitive advantage, SCM (a marketing system consisting of both: primary marketing institutions, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers taking title to the goods as they move through the marketing channel; facilitating marketing institutions, ensuring specialized assistance in the marketing process) being challenged by five external forces: consumer behavior, competitor behavior, socioeconomic environment, technological environment and legal and ethical environment. It is argued that the major reason in SCM (coordination is the essence of SCM) is a new solution and technique in increasing the competitive of business to enterprises, within this framework being underlined, for instance, that a quick response system can help an enterprise to reduce the time of processes in B-2-B or B-2C in a supply chain, being possible for the enterprise involved to link quickly “upstream and downstream of industries, and to find and solve the problems of customers in anytime and anywhere”. According to Martin Christopher , the company’s marketing strategy is supported by the supply chain which is necessary to be designed from the customer inward. Consumers cannot escape the market, but they are not passive recipients of what marketers do, that is why – according to Michael Saren – marketers must look at the marketing phenomenon as consumers experience it, as active participants in it, by achieving a broader perspective on marketing and building of customer relationships. On the other hand, Don E. Shultz showed that there is no doubt that the future’s marketing organization is going to have employees who can deal with both push and pull forms of marketing, by recognizing that today’s real challenge is to be very responsive, and to give feedback. While at the 14th annual ECR Europe Forum & Marketplace, 3-5 June, 2009, Barcelona, it was underlined that as the needs of shoppers (consumer different needs being obviously a key driver) are changing, the consumer goods industry has to keep pace. ECR is a performing strategy based on today’s technology tools - that causes fundamental changes in the business process - which provides more added value to consumer. The three pillars of ECR are: providing consumer value, removing costs that do not add value, maximizing value and minimizing inefficiency throughout the distribution chain. Successful retailing involves making sure that stores are stocked with the

1.Belshaw, Bob - Impact of Global Sourcing, A Business-Engineering Joint Research Center at Lehigh University, Center for value chain research Lehigh University Value Chain Center, November 15, 2006 2.QR system - A quick response system, 3.Kerr, John - The Innovative Educator: Martin Christopher, Supply Chain Management Review. New York, Mar 2007, Vol. 11, Iss. 2, pp. 20, 4.Saren, Michael - Marketing is everything: the view from the street, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Volume 25, Issue 1 2007, pp. 11-16 5.Ford, David - The IMP group and international marketing, International Marketing Review, 2004, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 139-41 6.Brad Berens - Don E. Schultz on What Companies Can Do to Integrate, iMedia Connection, December 06, 2006

right products at the right prices at the time the consumer wants them and this aim can be achieved by implementing ECR strategy. To implement ECR, distributors and suppliers are making fundamental changes in the business process using today’s technology tools. Their goals are clear: provide consumers with the products and services they want; reduce inventory; eliminate paper transactions; streamline product flow. ECR allows companies to seek a competitive advantage by demonstrating their superior ability in working with trading partners to add value for the consumer. In the opinion of Andrew Fearne, the today necessary strategic approach to SCM shifts the emphasis from internal processes to external relationships and the integration of key business. Value (as perceived by consumers) = benefits (solution to my problem) – costs (financial and opportunity costs) – risk (unfulfilled promises). In 2002 Global Supply Chain Forum (Ohio State University: 3M, Cemex-Mexico, Coca-Cola USA, Colgate Palmolive Company, Fletcher Challenge, Ford Motor, Company, Hewlett Packard, International Paper, Limited Logistics Services, Lucent Technologies, Maersk Sealand, Taylor Made-Adidas Golf Company, Wendy’s International Inc., Whirlpool Corporation) has defined the Value Chain Management (VCM) as: “The integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers that provides products, services and information that add value for customers.” Andrew Fearne attracted our attention that: VCM is a coordinated response to an increasingly dynamic and uncertain market, regulatory and technological environment, a collaboration within and between businesses in the value chain (its purpose being to improve the competitiveness of the value chain as a whole); supply chain mapping (as analytical and communication tool) can be an effective way to extend the line of sight, value chain visibility allowing both, a real time sharing of information that enables rapid response (agility) and efficient operations (lean), and a greater understanding of consumer behaviour that enables alignment of innovation process with consumer demand; the fundamental enablers of co-innovation being strategic alignment, value chain visibility, relationships, and consumer insight. In 2009, Richard Reeves and John Knell draw attention on the fact that SCM “has become a vital source of strategic and tactical value to businesses”, underlining that SCM is “the undisputed king of business integration”, the supermarket sector being one of the most commonly cited example. Let us finally remember a suggestive quote: “It is supply chains that compete, not companies” (Martin Christopher - Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Pitmans, London, UK, 1992).

Supply Chain Management for Efficient Consumer Response Conference, 18-19 May, 2012: “Supply chain resilience driven by consumer and shopper. Collaborate and survive!” This year’s Conference began with a “Welcome speech” by the Deputy Rector Leonardo Badea (who saluted the attendees as key players of a no doubt successful Conference, and assuring them of the adequate preparation, planning, and running) and a Keynote by Professor Virgil Popa (http://www.crd-aida. ro/our-team/virigil-popa/), ECR Department Director (http://, and Editor-in-Chief of the “Supply Chain Management” Journal ( “ECR: the Next Generation – New Ideas for the next ten years from ECR Europe 2012. Supply Chain Resilience. Process Reengineering in Conditions of Risk and Disruptions.” Plenary session Co-chairs were Gheorghe Gh. Ionescu and Theodor Valentin Purcărea. The Moderators for the other sessions were: Virgil Popa and Victor Raul Lopez, Dorina Tănăsescu and Janusz Grabara, Marta Starostka-Patyk and Virgil Popa. At the end of the Plenary session Rector Calin D. Oros saluted the attendees, a challenging exchange of views taking place after that. Within the context of the Plenary session, on behalf of Professor Constantin Rosca, President of Romanian Scientific Society of Management (SSMAR), Professor Theodor Valentin Purcărea handed the SSMAR “Certificate of Membership” to Professor Virgil Popa. It is worth to mention that on the occasion of the debate within the framework of the Plenary session there were underlined some important lessons to learn thanks to some relevant opinions expressed both, this year and in the last years, such as: a) What about the relationship among Distribution, Logistics Management, and Supply Chain Management: << Distribution is a component of Logistics Management, and Logistics Management is a component of Supply Chain Management >> (Eric Peltz - Logistics: Supply Based or Distribution Based? supply_vs_dist.html); b) What about success in Supply Chains: << Efficient and effective collaboration within the business network is key to success in Supply Chains - The real challenge: Manage costs and complexity now, without compromising the future (need to address all three issues at once) >> (Siddharth Taparia - Collaborating with Your Business Network in the Cloud, SAP, 2012, Supply Chain Council); c) What is happening on the SCM way << From “Agility to Change” to the Greatest Supply Chain Challenge: Alignment of the Supply Chain organization to the business strategy (55%) >> (Roddy Martin - Measuring Your Readiness, SVP Supply Chain Transformation, Competitive Capabilities International, April 2012, TRACC); d) What is happening on this way according to the prestigious McKinsey Quarterly, which allowed us to capture some ideas, such us: - << The superior application of six management practices = Outperform competitors in service, inventory, and distribution and logistics costs >> (Bruce Constantine, Brian D. Ruwadi, and Joshua Wine - Management practices that drive supply chain success, The McKinsey Quarterly, February 2009, McKinsey & Company);

- << Now that volatility could undermine survival is important to collaborate more effective with key suppliers… a return to growth could, paradoxically, close the window of opportunity to improve the supply chain >> (Christoph Glatzel, Stefan Helmcke, and Joshua Wine - Building a flexible supply chain for uncertain times. The “bullwhip effect” means that distortions in data cascade through a company’s suppliers. Businesses must remain flexible to protect themselves, The McKinsey Quarterly, March 2009, McKinsey & Company); - << barriers to better performance: rising risk, lack of collaboration, and low CEO involvement >> (McKinsey Global Survey results: “The challenges ahead for supply chains”, 2010, McKinsey & Company, Trish Gyorey, Matt Jochim, Sabina Norton, Contributors, Andreas Brinkhoff, Consultant); - << Some of the challenges (turbulent trade and capital flows, for example) represent perennial supply chain worries turbocharged by the recent downturn… efficient distribution requires creativity, since retail formats typically range (in emerging markets) from modern hypermarkets to subscale mom-and-pop stores… >> (Yogesh Malik, Alex Niemeyer, and Brian Ruwadi Building the supply chain of the future, The McKinsey Quarterly, January 2011, McKinsey & Company); - << … operational agility will increasingly represent a competitive edge…>> (Mike Doheny, Venu Nagali, and Florian Weig – “Agile operations for volatile times”, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2012); e) There is always a “but”: << Agile Supply Chain utilizes the front end of the traditional responsive supply chain, but has custom products (dedicated SKU/customer), services (licensing & fusing) and/or unique inventory strategies >> (Albrecht Ricken, SAP AG, Ross Young, Intel Corporation, Dan Swartwood, Satellite Logistics Group - Reference Model for Marketing & Innovation Management , Supply Chain Council, 1 April 2012); it is known that the Supply Chain Council has developed multiple reference models that are complimentary to the SCOR model, the latest being specific to Product Lifecycle Management across the supply chain; f ) What about << Supply Chain Transformation: a fundamental change in the processes and technology used to plan, source, make, and deliver product >> (Bruce Torre, Ciena Communication, Joseph Fitzgerald, Deloitte Consulting - Delighting service customers through an M&A supply chain transformation Service Operations at Ciena Communications, Supply Chain World North America, April 2012); g) What about << Supply Chain Landscape (Visibility, Predictability, Sustainability) and Challenges Due to Lack of Supply Chain Visibility: High Inventory Cost, High Operating Cost, Missed Revenue/Lost Customers (Lalit Wadhwa, Vice President, Global Supply Chain Ops, Avnet Inc. - Leveraging Visibility in Supply Chain for Cost to Serve Analysis, 28 March 2010, Supply Chain Council); h) What about << High-Level Relation between SCOR and Product Lifecycle Operations Reference (PLCOR): Marketing typically drives Supply Chain Management/Supply Chain Requirements, a result of Product Positioning/High Level Integration with other Reference Models/PLCOR/Create Impacts Planning in SCM >> (Albrecht Ricken, SAP AG, Ross Young, Intel Corporation, Dan Swartwood, Satellite Logistics Group - Reference Model for Marketing & Innovation Management , Supply Chain Council, 1 April 2012); i) What is happening at the level of Supply Chain World Europe hosted by Supply Chain Council: << Taking Supply Chains to the Next Level, A Shift to Integrative Thinking, Madrid, Spain, 2123 October 2012:Customer Delight; Operational Excellence; People; Resilience >> (

As we are both, participants and spectators at the significant evolution of the consumer behavior, social media influencing consumers’ interaction with one another and with brands and the supply chain networks, while impacting the economy and the society as a whole, we clearly understood that collaboration and adaptation are key factors in focusing on customer empowerment, supply chain networks facing the challenge of combining the advantages of leanness and agility, up streaming from the decoupling point to achieve economies of scale and down streaming to achieve consumer responsiveness. We also see that the issue under discussion at the level of ECR Europe Conference & Marketplace in Brussels on the 9th and on the 10th of May 2012 was “The next generation”, because no part of the supply chain is left untouched by the digital technology which is rapidly being woven into the very fabric of our businesses today. There are incredible new ways of connecting with the shopper thanks to digital technology, social media and sustainability. As shoppers are demanding more online solutions for their grocery shopping, suppliers must establish a more effective trading relationship online, while struggling to root out supply chain waste, reduce costs and increase sales. Together, all the parties involved in the supply chain must learn the new lesson of collaboration in a crisis through collaboration programmes, by integrating the physical world with digital technology, and impacting the shopping experience. Together, they can prove what means a real understanding of the fact that that companies can serve consumers better, faster and at a lower cost by working together with trading partners. Together they can find the proper way to be prepared for the supply chain uncertainties of an increasingly fragmented marketplace characterized by increasing volatility and complex patterns of customer demand, rising consumer expectations about customer service, increasing cost pressure in logistics, and global competition. Together they must keep better track of customer information and costs, better manage the cross-functional trade-offs underpinning supply chain decisions, and more actively develop supply chain strategy and better execute it accordingly. Today, the leading companies know well that efficient distribution in emerging markets requires creativity, being aware of the importance of adequately building supply chain assets so as to dismantle complexity and of adequately using manufacturing networks so as to thrive in a more uncertain world. Today, at the level of the senior supply chain executives facing with driving economic performance, there is a real emphasis on key transformational strategic, tactical and operational best practices. These senior supply chain executives underline the need for actionable intelligence in solutions that will allow leaders to maximize their current operations by increasing productivity, reducing cost, improving utilization and quality, and yielding greater returns on existing assets, supply chain optimization, innovations for changing times, and performance excellence being on their agenda.






















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