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Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine

Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Year: 2016 Scientific Review of the Romanian Distribution Committee


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

Ion Ababii, Chişinău

Aurel Iancu, Bucharest

Constantin Roşca, Craiova

Nicolae Albu, Brasov

Mitsuhiko Iyoda, Osaka

Analisa Romani,Turin

Ruxandra Andreea Albu, Bucharest

Mohamed Latib, Gwynedd

James Rowell, Buckingham

Levent Altinay, Oxford UK

Dong II Lee, Seoul

John Saee, Virginia Beach VA

Kathleen Andrews, Colorado Springs

Min-Sang Lee, Gyeonggi-Do

Cătălin Sfrija, Bucharest

Virgil Balaure, Bucharest

Claude Magnan, Paris

Adrian Socol, Strasbourg

Dan Barbilian, Bucharest

Radu Titus Marinescu, Bucharest

Eliot Sorel, Washington D.C.

Riccardo Beltramo, Turin

James K. McCollum, Huntsville

Mihaela-Luminița Staicu, Bucharest

Richard Beresford, Oxford Uk

Nicolae Mihăiescu, Bucharest

Radu Patru Stanciu, Bucharest

Dumitru Borţun, Bucharest

Dumitru Miron, Bucharest

John L. Stanton, Jr., Philadelphia

Leonardo Borsacchi, Turin

Dan Mischianu, Bucharest

Peter Starchon, Bratislava

Mihail Cernavca, Chişinău

John Murray, Dublin

Felicia Stăncioiu, Bucharest

Ioana Chiţu, Brasov

Alexandru Nedelea, Suceava

Marcin Waldemar Staniewski, Warsaw

Doiniţa Ciocîrlan, Bucharest

Hélène Nikolopoulou, Lille

Vasile Stănescu, Bucharest

Tudorel Ciurea, Craiova

Olguța Anca Orzan, Bucharest

Filimon Stremţan, Alba-Iulia

Alexandru Vlad Ciurea, Bucharest

Gheorghe Orzan, Bucharest

David Stucki, Fribourg

Maria Negreponti-Delivanis, Thessaloniki

Elena Mihaela Pahonțu, Bucharest

Ion Voicu Sucala, Cluj-Napoca

Jean-Sébastien Desjonqueres, Colmar

Rodica Pamfilie, Bucharest

Kamil Pícha, Ceske Budejovice

Aurel Dobre, Călăraşi

Iulian Patriche, Bucharest

Laurenţiu Tăchiciu, Bucharest

Luigi Dumitrescu, Sibiu

Carmen Păunescu, Bucharest

Emil Toescu, Birmingham

Mariana Drăguşin, Bucharest

Mircea Penescu, Bucharest

Simona Ungureanu, Bucharest

Ovidiu Folcuţ, Bucharest

William Perttula, San Francisco

Vlad Budu, Bucharest

Luigi Frati, Roma, Italy

Virgil Popa, Targoviste

Eva Waginger, Wien

Petru FILIP, Bucharest

Marius D. Pop, Cluj-Napoca

Léon F. Wegnez, Brussels

Victor Greu, Bucharest

Ana-Maria Preda, Bucharest

Răzvan Zaharia, Bucharest

Bernd Hallier, Köln

Monica Purcărea, Bucharest

Gheorghe Zaman, Bucharest

Sang-Lin Han, Seoul

Cristinel Radu, Călăraşi

Dana Zadrazilova, Prague

Florinel Radu, Fribourg

Sinisa Zaric, Belgrade

Gabriela Radulian, Bucharest

Hans Zwaga, Tornio




Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

Andreea Apetrei, Iasi Adalbert Lucian Banyai, Bucharest George Bobîrnac, Bucharest Roxana Codita, München Stefano Duglio, Turin Larisa-Diana Dorobat, Geneve Marinela-Filofteia Hostiuc, Bucharest Darius Ilincaş, London

Adrian Lală, Bucharest Irina Purcărea, Bucharest Ivona Stoica, Bucharest Dan Smedescu, Bucharest Constantin C. Stanciu, New York Radu Pătru Stanciu, Bucharest George Cosmin Tănase, Bucharest Oana Patricia Zaharia, Bucharest

Alexandru Ionescu, Romanian-American University Adriana Bîrcă, “George Bariţiu” University Brasov Nelu Florea, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University Iasi Ana Ispas, Transilvania University Brasov Irena Jindrichowska, University of Economics and Management in Prague Costel Iliuţă Negricea, Romanian-American University Adina Negruşa, “Babes-Boyay” University Cluj-Napoca Anca Purcărea, Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest Monica Paula Raţiu, Romanian-American University Gabriela L. Sabau, Memorial University, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Andreea Săseanu, Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest

Vlad Barbu, Bucharest Gabriel Brătucu, Brasov Ion Bulborea, Bucharest Mircea Buruian, Targu Mures Iacob Cătoiu, Bucharest Jean Constantinescu, Bucharest Beniamin Cotigaru, Bucharest Radu Diaconescu, Iasi Valeriu Dulgheru, Chişinău Constantin Floricel, Bucharest Valeriu Ioan-Franc, Bucharest

Gheorghe Ionescu, Timisoara Christophe Magnan, Montréal Pompiliu Manea, Cluj Andrei Moldovan, Bucharest Dafin Fior Muresan, Cluj Neculae Năbârjoiu, Bucharest Constantin Oprean, Sibiu Dumitru Patriche, Bucharest Florian Popa, Bucharest Dumitru Tudorache, Bucharest Ion Smedescu, Bucharest Victor Părăuşanu, Bucharest

Hello reader! Our Readers are invited to submit articles for the 2016 (3&4) Issues of the Scientific Review of the Romanian Distribution Committee – „Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”.


You can find out more about us just by clicking http://www.distribution-magazine.eu/about

Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Year: 2016

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


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

CONTENTS page. 8

Editorial: Innovative Organization, Design Thinking, and the Customer’s End-to-End Experience Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA page.10

Tomorrow’s Paradox: Refining Knowledge by Smarter Information and Communications Technologies while Humans Tend to Become a Limited Factor of Performance Victor GREU page.18

Improving Decisions with Marketing Information

George Cosmin TĂNASE page.22

Significant Behavioral Shifts among Consumers and Actions to Take Accordingly by Consumer-Goods Companies and Retailers Enabling their Real-Time Collaboration Anca PURCĂREA page.28

(by courtesy of) - “Consumption: uniformization or diversification?” and published in the prestigious “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, 56ème année, Novembre - Décembre 2015, Brussels Léon F. WEGNEZ page.30

(by courtesy of) - Asia Retail Congress, the Total Supply Conference to fight Food Waste, and the 13th CIRCLE Conference

Bernd HALLIER page.36

The Romanian Retail Market Evolution 2015 Analysis

George Cosmin TĂNASE page.48

A short presentation of our partner journal „Contemporary Economics”, Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2016, Quarterly of University of Finance and Management in Warsaw Irina PURCĂREA


Welcoming Readers to Volume 1, Issue 1 of the “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine” we were witnessing „questioning” times, underlining the real need in these critical times to become more demand-driven, and to make fundamental changes in the way of thinking about the supply networks, by treating supply chain thinking as a philosophy that pervades the entire company. We noted later, in other editorials, that: the customer becomes more and more competent, wishing real-time solutions; it’s the right time to assume the management style of integrative thinking recommended by the visionary Roger Martin, and to prove a better understanding of education and communications within the Circular Economy, the Internet of Things, and the Third Industrial Revolution; we need to be really informed, smart, interested, engaged, and consulted, reducing together the discontinuity between our past and future, further improving our techniques and understanding of how to take much more active responsibility with respect to properly manage in addressing the complexity and in creating a communications climate that drives motivation through openness.


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

At the beginning of 2015, we noted the view expressed by an expert in brand strategy, CSR/cause marketing and public affairs, (Bemporad, 2015) who argued that CMOs will be challenged to think more creatively, purposefully and holistically to thrive, delivering on the unique combination of brand relevance and resilience. This expert pledged for creating brands that prize authenticity, build deeper relationships, empower seamless experiences, connect people to trusted networks and treat all like humans. A month ago, in February 2016, a well-known Google Analytics expert, and author of the books “Marketing Blue Belt” and “Leading Innovation: Build a Scalable, Innovative Organization”, pointed out that you will not have innovation without willing to expend real resources (time, energy, money) on failure, willing to break your own market, by considering the four steps to the framework of innovation: learn, experiment, adjust, and distribute. (O’Shea Gorgone, 2016) At the end of February 2016, the Director for Digital Transformation in Syntel (a leading IT Outsourcing, IT Consulting and BPO firm offering managed IT services, Enterprise Business Solutions and Collaborative client partnerships) pledged for “design thinking” (as a process applicable to all walks of life of creating new and innovative ideas and solving problems), considering that it is an essential tool for the Customer Experience Manager because it places you in your customers’ shoes (asking you to see the world from customers’ perspective). In his opinion, a typically design thinking process presupposes seven stages (define, research, ideation, prototype, choose, implement, learn), and presents five characteristics (finding simplicity in complexity, beauty as well as functionality, improving quality of customer experience, creating elegant solutions, serving the needs of people). To see the world from customers’ perspective is truly a great challenge, and this was confirmed more recently, in March, by McKinsey’s representatives who clearly stated that: “Only by looking at the customer’s experience through his or her own eyes - along the entire journey taken - can you really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance.” (Maechler, Neher, and Park, 2016) They called our attention to the real need of not missing the bigger and more important picture of the customer’s end-to-end experience, because of the siloed focus on traditional individual touchpoints (long emphasized by companies in order to maximize customer satisfaction). What presupposes an operational and cultural shift that engages the organization across functions and from top to bottom, opening the way for three great achievements: higher customer and employee satisfaction, revenue and cost improvements, and an enduring competitive advantage. Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA Editor – in – Chief

References Bemporad, R. - Creating Brands of Enduring Value: The 5 Trends Shaping CMO Success in 2015, January 5, 2015, retrieved on 10.03.2016 from: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/brand_innovation/raphael_bemporad/creating_brands_enduring_value_5_trends_shaping_cmo

O’Shea Gorgone, K. - Innovate in the Boardroom (and the Mail Room): Christopher S. Penn on Marketing Smarts [Podcast], February 10, 2016, retrieved on 10.02.2016 from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/podcasts/2016/29312/leading-innovation-christopher-penn-marketing-smarts?adref=nlt021016

Maechler, N., Neher, K. and Park, R. - From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do, March 2016, retrieved on 22.03.2016 from: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/from-touchpoints-to-journeysseeing-the-world-as-customers-do?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1603


Tomorrow’s Paradox: Refining Knowledge by Smarter Information and Communications Technologies while Humans Tend to Become a Limited Factor of Performance

The paper analyzes some challenges of the exponential development ofInformation and Communications Technologies (ICT) in the Information society (IS) toward Knowledge Based Society (KBS), focusing on the premises of strange evolutions of the inherent interactions between humans and ICT smart machines along the complex and dynamic processes of generating knowledge and refining knowledge, caused by the natural limits of humans. The analysis reveals the detailed mechanisms which could lead to abnormal or paradox situations when ICT smart machines could/ should replace humans. The paradox could appear when using such new technologies to replace human in order to avoid the consequences of routine stress, fatigue but especially the lack of responsibility in specific applications. Also, the analysis approaches the main consequence of “data deluge” (overwhelming data“products”), as for an optimal efficiency for IS/KBS, all these “products” of ICT must be highly “processed” in order to provide useful knowledge and eventually refined knowledge, but, naturally, the analysis try to answer to the question to what extent smart machines could/should replace humans. The paper main conclusion is that the paper title (Tomorrow’s paradox ...) is intended to


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

generate an alarm signal about the abnormal situation where humankind is almost arrived, as we have to create such “smart machines” which could help us to get knowledge and refined knowledge designated to fight against ourselves, i.e. to avoid the consequences of a large diversity of aberrant behaviour generated by the average person or exception individuals.


genome sequencing, big data, data deluge, smart machines, communications and information technology, information society, knowledge based society.

JEL Classification: L63; L86; M15; O13; O33

1. Living and learning in the days of a World full of paradox Perhaps even the amazing evolution of Information Society (IS) toward Knowledge Based Society (KBS) could be seen as a process full of paradox, as the exponential pace of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) development generates such dynamic changes in World’s general progress, while the Earth is more and more divided in a complex and dramatic diversity of people’s living. Without approaching social or political concrete aspects, we could not ignore their complex connections with the financial, economical and technological World context where ICT have a recognized essential driving role [8] [14][12][11]. In fact the space of this paper is aiming to cover only what we may call the „tip of this iceberg”: the complicate processes of refining knowledge the technological progress generates by the ICT development with the natural support of humans creative potential. With other words, we try to reveal some challenges of the complex interaction of the main factors implied in the knowledge’s creation and refining: humankind versus ICT products and services. As we already presented [15][12], ICT is a huge leveraging factor of humankind creative potential development and it is important to notice that ICT global influence generates similar interactions (even beyound the typical man-machine) in all IS fields and humankind life. Here the goal is to identify the actual stage of the mentioned interaction and its directions of possible evolution, as the balance of the two factors influence is more and more dynamic due to ICT performance amazing expansion. In fact, the ancient concern that humans will be dominated by „machines” is more and more actual, of course in some „benign” forms we will also approch, but our point is not about this “concern”. In order to get a forecast for an optimal balance and mitigate the challenges (paradox) generated by the mentioned complex interaction, we try to analyze, using some examples, the processes of knowledge’s creation and refining where humans and ICT products and services have a tight interaction. Although the knowledge is omnipresent in IS, while ICT by its products, applications and services is the main source for it, we consider that for present and near future the most prominent challenge for IS/KBS is generated by the huge consequences of so called “big data”, “exa data” or “data deluge”[10][11], as we have already presented [15][12][3].

Even the term of “big data” became a little confusing because of its diverse interpretations and that is why “data deluge” seems to better reflect the reality [data deluge]. The main consequence of “data deluge” is the fact that, for an optimal efficiency for IS/KBS, all these “products” of ICT must be highly “processed” in order to provide useful knowledge and eventually refined knowledge. We have already approached [15][5] the complex processes, in IS toward KBS, by which data, information, knowledge and finally refined knowledge are sequentially generated, but it is worth to notice the fast pace these are changing. The humans contribution is and obviously will remain, by definition, fundamental, especially for knowledge and refined knowledge, but in a fast changing ICT/IS/KBS context always we have to re-evaluate how much the precision and “quality” of these knowledge is supported/stimulated by ... (ICT) smart machines.

Our point is very clear confirmed by [2]:

“Humans Turn Data into Wisdom ... The more data that is created, the more knowledge and wisdom people can obtain ... IoT dramatically increases the amount of data available for us to process. This, coupled with the Internet’s ability to communicate this data, will enable people to advance even further.” In this paper we try only to emphasize the dramatic changes which could influence this processes (advance), including their most “human” parts (knowledge and refined knowledge), by the impressive progress of (ICT) smart machines. In a more concrete manner, we may say that, keeping and updating the fundamental role of learning and experiencing for human’s creative potential is only a part of main factors which influence the knowledge and refined knowledge generation processes. The other part provided by the involved ITC products and services, but the most relevant observation here is that the contribution of this (ITC) part (i.e. its weight) is unprecedentedly increasing. To be even more precise, we have to observe that ICT adds not only a quantitative ever increasing contribution, but our days bring just the cumulated qualitative unprecedented technological advance which enable machines to get a higher weight than humans, in some important areas of information/knowledge generation. Therefore, coming back to the need of highly processed “data deluge”, here is the essential point where the mentioned interaction and then the “paradox” appear, as for highly “processing” the huge amount of data ICT is generating, humans must create “smarter” algorithms and ... technologies. So a vicious circle is appearing. Superficially, one could consider that there is no paradox, because there is no unusual interaction between humans and ICT, as there is nothing new when humans create algorithms or technologies for ICT (but not exclusively). On the other hand we just observed that, in creating knowledge and refined knowledge (including smarter algorithms or technologies), humans became more and more dependent on ... smart machines (which are based on smarter algorithms and ... technologies). Starting the analysis with a relevant example could clarify this initial dilemma, as the above usual status is changing very fast with ICT exponential pace of development. One of the actual fundamental features of ICT amazing development is generated by an emergent trend where new soft programs and eventually technologies are created, in automate ways, by „smart ICT machines”! For an accurate expression we must add that, in fact, when creating new soft programs and technologies, the humans benefit more and more from the valuable help of ... smart machines. With other words, tomorrow some of soft programs and technologies will be created 12

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by “smart ICT machines”, i.e.by smart soft programs implementing smart algorithms which were conceived by humans, but people’s contribution is ... decreasing (as machines contribution is increasing)and this way appear ... the automate ways! A first essential question could be: is this trend a negative or a positive evolution? It is obvious that the answer is not simple because first we should identify the main typical processes associated with the “data deluge „and their challenges. From the beginning we have to notice the complexity of the problem, as the huge diversity of applications fields, part of them exceeding pure ICT, will lead to an inherent partial approach, i.e. a focus only on some relevant examples/categories. In order to have at least a simplified picture, we can recall [3] some of the prominent World projects that generate a large amount of data: Large Hadron Collider, Climate Changes Forecast, Human Brain Map, Human Genome.More than all these, clearly the future worst “nightmare” will be the „data deluge” IoT could progressively generate [3][5][12][15]. The real picture is perhaps expressed if were call thatthe data generated in the last 3 years is comparable with all the rest of humankind history and the estimates for 2020 are of about 44 zettaB generated, 7 billion connected people and 50 billion connected devices [6][2][3][5]. These figures are still far from expressing the real challenge we want to approach in this paper: the mentioned World paradox. Maybe we get closer observing that theInternet itself, as the biggest ever created source of information, with its exponentially increase of generated data, is still far from being optimally exploited by the humans. Here is the moment to pay a tribute to the venerable, recently passed, Romanian academician Solomon Marcus, who supported, till his last days, the fair idea that we are still unable to use, for education and research/ progress purposes, the amazing opportunities of Internet potential. Now it seems we came back, but closer, to the complex and dynamic interaction between humankind creative potential and the ICT products and services which help to increase this potential by smart instruments. In fact we are in the days when these smart ICT instruments tend to take over more and more from humans creative work and responsibilities. Thus we have just arrived to the middle of the problem: Why, How and To What Extent smart machines could/should replace Humans? Part of the answer just has been given in the paper title (refining knowledge), but the rest could come from next.

2. Why, How and To What Extent smart machines could/should replace humans? Of course, from the first Industrial Revolution (steam) machines have naturally replaced, till now, humans, whenever possible, but mainly when effort or routine were the purpose. The only thing new is the fact that our days brought that incredible technological progress providing the possibility to replace the highest human feature: the intelligence. Someone could say that still there is nothing new, as artificial intelligence (AI) is an old subject of ICT. Perhaps now is the moment to approach the most relevant examples, in order to shorten the way to understand where the news are appearing and paradox could be actual. Among the amazing actual projects where ICT capture humankind attention, the Human Genome approach is going to become in the same time a computing power huge consumer and a “data deluge” source.

Recently, very interesting news shows [1] that an ICT state-of-the-art system led to the possibility of “decoding baby’s genome in 26 hours”, as for newborn babies it is essential to very fast identify genetic disorders – which proved to possibly cause death. The same news added that Genome Medicine published a recent study which announced that the ICT system designed to process genetic “big data” (3.2 billion chips) have progressed to the incredible performance of reducing the necessary time for “the key analysis step from 15 hours to a mere of 40 minutes”. Well, these are indeed spectacular news for ICT performance and exponential pace of development, while enchantment news for humankind health and ... future. For us, another face of the same news provided the most interesting issue, as the lead researcher Stephen Kingsmore (from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo) said [1]:

“Automating medicine to this degree, from genome sequencing to diagnosis, will be necessary if we want to make use of today’s best genetic technologies... If we’re going to scale this, it has to be on the backs of smart machines... We want to take humans out of the equation, because we’re the bottleneck.”

Even if we would consider the above example as an isolated case (genome sequencing), the trend of taking humans out is already started and an undoubted reality, as we above presented about creating new soft programs and technologies. If someone would have any doubt about this trend, or why/how this could be possible, we can recall some other well known cases (applications/fields) where smart machines have increasing contribution at creative/intelligent processes (partially taking humans out), most of them tightly linked with ICT: design and technological processes of producing integrated circuits (LSI, VLSI etc.), development of general use soft programs, data mining (and analytics), shapes recognizing (including speech, bio features, weapons etc.), optimization processes, coding/cryptography, security systems, smart robots etc. Once again, one question it seems that is still appearing: What is real news or paradoxical? Our opinion is that a substantial step to the answer could be found inside the answer for the last question of this section title: To What Extent smart machines could/should replace humans? Here we are in the deepest part of the analysis, as the answer is very complex and complicate, just like the question is. Still we have the advantage of all above analyzed aspects of this dynamic problem humankind and generally IS toward KBS has. Perhaps the above example [1] is still the most relevant starting point, only because it has an unspoken issue, given by complexity of applications, by mainly due to the intersection of three fundamental challenges for ICT/IS/KBS and humankind: performance (maximum speed -minimum time), safety and responsibility. It is amazing how much content could hide the three challenges and especially what common issue they could hide. Speaking of performance is easier, at least in ICT, although the Moore Law is now a real challenge for ICT, because MOS channel(nanometres) are approaching the physical limit, as we have already mentioned many years ago (1988) [15][16][17]. On the other hand, safety and responsibility are from far much more complex and complicated problems for humankind. In our example, safety is an obvious paramount issue (genome sequencing), while responsibility, which is also applicable in this case, could be considered issue of usual relevance. 14

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Just observing the significance and consequences of this combination (safety-responsibility) we could estimate the complexity of the analysis in the general case, at Earth scale. First observation is that a complicate problem arises when we search the ratio of relevance/applicability safety vs. responsibility, as real situations and applications fields in ICT (but not exclusively) could vary so much. Again we have to use some examples to solve the problem and have some credible estimates useful for conclusions. We can choose any of the above examples, but the purpose is to emphasize only the cases which are similar to genome sequencing, because only this way we could eventually reveal the paradox, i.e. understand where we have the usual trend already described (generate knowledge and refined knowledge – for example when soft programs and technologies will be created by smart machines) and where/why we consider that a paradox appears. We already presented [9] the fundamental trend of ICT, where a way to continue the actual ICT exponential pace of development (including Moore’s Law) is to learn from nature’s research stored in millions years of evolution of living things including humans. Recent news [18] shows, for example, that, in order to surpass the limits of actual technologies for recording very fast moving scenes, a promising way is given by applying human eye inspired solutions. Noting that the last example is not necessary very relevant, the paradox could appear when we use such new technologies to replace human when we want to avoid the consequences of routine stress, fatigue but especially the lack of responsibility in specific applications. But when one should consider these as strange situations or even “paradox”? Our opinion is that we should consider relatively normal a situation when the students surpass their former professors and consequently when a smart machine is surpassing the humans which have created it. The strange situation/paradox appears when a smart machine is especially designed and has the potential to avoid the consequences of the events where human (as average person or as an exception) could defect or show lack of attention/responsibility in specific (important) applications. Now it is clear that we already live the days of a World where human’s generally performance (and sometime his specific intelligence) is surpassed by smart machines and this way soon we will no more consider this as strange. As a matter of fact, the paper title (Tomorrow’s paradox ...) is intended to generate an alarm signal about the abnormal situation where humankind is almost arrived, as we have to create such “smart machines” which could help us to get knowledge and refined knowledge designated to fight against ourselves, i.e. to avoid the consequences of a large diversity of aberrant behaviour generated by the average person or exception individuals. Speaking about the mentioned “consequences”, there is a lot of potential danger issues, starting from “limited factor of performance” in essential areas exceeding ICT and ending to “limiting factor of IS/KBS progress”. Another example [4] shows that IT coding persons, for a reference project, decreased, in the last 20 years, from 250 to 15. More than this, the usual model of solo coding person (per project part) changed to duo coding persons, in order to avoid “errors”. If we analyze all these “strange situations”, especially as dynamic of their evolution (number and areas of applying), we could not remain neutral and say “this is life”. Our paper main message is just at this point (level) where we have to wonder, at least, if not worry about the global consequences of this evolution toward “paradox” (supposing much more than we presented, but we suggested).

In fact one could say: why should we have to do?

The only way we should responsible act in order to avoid “paradox”, by our opinion, is to carefully observe, learn and experience from the environmental reality, adapting every day to the fast changing ICT/IS/ KBS context. Consequently we should strive to adapt our life/work to the “instruments” we create, but above all these we have to do what we still better can do: create knowledge and especially carefully refine knowledge. We think the humans have and must keep this advantage over smart machines, to refine knowledge in responsible, imaginative and preventing ways covering the entire ICT/IS/KBS context – including the design and evolution of smart machines. Perhaps a last example will reveal the importance of controlling “strange and paradox „generally in ICT/IS/KBS evolution and especially of evaluating the extent smart machines could/should replace humans. Searching the answer at this perpetual question, we think that is important to responsibly to meditate at the message incidentally found in [1]: take humans out of the equation, because we’re the bottleneck. Risking going into a complicate area, susceptible to be analyzed in other paper, our last example could arise in the decision making field: to what extent should we enable machines to be part of the important decisions? Of course artificial intelligence and expert systems, as smart assistants for humans in decision processes, are not news, but we have to carefully analyze both sides (ICT vs. human) evolution (progress-stagnationregress), at Earth scale, in the actual/dynamic context which tends either to apogee or survival [7]. Continuing the lack of responsibility scenario, over the actual dramatic socio-geo-political reality of the World, one could ask: at what level would it be better to correct humans’ essential decisions by artificial intelligence and expert systems suggestions? For a future approach of this last example, we have just to imagine some applicable decision levels and their progressive “consequences”: strategies to develop companies, communities or countries; combat crime, terrorism or “enemy”; environmental-social-political strategies. 3. Conclusions The exponential development of ICT in IS context toward KBS and the natural limits of humans create the premises of strange evolutions of the inherent interactions between humans and ICT smart machines, along the complex and dynamic processes of generating knowledge and refining knowledge. Our analysis revealed the detailed mechanism which could lead to abnormal or paradox situations when ICT smart machines could/should replace humans. The paradox could appear when using such new technologies to replace human in order to avoid the consequences of routine stress, fatigue but especially the lack of responsibility in specific applications. Perhaps the main conclusion is that the paper title (Tomorrow’s paradox ...) is intended to generate an alarm signal about the abnormal situation where humankind is almost arrived, as we have to create such “smart machines” which could help us to get knowledge and refined knowledge designated to fight against ourselves, i.e. to avoid the consequences of a large diversity of aberrant behaviour generated by the average person or exception individuals. Also, among the mentioned “consequences”, there is a lot of potential danger issues, starting from “limited factor of performance” in essential areas exceeding ICT and ending to “limiting factor of IS/KBS progress”.


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REFERENCES [1] Eliza Strickland, Decoding a baby’s genome in 26 hours, IEEE Spectrum, Dec 2015. [2]Dave Evans, How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything, Cisco White Paper - The Internet of Things, April 2011. [3]Victor Greu, Facing IoT-the new giant wave of the information and communications technologies development, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 4, Year 2015. [4] G. Pascal Zachary, Technological progress and perpetual learning curve, IEEE Spectrum, Nov 2015. [5]Victor Greu, The information society towards the knowledge based society driven by the information and communications technologies - from the Internet of Things to the Internet of …trees (Part 3), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 3, Year 2015. [6] *** More Than 30 Billion Devices Will Wirelessly Connect to the Internet of Everything in 2020, ABI Research, London, United Kingdom - 09 May 2013, www.abiresearch.com/press/more-than-30-billion-devices-will-wirelessly-conne/ [7]Victor Greu, Searching the right tracks of new technologies in the earth race for a balance between progress and survival, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 3, Issue1, Year 2012. [8] Ovidiu Vermesan, Peter Friess, Internet of Things: Converging Technologies for Smart Environments and Integrated Ecosystems, 2013 River Publishers. [9] Victor Greu, Information and Communications Technologies are Learning from Nature’s “Research” to Push the Performance Limits, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 5, Issue1, Year 2014. [10] Paul McFedries, The coming data deluge, IEEE Spectrum, feb.2011. [11] Sean Koehl, The Exa-scale Supercomputer of 2020, Intel European Research and Innovation Conference, September, 2010, www.intel.com. [12] Victor Greu, The pace of the development in communications and information technologies is driving the information society to yesterday’s incredible steps, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 4, Issue1, Year 2013. [13] Kathy Pretz, The future of computing, IEEE The Institute, March 2013 [14]*** Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services, World Economic Forum’s IT Governors launched the Industrial Internet initiative at the Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos, Switzerland, January 2015. [15] Victor Greu, The exponential development of the information and communications technologies – a complex process which is generating progress knowledge from people to people, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 2, Year 2013. [16] Katherine Bourzac, Intel inside...your smartphone, IEEE Spectrum, Jan.2013. [17] Rachel Courtland, 3-D transistors for all, IEEE Spectrum, Jan.2013. [18] C.Posch, R.Benosman, R. Etienne-Cummings, Giving machines human eye, IEEE Spectrum, Dec 2015.

Improving Decisions with Marketing Information




JEL Classification D83, L86, M31


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

George Cosmin TĂNASE

Marketing managers may need marketing research, an MIS, or a combination of both to get the information they need to make decisions during any step in the marketing strategy planning process—or to improve implementation and control. Most large companies have a separate marketing research department to plan and manage research projects. People in these departments usually rely on outside specialists to carry out the work on particular projects. Further, they may call in specialized marketing consultants and marketing research organizations to take charge of a whole project. Smaller companies usually don’t have separate marketing research departments. They often depend on their salespeople or managers to conduct what research they do. In contrast, some nonprofit organizations have begun to use marketing research - usually with the help of outside specialists. Most companies also have a separate department with information technology specialists to help set up and maintain an MIS. Even small firms may have a person who handles all of the technical work on its computer systems—though many small and large firms are increasingly looking to outside consultants and service providers for help with information systems. Marketing managers cannot just turn over research or MIS development activities to these internal or external specialists. Marketing managers set the firm’s marketing objectives and know what data they’ve routinely used in the past.

Careful communication and coordination with these experts will assure that research and an MIS are useful in marketing strategy planning.

Exhibit 1* Marketing Information Inputs to Marketing Strategy Planning Decisions



Marketing managers for some companies make decisions based almost totally on their own judgment—with very little hard data. The manager may not even know that he or she is about to make the same mistake that the previous person in that job already made! When it’s time to make a decision, they may wish they had more information. But by then it’s too late, so they do without. Many firms realize that it doesn’t pay to wait until you have important questions you can’t answer. They anticipate the information they will need. They work to develop a continual flow of information that is available and quickly accessible from an MIS when it’s needed.

The marketing research process is a five-step application of the scientific method that includes: 1. Defining the problem. 2. Analyzing the situation. 3. Getting problem-specific data. 4. Interpreting the data. 5. Solving the problem.

Marketing research is guided by the scientific method, a decision-making approach that focuses on being objective and orderly in testing ideas before accepting them. With the scientific method, managers don’t just assume that their intuition is correct. Instead, they use their intuition and observations to develop hypotheses — educated guesses about the relationships between things or about what will happen in the future. Then they test their hypotheses before making final decisions. A manager who relies only on intuition might introduce a new product without testing consumer response. But a manager who uses the scientific method might say, “I think (hypothesize) that consumers currently using the most popular brand will prefer our new product. Let’s run some consumer tests. If at least 60 percent of the consumers prefer our product, we can introduce it in a regional test market. If it doesn’t pass the consumer test there, we can make some changes and try again.” With this approach, decisions are based on evidence, not just hunches. The scientific method forces an orderly research process. Some managers don’t carefully specify what information they need. They blindly move ahead—hoping that research will provide “the answer.” Other managers may have a 1 clearly defined problem or question but lose their way Exhibit 2 shows the five steps in the process. Note after that. These hit-or-miss approaches waste both that the process may lead to a solution before all of the steps are completed. Or as the feedback arrows time and money. show, researchers may return to an earlier step if needed. For example, the interpreting step may point to a new question—or reveal the need for additional information—before a final decision can be made. Good marketing research requires cooperation between researchers and marketing managers. Researchers must be sure their research focuses on real problems. Marketing managers must be able to explain what their problems are and what kinds of information they need. They should be able to communicate with 1 **Exhibit 2 source: Essentials of marketing: a marketing strategy planning approach / William D. Perreault, Jr., Joseph P. Cannon, E. Jerome McCarthy. — 13th ed., Published by McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2012


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

specialists in the specialists’ language. Marketing managers may only be “consumers” of research. But they should be informed consumers—able to explain exactly what they want from the research. They should also know about some of the basic decisions made during the research process so they know the limitations of the findings.

INTERNATIONAL MARKETING RESEARCH Marketing research on overseas markets is often a major contributor toward international marketing success. Conversely, export failures are often due to a lack of home office expertise concerning customer interests, needs, and other segmenting dimensions as well as environmental factors such as competitors’ prices and products. Effective marketing research can help to overcome these problems. In many countries, it is difficult—especially for a foreigner—to gather accurate information. Let’s look at the challenge in China. Because the economy is growing so rapidly, secondary data that are out of date may be much more inaccurate than would be the case in a country with slow growth. Some important secondary data (such as the China Statistical Yearbook) are now available in an English language version, but that is often not the case.

doesn’t establish some basic guidelines at the outset, the different research projects may all vary so much that the results can’t be compared from one market area to another. Such comparisons give a home office manager a better chance of understanding how the markets are similar and how they differ.


Marketing managers face difficult decisions in selecting target markets and managing marketing mixes, but they rarely have all the information they would like to have before making those decisions. Even less information may be available in international markets. This doesn’t mean that managers have to rely solely on intuition; they can usually obtain some good information that will improve the quality of their decisions. Both large and small firms can take advantage of Internet and intranet capabilities to develop marketing information systems (MIS) that help to ensure routinely needed data are available and quickly accessible. Some questions can only be answered with marketing research. Marketing research should be guided by the scientific method. This objective and organized approach helps to keep problem solving on task. It reduces the risk of doing costly and unnecessary research that doesn’t achieve the desired end — solving the marketing problem. By finding and focusing on real problems, researchers and marketing managers may be able to move more quickly to a useful solution during the situation analysis stage— without the costs and risks of gathering primary data.

There are other problems, such as no explanation of the methods used to collect the data. That’s important because the Chinese market is both large and complicated. Imagine how you would try to do a competitor analysis when there are over 1,000 Chinese firms that brew beer! Collecting primary data is difficult too. Western researchers feel that Chinese managers and consumers are not very receptive to direct questioning. Those who agree to cooperate may be hesitant to say anything negative about their own companies or anything favorable about competitors. References So it takes experienced interviewers to carefully interpret responses. Whether a firm is small and entering overseas markets for the first time or already large and well established internationally, there are often advantages to working with local marketing research firms. They know the local situation and are less likely to make mistakes based on misunderstanding the customs, language, or circumstances of the customers they study. Many large research firms have a network of local offices around the world to help with such efforts. Similarly, multinational or local advertising agencies and intermediaries can often provide leads on identifying the best research suppliers. When a firm is doing similar research projects in different markets around the world, it makes sense for the marketing manager to coordinate the efforts. If the manager


M. Reimann, O. Schilke, and J. S. Thomas, “Customer Relationship Management and Firm Performance: The Mediating Role of Business Strategy,” Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2010


Gary L. Lilien, Arvind Rangaswamy, Gerrit H. van Bruggen, and Berend Wierenga, “Bridging the Marketing Theory-Practice Gap with Marketing Engineering,” Journal of Business Research, 2002


J. Rubinson, “The New Marketing Research Imperative: It’s About Learning,” Journal of Advertising Research, number 1, (2009)


William Boulding, Richard Staelin, Michael Ehret, and Wesley J.Johnston, “A Customer Relationship Management Roadmap: What Is Known, Potential Pitfalls, and Where to Go,” Journal of Marketing, October 2005


N. Diamond, J. F. Sherry, A. M. Muniz, M. A. McGrath, R. V. Kozinets, and S. Borghini, “American Girl and the Brand Gestalt: Closing the Loop on Sociocultural Branding Research,” Journal of Marketing, no. 3 (2009)

Significant Behavioral Shifts among Consumers and Actions to Take Accordingly by Consumer-Goods Companies and Retailers Enabling their Real-Time Collaboration Dr. Anca PURCĂREA Faculty of Business and Tourism (formerly Commerce) Bucharest University of Economic Studies

Abstract: There is a real need to better understand consumers within the disruptive shift in the value chains caused by shifts in consumer’s behavior and the adaptation of all the parties involved in the value chains. Consumer-goods companies and retailers are challenged to enabling their real-time collaboration in order to right answering to consumers’ evolving needs and preferences, considering the present imperatives at the intersection of technology and psychology. Product manufacturers and retailers are increasingly aware of the strong link between product and packaging, and between packaging and consumer purchasing behavior, and of the challenge of capturing today’s visual consumer who is in a true state of discovery, engagement, shopping and creating content, being always on their smartphones and tablets.

Keywords: Consumer behavior, consumer-goods companies, retailers, packaging, visual commerce

JEL Classification: 22

Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu

The natural and logical consequences resulting from the current shifts In September last year, two representatives of Deloitte’s US Retail and Distribution practice spoke about how they explored consumers’ shopping process and decision-making criteria (through in-depth interviews and employing motivational research’s laddering technique, the insights resulted from the indepth interviews being combined with secondary research that added context), concluding that the key to understanding consumers may be hold by research (within the context of the proliferation of digital technology), recommendations (and reviews), and returns (which become a normal part of the shopping process and business as usual for retailers), these so-called “Three Rs” toppling traditional shopping and empowering consumers at each phase of their purchase process. They noted that: “Reasons drive choices, but feelings drive fondness”. ( Kenney Paul & Hogan, 2016) In December 2015, in Amsterdam, the Board of “The Consumer Goods Forum” (that comprise the 50 CEO’s of the largest retail and consumer goods companies in the world) discussed the disruptive forces at work in the industry, concluding that these disruptive forces will cause a significant and rapid value chain transformation and the adoption of new forms of collaboration. (Jacobs, 2015) At the beginning of this year, we noted that a representative of Capgemini (one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology, outsourcing services and local professional services) reiterated the disruptive shift in the value chains caused by shifts in consumer’s behavior, and the adaptation of all the parties involved in the value chains facing the no longer linearly and sequentially flow of products and information from supplier to manufacturer to retailer to consumer. (Jacobs, 2016) While a senior director of global consumer strategy at Daymon Worldwide highlighted, in the same period of time, that consumers: “products, assortments, services can actually revolve or be switched out according to shoppers’ preferences,” and “with the rise of social media, retailers and brands are under the microscope, and can easily be made, or broken, in just one day”. (Zaczkiewicz, 2016) In the middle of the same month, on the occasion US National Retail Federation (NFR) Retail’s Big Show 2016 (105th Annual Convention & EXPO, January 15-20, 2016, New York City), the EVP of TOBE argued that retailers should be prepared to see the following shifts: passion (consumers’ need for authenticity among all the noise); slouch (consumers’ need for relieving stress); memory (consumers’ relying more and more on technology to be their memory, appreciating things that don’t need to last); uniform (consumers’ new kind of uniformity because of the sharing economy, customization and feeling special being all the rage, but combined for some with the one-size-fits-all mentality). (Overstreet, 2016) There is no doubt that 2016 will be a year of transformation, retailers being challenged to continue to serve the connected customer demands of “anything, anytime, anywhere, anyhow”, being more agile and adopting a continuous improvement methodology while working to achieve a consistent omni-channel customer experience. (dminc.com/blog) And as retail is all about people, in order to touch connected and active 24x7 people in a memorable way retailers need end-toend digitization across the enterprise, according to the global general manager of consumer industries at SAP. Acting on this way, retailers will “eliminate silos, improve workforce engagement, enable real-time collaboration with business partners, increase customer engagement, and turn data into new revenue streams”. (Trite, 2016) Consumer-goods companies need to understand that there are no shortcuts to right facing the new challenges created by behavioral shifts among consumers and retail consolidation, there is only a real need of right direction and meaning, while getting change and fresh proper ideas. These companies need to better anticipate, understand and respond to the above mentioned behavioral shifts, assuming the difficult task to earn consumers trust via product quality and safety, and ensuring the necessary collaboration in relation with the new retail information strategy within the framework of the new marketing normal. The recent published findings of McKinsey’s global survey (Magni, Martinez, and Motiwala) of more than 22000 consumers show significant changes in consumers’ buying decisions (more conscientious and deliberative consumers, taking serious care in making decisions or choices, making cautious financial decisions, in general) in accordance with their evolving needs and preferences. The natural and logical consequences resulting from these underlined changes are: the new challenge for consumer-goods companies; the important implications for retailers; the strategic alliance between the both parties involved in right answering to consumers’ evolving needs and preferences. McKinsey’s representatives took into account both consumers’ feelings about their financial prospects, and their buying behavior affected by their feelings, summarizing broad global trends (beyond the differences of consumer attitudes and behaviors across markets), such as: proactively searching for savings; being brand-loyal if the price is right; not going back once they “trade down” (one part of the story: buying

cheaper brands or private-label products instead of their preferred brands, 45% of these down-traders opted for private-label products); being selective splurgers (the other part of the story: upgrading their purchases in certain categories – this way resulting a “rebalancing the portfolio” of the world’s consumers in aggregate; trade-up rates varying by geographic region and by category); shopping across channels (the growth in spending toward online and discount channels continues). In the opinion of these valuable economic analysts from McKinsey, consumer-goods companies and retailers must consider (beyond the differences from the point of view of execution across markets in relation with the specific shifting behaviors) the following imperatives: thinking “value for money” at every price point (by communicating a clear distinctive value proposition); investing in advanced revenue growth management (RGM) capabilities (considering the role played in the assortment by each brand and each SKU, and the differences of this role by channel and by geographic region, and devising accordingly granular strategies for companies’ brands, portfolio, pricing, and promotions, as well as refining these strategies for each channel, customer segment, and geographic region); being crystal clear about who the target consumer is (by better understanding of the factors that drive buying behavior in each of the various consumer segments and microsegments - thanks to advanced analytics of data gathered from multiple sources - and developing tailored value propositions for each of the identified target segments); bifurcating company’s portfolio, and avoiding getting “stuck in the middle” (by stretching companies’ brands upward, downward, or in both directions, and achieving profitable growth by using a design-to-value approach, as well as skillful management of portfolio complexity); ensuring product availability and pricing consistency across channels (based on a comprehensive channel strategy that maximizes reach and minimizes channel conflict, including the adequate investments and partnerships, and the development of a robust digital play, while ensuring that company’s prices for identical SKUs are consistent across channels). It is worth mentioning that in this last case it was underlined the need of designing and implementing of containment strategies, such as differentiated packaging for each channel. What reminded us of an academic debate from 1997 (within the framework of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, and to which we shall refer later) that anticipated actual challenges of the economics of packaging. Allow us to also mention that speaking about personal care products, the Country Manager of Beauty Care Division Henkel Romania stated in an interview for “Progressive Magazine” that he noticed consumers’ willingness to purchase products in large packs and multi-buy packages (especially shower gels and shampoos), one hand, and on the other hand that: “Benefits, ingredients and innovations prevail the price”. (Tănase, 2016) Smart Packaging at the intersection of technology and psychology There is a better understanding of the art and science of how companies do create the products that people use every day, and build services customers love, the key to delighting and retaining customers today lying at the intersection of technology and psychology. (Bye and Eyal) Let us take two examples from the so-called “packaging technologies world”: • “The Packaging Conference 2016” (February 8-10, Green Valley Ranch, Henderson, Las Vegas, Nevada), where was discussed, for instance: the newly-introduced by Sonoco “TruVue™ Can”, an innovative alternative to the traditional metal can; Sonoco’s patented “FUSION Freshlock Technology™” , a highly engineered, multilayer plastic substrate; (thepackagingconference.com) • the clear evidence of continuous preoccupation with active and intelligent packaging technologies and how these kind of packaging technologies may be applied to add value, strengthen brands, improve product and brand security, improve consumer appeal and deliver a more positive consumer experience, the brand new international conference “Smart Packaging” (September 20-21, 2016, Cologne, organised by Applied Market Information Ltd.), for example, confirming all these things, by bringing together at the same table, and at the same time, brand owners, retailers, packaging producers, plastics and additive suppliers, active and intelligent technology developers, and processing machinery experts. (amiplastics-na.com) On the other hand, let us remember that both product manufacturers and retailers are increasingly aware of the strong link between product and packaging (the last one being “the silent seller”), of the role played by packaging in brand perception, product trial and repeat purchase, of the strong link between packaging and consumer purchasing behavior, of the impact of packaging on product satisfaction and


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consumer purchasing behavior and so on. Product manufacturers and retailers are also becoming step by step more aware of some universal truths (beyond the subjective influence of aesthetics from one person to another) in regards to color, shape, practicality and messaging. The first above mentioned element, for example, is one of the most studied elements of any design, being well-known that colors evoke an intrinsic emotional response, that is why brands used and are continuing to use certain colors to their advantage. (Sullivan, 2016) No wonder the continuous preoccupation with the application and psychology of color in food packaging design, for example. (Zhang, 2015) On the occasion of the above mentioned academic debate from 1997 that anticipated actual challenges of the economics of packaging, we noted that if quality is an attitude, and attitude is everything, let’s consider an example of attitude for quality. The quality and consistency determined by the common attitude of the members of a PhD Advisory Committee in 1997 influenced the title of a book published more than a year later by “Expert” Publishing House, Bucharest, under a title that is still current: “Packaging. Attitude for quality”, author Anca Purcarea, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE Bucharest). This book was followed in time by other publications (Anca Purcarea – Technology – Environment – Economy, Center for Ecomical Information and Documentation, INCE, Romanian Academy; Anca Purcarea – Packaging Economics, Technical University of Moldavia Publishing House, Chisinau, 2006).

The distinguished Professors who were members of this PhD Advisory Committee in 1997 at the Faculty of Commerce (today Faculty of Business and Tourism), ASE Bucharest, were: Gheorghe ZAMAN, Viorel PETRESCU, Iacob CATOIU, Aurel VAINER, Alexandru REDES (the last one being the PhD Coordinator). They stimulated a very open discussion about the economics of packaging, the invitees (such as: the Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, Beniamin COTIGARU - on April 3, 2013, on the special occasion of the celebration of the centennial of ASE Bucharest, the Romanian Ministry of National Education awarded the Diploma of Honor to venerable Professor Beniamin Cotigaru for his significant contribution to the development of education and scientific research in the field of Commodity Science, in honor of his outstanding performance; former President of the Association for Consumer Protection in Romania, Ion LEANCA; Director of the ECR Department of the Romanian Distribution Committee, Virgil POPA; the current President of the Association for Consumer Protection in Romania, Costel STANCIU etc.) being also involved. In the context of the PhD thesis debate, the spontaneous discussion widened a number of issues such as: the market landscape at that time and what could change in perspective thanks to the key drivers behind the market changes; business expectations at the level of small and medium-sized companies compared to the large ones; efficiencies across current packaging formats, and main drivers of packaging costs; the influence of rapidly improving technologies and the rising environmental awareness; demand evolution for lightweight and sustainable packaging products; improvements perspective in consumer recycling patterns of both householders and businesses, the role of incentive schemes in better dealing with packaging at the end of its life so as to ensure better environmental and natural resources outcomes; the partnership between the local authorities and the waste management companies in the collection of packaging; as packaging adds value and has a strong environmental impact,

the perspective of sustainability approach in order to use the life cycle management of packaging and of product to market packaging; the evolution of the partnership between producers, retailers and consumers in the prevention of food losses and waste etc. Living in the era of the visual commerce: the challenge of capturing today’s visual consumer According to Curalate (the leading visual commerce platform, connecting pictures, people and products, and helping nearly 800 brands tell their stories through imagery in order to drive engagement, build awareness, and form stronger, more meaningful relationships with consumers), (curalate.com) there are three clear trends today: consumers are communicating visually (and channels and brands have to follow suit); branded images have evolved (brands are concerned in using authentic images that emphasize experiences, not just the sold stuff); the boom of buy buttons (there is a real need of moving social downstream by providing a one-tap payment solution for today’s consumers expecting to be able to buy whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they are). (Curalate, 2016) As consumers are not only in this perpetual state of discovery, engagement and shopping, but they are also creating content, there is a clear emerging need for marketers to measure and understand how images engage and convert consumers at every point of the purchase funnel, Curalate recommends within this context to connect the entire breadth of visual content about company’s products to commerce in ways that feel native, contextual and authentic. This kind of approach appears to be the more natural given that a recent study conducted by GfK (commissioned by Facebook IQ), found that the convenience and flexibility of smartphones and tablets make them the preferred devices among most people shopping online and even while in brick-and-mortar stores. Respondents were asked to research and shop for various items using multiple channels including mobile devices, desktops or laptops, and in-store. (Duffy, 2016) References Kenney Paul, A. & Hogan, K. S.- Understanding consumer shopping behavior, September 10, 2015, retrieved 17.01.2016 from: http://dupress.com/articles/understanding-consumer-behavior-shopping-trends/ Jacobs, K. - Time to Rethink the Value Chain, December 17, 2015, retrieved on 17.01.2016 from: https://www.capgemini.com/blog/capping-it-off/2015/12/time-to-rethink-the-value-chain https://www.capgemini.com/about/group/company-profile-key-figures Jacobs, J. - Customer Engagement: Edge of Disruption for Retailers, Q&A with Peter Sheahan, January 15, 2016, retrieved on 17.01.2016 from: https://www.capgemini.com/blog/capping-it-off/2016/01/customer-engagement-edge-of-disruption-for-retailers Zaczkiewicz, A. - Changes in Consumer Behavior Create Retail Opportunities, WWD talks with Shilpa Rosenberry, January 12, 2016, retrieved on 30.01.2016 from: http://wwd.com/retail-news/forecasts-analysis/consumer-behavior-shifts-creates-retailopportunities-10311978/ Overstreet, J. - 4 ways consumer attitudes will shift by next year, January 26, 2016, retrieved on 21.02.2016 from: https://nrf.com/news/4-ways-consumer-attitudes-will-shift-next-year The connected consumer: NRF Retail’s Big Show 2016 Recap, February 11th, 2016, retrieved on 21.02.2016 from: https://dminc.com/blog/connected-consumer-nrf-retails-big-show-2016-recap/ Trite, D. - NRF16: Turning Big Data into Micro-Insights, SAP Business Trends, Jan 20, 2016, retrieved on 21.02.2016 from: http://scn.sap.com/community/business-trends/blog/2016/01/20/nrf16-turning-big-data-into-micro-insights Magni, M., Martinez, A. and Motiwala, R. - Saving, scrimping, and . . . splurging? New insights into consumer behavior, March 2016, retrieved on 28.03.2016 from: http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/savingscrimping-and-splurging-new-insights-into-consumer-behavior Tănase, M. - Barbu, Henkel: „Beneficiile, ingredientele și inovațiile primează în fața prețului”, 09 Feb 2016, retrieved on 22.02.2016 from: http://www.magazinulprogresiv.ro/articole/barbu-henkel-beneficiile-ingredientele-si-inovatiile-primeaza-fatapretului?n_sid=0&n_cid=114&n_source=website Bye, C. and Eyal, N. - Happy to Be Hooked: Design, Emotion and the New Customer Experience, retrieved on 17.01.2016 from: http://bigshow16.nrf.com/session/happy-be-hooked-design-emotion-and-new-customer-experience Clear plastic can, omni-channel packaging challenges featured at The Packaging Conference 2016, retrieved on March 2016 from: https://www.thepackagingconference.com/media/179359/151210-The-Packaging-Conference-2016-features-plastic-can-talkpress-release-final.pdf Harnessing active and intelligent technologies to add value to flexible and rigid packaging, retrieved on March 2016 from: http://www.amiplastics-na.com/events/Event.aspx?code=C776&sec=7231 Sullivan, M. - The Psychology of Product Packaging, Oct 29, 2015, retrieved on 17.01.2016 from: http://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/selling/the-psychology-of-product-packaging/ Zhang, Y. - The Application and Psychology of Color in Food Packaging Design, in Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology 10(9): 687-690, 2016, Maxwell Scientific Publication Corp, Submitted: May 27, 2015, Accepted: July 30, 2015, Published: March 25, 2016; work licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/); retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/292346812_The_Application_and_ Psychology_of_Color_in_Food_Packaging_Design www.curalate.com. Curalate - How to Command Attention in a Content-Driven World, The complete guide to visual commerce, CompleteGuidetoVisualCommerce.Pdf, retrieved on 09.02.2016 Duffy, G. - Facebook to Open Instant Articles to All Bloggers: This Week in Social Media, February 20, 2016, retrieved on 22.02.2016 from: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/facebook-to-open-instant-articles-to-all-bloggers-social-media-news/


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Hello reader! Our Readers are invited to submit articles for the 2016 (3&4) Issues of the Scientific Review of the Romanian Distribution Committee – „Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”.


You can find out more about us just by clicking http://www.distribution-magazine.eu/about

Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Year: 2016

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

Léon F. WEGNEZ (by courtesy of) ““Consumption: uniformization or diversification?”

Sharing with our distinguished Readers a well-known source of usable and useful knowledge… Prof. Dr. h. c. Léon F. Wegnez is an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of our “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”. The distinguished Léon F. Wegnez was honored by the European Retail Academy (ERA) as the 2015 “Man of the Year” (the distinguished personalities who have been honored by ERA in the last five years were: John L. Stanton, Léon F. Wegnez, Romano Prodi, Klaus Toepfer, and Robert Aumann). Knowing our distinguished readers’ thirst for knowledge, we offer you, by courtesy of this remarkable personality, his article entitled “Consumption: uniformization or diversification?”, and published in the


Š Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.


Š Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.

Asia Retail Congress, the Total Supply Conference to fight Food Waste, and the

13th CIRCLE Conference


Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”, attracted our attention on great events happening in the first quarter of 2016, and allowed us to present them. On the special occasion of the 12th edition of the Asia Retail Congress – hosted at Taj Lands End, Mumbai, India – Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of the European Retail Academy (ERA, Germany), has been honored by the “Retail Leadership Award”. The theme of this year’s Asia Retail Congress was “What next..?” and this 12thedition of the Asia Retail Congress attracted retailers and professionals of the retail industry from 40 countries. Prof. Dr Bernd Hallier approached the topic of the “Global House of Harmony: a new equilibrium between Economics, Ecology and Ethics”.

European Retail Academy let us know that India’s retail leader is the Future Group with 1.691 million US $ and 332 outlets ranking in front of Reliance Retail 1.583 (1,798), Titan 1.535 (888), Godrej & Boyce 1.156 (850) , Aditya Birla 927 (1675), Tata 723 (198), Shopper’s Stop 624 (77), Tribhovandas 616 (39), Lifestyle 454 (359 and LG Electronics 368 (225). On the other hand, Vietnam has today 724 modern supermarkets, 132 commercial centers, more than 400 convenience stores, but also still one million small traditional stores. European Retail Academy also let us know (following a visit by Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier) that 28 percent of the Vietnamese consumers are already shopping online. At the moment according to the annual turnover in US $ the ranking of the organized Vietnam retail is headed by the Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives 1.375 million$ (323 outlets), followed by Mobile World 721 (229), Nguyen Kim Trading 603 (18), Casino Guichard Perrachon 546 (25), Saigon Jewelry 421 (158), Phu Nhuan Jewelry 267 (145), Vien Thong 164 (92), Lion Group 161 (8), Pico 127 (5) and FPT Corp. 121 million $ ( 60 stores). The commercial centers and supermarkets expect a growth-rate of 50 percent till the year 2020. Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of the European Retail Academy informed us that the University of Nairobi joined the network of the European Retail Academy (ERA), and as one of its initiatives ERA will promote the Total Supply Conference to fight Food Waste, which will be organized by the World Food Preservation Center next year, in March 2017. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from the farm/production stage down to the consumption stage. Each actor along the supply chain incurs or concedes some level of loss/waste. Food Losses and Waste (FLW) impact food security and nutrition in three ways: reduction of global and local availability of food; a negative impact on food access, for

those who face FLW-related economic and income losses, and for consumers due to the contribution of FLW to tightening the food market and raising prices of food; a longer-term effect on food security results from the unsustainable use of natural resources on which the future production of food depends. That is why: reduction of FLW is an important strategy to ensure food and nutritional security in efficient and sustainable food systems; it is an urgent need for a concerted effort at national, regional, and global levels to reduce FLW, being recognized this importance of reducing FLW (a priority agenda for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO) in achieving sustainable development among the newly agreed sustainable development goals by the United Nations (SDGs), particularly SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; among the set targets under SDG 12 is to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030).

ERA also underlined that it has to be reminded that: at the United Nations HQ in Nairobi also Prof. Dr. Klaus Toepfer had worked for several years; Prof. Dr. Klaus Toepfer is the well-known former Federal German Minister for Environment, former director of the United Nations Environment Program UNEP and initiator of the Kyoto Protocol; Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier supports his initiatives since the late 80s of the last century. Professor Bernd Hallier began many years ago a fruitful collaboration with the prestigious Professor Klaus Toepfer, and with Dr. Angela Merkel (today Chancellor of the Federal Republic, and who pushed “environment” to become a high political issue during the EU-Presidency of Germany, in 2007). It is also worth mentioning the distinguished personalities who have been honored by ERA in the last four years: John L. Stanton, Léon F. Wegnez, Romano Prodi, Klaus Toepfer. Let us also remember that on June 25, 2015, Professor Ovidiu Folcuţ, Rector of the RomanianAmerican University (RAU) received a visit from Professor Bernd Hallier. On this occasion, Professor Hallier introduced the challenging volume “Food Waste Management” (based on an EU-project FORWARD), the reduction of food waste being seen as an important lever for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses (not forgetting to suggest from the very beginning the distinction between “food loss” and “food 32

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waste”). It was underlined, among others, that: there are substantial losses along the stages of the food chain (agricultural production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution, and consumption); the reduction of food losses is seen as an important starting point for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses.

Allow us to remember that within the context of the pivotal moment represented by the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21 or CMP 11, Le Bourget, Paris, November 30 to December 11) for the global effort to tackle climate change, the Romanian-American University (RAU) underlined on December 9, 2015 the continuous pushing of the European Retail Academy (ERA) for a “Global House of Harmony”.

European Retail Academy also attracted our attention in February this year on the art exhibition (photography, fine art and sculpture) of patients of an ambulant psychotherapy project-group at the lobby of the Ev. Hospital in Bergisch Gladbach/Germany. Only in 2000 meters distance the Zanders Foundation showed works from Friedrich Schroeder-Sonnenstern (1892-1982) who started drawing/ painting when considered mentally ill – today his oeuvre is considered to be one of the most important ones of the Art Brut. It is also worth highlighting that Friedensreich Hundertwasser felt inspired by Friedrich Schroeder-Sonnenstern and dedicated Homage for him.

We are so glad to know that Marie-Christin Hallier is continuing her family tradition of innovation and offering solutions in a world thirsty for idea. On the occasion of the innovative scientific event “WPA 2015 Bucharest International Congress on Primary Care Mental Health: Innovation and Transdisciplinarity” (24-27 June, 2015, Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania), Marie-Christin Hallier reminded us that Art Therapy has three options, and Self-Portraits in Art Therapy might be a first step for participants/ patients to get an insight into himself/herself and might be followed by a second step: changing life.

European Retail Academy has also informed us recently that the last CIRCLE conference took place in Naples, being hosted in 2016 by the University of Naples „Parthenope” and the Second University of Naples, with the patronage and the support of SIM – Società Italiana di Marketing (Italian Marketing Society). CIRCLE was founded in 2004 to create a platform for PhD students to speak in English language in front of an international audience, being hosted each year by another CIRCLE member. The CIRCLE Conference 2017 will be in Warsaw, Poland.

Among the participants at the opening ceremony of this 13th CIRCLE Conference had been Dr. L. de Magistris (Mayor of Naples), Prof. E. Bonetti and Prof. M. Simoni (the two coordinators of the Organizing Committee), Prof. A. Mattiaci (President of the Italian Marketing Society), Prof. C. Vignali (Provost of Circle Virtual College), Prof. T. Rashid (President of Circle International), Dr. G. Morici (President Barilla Europe) and Prof. F. Babiloni (University of Rome). The keynote speeches of this 13th International CIRCLE Conference focused on the new frontiers for management and marketing, approaching the way management and marketing are changing and will change in the next years. Within the section “Social issues” at the 13th CIRCLE Conference in Naples/Italy Marie-Christin Hallier lectured at the prestigious Villa Doria D’Angri about her MA-Thesis in Art-Therapy by the topic “Palliative Well-being increased by Art-Therapy”. The case-study is about a 40 year old patient suffering of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateralsklerose) with the additional problem not being able any more to speak due to the medical treatment.


2015 A BY


Romanian Distributtion Committee Magazine / April 2016 / www.distribution-magazine.eu



A short presentation of our partner journal

„Contemporary Economics”, Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2016,

Quarterly of University of Finance and Management in Warsaw

Irina PURCĂREA JEL Classification: Y30


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“Contemporary Economics” is an academic quarterly addressed to academicians, economic policymakers as well as to students of finance, accounting, management and economics. In particular, the quarterly contains academic manuscripts on problems of contemporary economics, finance, banking, accounting and management examined from various research perspectives.

The first paper of this 2016 issue, entitled „Aggregate matching in Spain. Time series analysis using cointegration techniques original article” (Ewa Gałecka-Burdziak), presents the analysis of the matching process in the Spanish labor market from 1994-2005. The author used monthly registered unemployment data and referred solely to public employment intermediation (as this period reflects an upward movement along a downward sloping Beveridge curve, major changes in the process efficiency should not be observed), narrowed the considerations to a job queuing model (which is the most relevant description of the labor market matching process in Spain, according to the literature), and applied various quantitative methods to address the problem of non-stationary data. The Engle-Granger estimates emphasized the crucial role of the demand in generating the outflows from unemployment to employment, and the ECT coefficient confirmed that the model efficiently approached the new equilibrium, the findings confirming that job seekers find themselves on the disadvantaged side of the market and compete for scarce job offers, which, in turn, are ascribed randomly to the workers. The diagnostic tests of the VAR models questioned the relevance of a multivariate space analysis because the outflow from unemployment to employment appeared to be the sole endogenous variable.

In the paper entitled „Implications of Unprofitable Horizontal Mergers: A Positive External Effect Does Not Suffice To Clear A Merger!”,the authors (Oliver Budzinski, Jürgen-Peter Kretschmer) argue that standard analysis of mergers in oligopolies along the lines of the popular Farrell-Shapiro Framework (FSF) relies, regarding its policy conclusions, on the assumption that rational agents will only propose privately profitable mergers, and if this assumption were held, a positive external effect of a proposed merger would represent a sufficient condition to allow the merger. However, as underlined by the authors, the empirical picture on mergers and acquisitions reveals a significant share of unprofitable mergers, and economic theory, moreover, demonstrates that privately unprofitable mergers can be the result of rational action. Therefore, the authors drop this restrictive assumption and allow for unprofitable mergers to occur, this exerting a considerable impact on merger policy conclusions: while several insights of the original analysis are corroborated (e.g., efficiency defense), a positive external effect does not represent a sufficient condition for the allowance of a merger any longer. And applying such a rule would cause a considerable amount of false decisions.

„Complementary Person-Environment Fit as a Predictor of Job Pursuit Intentions in the Service Industry” (Marlena A. Bednarska) is a paper that highlights the intrinsic link between the success of service firms and the availability of appropriate labor resources (making employee attraction and retention a critical concern for service organizations), and examines the role of employer attractiveness in the relationship between potential employees’ perceptions of person-environment (P-E) fit and job pursuit intentions in the service industry. This study was

conducted with a group of 335 undergraduates and graduates enrolled in tourism and hospitality studies in Poznan, data being collected through group-administered questionnaires. Research revealed that students generally did not believe that a career in the hospitality sector would fulfill their needs (rating job attributes slightly higher than organization attributes), regression analyses showing that both person-job (P-J) fit and person-organization (P-O) fit were positively related to intentions to apply for a job, with the former being a stronger predictor. The author argues that the relationship under study was fully mediated by the perceived attractiveness of hospitality employers, the findings contributing to an improved understanding of the influence of P-J and P-O fit on work-related attitudes and intentions of Generation Y prospective employees in the hospitality industry. Another paper, „Financial market regulation, country governance, and bank efficiency: Evidence from East Asian countries” (Sok-Gee Chan, Mohd Zaini Abd Karim), examines the relationship between financial market regulation, country governance and efficiency of commercial banks in East Asian economies during the period 20012008 using a two-stage estimation technique. In the first stage, the authors employed a non-parametric approach Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) - to estimate the banks’ cost and profit efficiency scores and then Tobit estimation to analyze the impact of financial market regulations and country governance on bank efficiency. The findings suggested that: commercial banks in East Asia are relatively profit efficient rather than cost efficient; countries with more financial freedom and independence are more cost efficient. Government effectiveness is found to be positively related to bank efficiency, while consistent with economic theory corruption is negatively related to bank efficiency. Therefore, as underlined by the authors, this study reveals the importance of financial market regulations and country governance as catalysts for efficient banking operations in East Asian economies. One of the papers included in this issue, „Introduction to the Multidimensional Real-Time Economic Modeling original article” (Mario Arturo Ruiz Estrada, Vgr Chandran, Muhammad Tahir), proposes a new economic modeling theoretical framework known as multidimensional real-time economic modeling (MRTE-Modeling), model which is an important tool that economists and educators can use to demonstrate the multidimensional aspects of economic behavior. MRTE-Modeling facilitates the analysis of a series of complex and dynamic economic problems that can affect market behavior from a multidimensional perspective, and this proposed MRTE-Modeling framework is based on the uses of an alternative mathematical modeling framework, multidimensional graphical modeling approach, and computer algorithm and, thus, allows the possibility to transition from 2-dimensional economic dynamic modeling to multidimensional real-time economic modeling. The main objective of using the proposed experimental model in the field of economics is therefore to analyze different macroeconomic scenarios to monitor and provide a warning of possible unexpected economic failure(s). The proposed alternative experimental model is based on the application of Econographicology. Hence, this authors’ model is expected to offer policy makers and researchers new analytical tools to study the impact and trend of economic failures in the economy of any country from a new perspective. The paper „A review of individual and systemic risk measures in terms of applicability for banking regulations original article” (Katarzyna Sum) investigates the evolution and critique of risk measures and risk models in banking, with a special focus on the dynamically developing area of systemic risk measures (the latest financial crisis has exposed substantial weaknesses in the bank risk models used by national regulators as well as the Basel Accords). A discussion of the features of the respective measures allows author to draw conclusions for banking regulations based on the analyzed models and to present the main challenges for regulators in terms of bank risk measurement. The findings show that substantial challenges for regulators include compensating for the drawbacks of the Value at Risk (VaR) and expected shortfall risk models, resolving the pro-cyclicality in risk modeling, improving the techniques of stress testing, and addressing the fallacy of composition in banking (i.e., to model risk from a systemic point of view and not only from the perspective of an individual bank). The author underlined that: as the discussion concerning proper risk measurement in regulatory frameworks, such as the Basel Accord or the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) rules is in progress, the topic seems to be of particular importance; moreover, measures of systemic risk are not yet a subject of regulation. The final paper of this issue of “Contemporary Economics”, entitled „ Measuring Business Cycles: A Review” (Marinko Škare, Saša Stjepanović), summarizes the main findings on problems related to the measurement

and identification of business cycles, the aim being to define and identify the determinants of business cycles. The authors provided an overview of the methodology and its future course, their investigation suggesting that: some methodological frameworks are available in the literature, but none is perfect; a new development in the field lies in spectral analysis methods for measuring business cycles, which may have advantages over existing methodologies (nonlinearity, stationarity issues). The authors feel that fractional integration is important in the proper monitoring and explanation of business cycles, and show that spectral analysis techniques have also proved to be useful for addressing the problems of stationarity and structural breaks in time series when analyzing business cycles. They also underline that another important issue which is excluded when studying business cycles is that the link between cycles and economic growth is presumed to be non-existent, implying money neutrality. 50

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