Fun Fact of the Day: iPhone X Set to Launch in November 2017



Fun fact of the day:

The *NEW* iPhone X will be available for pre-order on Oct. 27 and will ship on Nov. 3. The price is only $999.

It no longer has a home button and instead has a dedicated Siri button on the right side. On the top of the phone there is an IR camera, which allows the phone to recognize your face completely in the dark.

The screen resolution is OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), the nicest screen to be put on an apple product to date. The phone can be emerged in 3 ft of water for 30 minutes. Don’t try and do 31 minutes…might not be a good outcome.

Instead of one swipe to get to your notifications, now if you swipe down from the top-left, you get notifications, and down from the top-right, you get the control center.

Will you buy this new phone in November?

Fun Fact of the Day: Knopf Name CFO of Kraft Heinz Co

Fun fact of the day: The Kraft Heinz Co. is a $100B market cap co. that generates more than $26B in annual revenue by selling iconic brands like Heinz Ketchup, Velveeta Cheese and Kraft Macaroni. Starting in Oct, Kraft Heinz’s finances will be overseen by a 29-year-old.
The company announced on Friday that David Knopf will be the new CFO of Kraft Heinz. Knopf has been working since 2015 at Kraft Heinz, where his responsibilities included overseeing the Planters Nuts brand and heading global budget and business planning, as well as zero-based budgeting and financial strategic planning as a VP.
What are your thoughts on age vs tenure?

Fun Fact of the Day: Bahama Bucks


Fun fact of the day: Bahama Buck’s is a privately held franchise specializing in shaved ice and other frozen non-alcoholic beverages. The company is headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. It was founded in 1990 by the current president and brand owner, Blake Buchanan.

He started with 1 ice shaver and the hope of a college job that didn’t involve mowing grass or flipping burgers. Constructing the original store by hand, he enlisted volunteer help from 3 generations of his family, staffed it with friends and college students, and opened the doors.

The tropical sensation caught on, and with the help of his wife, Kippi (cool name!), and his friend, Eric Lee (now CFO), the summer job turned into a full-time vocation.

As of March 2017, Bahama Buck’s operates 100 stores (located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Puerto Rico) with over 100 additional stores in the works. Except for stores operated by Buchanan all stores are franchised.

Have you ever been? :)

Andre House

Intel Volunteer Andre House

Nothing like a Sunday dinner service to support your local homeless community. Slicing and dicing bread, buttering up each side. No better feeling in this world than helping those less fortunate than yourself. I mean, what is the alternative? Let’s see here…watch Netflix, go shopping, swim at the pool, or sleep. All of which sound particularly inefficient and boring.

I appreciate it when a company as big as Intel provides these types of service events. It gives me motivation to get out of the house and join my coworkers on a weekend afternoon. However, the real thanks goes to the individuals who sponsor and put on these events. Without them this would not be possible. Intel is a large Mothership, and the people make up the whole. Leaders rise to the occasion and help facilitate the get-togethers. After all, companies do not determine what type of person people are, but people determine what type of company they want to work for and how it is perceived by the general community.

I personally want to work for a company that helps make the world a better place. Call it the “basic millennial thought process.” I put in the effort to make this happen.

Citibank Mastercard Double Your Cash- THE BEST


Fun fact of the day: I usually do not post “opinions,” but let’s try this out. Citigroup has a Mastercard (generally accepted everywhere) credit card titled Double Cash. If you do not use a points card, I HIGHLY recommend this cash card. Individuals earn 1% as they spend, and another 1% as they pay.

Like all other credit cards, it allows users to send text alerts when the card racks up so many dollars (reaches a sum threshold), or when a specific purchase is over a certain threshold (i.e., > $100…or if you are that big spender, always call me before you go shopping, and set your notification limit to $1,000).

The threat detection program works great. I just received a text asking me if I had made a purchase in Austin, TX, to which I called and had my card cancelled straight away (yes, Irish people use this expression) and a new card sent my way.

One of the unparalleled features is the direct deposit for your rewards. You heard that correctly; this credit card allows you to shove your earnings into that huge bank account you have (checking or savings)! Of course, there is always that 1-2 day delay before it is actually liquid “cash.” Another note is that the rewards amount has to reach a total of $25 BEFORE you can redeem any dollar amount. Other options include a check being sent to your residence, a gift card, or a statement credit (which I personally do most often).

One last alteration is the number is on the back (allowing for easier readability and security).

Any questions, let me know!

CES2017: Las Vegas, NV


Sony Displays

LG Displays

This year was CES’ 50th anniversary. It had record breaking numbers. I had the pleasure to attend last year’s event and it was so exhilarating (thank you brother). Here are some statistics:

  1. 3,800+ Exhibiting Companies
  2. 2.6+ Million Net Sq Ft
  3. 175,000+ Attendees
  4. 55,000+ International Attendees
  5. 6,500 Media
  6. World’s Largest Innovation Event

Some of the key highlights encompassed 5G, VR, AR, autonomous driving, Ultra-ultra high-definition TVs (yes, I just made that up), and drones. Sony, Samsung, and LG showed off their baddest TVs. Whether it was 8K, QLED, or OLED. Mass production of these resolution types are within 5 years. So if you didn’t buy that 4K TV this Black Friday, don’t worry, they will be even cheaper in the next 2 years.

Samsung tried to better their name by having a booth solely displayed as “GALAXY.” Since their debacle with the Galaxy Note, reputation has been ruined. This booth included two “rides,” where users could put on a VR headset and twist and turn in the air with a machine. Believe it or not, I was not willing to wait in line to experience this…I was at CES, not Disney Land!

LG had a super awesome clothes steamer DIY system for home use. Just put your suit pants, shirt, and coat in this electric machine, and it will clean your clothes like you took them to the dry cleaners.

LG also had refrigerators that had full-size screens on the front in order to see what food you currently have in the fridge. These screens can tell you your shopping list, or tell you that ice is out and the water filter needs to be changed. I believe some day that all refrigerators will have touch screen fronts to allow users to have more visibility into what they have in their fridge. Eventually, these devices will talk with their owner and help them cook–giving them directions and ingredients to include in meals.

BMW, Nvidia, Intel, and others all displayed self-driving vehicles. BMW’s booth was outside so that driver’s could wait in line and give their cars a test drive. I predict self-driving vehicles will become available to purchase by 2020. The company in the forefront will be Tesla (because of their competitive advantage of first to market with full-blown electric vehicles).

An interesting surprise of companies was American Greetings. They allowed CES-ers to write cards to their friends, loved ones, or peers and send it to this special person, for FREE! Their booth was also outside. They were also making digital cards that included hand-drawn sketches on the computer.

If you could not attend this year, try going down/up next year. If your company does not subsidize your badge entry, it is only $100 to get in for 4 days of awesomeness! Next year’s event will occur Jan 9-12.

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Employee Events- The Game Changer


Working for a Fortune 100 (#51) company has been amazing. The perks offered are off the charts. The amount of resources provided could make you spoiled. One thing I appreciate most about Intel is the number of Finance get-togethers. You can tell that they truly care about their employees.

As pictured above, I had the opportunity to sit down with fellow coworkers one night and enjoy a bbq. It is pleasant experience to let your mind relax from work for one night and talk about “normal” things with others. Plus, having blow-up slides and corn hole for the kiddos is also wonderful. It allows for people of all different walks of life to come together at a specific point in time and share something common: food and games.

I am excited for the future and cannot wait for what I will bring to Intel in the near future. Cheers!

Interbrand Best Global Brands 2016


The best global brands display a drive for growth. They cater towards the customer’s needs. Customers nowadays want things fast. They want it now…not in a minute. Delivering on this want is key.

Companies that have a growth mindset will never fall behind. They are constantly divesting and investing in different business units. Resources are allocated appropriately.

As an Intel employee, it is with bias that I am pleased to announce that Intel has made the Top 100 list produced by Interbrand. We come in at #14. The competition, or where we want to be in the future, is listed below:

  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Coca Cola
  4. Microsoft
  5. Toyota
  6. IBM
  7. Samsung
  8. Amazon
  9. Mercedes Benz
  10. GE
  11. BMW
  12. McDonald’s
  13. Disney
  14. Intel

New 10″ HP Pavilion Wave Desktop


With Laptops, 2-1’s, netbooks, and notebooks all decreasing in size, it is of no wonder now to see a tiny 10″ desktop. Yes, you heard me correctly…10″!

It will be available to the public at the end of Sept 2016, for a measly $550.

HP shoved into the device up to 64GB of RAM, an Intel 6th-Gen chip (YAY! :)), and 2TB of Hard Drive (or 1TB if you want it SSD).

Check out the article below if you want more information.

Universal Serial Bus: Different Options

There are many types of USB (Universal Serial Bus). The picture below displays most of them. The most common, which we are all familiar with, is Type-A. This is a large port.

One of the newest is Type-C. This can be inserted into a port either way (thank goodness!). The MacBook was the first computer to use this type. It is about 1/3 the size of Type-A.

There are also different versions of the USB. USB started with 1.0, worked its way up to 2.0, and is now on 3.0. USB 3.0 allows for a faster speed of transfer.

Soon, devices everywhere will be using Type-C (which has the capability to both charge and connect your device to another device).


10th Annual Governor’s Utah Economic Summit 2016

I had the incredible experience of attending the Economic Summit at the Grand America Hotel in downtown SLC, Utah. I sat in on a panel, representing Simply Mac,, and Jamberry Nails. All entrepreneurs start with a problem they want to solve. Eventually they create a solution out of these problems.

It is awesome to see how far Utah has come in the entrepreneur space, and what companies have come to fruition because of the top-talent pool in the Valley. Utah’s economy is booming, housing prices are rising, labor is cheap, and the mountains are 20 minutes away. Who wouldn’t want to start a company here?

And yes, that is my classmate and I “riding” in a Tesla!

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Get Motivated Seminar Utah

Get Motivated Seminar

I had the privilege to attend an event that only happens so often. In April, Get Motivated came to Sandy, Utah at the South Towne Expo Center off of State Street and 9400 South. This event was from 8am to 5pm, and yes I stuck through the whole thing. But, it was well worth it.

Some of the speakers included: Dr. Keith Jonson, Dr. Willie Jolley, Bob Kittell, and the famous Les Brown. Les chose to be last on the speaker order, in order to see if people actually stayed for the entire seminar.

Speaker topics included: motivation, confidence, real estate, publishing a book, investing, and competitiveness. My favorite topics were confidence and real estate. Right now, the real estate market is doing great. A house offers so many benefits, including tax advantages and an asset that can be sold for a monetary gain.

One of my favorite sayings by a few of the speakers, was that a person needs to know when to let others go. Friends, family members, and acquaintances might not have the same vision you do. If they are constantly telling you “no,” then you will start to believe in the “no.” Therefore, it is best to leave them behind and follow your vision by setting goals. Goals are how you get to your long-term vision. Without goals, a vision seems impossible. But…we all know what impossible really stands for, “I’m Possible!” Just Do It -Nike

SLC FB Event v2_zpslxtpdqy9

Intel’s New Acquisition



Intel recently acquired Yogitech, a company that helps reduce accidents and collisions in self-driving cars or IoT devices. This is a huge step for Intel in their quest to become the biggest and baddest company in the IoT space. Expect many more acquisitions to come within the next 5 to 10 years, specifically IoT companies.


Class-Bonding Hockey Game


It is nice to have an MBA program that cares about their students. This past weekend, we were given to the opportunity to attend a local hockey game at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah. Most of the first and second year students were in attendance. To be casual for one night is a change. Getting the chance to see everyone in their “normal” clothes is a change. Hearing one of your classmates yell, “Yea, hit him in the face!”, is a change. But guess what, change is good. Without change, companies will not survive in this corporate nation. I have learned to accept and adopt change. This will help me excel rapidly in my career path.


Simple Things in Life


The simple things. Going to the zoo on one of your days off. It was even better because it was a rainy day and most people were indoors, scared to wander the cement. But not my friend and I. We brought an umbrella.

Learning something new every day is something I strive for. Simply reading the plaques that cover ever animal area, knowledge is gained. Even though work is not involved, learning never stops. Try and better yourself as a person. Oh, and do not let the rain hold you back!

VillageCapital- Rebuilding the American Dream: The Future of Entrepreneurship

I had the tremendous opportunity to attend an entrepreneurship get-together at the Impact Hub in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The VillageCapital Event featured a keynote speaker who is world renowned. Steve Case was the co-founder of America Online (AOL). He is now an avid promoter of entrepreneurship and technology. He recently wrote a book titled The Third Wave, which is set to release April 5, 2016. It can be found on here.

Other speakers included Jim Sorenson, Founder of the Sorenson Impact Center, Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of The Kauffman Foundation, and Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital.

The last half of the event was devoted to leaders from across the United States, telling their story about how they are going to change the way entrepreneurship is thought of, used, and recreating in the capitalist society we live in. It will be interesting to see these cities evolve and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.










Future Supply Chain Leaders


What an honor it is to be a part of the inaugural Future Supply Chain Leaders program this year at Oracle. Throughout the Modern Supply Chain Experience conference, I met so many amazing and brilliant individuals. The students I met where thrilled to be attending a supply chain conference, and their passion showed. There were 15 schools represented, with over 90 students in attendance. I cannot wait to see where these two numbers progress to in years to come.

Oh, and by the way, Go Utes!

Supply Chain Consulting Firms


The Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience is taking place this next week in San Jose, California. There will be many guest speakers from many supply chain executives. Some of the events that I will be attending throughout the conference are with large consulting firms. This will be a great opportunity to find out what roles they play in the business process, and how I can contribute to their success. Kalypso, Tata Consulting Services, Inspirage, Avata, and Computer Sciences Corporation will all be in attendance. #OracleMSCE #Contest


Utah Performs Well in Economic Report to the Governor


Every year, a new economic report is presented to the Governor of Utah. This past year, there were many amazing feats.

Utah led the nation in job growth for 7 months and ranked 2nd the remaining 5 months. Here are other top-level statistics from the report:

  • Technology – Utah lived up to the nickname “Silicon Slopes” with impressive 7.7% growth in the information sector.
  • Construction – Permit-authorized construction reached its highest level in 8 years with major projects downtown and at the nexus of Utah’s 2 largest counties.
  • Leisure and hospitality – Utah’s leisure and hospitality industry added 7,900 jobs. Park City’s expansion created the largest ski resort in the country. This, combined with Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks, prompted Fodor’s Travel to name Utah the top travel destination of the year.
  • Exports – Utah’s merchandise exports continued to diversify with 4% year-over growth in non-gold exports. Utah exports support more than 50,000 jobs.
  • Financial activities – Major employers like Goldman Sachs added a total of 2,600 jobs in the financial activities sector helping Utah earn a reputation as “Wall Street of the West.”
  • Income – Median household income is growing at 2.6% in Utah, compared to 1.0% nationally.

Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE)


Oracle has given me the incredible opportunity to attend this year’s Modern Supply Chain Experience (MSCE) in San Jose, California. It takes place January 25-27 at the San Jose Conference Center.

The Future Supply Chain Leaders Program features over 80 students, from 15 leading U.S. universities: Berkeley, Purdue, Duquesne, PennState, University of Utah, BYU, USC, University of Maryland, Stanford, University of South Carolina, San Jose State, University of San Francisco, University of Washington, University of Kansas, and Arizona State University. Now, being a prior member of the Men’s Basketball Team at the University of Utah, I am not fond of UDub, USC, Berkeley, and ASU attending (only joking). However, this is an amazing feat for the Pac-12 Conference.

The following are thought-leading keynote speakers during the conference: Rick Jewell, Jennifer Felch, Nancy Aossey, Terry Bradshaw, Safra Catz, Cindy Reese, Kimberly Leeper, and Ayah Bdeir. This list of leaders is incredible. It will be great to hear about their thoughts on supply chain and leadership.

Throughout this conference, I expect to gain a lot of knowledge about supply chain and Oracle. I hope to gain a few new contacts along the way.

2016 CES Recap

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada, set a ton of records in 2016. It had 2.47 million square feet of show-floor exhibits. Last year, this number was only 2.2 million. The attendance hit a record 176,000 people, albeit it was capped. Automotive electronics had 200,000 square feet, up 25% from 2015. 3D printing had 24,000 square feet, up 31% from 2015.

The number of emerging innovators went from 375 to 500 in 2016. From January 5 through the 9, there were 15.2 million billion CES social-media impressions.

My brother, cofounder and current CTO of truDigital, and I were there for two days and it was an amazing experience. Check out the pictures below.

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Full-Time MBA Rankings 2015


Since it is a new year, I find it apropos to post where the University of Utah is currently sitting in the Bloomberg Business MBA Rankings. I will be graduating from this University in May 2016 and am excited to see where the program goes in years to come.

My favorite part of the program are the people I work with, day in and day out. They are professional and “get stuff done!” Working with teams gives me tremendous experience for when I start a job following my graduation. People are what make up organizations. People drive sales and lead an organization to success. People keep other people wanting to go to work everyday in this corporate society we live in.

I am proud to call myself a Ute and will be helping out in any way in the near future, after I graduate from the David Eccles School of Business!

Here is the list of the top business schools in the United States:

Rank School Employer survey rank (35%) Alumni survey rank (30%) Student survey rank (15%) Salary rank (10%) Job placement rank (10%) Ranking index score
1 Harvard 4 2 19 2 35 100
2 Chicago (Booth) 1 29 10 6 1 98.47
3 Northwestern (Kellogg) 2 11 6 5 34 98.24
4 MIT (Sloan) 5 15 18 3 16 96.05
5 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 6 14 27 4 7 95.92
6 Columbia 3 19 16 9 25 95.61
7 Stanford 14 1 14 1 21 94.66
8 Duke (Fuqua) 7 7 12 11 51 94.07
9 UC Berkeley (Haas) 11 4 4 7 49 91.83
10 Michigan (Ross) 8 28 5 10 32 91.74
11 Yale 9 9 23 14 37 88.07
12 Virginia (Darden) 10 18 9 13 13 87.8
13 UCLA (Anderson) 19 6 3 16 40 87.28
14 Dartmouth (Tuck) 21 8 17 8 11 85.96
15 Emory (Goizueta) 29 5 13 17 9 82.24
16 Cornell (Johnson) 18 10 35 15 30 82.07
17 North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler) 17 22 11 23 36 81.82
18 Carnegie Mellon (Tepper) 13 31 25 12 42 80.48
19 Rice (Jones) 40 3 2 30 46 80.31
20 Washington (Foster) 12 34 41 19 5 79.74
21 Texas at Austin (McCombs) 22 13 37 21 24 79.68
22 Texas A&M (Mays) 24 16 33 37 4 79.56
23 Georgia Tech (Scheller) 28 30 8 25 10 76.78
24 NYU (Stern) 23 35 26 18 27 76.06
25 USC (Marshall) 16 40 22 34 48 75.38
26 Georgetown (McDonough) 25 26 32 27 41 75.27
27 Brigham Young (Marriott) 31 24 21 36 23 74.17
28 Indiana (Kelley) 34 27 15 22 44 72.06
29 North Carolina State (Jenkins) 20 25 38 59 59 71.67
30 Michigan State (Broad) 39 39 7 41 6 71.41
31 Notre Dame (Mendoza) 32 21 42 24 45 71.05
32 Southern Methodist (Cox) 35 33 28 35 20 70.67
33 Maryland (Smith) 42 47 1 40 39 69.74
34 Vanderbilt (Owen) 49 23 30 26 26 69.08
35 Washington in St. Louis (Olin) 48 17 53 32 2 67.54
36 Rochester (Simon) 38 43 43 44 8 65.16
37 William & Mary (Mason) 15 56 44 56 61 65.16
38 Texas Christian (Neeley) 56 20 34 47 22 64.81
39 Ohio State (Fisher) 37 51 46 29 17 63.65
40 George Washington 26 46 59 50 53 63.01
41 Florida (Hough) 55 45 31 45 19 62.29
42 Texas at Dallas (Jindal) 36 57 36 55 18 61.82
43 Penn State (Smeal) 30 54 66 20 52 60.4
44 Pittsburgh (Katz) 52 48 39 53 3 60.27
45 Minnesota (Carlson) 33 68 24 28 56 60.24
46 Wisconsin 57 36 40 39 43 60.08
47 Miami 27 53 47 60 62 58.87
48 Boston University (Questrom) 64 37 48 33 31 57.87
49 Arizona State (W.P. Carey) 41 62 61 31 28 56.53
50 Howard 59 38 58 43 38 55.81
51 Georgia (Terry) 58 59 20 52 63 53.68
52 Oklahoma (Price) 66 12 72 65 33 52.91
53 Purdue (Krannert) 50 52 56 38 67 52.87
54 UC Irvine (Merage) 73 50 29 48 58 52.41
55 Iowa (Tippie) 60 64 45 46 15 52.27
56 Babson 69 32 54 54 55 51.94
57 Illinois 65 49 57 42 64 50.18
58 American (Kogod) 43 41 62 63 70 50.11
59 Utah (Eccles) 70 42 60 62 29 49.54
60 Buffalo 46 58 50 69 65 49.53
61 Northeastern (D’Amore-McKim) 67 55 63 58 12 48.85
62 Hult 54 61 64 49 60 48.2
63 Cincinnati (Lindner) 68 44 65 72 14 47.65
64 Tennessee (Haslam) 45 65 71 51 57 46.62
65 UC San Diego (Rady) 72 60 49 64 50 45.88
66 Missouri (Trulaske) 51 71 55 71 69 39.97
67 Syracuse (Whitman) 47 63 68 67 71 39.22
68 Chapman (Argyros) 44 74 67 68 47 38.54
69 Mississippi 71 70 51 74 54 38.2
70 Willamette (Atkinson) 61 66 73 73 66 34.84
71 Colorado (Leeds) 74 67 69 61 72 31.95
72 Fordham (Gabelli) 53 69 70 66 73 30.84
73 Kentucky (Gatton) 63 72 74 70 68 28.66
74 Pepperdine (Graziadio) 62 73 52 57 74 27.02

UPS, FedEx And The Holiday Season Risks


The e-commerce industry has really picked up in the past few years. With increasing internet connectivity and many new companies entering the space, online sales are at an all-time high. In 2013, almost 41% of the world’s internet users purchased products online. The size of the market is increasing every year in double digits and could continue to do so for the foreseeable future. To put this into perspective, the current size of the e-commerce industry is $1.6 trillion (which represents growth of about 20.4% year-over-year) and accounts for only 6.6% of total retail sales worldwide ($24 trillion). With the emergence of cost-effective smartphones, and cheaper, more widespread internet access, the potential for growth in the sector remains immense.

A positive effect of the e-commerce boom is that ancillary industries such as the courier services and delivery sectors, should see corresponding growth. Package volumes could increase consistently year-over-year, especially during the holiday season spanning November through December. Intuitively, higher package volumes should mean higher revenues for courier companies such as FedEx and UPS . However, this may not necessarily be true if delivery companies fail to cope with heavy increases in volumes, which could result in major setbacks. Accordingly, while the holiday season represents a big opportunity for the courier companies, it also represents a substantial risk.

In 2013, UPS and FedEx underestimated the volumes to be expected during the holiday season, and as a result both companies were somewhat underprepared. Heavy snowfall and harsh winter conditions slowed them down further. Since then, both companies have carried out a wide variety of changes across the board. The companies have invested heavily in technology to increase delivery efficiency, while upgrading their sorting facilities. Several hubs across the globe have been renovated to ensure the highest productivity. UPS and FedEx have also decided to hire a larger number of seasonal workers – drivers, sorters and other support positions – during peak periods to enable smooth functioning.

In response to these challenges, UPS has invested heavily in its technology. The company recently acquired Chicago-based Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. Coyote Logistics will provide UPS with the technology to ensure that there are no empty spaces on the company’s delivery trucks. This will allow the space on trucks to be utilized in the most efficient manner. The company has also increased the number of trucks equipped with the ORION technology in the U.S. ORION helps drivers find the fastest and most fuel-efficient ways to deliver packages. Almost 70% of the company’s trucks in the U.S. are now equipped with the technology. Apart from this, UPS has also invested heavily in Europe, increasing the number of trucks available while upgrading its sorting and automation facilities.

Earlier in the year, both FedEx and UPS introduced dimensional weight pricing, which essentially takes into account both weight and volume (length, breadth and height) of a package. This practice ensures that customers optimize their packaging in an attempt to save costs. Recently, UPS also decided to introduce a surcharge on large packages. Both changes in pricing policies should allow trucks to be filled to their highest capacities, allowing larger volumes to be moved.

A problem that both companies are facing is the difficulty in predicting e-commerce trends during the holiday season. In Q4 2014, UPS invested more than was required for the period, which had an impact on the company’s financials. While both companies stand to benefit greatly from the increased volumes, FedEx and UPS need to find the right balance to be able to make the most of the e-commerce boom.

Walmart Promises Not To Run Out Of Top Items Like TVs This Black Friday


With Black Friday a mere two weeks away, Walmart has announced its game plan for the most anticipated shopping day of the year.

The world’s biggest retailer has mined sales data from years past and stocked its stores with extra inventory on hot items.

Walmart wants to ensure that the intrepid bargain-hunters who line up for doorbuster deals hours before its 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day opening don’t leave disappointed.

“Walmart will never be the retailer that broadcasts a great price on Black Friday and then ends up only having a few in stock,” said chief merchandising officer Steve Bratspies. “We bought deep on televisions, toys and more to ensure hundreds of customers in a store – not tens of customers – get the gift they want.”

Walmart will have more than 1 million TVs, 15 million movies and 10 million pajamas in stock for its Black Friday sale.

Among its best deals, per its Black Friday ad released on Thursday: a Roku 32” Class Smart HDTV for $125, popular wearable fitness tracker the Fitbit Flex Wristband for $59, and video game console package deals including a PlayStation 4 Uncharted bundle for $299.

The big-box retailer is bringing back its one-hour guarantee on a handful of its most-coveted products, including Beats Studio Headphones ($169) and a 16GB iPad Air 2 Gold ($399). Even if a store runs out, as long as a shopper buys the item between 6pm and 7pm on Thanksgiving Day, Walmart guarantees they’ll receive it by Christmas.

The Bentonville, Ark-based chain will be making most of its deals available on at 12:01 a.m. PST on Thanksgiving Day, meaning online shoppers can get a jump on their holiday lists before the turkey is even in the oven.

Fast Food Workers Plan Tuesday Strikes In 270 Cities, Vow To Take $15 Wage To Voting Booth

On Tuesday, November 10th — exactly a year before Election Day — fast-food and other low-wage workers will walk off the job in 270 cities and towns across the country as part of a push for a nationwide $15 minimum wage.

These strikes will take place across battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia, as well as in cities like New York, where workers recently won a new $15 hourly wage but will protest in solidarity.

Fast-food employees will be joined by workers from other industries that typically pay low hourly wages, including home care, child care, residential care, maintenance, and security. Adjunct professors — who make, on average, around $31,000 annually — will also be on hand.

Elected leaders, clergy allies, Black Lives Matter activists, immigration advocates and members of women’s groups will all be present at various walkouts and rallies across the U.S, according to Fight for $15, the union-supported group behind this movement.

The day of action comes as the issue of minimum wage takes center stage in the run up to the 2016 presidential election. Fight for $15 notes that all three major Democratic candidates support higher pay for low-wage workers. Hillary Clinton has, however, stopped short of endorsing a $15 federal minimum wage, instead calling for a hike to $12.

The federal minimum wage is at present $7.25 an hour. A recent report by the Alliance for a Just Society found that Americans on average have to earn $16.97 an hour to make a living wage — that is, to pay for housing, utilities, and childcare while putting a modest amount of savings away for emergencies.

As workers get set to push for a pay boost, Republican presidential candidates have been voicing opposition to a federal minimum wage. Carly Fiorina described the federal government’s role in setting a minimum wage as unconstitutional in the most recent GOP debate.

As MSNBC noted, fellow mainstream Republican candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have also opposed a federal minimum, although not as strongly as the former Hewlett-Packard HPQ -7.69% CEO.

There are millions of votes at stake in this battle, given that approximately 42% of the U.S. workforce makes less than $15 an hour. A recent study of workers making less than that sum commissioned by the National Employment Law Project found that 69% of unregistered voters would register to vote in support of a candidate backing a $15 federal minimum wage and union rights.

Volkswagen Sinks Deeper Into The Mire


Since the emissions scandal broke in September 2015, Volkswagen (VW) has delivered three things: a third-quarter loss, a new CEO and an investigation into the “rogue coders” who supposedly fitted cheat software on up to 11m vehicles worldwide. None of these are satisfactory.

The third-quarter loss is due to provisions of 6.7bn Euros against anticipated fines, alteration costs for the 11m vehicles, and compensation for customers whose vehicles will, as a result of those alterations, have poorer fuel economy and diminished performance. Most analysts think the provisions will be nowhere near enough: estimates of the final cost for Volkswagen vary from 15bn to 25bn Euros. And this is without taking into account consequential losses for customers, over which Volkswagen may face lawsuits: the second-hand value of Volkswagen automobiles is already falling sharply. Volkswagen’s third quarter results were bad, but future results may well be far worse.

The new CEO, Matthias Mueller, was formerly the boss of Porsche, VW’s premier high-performance brand. Appointing an insider to replace a CEO who has stepped down due to a major scandal is hardly indicative of a major change in management and culture, which is what VW really needs: it would have been far better if the new CEO had come from elsewhere.

But there is now a more serious shadow over Mr. Mueller. On November 2nd, the US’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified Volkswagen of a second breach of clean air legislation (my emphasis):

Today, EPA is issuing a second notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. This NOV is also being issued to Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America. These five companies are collectively referred to as Volkswagen (VW). The NOV alleges that VW developed and installed a defeat device in certain VW, Audi and Porsche light duty diesel vehicles equipped with 3.0 liter engines for model years (MY) 2014 through 2016 that increases emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to nine times EPA’s standard. The vehicles covered by today’s NOV are the diesel versions of: the 2014 VW Touareg, the 2015 Porsche Cayenne, and the 2016 Audi A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, A8L, and Q5.

So this time, the luxury VW brands are affected. Including Mr. Mueller’s Porsche. Oh dear.

In a statement, VW emphatically denied that it fitted “cheat software” to its luxury brand. But it also attempted to tone down the severity of the EPA’s charge. VW described the alleged violation thus:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) informed Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft on Monday that vehicles with V6 TDI engines had a software function which had not been adequately described in the application process.

Somehow, “developed and installed a defeat device” became “not adequately described in the application process”. So VW’s defense amounts to “We didn’t do it, and anyway it wasn’t a crime”.  I can’t see this going down well with US regulators. This is a very poor start for the new CEO.

And things have since gotten a lot worse. After the EPA’s first violation notice, VW’s Board announced an investigation to establish whether there were other “irregularities” in relation to emissions testing for VW vehicles. And yes, it seems there are. On November 3rd, VW admitted that “unexplained inconsistencies” had been found in the testing process for CO2 emissions.

What VW seems to have done is understated CO2 emissions data for some of its brands, enabling it to make unrealistic (and therefore misleading) fuel economy claims:

Under the ongoing review of all processes and workflows in connection with diesel engines it was established that the CO2 levels and thus the fuel consumption figures for some models were set too low during the CO2 certification process.

VW says about 800,000 vehicles are currently thought to be involved, mostly in Europe. But the question that immediately springs to mind is – why are only some brands affected? Why overstate fuel economy figures for some models but not others? This doesn’t seem likely. It’s worth remembering that the NOx emissions scandal originally involved less than 500,000 vehicles and was limited to the US: the figure is now 11m worldwide. This, too, could quickly spiral. And importantly, some of the vehicles involved this time have petrol engines. The scale of this scandal could be much, much bigger.

I suppose the claim that only some brands are affected might support VW’s argument that the emissions scandal is entirely caused by a small number of software engineers. But that argument was already hard to swallow, and is now frankly incredible. No way is this a “rogue coder” incident. This is systematic rigging of emissions test data to give VW an unfair (and illegal) competitive advantage over its rivals.

And it is tax fraud, too. A number of countries give discounts on vehicle tax for vehicles with low CO2 emissions. So some of VW’s customers have unwittingly paid a lower vehicle tax than was actually due. They are now liable for the unpaid tax, and could in theory face prosecution. According to the Wall Street Journal, the German government has pressured VW into offering to pay the additional tax bills:

Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Müller asked EU finance minister to ensure that their national tax authorities “charge Volkswagen directly, and not our customers, for any additional taxes.”

VW estimates that this latest scandal will cost it around 2bn Euros. This is in addition to its estimate of 6.7bn Euros for the NOx emissions scandal. Neither figure seems likely to be remotely adequate. VW faces far larger bills once litigation costs and compensation are taken into account.

VW has now been downgraded by the credit ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P, and all three major ratings agencies have it on negative watch for further downgrades. Moody’s, discussing the latest revelations, goes to the heart of the matter:

These new developments pose additional risk to Volkswagen’s reputation, future sales and cash. They also suggest serious internal control and governance issues, which may be more widely spread than believed initially, that Volkswagen will have to address aggressively in the coming months.

The scandal is already beginning to affect sales of VW vehicles. In the UK, sales in October were down 9.84% year-on-year across all models, including petrol engines – a huge drop. Further falls seem likely, and sales in other countries are falling as well. Toyota has now overtaken VW as the largest car manufacturer in the world by sales.

Unsurprisingly, VW’s share price – already down by a third due to the NOx emissions scandal – tanked again when the CO2 emissions news broke. VW is still financially strong, but to regain the confidence of customers and investors it will have to make far more radical changes to its management, governance and culture than have been evident so far.

Top 10 Resume Rules


  1. Resume should be geared towards the job that you want.
  2. Lose the objective statement. It is no longer about what you are looking for. It is about what you can do for the employer. Start with a profile/summary.
  3. Bullets should be action oriented and results focused. Provide specific examples of your experience. Why is it important?
  4. Use bullets, not paragraphs.
  5. Lose irrelevant content. i.e., leave off past industry certifications.
  6. Make sure it is error free.
  7. Keep it to an appropriate length. 1 page for every 10 years of experience. Think about content and formatting. Do not put only a few lines on the second page.
  8. Formatting should be clear and legible
  9. Ensure you can elaborate on anything you have listed.
  10. If you have questions, seek help from mentors, classmates, professors, coworkers, etc!

*Provided by Forward Thinking Resumes Webinar

Eccles School of Accounting Top 25 Best Programs


The David Eccles School of Accounting was ranked 21 for the Master of Accounting (MAcc) program and 22 for the undergraduate program, this year.

It is an honor to have been and currently be a part of  such an amazing program at the University of Utah. I graduated from the David Eccles School of Business in 2014, having attained my Accounting degree.

What made, and constantly makes, this program one of the top in the nation was, and is, the high level of teacher talent, academic rigor, and ethical conduct. To say the least, an accounting degree is not “a walk in the park!” Furthermore, the connections with the public accounting firms, as well as the relationships with industrial firms, are extremely strong. Networking opportunities are endless.

REI Stores Will Be Closed On Black Friday And Encourage Customers To Get Outside Instead


REI – a privately held niche retailer that primarily sells outdoor recreation gear, sporting goods and apparel – announced this week that they will be closed on Black Friday this year and instead encourage their customers to “opt out” of shopping and instead spend time outside.

In an email sent to their customers, REI stated the following:

This Black Friday the co-op is doing something different. We’re closing all 143 of our stores. Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most—be outside. We want you to be the first to hear—not just what we’re doing, but why. We’re passionate about bringing you great gear, but we’re even more passionate about the experiences it unlocks for all of us. Perhaps John Muir said it best back in 1901: “thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.” We think Black Friday is the perfect day to remind people of this essential truth. And don’t worry, you’ll still enjoy great deals on great gear all holiday season long. But on this one day, we’re going to #OptOutside and we want you to join us. While the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors. Visit and you’ll discover great ways to #OptOutside from coast to coast. Let’s get out there, REI.”

Shoppers are encouraged to opt out of Black Friday and instead get outside by niche retailer REI. Their message to #OptOutside was announced on Monday, October 26, 2015. (Matt Peyton/AP Images for REI)

Additionally, REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke shares the following on the #OptOutside website from REI – which also includes a countdown clock leading up to this big day.

For 76 years, our co-op has been dedicated to one thing and one thing only: a life outdoors. We believe that being outside makes our lives better. And Black Friday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of this essential truth. We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us,” Stritzke shared on the REI website.

With many stores planning to open as early as Thanksgiving – including Walmart, Target TGT +0.00%, Best Buy BBY +0.00% and Kohl KSS +0.00% – and countless others opening early and staying open late on Black Friday, it comes as a bit of a surprise that REI is planning to instead close their stores. Then again, this could be among the smartest marketing moves we see among retailers this holiday season. Driving attention to their stores and rallying customers to bring attention to their #OptOutside message may just be the right combination for REI to gain holiday sales success – despite their closed stores on Black Friday. One customer who feels this way is Colorado based Heather Stinnett, who was excited to see REI announce their plans for Black Friday in an email she received this past Monday.

I love the idea that REI is closing their doors on Black Friday when everyone else seems to be opening early or worse, opening on Thanksgiving. It speaks volumes about their brand integrity, which is something I’ve always valued as a consumer. And while I hadn’t necessarily planned to shop at REI this holiday season, their message to #OptOutside has motivated me to not only get outside on Black Friday, but also to support REI this holiday season as a customer,” Stinnett stated.

Stinnett and other customers will have to wait to shop online at, as well, on Black Friday. Their bold move to close their stores also includes freezing online orders until Saturday. Additionally, only a handful of employees will be working on Black Friday while the other 12,000 plus get a paid day off… on one condition, that is. And that’s to get outside.

As always, only time will tell if this marketing move lives up to it’s expectations… but I can assure you one thing. This niche retailer of 143 stores just launched themselves some fantastic attention leading up to the busiest shopping season – not just day – of the year.

Snowbird Site Visit

Cover Photo

October 23, 2015- It is always nice to get out of the valley and take a trip into the woods. Snowbird is located 30 minutes from the SLC International Airport. It is a destination resort and isn’t meant for “newbs.” Experienced skiers and snowboarders ride this resort because of the variety of terrain and the 500″ of fresh snow each year. In 2011, the resort experienced its largest snowfall, 776″.

The Eccles Outdoor Industry Club had the chance to visit Snowbird and talk with Jim Powell, the Director of Marketing. One cool thing they changed this year is RFID ticketing. Now, skiers can ride around with an RFID card, instead of using the traditional paper tickets. With this new system, parents can load $200 on the their child’s card and let them go off on their own.


UofU Executive MBA Ranked 22 in the Nation, According to Financial Times


Wow, what an amazing feat. The David Eccles School of Business just keeps moving up in the ranks, year after year. I am proud to be a part of such a great program, and cannot wait to give back once I leave my mark in the Full-Time MBA program.

“The program ranked No. 22 nationally and No. 83 globally, moving up 8 and 12 spots respectively. The Eccles School’s program also ranked No. 4 in the West.”

As Walmart Forecast Dips, Is It Also Losing The Low-Price Battle To Amazon?


Walmart shocked Wall Street on Wednesday when its CFO announced a dour earnings forecast not just for this fiscal year, but the next two.

The disappointing forecast — the result, said CEO Doug McMillon, of multi-billion-dollar investments in e-commerce technology and an hourly worker wage boost to $10 — saw the stock sink 10%. In one morning, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retail giant lost well over $20 billion in market value.

The jury is still out on whether this stock plunge, Walmart’s biggest one-day drop since 1988, is an overreaction on the part of investors. McMillon is selling the news as part of a “three-year growth plan” that’ll see the chain better able to compete online with the likes of AMZN +3.03%

They certainly have plenty of ground to gain. As Forbes contributor Walter Loeb noted, less than 3% of Walmart’s total sales today come from e-commerce. Macy M +2.00%, by way of comparison, makes 8% of its revenues from online shopping.

Still, Walmart’s greatest value proposition has always been its low price guarantee. All the technological bells and whistles in the world won’t endear Walmart to its shoppers if they aren’t making good on that promise online as well as in-store.

Data recently released by retail analytics firm Boomerang Commerce suggests that in one hotly contested category, Walmart is losing ground.

Boomerang analyzed 1,200 consumer electronics items across 490 brands over the same two-day period to see how Walmart, Target TGT -1.33%, Best Buy, and much-hyped new market entrant were competing with Amazon on price and assortment.

Walmart was Amazon’s closest competitor in terms of assortment, boasting a 32.9% overlap with Amazon’s consumer electronics products. Best Buy and Jet overlapped by 29.5% and 16.4% respectively.

Where Walmart lost out was pricing. Its ‘most popular’ (or ‘head’, in retail jargon) electronics cost on average 8.3% more than Amazon’s. was able to more closely match Amazon on price, with only a 1.4% premium. Jeff Bezos’ online titan discounts its gadgets aggressively, with an average of 66% off list prices, Boomerang found.

Walmart’s discounts averaged 22%, beating Target, which offered 15% off on average in this category.

The big-box behemoth did beat out Amazon on its assortment of products from the top five most popular consumer electronics brands across these e-commerce sites. Walmart and Best Buy had the most items on offer by Sony, Samsung, Fujifilm, Asus and Dell.

As Walmart invests $1.1 billion in e-commerce, its assortment and pricing may well grow more competitive. The company is also making a bet on curbside pickup, allowing shoppers to order their groceries online and collect them from the store parking lot. Right now, not even Amazon can compete with that convenience, at least in the bulk of the country. Its same-day grocery delivery service AmazonFresh is so far available only in a handful of urban markets.

50th Anniversary School of Medicine Celebration



A beautiful evening spent at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bridging the past with the present and soon to be future, October 9, 2015 was a special night for the School of Medicine. Alumni from the University of Utah were recognized for their contributions, honors, and past service.

The Distinguished Alumni Award went to Val G. Hemming, MD 1966. The Distinguished Service Award fell upon James R. Scott, MD. Finally, the Distinguished Humanitarian Award was granted to Catherine R. deVries, MD, FACS, FAAP. These three individuals have helped the University in the past, now in the present, and will continue in the future.

Oh, and the best part about the future, a brand-new School of Medicine building, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, to be built in the next few years!

Wasatch Touring Site Visit (EOIC)


On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, the Eccles Outdoor Industry Club visited Wasatch Touring in Salt Lake City, Utah. Riley Cutler gave us the site tour and told us all about the operations. One interesting fact is that small outdoor retail stores actually get new products in their doors quicker than larger outdoor retail stores, like Dicks Sporting Goods or REI. The reason for this is because Wasatch Touring can test out a small quantity of new products, without having to buy a large bulk of the product. Therefore, Wasatch is always up-to-date with products, well in advance of the product’s official release year.

Waltman||Co Microfiber Ties


A pure white, smooth, 100% silk tie. Narrow and skinny to be “in” for the day. Backside has microfiber material to clean your glasses, phones, and tablets. The best attribute you might ask? Well, it has to be the length! 63″ to be exact. Perfect if you are 6’7.5″ in height. It is almost impossible to find extra-long ties, plus have it be skinny, in today’s market. Waltman||Co has combined all the must haves in one product. Brilliant.

Is Volkswagen’s New CEO The Best Person For The Job?

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Matthias Mueller, head of German automaker Porsche, speaks to the media after the governing board of Volkswagen announced he will succeed former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn on September 25, 2015 in Wolfsburg, Germany. Winterkorn resigned on Wednesday following charges by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Volkswagen had installed software into its diesel cars sold in the U.S. that manipulates emissions test results. Volkswagen has since admitted that 11 million cars sold worldwide contain the software. The company faces up to USD 18 billion in fines in the U.S. and prosecutors in both the U.S. and Germany have launched investigations.  (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

When a company is beset by scandal and compelled to fire its top boss, should it really promote a trusted insider rather than breaking from the past and bringing in an untainted outsider with no institutional loyalty?

Volkswagen, which admitted last month that it had lied to regulators by rigging engines in 11 million of its heavily polluting diesel cars, had to confront that question with no time to spare. At first CEO Martin Winterkorn, 68, refused to resign, saying he was “endlessly sorry” for the scheme but insisting he had known nothing about it. Shortly thereafter, on Sept. 23, he took responsibility and fell on his sword. (The German magazine Der Spiegel reports that Winterkorn was the highest-paid German executive, earning $85 million over five years. Winterkorn is demanding he be paid the $11 million left on his contract.)

Just two days later the 78-year-old automaker announced it was appointing a longtime, well-respected VW veteran, Matthias Müller, who has headed Volkswagen’s luxury sports-car brand, Porsche, for the last five years. Müller has the support of both labor unions and Volkswagen’s controlling shareholders, including ex-chairman Ferdinand Pch, the grandson of Porsche’s founder.

Müller started at Volkswagen 38 years ago as an apprentice toolmaker for the Audi division. He left to study computer science at Munich University of Applied Sciences, returning to Audi in the IT department in 1984. He rose to product manager for Audi, and kept moving up the ranks. Close to Winterkorn, who appointed him head of VW’s product strategy, he ascended to the top job at Porsche, which owns a 51% stake in VW. Müller won praise for steering Porsche through the recession, almost doubling the delivery of new cars last year to nearly 200,000. Profit margins at Porsche are reportedly 18%.

Müller recently told Süddeutsche Zeitung that he felt he was an “approachable team player,” adding that “I do not like it when things get talked to death.”

He has also been praised for his outspokenness on controversial issues. A refugee who fled Eastern Germany as a three-year-old, he has been vocal about Germany’s response to the migrant crisis, a topic most German executives avoid. In an interview withSüddeutsche Zeitung published in early September, he recalled his own struggle to readjust to a culture similar to the place he had left, saying, “The people who are now arriving completely out of their culture. . . . We have to help.” He spoke about his feelings during a visit to a Porsche subsidiary in Schwarzenberg, a region that has been hostile to migrants. “We have to take a stand against extremism,” he said.

He’s also criticized his bosses’ interest in self-driving cars, tellingAuto Motor und Sport, a German car magazine, “I ask myself in an emergency, an autonomously driven auto is going to steer to the right into a truck or left into a compact car.”

But he has not distanced himself from Winterkorn. “It’s important to me to thank Dr. Winterkorn for everything that he has done for Volkswagen,” he said, according to a summary of his remarks provided by Volkswagen and reported in The New York Times.

Müller’s inside credentials are strong, but is he the best person to take Winterkorn’s place?

Rebecca Harris, a Green Party member of the European Parliament, told the Times that she was “disappointed” in the decision to promote Müller. Harris comes from the German state of Lower Saxony, which owns 20% of VW’s stock and is home to VW’s headquarters in the town of Wolfsburg. “What I would have loved would be now to go for a real shift, to bring in new people, not protecting the old way,” she said.

The Center for Auto Safety’s Dan Becker, director of the safe-climate campaign at the Washington, D.C.-based organization, told the Times that VW needed “to scour the house with an outsider who’s not afraid to get to the heart of this huge fraud and its perpetrators, however high. . . . Instead they’ve chosen a longtime VW crony.”

Likewise the Düsseldorf-based business paper Handelsblatt, calling the emissions scandal “Dieselgate,” says, “The time is ripe for a new beginning, but the supervisory board in Wolfsburg apparently didn’t have the courage to turn the page.” The Matthias appointment, it writes, “does not send a signal of fundamental change.” Handelsblatt goes on: “Müller is simply too closely tied to the old system.” He is indebted to Winterkorn and Piëch, the paper says. They are the people who turned VW into what it is today, “a complex, hierarchically organized power structure that’s nearly impossible to control.” Handelsblatt says that nothing happens at VW without board member Piëch’s support, but Müller will never get to the bottom of Dieselgate unless he distances himself from his longtime allies.

Several observers, including Handelsblatt, and Forbes contributor Neil Winton, have argued that VW should have picked VW brand chief Herbert Diess, a recent hire from BMW, who would have brought an outsider’s perspective and who was surely not involved in Dieselgate.

Longtime Forbes staffer Joann Muller, who has been doing excellent coverage of the VW saga, equates Müller’s appointment to “a shuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic.” She reports that Volkswagen installed a new North American chief above U.S. President Michael Horn, and that sales and marketing head Christian Klinger is leaving the company, “not related to recent events,” according to VW. Jürgen Stackman, head of VW’s European SEAT brand is taking Klinger’s place on the board of management, and Audi sales and marketing boss Luca de Meo will lead SEAT.

VW’s decision to promote Müller also has its defenders. Stefan Bratzel, who directs a research group near Cologne called the Center of Automotive Management, told the Times that Müller stood out at Volkswagen because he spoke his mind, an attribute not shared by most VW executives.

Manuela Kasper-Claridge at German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, also praises Müller’s candor. He “doesn’t shy away from conflicts, doesn’t beat about the bush when it comes to identifying mistakes and appreciates working in a team.” Since he’s already been a successful executive for years, she writes, “He looks well suited to steer VW into calmer waters.” Still, she adds, he must be prepared to fire colleagues and shake up VW’s management structure. “The old boys’ network doesn’t count anymore,” she writes.

Müller seems like a capable CEO who has stepped into a vacuum. But he would do well to keep in mind that his company has illegally made use of so-called defeat devices in the past, as have other carmakers. In 1974, VW paid $120,000 to settle an EPA complaint that VW failed to disclose devices that tampered with emission controls on 25,000 1973 models. VW didn’t admit wrongdoing at the time, but the EPA’s complaint was similar to the current scandal: The devices deactivated emissions control systems. VW agreed to remove the devices. Cadillac, Ford and American Honda have also settled defeat device charges brought by the EPA.

Müller has a huge challenge before him. He has to investigate and fire the perpetrators of Dieselgate, he must contend with possible criminal charges in both the U.S. and Germany, a raft of likely class action suits brought by car owners and dealers, and serious damage to the VW brand. At 62, he may only be a CEO placeholder until VW finds a capable outsider to take on the daunting challenge of righting one of the worst corporate scandals ever. And maybe that’s all he should be.

UofU Career Fair 2015

Career Fair

Career fairs are so much fun. A multitude of desks, filled with endless swag, including branded frisbees, chargers, pencils, pens, notebooks…the list goes on and on. Oh, and not to mention the opportunities to work with high-quality companies. It is always important to have your 30-second pitch down, or in my case, that one question I always ask employers (I will not reveal my secret “sauce” here). Overall, fairs help you learn what a company is and what job posts they have available to your liking. I know you all are wondering, what was my favorite memorabilia that I snatched? The answer: Walgreens Co. playing cards!


Walmart Bets On Curbside Grocery Pickup In Bid To Beat Out Amazon, Target


On Tuesday, Walmart announced the launch of a grocery pick-up service in eight new markets including Atlanta, Tucson and Salt Lake City.

Shoppers in these as well as five test markets will be able to order their groceries online on, then drive to their local Walmart store to pick up their order in a designated space reserved for the service.

“With 70% of the U.S. population living within 5 miles of an existing Walmart store, this is an idea that simply makes sense for us,” wrote the retail giant’s head of e-commerce Michael Bender in a blog post.

“We have the locations already in place, and with our website and mobile app expertise, we’re able to combine those things in a way that helps our customers save time and still take advantage of our everyday low prices.”

The move comes as Walmart competitors including AMZN -8.87% and Target TGT +0.00% test out e-commerce grocery initiatives of their own.

Amazon is testing its subscription AmazonFresh grocery delivery service in urban markets including Seattle, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Target, meanwhile, has been rolling out local pickup outside stores in San Francisco, New York and New Jersey in conjunction with startup Curbside.  The Palo Alto-based company, which has raised $34.5 million to date, allows shoppers to buy goods from any nearby Target store online and then collect them without leaving their cars.

Curbside has also inked a deal with Best Buy BBY +1.25% in Bay Area markets, allowing customers to buy their gadgets via their phones and pick them up promptly from the parking lot.

Walmart will add new towns and cities to its grocery pickup rollout in the coming weeks, said e-commerce chief Bender.

“This new, easy shopping experience is an innovation that’s helpful for anyone with a busy schedule – particularly moms with small children,” he wrote in his blog post. “They can shop online and choose the pickup time that works for them, and they never have to unbuckle anyone’s seat belt.”

Neiman Marcus Shoppers Flock Online, Nordstrom Also Flying High


When fellow Forbes contributor Walter Loeb told me he’d read that high-end retailer Neiman Marcus is reporting more than 25 percent of its revenue comes directly from online sales, I said the reporter must’ve garbled the information. That’s such a high percentage of sales it strains credibility. After all, online sales represent approximately 7.2% of total retail sales in the United States (source: Census Bureau, Department of Commerce).

Granted, apparel holds the largest share (according to eMarketer, in 2015 17.2% of total eCommerce sales will be generated by apparel), but 17% of 7% is still a pretty small number. How could it be?

Turns out I was wrong. Retail trade publication Internet Retailer also offered up the 25% number as cited by Neiman’s Chief Operating Officer Don Grimes on the company’s Q4 2015 earnings call. Couple that statistic with an increase in sales at stores open longer than a year of more than 2%, and it gets clear why the retailer is filing for an IPO. Those are some serious increases across the board.

To ground this data in reality, I took a look at Neiman competitor Nordstrom JWN +0.00%, data. It turns out that eCommerce accounts for 19% of that company’s total sales. Compare that with mass merchant retailers Walmart and Target TGT +0.00%. According to Fortune magazine, each generates about 3% of its total sales online. Granted Walmart and Target sell products other than apparel, but the order of magnitude different is somewhat shocking.

For retailers like Nordstrom and Neiman, “omni-channel” has become a reality. While they’re still spending a bundle on great-looking stores, they’ve got to figure out a way to manage their inventory in a new world. After all, you don’t necessarily want to keep safety stock for on-line sales…and you have to seriously consider that you’re likely going to go out of stock on something. The only way to satisfy the customer is to get that inventory from one of your stores.

The art of managing this inventory is the core of the next retail frontier. I knew that. I’ve heard this consistently from retailers and the technology vendors that serve them.

The part that’s surprised me is the retailers who have to traverse that frontier first. Neiman’s on its way, and if it gets omni-channel right, its IPO could be a real barn burner.