Broken Business Models: Sears & Kmart

The NY Post’s article and others seem surprised that Sears Holdings may not be able to continue as a going concern. Clearly sale of its Craftsman brand was a signal that Sears was in serious financial straits. The acquisition of Sears and Kmart was completed ten years ago. But twenty years ago, before e-commerce became a major competitor, it was painfully obvious that Sears and Kmart were in serious trouble. Vendors selling to both companies at... Read More

An Avoidable Manufacturing Failure?

Google announced in May that it has decided to close its Motorola Moto X smartphone plant. The Texas plant has been in operation for one year. Its smartphones will be manufactured in China and Brazil. One goal for this plant was to “…challenge conventional wisdom that manufacturing in the U.S. is too expensive.” But unit quarterly sales were so low that economies of scale could not be realized. Keeping manufacturing operations in this country... Read More

General Motors versus Toyota – who will win?

General Motors just reported a 41% reduction in its second quarter Net Income to $1.5 billion with a $1.8 billion decrease in Sales. The main source of the GM decline was its European operations. Its future results are questionable as USA sales forecast predicts declines. Both of which are understandable in this difficult economic environment. But, Toyota reported a huge increase for the same time period. Its Net Income was $3.17 billion on robust... Read More

Is China’s decline permanent?

News reports are replete with China’s struggles and decline. China’s past success is frequently labeled a “Bubble” with the question – Is it bursting? Yes, China is in decline. But not just due to negative Global economic struggles. China has entrenched problems that are contributing to its decline. Are these problems intractable? Following are significant but an incomplete list of its problems: ● Manufacturing processes and systems are... Read More

What Leads to Business Failure?

Donald Keough’s book “The Ten Commandments for Business Failure”is an interesting, creditable book useful to Chief Executive Officers with a company culture that needs improvement. Donald Keough is the former President of The Coca-Cola Company. The book is a short, easy read that covers all the elements of a positive culture. Some of it is self-evident. But if officers, second and third tier managers all read it, it would contribute to a re-focused... Read More

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Robert Amter
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bob@robertamter.com