At Amazon Go, just swipe a code on your mobile phone on your way into the store to get started. Every item you remove from the shelf is automatically added to your virtual shopping cart. This requires some impressive technology, which Amazon teases in the video released today as a mix of "computer vision" along with "deep learning algorithms" and "sensor fusion much like you'd find in self-driving cars." The result is that once you've grabbed your groceries and put them into your bag, you simply walk out of the place—no lines, no cash registers, the bill goes straight to your Amazon account.
As HR Tech kicks off in Chicago this week, HR Executive magazine showcases its annual “best of” products
"We once again relied on a combination of staff reviews and selections, and comments from outside experts and analysts, to narrow the list from the many entries we received to the 10 winners. Special thanks go to the following experts for sharing their insights on the 2016 entries: Josh Bersin, principal at Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Gerry Crispin, principal and co-founder of CareerXroads; Bill Kutik, HRE's HR Technology Columnist; Kyle Lagunas, research manager for talent acquisition and staffing at International Data Corp.; George LaRocque, principal analyst and founder of #HRWINS; Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst for Constellation Research; Elaine Orler, CEO and founder of Talent Function; and Brian Sommer, CEO of TechVentive."
One of the products is the Deloitte CulturePath which allows enterprises to assess their organization's culture
Denis Pombriant shared a copy of his new book. The words “Solve” and “Customer Science” on the cover grabbed my analytical attention. In the introduction he says:
“Customer Science is now a necessity because so many customers are so dissatisfied — and they are not timid about telling the world why. This is a business problem and much can be done to solve it. “
The book, however, turned out to be full of empathy for the customer with terms like “bonding” and “moments of truth”
In his foreword, Paul Greenberg expresses it well:
On the one hand, businesses value profitability, revenue, shareholder value, and customer satisfaction — things that you easily can measure. On the other hand, customers value being valued. It’s a feeling, not a mathematical construct.
Not that Denis avoids mathematical areas – he simplifies complex concepts like subscription pricing and quantification of customer sentiment. My books tend to be case study heavy so I liked Denis’ similar exploration of concepts using HubSpot, HP Vertica, New England BioLabs and United Airlines among other examples.
It’s an easy (and humorous)180 page read - and shockingly under-priced at $ 2.99 for the Kindle version.
“Some key themes addressed by our winners this year include talent acquisition and management, relocation, performance management, employment screening and workforce analytics. Also, as is becoming increasingly common, many of the products selected below and on the next few pages reside in the cloud and work on mobile platforms. We expect this trend to only strengthen and grow going forward.
Also noticeable this year was what we might call an improving-on-the-past trend. Indeed, some winners have taken well-established processes, such as job-candidate scheduling, relocation management and performance management, and have dramatically improved upon them.”
The ones for 2015 are
Workday Talent Insights
Korn Ferry's Four Dimensional Executive Assessment (see video)
Makers of semiconductors spend upward of $5 billion to build and operate fabrication plants—known as “fabs”—that run 24 hours a day so they can recoup their investment before the equipment becomes obsolete in five years or so. Rows of pristine machines sit in windowless cleanrooms, which are almost as free of humans as they are of dust. Intel and Texas Instruments have spent decades perfecting this almost sci-fi form of manufacturing. Now they want to show the rest of the world how it’s done.
The chipmakers have set their sights on what researcher IHS estimates is a $185 billion global market for gear to automate industrial production. To capture a portion of that spending, they’re prodding companies to bring the Internet of Things—a term that describes a world in which physical objects are embedded with electronics and talk to each other—into factories. “It’s moving beyond hype and into engineers rolling up their sleeves,” says Doug Davis, senior vice president of the IoT division at Intel, which had more than $2 billion in sales last year. “The economic value and impact are unquestioned.”
ProGlove, developed by Workaround, is an “intelligent” glove that uses chips to power a simple display on the wrist. If the person wearing the glove completes an assembly task correctly, a large green check mark appears.
There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.
This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of modern technology and modern business. That complexity takes many forms. Sometimes software is at the center of a product and needs to be integrated with hardware (itself a complex task) and made intuitive and simple from the user’s point of view (another difficult challenge). Sometimes the problem being tackled is itself multi-faceted: Think about how much tougher it is to reinvent a health care delivery system than to design a shoe. And sometimes the business environment is so volatile that a company must experiment with multiple paths in order to survive.
What used to require a phone screening and an in-person, on-site interview is now accomplished with an initial video interview, reducing time to hire and improving hiring managers' ability to gauge the right fit, Malloy says. "You get a much better sense of who that candidate is using video rather than trying to guess based on their paper resume and a phone conversation. It also cuts down our time-to-hire, because video interviews are easier and less complicated to schedule -- no travel time, no coordinating with hiring managers' time off, or candidates existing work schedules," he says.
A video interview doesn't have to be done live, either, says Chris Brown, director of HR at unified communications firm InterCall, and head of human resources for InterCall's parent company, West Corporation. Candidates can record their own introduction video, attach it to the rest of their digital application, and have that entire package delivered to hiring managers and decision makers simultaneously.
Want to work at a hedge fund or in private equity? Your employer might want to know how you measure up in terms of Cattell’s 16 personality factors, the Hogan Personality Inventory’s seven scales or the Caliper Profile’s more than 22 traits–tests that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours, according to some frustrated job seekers. Interested in becoming a nurse? You might face questions from the Prophecy Behavioral Personality Assessment or Pegged Software, a startup founded by a former White House economist that administers tests to 3 million job applicants in health care annually. One of the most popular tests, Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, is now used by 457 of the Fortune 500 companies as a way to communicate with workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Some employers are now monitoring workers’ temperaments in real time–including the world’s largest hedge fund, where employees can track their individual stats on a personalized digital “baseball card.” Experts in the fast-growing “people analytics” industry believe it won’t be long before algorithms regularly sift through Facebook and Twitter postings to glean and analyze additional data.
At their “Edge Corp” demo plant Plex shows off (as I have written here and here ) Google Glass, Estimote beacons, Honeywell ring scanners, Mitutoyo digital calipers and other emerging technology in use on the shop floor
At PowerPlex this week, Barrie Vince of Plex brought to life in an excellent short session the implementation of some of these tools at their customer, Fisher Dynamics. He also showed off the GoGlove, a bluetooth glove and talked about the Apple Watch and other wearables they are experimenting with.
worth a watch – just 5 minutes long and Barrie is quite a showman. Not to shortchange the others on the stage – Jason Blessing and Jerry Foster of Plex and Scott Tollafield of Fisher were excellent in their own way. I had a chance to interact with them at the event.
Mention “Industry 4.0” to most manufacturing executives and you will raise eyebrows. If they’ve heard of it, they are likely confused about what it is. If they haven’t heard of it, they’re likely to be skeptical of what they see as yet another piece of marketing hype, an empty catchphrase. And yet a closer look at what’s behind Industry 4.0 reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. It may be too much to say that it is another industrial revolution. But call it whatever you like; the fact is, Industry 4.0 is gathering force, and executives should carefully monitor the coming changes and develop strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities.