General Mills Days
Incredible! Only way to explain the way that General Mills is using technology day in and day out. The ability to create the virtual store and monitor the hourly results. Again, knowledge is power. If you can tell throughout the day what is selling when, and what locations are the hot spots, a company can position their products to sell more efficiently. As he went through and gave the background how buying space on shelves work, it made me think back to the Marketing 3001 class I had a few years ago. Ceral products are always shelved in a certain way. The branded staple products located on the bottom of the shelf, then the sugar kids ceral in the middle, then the organix healthy foods are on the top shelves. It was nice to see that this was seconded by a person that actually works with the products. Going back to the virtual stores, having the capability to organize an entire store setup to be that way that you want it, and rearrange at the click of a mouse, is amazing. This gives people the opportunity to show companies how they want it and would prefer things to be laid out.
Another positive point for Mike was that when asked about if they would help out other companies that aren't competitors, like KMB. He real response "what are they going to offer us" was good to see that he wasn't going to fluff it up and in the business world, that is how it goes. The ability to have the leading technology for 18 months before anyone else is a long time to be working and collecting data with state of the art technology. As I mentioned in earlier posts, it can almost be scary to think about all the information that they are collecting every minute, and the fact that the still want to collect more.
On a side note, bringing all those shirts, cerals and bars really helped get people involved and I thank him for the Lucky Charms. It is hard to believe that a company like General Mills, after years of being in business, is still cranking out almost 75 new products yearly. While some of them flop, some take off and even though its food products, they still need to keep innovating their product line to stay with trends and fads. Now I also have an inside scoop with General Mills as my brother works in their IS department and I can tell you, that technology at this company is used and used and used. The things that those IS teams do is so far over my head, it makes my look like a rookie using a computer. Again it is incredible how a company like General Mills uses technology in every branch of their business and how when used effectively it creates a competitive advantage for them. Technology is a great tool, that when used by the right people becomes powerful.