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Remapping the Last Mile of the Urban Supply Chain

  • Read Time: 6 min 

There are many reasons to believe we are on the crest of substantial progress with even the most challenging of last mile deliveries. Innovative models such as smart locker systems, the use of electric vehicles, and on-demand fleet services such as UberRUSH are being explored. The MIT Megacity Lab is helping identify customer-specific insights about how supply chains deliver products to urban customers and finds that autonomous delivery vehicles, while still years from wide-scale implementation, hold game-changing promise.

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Should You Use Net Promoter Score as a Metric?

  • Read Time: 5 min 

The net promoter score (NPS) has become one of the most widely used marketing metrics. Consumers answer a simple question (How likely is it that you would recommend X?) on a scale from 0 to 10. Customers who answer 9 or 10 are considered promoters; those who answer 6 or less are rated as detractors. The score is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors. One of the strongest selling points of NPS is its simplicity. But the value of NPS may depend upon whether a manager sees it as a metric or as a system.

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MIT for Managers: Goodbye Traffic Lights?

  • Read Time: 4 min 

The next time you’re sitting at a red light, savor the moment. If researchers from MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and the Ambient Mobility Lab have their way, your hours of waiting at traffic lights could be numbered. In an article published in PLoS One, a team led by MIT’s Carlo Ratti and Paoli Santi describe a system in which automobiles and transportation infrastructure would interact though an algorithm that would manage the safe flow of cars through busy intersections.

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Blockchain Data Storage May (Soon) Change Your Business Model

Blockchain is a data storage technology with implications for business that extend well beyond its most popular application to date — the virtual currency, Bitcoin. Managers need to build their organization’s absorptive capacity around this topic for at least three reasons: (1) the potential effects on organizational value chains, (2) communication within and between organizations, and (3) benefits from cooperation.

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On Demand: Free Webinar, IoT in Motion

  • Read Time: 1 min 

Siemens’ Gerhard Kress, director of the company’s Mobility Division, has extensive experience in using IoT data and analytics to predict and manage service challenges in the railway industry. He joins MIT SMR senior editor Bruce Posner to discuss how companies that move people and products can capitalize on the opportunity that IoT data offers. Kress will show how the age of Big Data lets transportation companies improve how they manage the multiple challenges affecting their operations.

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Should You Use Market Share as a Metric?

  • Read Time: 5 min 

Market share is a hugely popular metric. But is it really useful? Companies with superior products tend to have high market share and high profitability because product superiority causes both. This means that the two metrics are correlated — but it does not necessarily mean that increasing market share will increase profits. Using market share as a metric of success simply because other companies do can be counterproductive.

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Equipping the Sustainability Insurgency

Sustainability Insurgents are professional insiders who seek to align their organizations with a global vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. This article explores how two insurgents, working for dramatically different organizations, developed a peer-to-peer network to help spread the sustainability insurgency.

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The Paris Agreement — It's Down to Business

The Paris Agreement signals the end of the fossil fuel era, shifting the entire world economy — with huge implications for business. Governments in 195 countries committed to climate goals, but the scale of the transition required is such that governments can’t do it alone. We need business to fully commit, too. And the mechanism for this commitment can be found in business by-laws and constitution statements.

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MIT for Managers: Can You Afford to Build Green?

How much more does it cost to make a building “green”? Most people assume it’s a lot. But John Sterman, MIT Sloan School of Management’s Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management and the director of the MIT System Dynamics Group, says that the premium to build MIT’s LEED-certified Sloan School building has been small. “MIT is a data-driven place,” Sterman says. “You have to make the argument with data before people will act.”

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Mass Customization and the Do-It-Yourself Supply Chain

  • Read Time: 5 min 

With the help of third-party developers, customization is shifting from the producer to the customer. While Industrial Age customization did enhance options for different customer preferences, those options were hardwired into a firm’s supply chain in ways that preserved efficient scale. Customers could choose only from those options that a firm had already programmed to deliver through established supply chains. Digital Age customization allows customers options outside the boundaries of a firm’s traditional supply chain.

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A Note to Our Readers and Contributors

  • Read Time: 2 min 

While MIT SMR seeks to publish new research-based ideas across a wide range of management topics, we are taking a particular interest in work that explores the role of technology in transforming the practice of management. Even as we have been witnessing digital technology’s organizational impact for several decades, it’s our belief that we are on the crest of a new wave of change that will force leaders to fundamentally rethink the way their companies function and produce value.

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In Analytics, Resolution Must Be Accompanied by Resolve

For organizations, there is no shortage of hype about the potential for data and analytics. But the reality is that creating competitive advantage from data is elusive for many organizations. Our 2016 report on data and analytics, “Beyond the Hype: The Hard Work Behind Analytics Success,” outlines just how much resolve companies need to make an analytics strategy work.

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MIT for Managers: How Insecure Is The Internet of Things?

This new blog from MIT Sloan Management Review explores ideas from different corners of the MIT community that are relevant to business executives. We will introduce you to research, people and events you might not otherwise encounter — things we hope you find useful and perhaps provocative. This week we look at gaping security holes in the Internet of Things and revisit the analytical revelations of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball.

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