Plus: What You Need to Know about Credit Unions, Big Company Innovation Tips, Smart Sourcing Strategies, Web-Based Business Improvement, Where Fast-Growing Companies Come From and How Leaders Instill Mass Teamwork.
Sometimes the Internet seems like it’s gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, Industry Market Trends’ weekly Worth a Look feature spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar — all in bite-sized chunks.
- 5 Facts to Know about Credit Unions | Due to lower rates, the rising cost of bank fees and difficulty in accessing credit, many people are choosing to take their business to credit unions over traditional banks. CBS Moneywatch offers five important facts consumers and businesses should know before they decide to switch to a credit union, such as that credit unions offer higher interest rates for savings and lower rates for loans than banks do, they have ATMs available nationwide and they sometimes give investment firms access to member data.
- Big Companies that Act Like Startups | Although large companies often have a reputation for being overly bureaucratic and slow to innovate, some big businesses have found ways to maintain the creative, lean and focused spirit of a start-up. For example, Whirlpool relies on a network of “innovation mentors” who provide tools and guidance to help business teams challenge market conventions. Co.Design provides four other key strategies that big firms use to maintain their small company mindset.
- Learning Procurement and Sourcing Best Practices | Performing research on parts and supplies and trying to find reliable sourcing partners can be a challenge for any business. An upcoming joint meeting of ISM-7 Counties, CSCMP NYCONN Roundtable and APICS Tappan Zee at Diageo N.A., Norwalk, Conn., on October 18 will explore smart practices to make procurement more efficient. The event will feature a talk on outsourced partners from Kevin Giblin, director of global procurement at the McGraw-Hill Companies, as well as Kristin Carty, audience outreach manager at ThomasNet.com, discussing supplier discovery and components sourcing.
- 4 Clever Ways to Grow Your Business through the Web | Building an online presence can be time-consuming and costly, but there are several quick and inexpensive ways that small companies can leverage the Web to grow their business. These include sending special offers to customers of companies whose work complements your own, putting a partner spotlight within an online mailing or providing a free Web-based service that makes using your core services easier and more efficient.
- Where High-Growth Companies Come From | The country’s fastest-growing companies can originate from nearly anywhere, according to new research from the Kauffman Foundation, which found that high numbers of fast-growing firms are concentrated in unexpected regions and industrial sectors. Washington, D.C., topped the list for the most high-growth companies, while Indianapolis came in 6th, Buffalo ranked 11th, Baltimore came in 15th, Philadelphia was 19th and Louisville, Ky., came in 20th.
- How Target’s CEO Motivates Mass Teamwork | Once a company crosses a certain size threshold, it may seem impossible to instill a sense of teamwork and unity across the entire organization. However, in a recent interview Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel explains how he inspires teamwork among 365,000 employees at 1,772 stores through scaled collaborative communication, continuous mentoring and feedback.
- The North Dakota Energy Boom | The recent boom in U.S. shale oil and gas production has had a significant economic impact, reducing the country’s foreign energy dependence and generating a considerable number of jobs. Today’s oil rush has also had a powerful effect on local communities, including the areas surrounding the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, Montana and Saskatchewan. A new infographic shows the economic influence of the energy boom in small-town North Dakota and similar regions across the U.S.