Image  credit: Parent Herald

ConAgra Appoints New Supply Chain Post

ConAgra has just made a logistical move in their business strategy with the potential to take their company to the next level. David Biegger, who brings a total of 34 years of experience in food logistics for big-name companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Campbell Soup, has just been appointed to the role of Chief Supply Chain Officer within the company.

One of the leading brands in the consumer foods business, ConAgra had a total of close to $16 billion dollars in sales last year alone. Featuring a variety of popular brands like Reddi Whip, Hebrew National, Healthy Choice, and Chef Boyardee, the company’s food can be found in almost 99% of homes in the United States.

Biegger’s experience was a major factor in ConAgra’s choice to hire him to work with the supply chain. He is no newcomer when it comes to working in the industry, as he served as supply chain vice president for leading canned goods manufacturer Campbell Soup. Biegger also fulfilled a variety of roles during his 24-year tenure at Proctor & Gamble, also within the supply chain.

Image  credit: Parent Herald

Image credit: Parent Herald

Mr. Biegger will oversee a wide range of aspects of ConAgra’s new supply chain model, including health and safety, plant quality, manufacturing, procurement, and customer planning and logistics. Additionally, Biegger will have a say in the company’s transportation and warehousing for foods.

This move comes at a time when ConAgra is in need of some help during a massive overhaul that includes leaving the private-label business and slashing costs throughout the business. Previously, ConAgra’s supply chain was a division of their research and development sector; however, spokesman Jon Harris claims that focusing on a separate, contained supply chain is a major part of ConAgra’s transformational process.

After a fiscal quarter that ended with ConAgra reporting a loss of more than 1 billion dollars, the company is looking for ways to revitalize their business, and Biegger seems to be a huge player in their plans. Biegger will play a key role in this transition for ConAgra, as his new position ranks in the top tier of such roles within the business.

New Apple Watch Estimated Average Price Reaches $529

Apple’s newest Watch has an average selling price of $529, including accessories, at the high end of estimates from Wall Street analysts. The research firm Wristly is credited with these findings.

Many investors are heavily tracking Apple, Inc’s latest invention to see if it will trigger a new wave of success for the company massively dependent on its iPhone sales. The watch’s profitability is difficult to gauge due to the range of prices between models. The sport models currently average around $350, while the gold designs cost up to $17,000 or more.

Wristly provided the final figures to Reuters, comprised of more than 2,200 Apple Watch owners’ responses to a survey, which many analysts estimated would be in the $425 to $550 range. Apple has not announced any sales figures, however, and that has some on Wall Street a little concerned. Wristly’s survey may suggest that a few investors have underestimated the watch’s profitability.

Image credit: Pixabay

Image credit: Pixabay

The findings of the survey give a positive boost to Apple’s potential success with the product. Wristly’s survey was launched in March, giving Apple Watch owners an opportunity to participate by reporting their experiences with it. The average selling price was then calculated from all the responses, combining the various models, sizes, and number of bands purchased by respondents.

Female responses were afforded extra weight due to the fact that women are underrepresented in Wristly’s panel. The firm excluded customers who bought the watch within the first eight weeks of its release, citing that those shoppers spent more on the item than later buyers. According to the survey, men spent an average of $30 more on the watch than women. This is because women often opt for the smaller, less expensive models. The addition of accessories such as extra bands was also included in the research.

The results don’t paint a truly accurate picture because the respondent panel was made up of mostly wealthy buyers in North America, Europe and Oceania. But the findings do track closely with Apple’s disclosed figures about how much the watch is worn by owners. And Tim Cook, Apple Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer, has also publicly confirmed Wristly’s findings pertaining to high rates of customer satisfaction.

Image credit: Forbes

GM and Navistar Join Forces to Produce a Line of Commercial Trucks

General Motors (GM) announced that it is joining forces to construct and assemble commercial vehicles with engine maker Navistar International. GM is hoping that this new partnership will help increase the sales of its Chevrolet commercial trucks. Additionally, it will improve Chevrolet’s ability in offering its commercial clients additional choices, as well as providing a one-stop shopping place for trucks and vans.

Future products will be a combination of Navistar’s configurations and industrial abilities and GM’s components and engines. The new line of commercial trucks is set to begin production in Springfield, OH at Navistar’s plant. Navistar also plans to add close to 300 jobs and spend approximately $12 million to update its factory and equipment.


Image credit: Forbes

Image credit: Forbes

For Navistar, this deal will assist in improving its product portfolio and leverage its knowledge in constructing medium-duty trucks. Based in Lisle, IL, Navistar was once the biggest name in engine making. However, its status demised when the company developed a unsuccessful and costly smog-reduction system that went nowhere. This debacle had Navistar’s warranty expenses rising as sales were falling.

During the month of September, Navistar had another quarterly loss for the twelfth consecutive time, but high-level executives are hopeful this partnership with GM will turn things around. The company is hoping this new business venture is going to help increase its cash flow and profits in 2016. Navistar’s alliance with GM is a model of its customer-oriented, open integration standards, which provide consumers with the most advanced technology in the industry.

Economy and Demand

With the economy regaining strength in almost every area, the need for commercial trucks is on the rise. GM and Navistar are healthy financial-wise, and both see the manufacturing of these trucks a satisfactory revenue potential. The first truck is set to be released in 2018.

GM has been building medium-sized commercial trucks for years, until it had to dump the business as part of its 2009 bankruptcy. In the meantime, Navistar has been looking for a truck-maker partner since it terminated its relationship with Ford Motors in 2014.

Image credit: Wikimedia Planning to Price Match Amazon

Starting October 1, 2015 Target will be rolling out an expansion of it’s price match guarantee. The retailer announced that it will now include purchases in its policy, along with matching many of its competitors’ online offers. Price matching was previously only available at physical retail locations, where customers had up to a week to get a price adjustment if they found a lower advertised price.

Under the new policy, Target will match prices from 29 retailers, including Amazon, Newegg, Wayfair, and They will also extend the guarantee to prices at wholesale clubs such as Sam’s Club and Costco, although member purchases are excluded.

Image credit: Wikimedia

Image credit: Wikimedia

According to their website, shoppers will have seven days from the date of purchase to find a lower price at a competitor website. To qualify, the item must be identical in brand name, size, weight, color, quantity, and model number. The request must be accompanied by proof of the competitor’s offer and original receipt. Customers can then visit the Guest Service Desk to verify price match eligibility.

For matching ads in print or published online, the retail cost must be shown and be valid on the day the price match is requested. Online prices can be shown using a mobile device or presenting a printed page showing the current offer. All requests must be validated by a Target associate.

Online matching is restricted to products listed on, and being sold by,,,,, and Marketplace vendors and other third party seller prices are excluded, as are clearance, refurbished, closeout, used, damaged, open box, or liquidation items. The online competitor policy is also not offered in Alaska or Hawaii.

The move to expand the price match policy is an indication of how intense Target expects the holiday season battle will be. This season may be even harsher than last year when Amazon and Walmart got into a fierce price war. Sales this year are expected to increase 2.8% to 3.4%.

It is the retailer’s intention to offer its customers the same policy regardless of how they shop, and brings Target in line with arch-rival Walmart. It also rectifies a situation where would match, but not the other way around.