JDA Software Group to Head Mattel’s Supply Chain
Mattel has selected JDA Software Group, Inc. to power its supply chain. Under the agreement, JDA Manufacturing Planning and JDA Flowcasting Solutions will work to drive improvements across its end-to-end supply chain processes, including sales and operations planning, demand planning, master planning, factory planning, and customer collaboration. JDA will work with KPMG to lead the solution design and deployment beginning early 2017, along with JDA Cloud Services to manage the IT environment and upgrade process.
“We chose JDA as our strategic supply chain partner because of the depth of their experience in consumer products and manufacturing, along with their superior capabilities in managing complex global, end-to-end supply chain processes,” says Peter Gibbons, executive vice-president and chief supply chain officer, Mattel. Within Mattel’s Toy Box business unit, one of the requirements is to launch toys into the market to coincide with key movie releases, which requires an added layer of responsiveness. “Leveraging JDA, we’ll be able to capitalize on changing market dynamics, and push products out more quickly and cost-effectively,” says Gibbons.
NBCU Invests $500 Million in Snap
NBCUniversal (NBCU) has invested $500 million in Snap as part of the Snapchat parent company’s $3.4 billion IPO, according to a CNBC report. This is the latest move by the company, which is owned by Comcast, to drive its digital growth. NBCU is currently the only media company to have an official stake in Snap. Snap closed its first day of trading up 44 percent at $24.48 a share, earlier this week. It currently sits at $21.45 a share as of Wednesday morning.
The investment is the latest in a series of aggressive investments in digital media by NBCU. Prior investments include $400 million in Buzzfeed, $200 million in Vox, and the company’s recent acquisition of SportsEngine. Previously, the company acquired the multi-channel network AwesomenessTV as part of its deal for DreamWorks. According to NBCU CEO Steve Burke, the company has invested more than $1.5 billion in digital businesses in the past 18 months.
Walmart Tests More Convenient Options for Shoppers
Walmart announced new capabilities in its Walmart app aimed at creating a faster, easier and more convenient experience for its pharmacy and money services customers. Along with these expanded app features, Walmart will create a new store experience that allows customers to skip traditional service lines using express lanes in these areas. These new capabilities will start to roll out to Walmart customers in March and are anticipated to be available in nearly all of Walmart’s 4,700 stores by fall.
In its aim to make shopping more convenient, the retail giant is also testing several convenience store–type concepts that feature online pickup stores and a to-go format, according to a Forbes report. The most recent testing shops have opened in Texas and near its headquarters in Arkansas.
littleBits Launches Its First-Ever Code-Based Games
littleBits announced the next addition to its education portfolio, the littleBits Code Kit. The concept is simple: Build games. Learn to code. Students will learn the foundations of coding and engineering by building hands-on games with electronic building blocks and coding them using block programming based on Google’s Blockly on the littleBits Code Kit app.
The game-based design of the kit is supported by resources to make it easy for educators, even those without computer science experience, to teach coding right out of the box. A 12-member educator advisory board helped create the curriculum making the littleBits Code Kit an education product designed for teachers, with teachers.
The new littleBits Code Kit will include four game-based inventions: Tug-of-War, Ultimate Shootout, Hot Potato, and Rockstar Guitar. Available this June, the kits will be sold through education product retailers, including Amazon’s STEM store, at MSRP $299.95.