business news in context, analysis with attitude

The goal of "The Innovation Conversation" is to explore some facet of the fast-changing, technology-driven retail landscape and how it affects businesses and consumers. It is, we think, fertile territory ... and one that Tom Furphy - a former Amazon executive, the originator of Amazon Fresh, and currently CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners (CEP), a venture capital and venture development firm in Seattle, WA, that works with many top retailers and manufacturers - is uniquely positioned to address.

While our title is "What Good Is Spaghetti Carbonara Without Pancetta?," the subject isn't Italian cooking.  Rather, it is the multiple critical moves that retailers must make if they are to compete in a 21st century environment being reshaped by technology, pandemic, and shifting customer needs.   Spaghetti carbonara with pancetta, you see, is just the metaphor.

The beginning premise is this: The importance for retailers to eliminate redundant supply chain and logistics issues.  That's easier said than done - it isn't all that different from what the industry started doing two decades ago with its Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) initiative.  But it didn't go far enough for fast enough (or else there would be no need for this conversation.  Tom and Kevin are both provocative and prescriptive as they approach the subject, seeing it through the eyes of retailers, solutions providers, and, especially, customers as they offer a recipe for competitive strategies.