Greggs’ loyalty app achieves initial success

first_imgRetail bakery chain Greggs has seen an increase in average consumer spend since launching its mobile loyalty scheme, according to its chief executive.Whiteside said that since its release in February, “thousands” of consumers had joined Greggs Rewards.The app allows consumers to pay for purchases bought in-store, and offers rewards. Greggs has claimed the app is the first to be launched by a UK food-on-the-go retailer.He said: “Average spend is higher [for members], which is what we expected. We are happy with what was a soft launch. We wanted to make sure the technology was working, which it is. We are gearing up towards more aggressive recruitment marketing to bring people on board.”To persuade customers to spend more in-store, Whiteside said Greggs had focused on its promotional deals, such as its £2 breakfast meal deal with a hot drink and £3 sandwich deal.Whiteside added that despite the increasing retail price of coffee, which could impact in-store prices, he was confident that Greggs’ coffee would still be “exceptional value for money”.The business is also set to focus future openings away from the high street, which currently represents 80% of the chain’s stores. Due to the changing shape of the high street, Whiteside said the next five years will see Greggs aim towards 60%, with 40% opening in transport locations and industrial parks.Customer serviceAdditionally, Whiteside spoke to British Baker on Greggs’ use of social media for customer engagement. Last month, the bakery chain was named the second most popular brand on social media for young people, according to a report published by social specialist agency Headstream.“Our social success is based on great customer service, relevant engagement and our brand personality,” he explained.“When it comes to social media, we focus all of our attention on customer engagement – not sales. Content planning is an important part of what we do, and having the capacity to respond quickly to timely events is also important. We plan our content around a calendar, but the team aim to be as responsive as possible and consider what is going on in the wider social scene, keeping us front of mind for our customers.”last_img read more

Fletcher Awards announced

first_imgThe Committee on Regional Studies — East Asia (RSEA) announced the recipients of the 2012 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Awards. The award was established in 1985 in honor of the late Joseph Fletcher, professor of Chinese and inner Asian history and a past chairman of the RSEA committee, and is given to a student or students in the RSEA program for a research seminar paper that demonstrates to a high degree the standards of excellence attained and encouraged by Fletcher.The 2012 Fletcher Award Winners:Heidi Lam, “Enchanting Time and Nation: History, Nostalgia, and the Other in Japanese Themed Spaces”Jennifer Ryan, “Topographies of Tenderness: A History of How Acupressure Became Chinese”For more information, including honorable mentions, visit the website.last_img read more

Fund to tackle climate change

first_imgIn an effort to catalyze research with potential to accelerate the progression from nonrenewable to renewable sources of energy, Harvard President Drew Faust today challenged University alumni and friends to contribute toward a $20 million Climate Change Solutions Fund that will seed new approaches to confronting the threats posed by climate change.The Climate Change Solutions Fund will be part of the Harvard Campaign’s broader ongoing efforts to raise funds for energy and environment research, which have already generated nearly $120 million in support.Faust said that she will make available $1 million at the start of the 2014-15 academic year to launch the fund, which will invite grant proposals from faculty and students across Harvard with innovative ideas for projects with promise to enable the transition from carbon-based to renewable fuels.In a letter to the Harvard community that also touched on progress made toward meeting environmental sustainability goals on campus and Harvard’s commitment to sustainable investing, Faust noted that universities have produced much of the research upon which the scientific consensus on the threat of climate change is based.“Ideas, innovation, discovery, and rigorous independent thought will serve as indispensable elements in combating the climate threat; these are the special province of universities,” she said.“Harvard has a vital leadership role to play in this work. As a university, it has a special obligation and accountability to the future, to the long view needed to anticipate and alter the trajectory and impact of climate change,” she said. “Already we support research at the vanguard of energy and climate science.”Faust’s letter followed an October 2013 message to the community in which she outlined ways in which the University could most effectively address climate change, with special focus on research, on-campus sustainability initiatives, and sustainable investment practices. In today’s letter, she released a report showing that the University had made substantial progress toward its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2016, and she highlighted Harvard’s decision to sign on with the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing.Across the University, more than 250 courses are offered that focus on aspects of environmental sustainability, and more than 225 faculty are affiliated with the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Recognizing the power of Harvard to convene experts from across a variety of disciplines, Faust said she aims to “catalyze” aspects of research on campus “specifically focused on shaping and accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy system.”“I challenge our talented and dedicated faculty and students to identify how their efforts can propel societies and individuals along this path. And I challenge our alumni and friends to assist me in raising $20 million for a fund that will seed and spur innovative approaches to confronting climate change, as an element of our broader campaign efforts in energy and environment,” she said.The fund will be administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Vice Provost for Research Richard D. McCullough will be advised by a committee that will review applications from Harvard faculty members and students, and he will make recommendations on final grantees to Faust. Proposals will be ranked based on an evaluation of intellectual merit, interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and potential impact on the fields of energy and the environment.The faculty experts on the committee will be asked to look for research projects that demonstrate a clear pathway to application as well as riskier projects with the potential to be transformative over time.“Our research across Harvard — in climate science, engineering, law, public health, policy, design, and business — has an unparalleled capacity to accelerate the progression from nonrenewable to renewable sources of energy,” Faust said.last_img read more

Infrastructure That We Can Trust

first_imgIt is the best of times and it is the worst of times for IT. The wealth of technologies, like cloud and big data, has been a boon for IT professionals, but the EMC Global IT Trust Curve Survey found that 61% of organizations suffered unplanned downtime, a security breach, or a loss of data at least once in 2013. Complexity has increased exposure to failures and threats, creating a lack of trust in the technologies. A different kind of solution is needed in response to this environment – a solution built on a strong foundation of trusted infrastructure.Defining Trusted InfrastructureI am part of a group at EMC assigned with defining and developing our point-of-view on trusted infrastructure. We started by checking out what the industry was already saying. The most credible definition we came across is from the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), a well-respected nonprofit organization that defines security specifications.This definition emphasizes broad predictable behavior as the root of trust, rather than narrowly focusing on the security elements of infrastructure. Using it as a basic construct, we developed our own detailed taxonomy, comprised of Trust Dimensions – six broad categories, each containing properties like identity and data availability. Many of these properties are adapted from the work of the Cloud Security Alliance.This representation provides a complete visual definition of trust. The novelty of this taxonomy is that it provides a comprehensive framework that can be used to build and assess trusted infrastructure. Consumers can use the standardized framework to map trust requirements for their own systems, and deploy solutions that deliver on what they need.  They can also query trust metrics to get an assessment of the overall ‘trustworthiness’ of their infrastructure.Envisioning a Trusted InfrastructureHaving defined the taxonomy, we started tackling implementation. The IT Industry has always had spot solutions on different dimensions of trust, so how is Trusted Infrastructure going to be different from any other infrastructure? Trusted Infrastructure has trust elements built in rather than added on as an afterthought and it is broadly usable rather than available only on a locked platform.Trusted Infrastructure will have three things in common:It needs a taxonomy which goes clearly beyond security and covers all relevant aspects of a predictable system.The services delivered to end users need to be highly integrated with the infrastructure.Trusted Infrastructure will need an open abstraction layer, Trust APIs, for use in higher level stacks like Hypervisor or Cloud OS.We now have a working taxonomy and vision, but there is still much work to be done. Our Trusted Infrastructure team is now identifying detailed use cases and socializing them with customers and industry thought leaders. Industry acceptance of the taxonomy is critical and your opinion is important. I am blogging on this topic regularly and would like to hear from you.last_img read more

Biden warns of growing cost of delay on $1.9T econ aid plan

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is warning of a growing “cost of inaction” on his $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. And the White House says the new administration is searching for “creative” ways to garner public support for a package that has gotten a cold shoulder from Senate Republicans. In the age of COVID, it’s not a matter of jumping on a plane to travel the country and try to gin up a groundswell. And at a time of deep polarization, Biden may struggle to convince Republican voters of the urgency at this particular moment after Congress already has approved $4 trillion in aid, including $900 billion last month.last_img read more

Arson suspected in massive fire at Texas courthouse

first_imgMASON, Texas (AP) — An official says a suspect has been taken into custody following a massive fire that destroyed all but the rock outer walls of an 111-year-old Texas courthouse. The fire at the Mason County Courthouse in Mason started Thursday night. No one was in the building. Judge Jerry Bearden said the flames could be seen from miles away. He says, “Right now, it’s just a shell. It just breaks your heart to look at it.” He told The Associated Press on Friday that fire investigators suspect arson in both the courthouse fire and a fire around the same time at a house about a mile away.last_img read more

6 steps to creating a winning people plan

first_imgIt’s a puzzle. Employers are well aware that people are a key differentiator between one organization and the next. Too often, however, when you take a look at what those employers are doing to develop and retain their key talent, there’s nothing to see.Unfortunately, many organizations believe that having a dedicated, expert HR professional is an aspirational “nice to have” rather than an essential “must have.” After all, your organizational leaders possess strong industry and product knowledge, and that “people stuff” is just fluffy common sense! Why pay someone to tell you what you already know?Why indeed.The Purpose of HR StrategyAccording to research, turnover rates among tellers can be around 20% – 30% annually. Turnover has long been viewed as a key indicator of effective people policies; so clearly, more efficient hiring and training processes are in order. Lower turnover isn’t the only benefit of good people strategy, however. Focusing on your biggest asset and often biggest expense – people – will make your organization more productive and profitable, and that’s what it’s all about.Think about people strategy as you would any other type of business strategy—a way to get from A to Z. Just like solid financial planning is less about avoiding financial ruin and more about creating the financial resources needed to achieve a vision, a solid HR strategy is an essential step in the journey toward a thriving, healthy business that looks and acts like you want it to.It’s Not Just for the Big Guys“HR strategy” may sound like insider jargon, but it’s not. Simply put, your human resources strategy is your people plan. Managing people (that is, moving them in the direction you want them to go so they’ll perform as desired), isn’t something that happens by accident. Your staff comprises unique individuals with varying motivations, wants, and needs. Sure, there are commonalities, but one-size management does not fit all.So whether you have five employees or 5000, you need a people plan.Getting Your People Plan in Place: The BasicsSo, what about it? Is good management just common sense? No, no it isn’t.While nearly every aspect of a workplace is shaped by the quality of its leadership, one Gallup poll found that only 1 in 10 managers have the natural ability to succeed in the job. What’s more, companies choose the wrong person to manage more often than not. But there’s good news. Those who do possess some “functioning” talent (2 in 10) to manage benefit greatly by development opportunities, as do the organizations they serve and the people they direct.And that brings us to the steps for getting your people plan in place: Step #1—Face facts. Managing is hard, and most of us don’t have the natural ability to do all part of it well. We need expert help, and HR professionals are the people experts. Step #2—Work with your HR expert to identify gaps in your talent acquisition, development, and retention processes. Research trends, talk with others in your industry, and poll your staff and members. What processes need attention?Step #3—Work with HR to develop a strategy to fill those gaps. How are you bringing new talent into the organization? Where are you advertising and what are your minimum requirements? Are you doing any prescreening or behavior assessments? Is your compensation within market? Do employees have regular opportunities for coaching and mentoring? Is anyone in the company taking a personal interest in their professional development? Step #4—Get buy in. Let your staff know where you’re headed, what needs to be done to get there and by whom, and how you’ll reward them for helping you achieve your goals. While you’re at it, keep those doors of communication open. People strategy should be ongoing and change as the business and your business objectives change.Step #5—Celebrate successes. Don’t take your employees’ efforts for granted. Thank them for their hard work. Find ways to motivate and engage them continuously.Step #6—Repeat Steps #1 through #5 as necessary.What’s your people plan? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out. 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Carletta Clyatt Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group.  She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses … Web: www.omniagroup.com Detailslast_img read more

Police: Non-life threatening injuries sustained in bike and car crash

first_imgPolice say officers were dispatched to a report of a car striking a person on a bicycle in the area of Brandywine and Court streets around 6 p.m. Police are unable to comment on the issuance of tickets. The department says the bicyclist sustained non-life threatening injuries.center_img BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Binghamton Police Department tells 12 News that one bicyclist is injured after being struck by a car Monday evening.last_img

68 percent of COVID-19 deaths recorded in Jakarta as nationwide fatalities rise to 25

first_img“There was only one fatal case of a 37-year-old [patient] with the disease,” he added.Banten recorded 10 new cases on Thursday, followed by Central Java with four and South East Sulawesi with three.Yogyakarta, West Java, East Kalimantan, Riau Islands and South Sulawesi each reported two new cases, while Riau reported one new infection.“Despite the increasing number, we can also confirm that 15 patients have recovered from the disease,” Yurianto added. (glh) The number of infected people has reached 309, as the government recorded 82 new cases as of 12 p.m. on Thursday. A total of 210 confirmed cases — 52 of which were new – were recorded in Jakarta alone.”The mortality rate is 8 percent with 25 deaths out of [309] patients with the disease,” Yurianto told a press conference on Thursday.The average global mortality rate from the coronavirus is about 3.9 percentYurianto also said most of the fatalities were patients whose ages were 45 to 65 years old, most with preexisting illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes and heart failure. Topics :center_img Indonesia’s death toll from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has risen to 25 on Thursday, with 68 percent of the fatalities recorded in Jakarta, the hardest-hit region, which has reported the majority of cases in the country.The Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, said Jakarta had recorded five new fatalities on Thursday, bringing the total to 17 deaths in the capital.Central Java reported three new fatalities, while West Java, Banten, Bali, East Java and North Sumatra reported one new fatal case each, he said.last_img read more