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8/27/2013
10:28 PM
Shane O'Neill
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20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013

IT innovators turn great ideas into action. Use these winning InformationWeek 500 projects to spark your creativity and advance your plans.
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Paper and packaging supplies maker Unisource sells a variety of materials to places like computer manufacturers and grocery stores. One of its customers' biggest challenges is inventory management. When things go wrong, it hurts both the customer (a supply emergency) as well as Unisource (unplanned shipments). For example, Unisource is affected if a grocer mismanages inventory and finds itself without enough food trays to package meat.

To address such issues, Unisource developed SmartSync, a Web-based inventory management system that uses the cloud-based Salesforce Force.com platform. SmartSync bar-coding technology captures item numbers, reorder quantities and pricing, and automatically sends inventory orders to Unisource. When Unisource materials arrive, customers can use SmartSync to scan and add materials into stock. Any smart device that has Internet access and a Bluetooth bar-code reader -- including traditional handheld scanning devices, tablets or smartphones -- can use SmartSync.

SmartSync is free for Unisource customers. The company says that SmartSync customers buy 15% to 20% more products from Unisource than customers that don't use it, and SmartSync customers' orders are 10% to 15% larger compared to non-SmartSync customers.

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20 Innovative IT Ideas To Steal

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Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2013 | 7:09:27 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
Impressed overall with how these companies didn't let corporate killers like inertia and bureaucracy prevent them turning ideas into action. I'm partial to the companies that went mobile in a big way by developing mobile apps (Dallas Cowboys, Salvation Army, Mitsubishi) or replacing paper products and old hardware with smartphones and tablets (Procter & Gamble, Dish).
rhagan04101
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rhagan04101,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/11/2013 | 4:04:22 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
I'll certainly post my comment, but I'm not about to click through 22 dang slides to dig through this.

Click bait fail. You lose.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2013 | 6:51:20 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
Congrats to Ketchum on their IdeaShop idea - sounds like a cool use of collaborative brainstorming.
Alex Kane Rudansky
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Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
9/10/2013 | 4:41:08 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
BIDMC has consistently been a leader in health IT, and OpenNotes is no exception. OpenNotes keeps patients engaged in their healthcare and educated about their health, possibly resulting in better outcomes. CIO John Halamka is a true innovator there.
OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/10/2013 | 1:28:26 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
Re: Arizona State:

"The creation of eAdvisor had a direct impact on the freshman retention
rate. Retention rates from 2008-2012 increased by 1.7% year over year.
However, retention rates in the year after eAdvisor's launch increased
by 6.8%."

That is seriously impressive. I'd be interested in knowing what other factors may be involved, but any university that improves retention that much that quickly deserves praise.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2013 | 5:41:58 PM
re: 20 Great Ideas To Steal In 2013
UPS will probably write the book on telematics analysis. But this company also gets the people part of the customer relationship right. I know a very senior IT person who was won over by UPS on a business level because she was impressed by them as a consumer: Her neighborhood driver leaves a dog biscuit on top of all packages left at her door. Talk about thinking like a customer. I am betting there is not a biscuit metric but I bet the biscuits go a long way.
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