Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 7/10/15

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about ARC Document Solutions, JetSmarter and WheelsUp, Odyne Systems, Boscov’s, and P&G.

From Dale Buss: How a Mid-Market CEO Is Using the Cloud to Make a Once Dying Business Thrive

“Suri Suriyakumar took a print shop—a dying industry—and repositioned it to focus on the only thriving niche left—architecture, which requires the printing of as many of 10,000 drawings per project. After buying several more small shops, ARC Document Solutions, Suriyakumar’s new business, is now a $407-million architectural documents provider with 2,500 employees. And as technology becomes integral to all business today, Suriyakumar is now reinventing his business again, with the digitization of architectural drawings into the cloud.”

From Molly duffy: Ride-sharing takes to the skies

“Two firms with South Florida roots have created apps that allow celebrities, wealthy entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth travelers to fly private at a fraction of the price of buying or even chartering a private aircraft.”

From Thomas Content: Odyne Systems tapping into demand for hybrid trucks

“The market for hybrid electric cars has stalled somewhat with lower gasoline prices and consumers’ reluctance to pay extra for hybrid technology. But on the truck side, the move to reduce energy use is continuing to push interest in hybrids, including those developed for utility trucks by Pewaukee-based Odyne Systems.”

From Suzette Parmley: Boscov’s thrives online and in stores by sticking to its roots

“‘Have you Boscoved today?’ is the promotion line for a culture that has helped sustain the nation’s largest family-owned, full-service department store.”

From Serena Ng and Ellen Byron: P&G Faces Up to Mistakes in Beauty Business

“P&G spent about $80 billion over the past two decades scooping up brands including Gillette razors, Duracell batteries and Iams pet food, only to end up selling some of them to focus on boosting sales of Tide detergent, Pampers diapers and other mainstays. The new round of divestitures is a remarkable reversal for Chief Executive A.G. Lafley, who returned to the company in 2013 to lead it out of a long slump. In his first stint running P&G from 2000 to 2009, Mr. Lafley pushed the company heavily into the beauty business, which he prized for its fatter profit margins and growth potential.”

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