Merchandising

Merchandising

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sari Martinez (Poage). Sari is currently an independent consultant focused on the Retail industry. She has more than 15 years experience in the industry, and has deep expertise in driving Merchandising, Strategy, and Growth functions and initiatives at companies like Saks Fifth Avenue, Rhone Apparel, Hanna Andersson, Bliss Spa, Gap, McKinsey & Co, and L Catterton. She has operational experience working in DTC and Wholesale retail, startups, PE backed small and mid sized companies, and large multi-banner corporations.

Sari lives in New York City with her husband and their two year old daughter. She is happy to collaborate on projects involving merchandising, product development, Go To Market, inventory planning, production / supply chain, strategy, growth, business development, personalization, loyalty, credit operations, and pricing / promotions.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Abhinav Chandra.  Abhinav is a seasoned Senior Leader with deep expertise in Retail/Consumer and Technology across a wide range of functional areas. Abhinav was an Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Retail and Operations practices where he served multiple clients on topics including omni-channel supply chain strategy, marketing and growth strategy, store operations and private label design and sourcing to name a few.

Post McKinsey, Abhinav was at Amazon, where he was Head of Customer Experience, Worldwide and Head of Women’s Clothing business. At Amazon, he drove increased automation using advanced technologies like AI/ML to scale operations and drive growth and profitability.  Abhinav lives in the San Francisco – Bay Area and loves to watch and play cricket. He is looking forward to collaborating with you.

 

Paul Millerd tackles the origins and meaning of culture and provides a framework and lens for thinking about organizational culture in ways that can shape your corporate culture. 

Culture is a messy term. In 1952, two Academics, Kroeber and Kluckhohn, completed a comprehensive review of the term and found that by then there were over 134 definitions.

As Kroeber and Kluckhohn explored the history of the word, they found all roads pointing to Germany, where the word was emerging as “cultur”:

Kant, for instance, like most of his contemporaries, still spells the word Cultur, but uses it repeatedly, always with the meaning of cultivating or being cultured

It wasn’t until the late 1800’s that the word started to form into the modern form of the word, adopted by Anthropologists and other academics who were studying foreign cultures.

Sir Edward Tyler’s book Primitive Culture from 1870 is often marked as a shift toward the modern definition:

‘that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.’

By the 1950’s there were over 100 definitions of the word and that was before organizations started using the term.

In the 1980’s, Edgar Schein’s research expanded the scope of the world to modern organizations and the way we talk about companies has never been the same.

 

Areas discussed in this essay include:

  • How culture arises
  • Why the idea of a unified, single culture is wrong
  • A framework for thinking about culture (hint: it’s not actually a pyramid)
  • The two factors that shape how a culture solidified
  • The role of anxiety in learning and culture
  • The stages of culture development
  • Identifying a “strong” culture
  • How to assess culture in your own company

 

Read the full essay, Edgar Schein’s Anxiety & Assumptions: Powerful Ideas On Culture, on the Boundless website.