PROFILE

Zel Bianco

President, founder and CEO Interactive Edge

Zel Bianco and Interactive Edge have been helping companies, specifically in the Consumer Goods industry, run more efficiently since 1994. Zel’s focus is always on the needs of the client. He strives to be a real business partner to every customer — no matter what the size of the contract or the scope of the implementation. He wants to help companies eliminate the cumbersome and time consuming tasks associated with data management and organization in order to free up users time so that they can do what they were hired to do: generate insights to grow their business. Zel enjoys helping clients bridge the gap between category management and shopper insights. He collaborates with clients in the development of a process that streamlines the flow of qualitative data into customer facing presentations and reports.

As the president, founder and CEO of Interactive Edge, Zel is responsible for setting the company’s strategic vision and developing business alliances. He is also an industry thought leader who has enjoyed presenting at many industry conferences such as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the International Committee of Food Retail Chains (CIES), SAP’s SAPPHIRE and SAP’s TechEd Demo Jam. He has been honored to speak at both DePaul University and Michigan State University, and has donated the Interactive Edge XP3 software for use by students at both of their business schools. Interactive Edge and its customers have won numerous industry awards in areas including Customer Management, Visionary Innovation, and Demand Data Analytics.

Prior to founding Interactive Edge, Zel held senior account management positions in the advertising industry, at Young & Rubicam and other large New York agencies. He worked with many consumer package goods clients and was a part of the account management team that introduced the IBM personal computer.

More information about Zel and his solution for presenting demand data analytics can be found at the Interactive Edge website.

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  • Posted on: 06/04/2020

    Will retailers pass along or eat COVID-19 shipping surcharges?

    The industry has to be open to a more equitable share of the cost for shipping. If not, what happens? Either the retailer ends up paying more and reduces the chances of making a realistic profit or the consumer ends of paying more, which with over 40 million Americans out of work will create a more dreaded result. The very Americans that can least afford these new shipping costs will end up having to go into stores and increase their chance of testing positive for COVID-19. UPS and FedEx will need to share the costs for all to win.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2020

    Retail ensnared in nationwide protests

    The mayor of Atlanta said it best when she spoke. These actions by looters and rioters who burn police cars and loot stores are not helping the situation. She urged those that are understandably frustrated and fed up to go out and vote and put leaders in charge that effect real change. Change can only happen with legislation that is long overdue. Hurting retailers in neighborhoods where the local Target is the only place for customers to get their medication and other necessities helps no one.
  • Posted on: 05/29/2020

    Socially distant Americans find comfort in retail therapy

    We are not going out to restaurants, bars, music or theater events, which in NYC can be quite expensive. That we are treating ourselves with very good ingredients to make delicious meals, making some good cocktails and spending time with our loved ones, at least via FaceTime or Zoom, is not a bad thing to make us feel more comfortable and less lonely. Buying clothes for our granddaughter who we have not been able to see in person in months also makes us feel better!
  • Posted on: 05/27/2020

    Bookstores could be in store for a post-lockdown boom

    I am a news and politics junkie and have now added all of the mini whitepapers and reports on what to do during and after emerging from the crises to my reading list. Books, however, have been my fix to calm my nerves (depending on what I am reading at the time) and provide a calming respite from all the horrible news and allow for a well deserved escape. I hope this is a trend that will stick.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2020

    Should Apple and other stores require shopper temperature checks?

    Yes,by all means they should do whatever is necessary to stop the madness! We may never get things going if we, as Americans do what what we did this weekend. What the heck were people thinking? The crowds at beaches in the south and at lakes in the Ozarks was truly horrific. Retailers have a right and in fact should demand that customers wear a mask and submit to a temperature check. Just watch the numbers climb in the next few weeks. Retailers and their employees deserve better!
  • Posted on: 05/21/2020

    Bob Mariano has plans to create a great ‘next-gen’ grocery store

    Yes, he will have quite an advantage for the following reasons: 1.) Having the experience he has had in previous businesses and more specifically testing all of the experiential ideas, he had utilized and now understands what worked and what did not. 2.) He has the money and reputation to try new ideas and 3.) He will have the luxury of observing and assessing what other retailers are doing and will do during and after the pandemic which will give him a view that will provide him with an advantageous springboard from which to emerge stronger and better prepared than many of his competitors.
  • Posted on: 05/18/2020

    The new normal will look a lot like the old normal

    One change that I hope sticks around is that the situation has all of us showing gratitude and respect to essential workers in-store and throughout the supply chain. As Warren says, "Without them we are screwed." In many other countries, clerks and merchants seem to be given a higher level of respect than they are afforded here in the U.S. That needs to change, with how we treat them and how much we pay them. They deserve more of both.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2020

    Are Amazon’s at-cost face shields an act of goodwill or predatory behavior?

    You know what? Let's worry about that once things are under control. Right now, our frontline healthcare workers deserve to have their needs taken care of for a change. I do think Amazon should donate the shields though.
  • Posted on: 05/13/2020

    Is it safer to shop at farmers’ markets than in supermarkets?

    My daughter and son-in-law live in Brooklyn and they have been ordering a box that is put together by vendors at the farmers' market where they pick what they have at the time. It is all fresh of course. Sometimes you may get an item that does not look too appetizing, like a lamb's leg, but hey -- like Forest Gump's mom used to say, "you never know what you're going to get." All in all, they have been mostly pleased with the quality of the food.
  • Posted on: 05/07/2020

    Is curbside pickup just getting started?

    I do think curbside pickup is here to stay. It will mean that many retailers will quickly need to figure out how to ease the congestion of cars that will certainly be an issue once most stores are re-opened. This is a huge issue in metro areas like NYC, where driving around the side or the back of the store is not always possible and is the exception and not the rule.
  • Posted on: 05/06/2020

    Auction winner will get to pitch products to Walmart’s CEO

    Hey, a great idea can come from anywhere. Why not this? Even those that do not get a deal on Shark Tank benefit from the exposure.
  • Posted on: 05/04/2020

    Should face masks be mandatory for shoppers?

    I agree with Ryan. It's really pretty simple. Retailers, even those that are in close proximity to a beach, require customers to wear shoes don't they? What the heck is so hard about wearing a mask while you are in a store? Have we lost all common consideration for our fellow human beings?
  • Posted on: 04/30/2020

    Will working remotely change how we communicate?

    We have all been working remotely for at least six weeks now and my take is that it has been quite productive. As Dave states, meetings have been more focused and to the point. We have a "Stand up Meeting " every morning that is conducted just for everyone to quickly discuss what they will be working on and if there are any roadblocks in the way. If there is an issue that we need more time to discuss, then a separate meeting is set up on Microsoft Teams. So, so far, so good. The drawbacks are not too bad. One of our younger developers has overslept on a few occasions, but that's life, especially for coders. Also many of us are tied into office leases, and paying crazy rents while working from home. When the dust settles, I believe we will need less space as this challenging period has proven that we do not necessarily all need to be together to work effectively. Given that we develop software that allows sales and marketing professionals to work from anywhere and anytime, I guess you can say "we are eating our own dog food."
  • Posted on: 04/24/2020

    Is it okay to profit from a pandemic?

    My daughter is making very stylish masks but is giving them away to friends and family and anyone else that may need one. This is something that individuals can and should do on a family-by-family basis. It shows our American spirit while allowing us to show our individuality. Companies that can mass produce them should be doing that for medical and frontline workers and they should be doing it on a pro-bono basis as much as possible. Companies that are profiting from this and not giving away at least half of what they make should be frowned upon.
  • Posted on: 04/23/2020

    Should grocers close their doors to customers for safety’s sake?

    Retailers must insist that all customers wear masks and gloves and anyone found not following guidelines including social distancing should be escorted out of the store. Period. I am amazed how many people are just plain oblivious to how close they are getting to others in the aisles. If this does not change, stores will have no choice but to go to pick up only. Grocery workers deserve it!

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