Staples owner Sycamore Partners and Genuine Parts have each made and updated offers for purchasing Essendant since April. Genuine Parts separately last month agreed in principle to a Reverse Morris Trust transaction in which S.P. Richards would be jointly owned by Genuine Parts and Essendant.
Logistics providers need transportation management systems that afford them the flexibility to be creative about their operations, writes 3Gtms executive JP Wiggins. "Sophisticated rating engines and continuous pool optimization can help you create a better business model by delivering the power and programming to do the hard work, plus give you the freedom and flexibility to work with more options and uncover more savings," he writes.
Companies can encourage business-to-business e-commerce transactions through websites that are straightforward, functional and speak to decision-makers and influencers, writes Agustina Parada of Oracle NetSuite. "Digital interactions with your customers now form the foundation of the relationships you build with them," she writes.
Amazon is adding "SmileCodes" to some of its boxes to encourage customers to find ways to reuse them. By scanning the barcode with the Amazon app, customers will be able to access videos and instructions to create an arts and crafts project with the cardboard.
EBay's updated return policy that took effect this week eliminates 14-day return policies for many sellers, instead requiring them to offer longer windows or deny all returns. The cost of those returns can be covered by the buyer or seller.
Nissan is remanufacturing used Leaf batteries in Japan and selling them at a lower price point as part of the 4R joint venture with Sumitomo. "By reusing spent EV batteries, we wanted to raise the (residual) value of EVs and make them more accessible," says 4R Energy CEO Eiji Makino.
A US House of Representatives bill would provide $500,000 in grants for expanding the number of aviation maintenance employees through government, industry-led and academic workforce development programs. A separate bill was introduced in the Senate in March.
JD.com is working with lift manufacturers to improve machine-to-machine communication with its courier robots, potentially to allow them to navigate elevators and stairs. The e-commerce services provider is also working on vertical-lift capabilities for its drones to enable more efficient remote location deliveries.
Success doesn't mean a company operates efficiently, which is why companies such as Virgin Orbit and Vecima Networks are leveraging their operational data to spot opportunities for improvement, writes David Greenfield. Vecima expects to reduce the weekly proportion of human errors from 20% to 2% and save about $24,800 annually using business-intelligence software.
As long as a mission-critical system is connected to digital technology, it's vulnerable to cyberattacks, writes Andy Bochman of the Idaho National Laboratory. INL has introduced a pilot methodology that includes identifying key assets, isolating them, minimizing the use of digital and leaving their control to analog devices and humans.
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