Amazon announced Thursday that masks and other medical equipment on its platform will be sold only to hospitals and government agencies, and it will also expand temperature checks to include all Amazon and Whole Foods Market employees by next week. Employees with a temperature above 100.4 degrees must go home and can return to work only after going 72 hours without a fever.
We remember World War II as a fight the US eagerly took up, but polling shows many Americans were opposed to intervening and only slowly came around to the idea, which posed a persuasion challenge to then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt, writes Ed Batista. "The great leader steps into the future just far enough to encourage the people around them to consider the possibility of this alternative reality, but not so far ahead that their vision is dismissed or ignored," he writes.
A coalition of food distributors has asked President Donald Trump and Congress for financial help to safeguard the food supply during the coronavirus crisis. "We ask you to urge the Treasury Department to establish a priority for loan applications from the foodservice distribution industry," the group wrote.
Industrial distributors must stay flexible and communicative, whether in their staff training, operations or inventory, to meet the demand challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic and other unexpected events, writes Stacy Ward. "When you have a Plan B and a Plan C and you can continue operating, you're resilient," says Ananth Iyer of the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University.
New US factory orders stayed the same in February as in January, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The coronavirus pandemic likely played a role in the lack of growth.
GE Aviation has announced that half of its engine manufacturing employees will be furloughed for four weeks due to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Boeing is offering voluntary buyouts "to reduce the need for other workforce actions," CEO Dave Calhoun says.
Companies performing critical manufacturing are at particularly high risk of cyberattacks by insiders, so they need to "take proactive and ongoing measures" to prevent them, writes Michael Crouse. He recommends going over possible scenarios, enacting dynamic user protection and communicating with employees about risks.
Manufacturers need to understand the different kinds of distributors and the cost pressures they face in order to have a good working relationship with them, writes consultant Frank Hurtte. He recommends that both sides use data to make the best-informed decisions possible.
Manufacturers can mitigate the supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic by making greater use of e-commerce and e-procurement and focusing more on direct-to-consumer sales, says Brady Behrman, CEO of software company PunchOut2Go. "E-commerce and procurement automation radically reduce supply-chain friction and delays, generating the supply-chain agility that manufacturers will need in the coming weeks," he says.
When choosing a self-contained breathing apparatus for responding to fires at industrial sites, manufacturers should first do a site risk assessment and consider the apparatus' material and features, Derek Roy writes.
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