Credibility is indeed the key word. Would I trust George Clooney's word on men's fashion? Yes, yes I would, because he's shown us over decades that he's always well-dressed. Would I trust some college kid? It totally depends on the body of work he's put out -- a random take is only worth a random glance....
There has been a need to redirect medical schools to create more general MDs rather than specialized practitioners, as small towns and rural areas just can't support them, and even in metro areas there isn't the coordination of care by a generalist that could reduce unnecessary tests and procedures. Plus, in these times, the fewer people a patient needs to see the lower the chance of picking up the virus. Let's hope this effort bolsters the re-emergence of the "family doctor"!
And there is the competing proven technology of -- wait for it -- intermodal unit trains with energy efficiencies and safety factors many times greater than what is being touted. There is no valid reason to be running a truck halfway or all the way across the continent -- take the investment capital and add extra track to the existing corridors and continue to improve automation of locomotives. Electric/more-automated trucks for regional and local deliveries is a great idea, since even this model still requires a human driver.
The folks who legitimately can't wear masks do have convenient options: online ordering, curbside pickup, home delivery, have friends or family do shopping, etc. People who have breathing problems so severe that they can't wear a mask are the most vulnerable in this crisis and should not be out shopping in public right now, period. Sympathy for these individuals is a mask mandate. There is no middle ground here.
I'm thinking of that robot coffee bar in the United gates at San Francisco airport that debuted last year - quality was supposed to be almost as good as Starbucks but with much faster throughput. Less time in lines near other people is certainly a measure of quality/customer experience that we'll have to consider in all our interactions.
Even in the "before times," Jeff's comment that "few people will notice or care" was 100 percent on point. The Mall of America store was practically vacant even in the pre-Christmas rush -- while the Apple store was packed as usual. When Apple moved its location to a larger space on the west side, Microsoft's spillover traffic evaporated.
Since Apple Stores are usually the highest-trafficked destination in malls anymore, I'd love to see Apple come out and demand landlords enforce mask-wearing and other commonsense safety protocols. If the mall refuses to comply, the Apple store doesn't open and the traffic craters.
What? Why is this news? Staples' sister company, Essendant, has a big warehouse full of office supplies in every major market in the country (as does its competitor, SP Richards). Both the big-box office supply stores (including non-store operations like WB Mason) and local office supply merchants use ESS and SPR for daily fulfillment to their contract customers and increasingly to small and home business accounts. We were "literally" doing same-day fulfillment back in the 1980s with this model when I was working at St. Paul Book & Stationery. And today, WB Mason is basically loading a micro-warehouse into their iconic delivery vans today for near-instant delivery in key markets.
Many of the same reasons why the micro Target locations are performing so well will drive the success of micro IKEA - curated convenience for major college campus locations and urban downtowns + their excellent packaged and fresh food assortment + their signature sharp pricing. IKEA has also excelled at global logistics. I can't wait to see them in places like Stadium Village in Minneapolis and Midtown Atlanta!
Shorter food supply chains = better disease/contaminant tracing and containment + more local accountability + lower transportation cost and emissions + dollars stay in the region = a more resilient local economy, population, and environment.
Copy and paste with adaptations for clothing, many consumer goods, and power production. The smart, transformative business case right now just so happens to be the one that also rebuilds local communities and saves Earth.
Reading through California's Department of Education guidelines released yesterday for reopening schools in the fall, and hearing about similar considerations up here in Minnesota - no one should be expecting anything that looks like a normal Back to School season. Distance learning will likely still be the majority of instruction, especially for middle and high schools - and even elementary kids will probably only be in buildings two days per week. This also means parents will be needing to continue to work from home, too - probably for the entire 2020-21 school year.
Tom Peters' book "In Search of Excellence" was where the phrase got popularized, but it was a big element in Deming's Total Quality Management work to revolutionize Japan's industry post-war. Both Peters and Deming would say the whole idea that management must be intimate with the people and processes applies just as much to remote work as to office/factory settings -- the managers have to work with staff to devise new ways of interaction, new cultures to match the new reality.
Now that I'm back in the office full-time, I'm honestly not sure if I'm any more productive overall. Impromptu meetings are good and there are some interactions/processes that can only be done in a building together, but a lot of the corporate workday is a time suck and it is much harder to concentrate when I hear so many other conversations around me.
Costco doesn't seem to be suffering and they mandate masks, no exceptions. I love H-E-B but they need to step up and lead, regardless of what the anti-science, anti-sense people threaten. Just because you sell chicken doesn't mean you have to act like a chicken.
But let's also ensure that the employer doesn't get to write the rules (or eliminate oversight) through political influence - as we are already seeing in the meatpacking industry. There also has to be transparency around standards and compliance so that unions, media, and local communities can have confidence in the process.
Every year for over 20 years, UPS and FedEx have put through base rate hikes of around 5%. And last year, as gasoline prices collapsed, they actually had the gall to INCREASE fuel surcharges. Just like cable fees and airline fees, there's no connection between cost and the actual service, just another way to pad profits (and keep the Teamsters placated).