Apple Dodges Tariffs in Texas

Apple Dodges Tariffs in Texas

October 7, 2019

Apple is moving its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas, as part of a plan to invest $350 billion in the U.S. economy by 2023.

Apple already has manufacturing locations in 36 states with 9,000 domestic suppliers. The move not only helps Apple to abate the impact of trade tariffs but also to have a product that is made entirely in USA.


Video Spotlight: Mac Pro to be manufactured in Texas


This post is based on the IB Times article, Apple News: Mac Pro Production Moves To Texas To Dodge Tariffs, by Thomas Kira, September 23, 2019, and the YouTube video, Mac Pro to be manufactured in Texas, by Newsy, September 23, 2019. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education

Discussion Questions:

1. In what ways is Apple’s decision to move its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas, capacity-related?

Guidance: The move is a capacity-related decision because Apple has to determine what capacity it needs to make Mac Pro using only domestic suppliers and workers instead of outsourcing the assembly processes to China.

2. What are the reasons for Apple to move its Mac Pro production to Austin, Texas?

Guidance: Trade tariffs make it less economical to Continue reading

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Bionic Boost in the Workplace

Bionic Boost in the Workplace

September 20, 2019

Robotic shorts offer relief to fatigued workers.

The latest, exciting quest to improve working conditions has produced robotic shorts. Developed by a team of university researchers, the lightweight exosuit and its power system are designed to detect movements and assist their execution, thereby reducing the stress and injury associated with physical demands. The increased strength is expected to boost workers’ productivity.


Video Spotlight: Walking Faster with Robo Shorts


This post is based on the CNBC article, These Robotic Shorts Boost Workers’ Strength and Productivity. Here’s How., by S. Rega and L. Ioannou, August 29, 2019, and the YouTube video, Scientists Built Robo Shorts to Make Walking Easierby Tech World, August 16, 2019. Image source:  Shutterstock / Dm_Cherry

Discussion Questions:

1. What is productivity? How do robotic shorts help improve it?

Guidance: Productivity is the ratio of output to input. In reducing strain and increasing physical strength and speed, the robotic shorts may enable workers to do more work in less time. The shorts thus have the potential to increase output while reducing input, thereby resulting in substantial productivity gains.

2. How are the robotic shorts designed? How do they enhance working conditions?

Guidance Continue reading

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Shanghai Surprise. Costco Is Overwhelmed

Shanghai Surprise. Costco Is Overwhelmed

September 19, 2019

What does Costco have that other retailers don’t?

Costco just opened the doors of its first store in China. On the first day, huge crowds lined up for hours to get into the store. Once inside, they became part of a frenzied horde of shoppers fighting for anything from detergent to Birkin bags. The chaos was such that the store had to close early. At a time when other large retailers struggle to maintain a presence in China, Costco’s measured strategy and focus on the long game may pay off.


Video Spotlight: Costco’s Opening Day in China


This post is based on The Washington Post article, Shoves, Brawls and Shouts: Welcome to Costco’s Opening Day in China, by A. Fifield and R. Siegel, August 29, 2019, and the YouTube video, Massive Lines at Costco’s China Opening Amid Trade War, by Bloomberg Markets and Finance, August 28, 2019. Image source: Yongyuan Dai/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. Compared to other large, international retailers, is Costco late entering the Chinese market? Why or why not?

Guidance: Large, international retailers such as Carrefour and Walmart entered the Chinese market in the mid-1990s. Despite partnering with local businesses, these retailers have had Continue reading

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