Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

January 10, 2021

Will queues become a thing of the past?

Realistically, some queues will still exist post-pandemic, but many that go virtual now for health and safety reasons may stay virtual for efficiency’s sake later on.

Technology is becoming an invaluable tool in keeping customers safe, whether they are waiting to enter a favorite pub, spending time in airports, or seeking urgent care.  Magnetic queuing grids, timed-entry passes, and virtual lines are making waiting safer, more efficient, and more pleasant, and it appears that they are here to stay.


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This post is based on The Atlantic article, The pandemic could end waiting in line, by Elissaveta M. Brandon, October 28, 2020; the Cinema Blend article, How Waiting In Line Works At Disney World During The Pandemic, by Mack Rawden, November 11, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Peeradontax/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What applications of virtual queues are being used to better manage Continue reading

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Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

December 30, 2020

On November 18, 2020, the FAA lifted the grounding order for Boeing’s 737 Max airplanes. After two fatal crashes, which were determined to be the result of flaws in a system software upgrade, the 737 Max has been grounded for about 20 months.

Southwest is the largest customer for the 737 Max (though not mentioned in the article, its entire fleet is comprised of 737 models).  34 completed aircraft are in “desert hibernation” in Victorville, CA, awaiting upgrades and FAA certification.  With the grounding order lifed, company mechanics are heading to Victorville to make the planes airworthy for travel to maintenance facilities for further work.

Although the planes were maintained in active storage, each one will require 280 hours of work and approved changes prior to this flight out of storage.

The bigger question is how customers will react.  Surveys indicate 25% are not comfortable flying the plane, so Southwest will allow penalty-free flight changes for those who choose to avoid this aircraft.

The Max is expected to enter revenue service in the second quarter of 2021.  In the meantime, 8,000 Southwest pilots will receive additional training including simulator time.


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Walmart Benchmarked Airports for Its Overhaul

Walmart Benchmarked Airports for Its Overhaul

November 30, 2020

Walmart will debut a new design in 200 of its Supercenters by year’s end.

Inspired by airport design and seeking to integrate a more digitally enabled shopping experience, the stores will include new technology, layout and signage. The goal is to seek a balance between customers who enjoy the technological enhancements of online/mobile shopping channels and those still enjoy the experience of browsing in-store.


Video Spotlight: 


This post is based on the Business Insider article, Walmart is overhauling 200 of its stores into an airport-inspired theme expected to perfectly blend the online and in-store shopping experience, by Aine Cain, September 29, 2020, and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: John Flournoy/McGraw-Hill Education

Discussion Questions:

1. How did Walmart engage in competitive benchmarking?

Guidance: Benchmarking is a quality management tool that involves finding a company or type of business that does something especially well and learning its best practices.  In this case, Walmart’s signage was inspired by airports, which excel in wayfinding Continue reading

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