Made in Italy at Amazon

Made in Italy at Amazon

 

The pandemic has been a boon for Amazon. Worldwide.

Even in places like Italy where people prefer to shop in stores, Amazon has been able to assume a dominant role during the pandemic. When stores were forced to close, Amazon filled a genuine need for goods. As the economy reopened, the appeal of convenience triggered a sudden, but durable, consumer behavior shift. Can small merchants that depend on the “old world” image rethink their operations to survive e-commerce? Based on the video, many already have.

 


Video Spotlight: Amazon Academy’s ‘Made in Italy’ Program


This post is based on The New York Times article, Pasta, Wine and Inflatable Pools: How Amazon Conquered Italy in the Pandemic, by A. Satariano and E. Bubola, September 26, 2020, and the YouTube video, Amazon Academy ‘Made in Italy’ – Brussels 2019, by AmazonNewsEU, December 9, 2019. Image source: Pixtal / AGE Fotostock.

Discussion Questions:

1. For Amazon, what are the threats and opportunities in Italy?

Guidance: The main opportunities are a change in consumer habits, a high unemployment rate, and a second wave of virus spread. The threats are an older population that might be more resistant to Continue reading

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How Do We Dine 6 Feet Apart?

How Do We Dine 6 Feet Apart?

Restaurants are planning their reopening and reinventing the dining scene.

As restaurants plan their reopening, they are learning about new safety protocols, finding out how Asian restaurants adapted, and developing new guidelines on their own. The challenges abound as restaurateurs have to create a safe and inviting environment while discarding features that used to attract diners. The reopening process will be gradual, and its success uncertain. It does not appear to be an opportunity to start from scratch but rather to build on a good reputation developed before the crisis.


Video Spotlight: Reopening Restaurants with Caution


This post is based on The New York Times article, Safe Dining? Hard to Imagine, but Many Restaurants Are Trying, by K. Severson, April 26, 2020, and the YouTube video, Reopen or Stay Closed: Georgia Restaurants Face a Hard Choice, by The Washington Post, April 27, 2020. Image source: Onoky/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges that restaurateurs face as they decide to reopen?

Guidance: The challenges involve modifying their operations in the face of uncertainty. They include: 1) predicting demand and determining appropriate inventory levels, 2) creating checklists for cleaning and food preparation, 3) eliminating some signature Continue reading

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3D Printed Swabs to Reduce Shortages

3D Printed Swabs to Reduce Shortages

Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based 3D-printing company, is preparing its Ohio manufacturing facility to supply 100,000 swabs per day to stem the shortage of this key component of COVID-19 test kits.

These swabs will first be sent to partner hospitals that helped develop and design the swabs.  A plan is at work to access the distribution channels of 3,000 hospitals in the U.S. so that Formlabs can supply the much needed component of the COVID-19 test kits for widespread testing of the disease.


Video Spotlight: Hospitals face shortages of medical supplies as US cases spike (Mar 20, 2020, Fox News)


This post is based on the Tech Crunch article, 3D-printing company Formlabs expects to bring new swabs for COVID-19 to market, by Jonathan Shieber, March 25, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Jonathan Parry/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. Is Formlabs in a position to address the shortage of medical supplies of COVID-19?

Guidance: Formlabs has the 3-D printing technology and ISO-135 controlled facility to manufacture test swabs, a key component of COVID-I9 test kits in high demand but short supply.  With more COVID-19 test kits, more testing can be done Continue reading

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