Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

Oral-B’s Genius X-Factor

November 14, 2019

Oral-B introduced a “smart” electric toothbrush called Genius X that connects to your smartphone to help you brush better using artificial intelligence.

The app informs you with a rating for how well you brushed – where you applied too much pressure or missed certain spots.  Genius X is an improvement over earlier models, as you don’t need the phone’s camera or the help of a dentist to perfect your brushing.


Video Spotlight: Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush


This post is based on The Verge article, Oral-B’s new $220 toothbrush has AI to tell you when you’re brushing poorly, by Jay Peters, October 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Oral-B Genius X first impressions of the AI toothbrush, by TechAdvisor, February 26, 2019. Image source: sebra/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What role does technology play in introducing Oral-B’s Genius X toothbrush?

Guidance: Oral-B has integrated artificial intelligence in its core product to improve its design and maintain its position as a leader in Internet-Of-Things technology.

2. What are the strategic implications of Oral-B’s focus on innovating electric toothbrushes?

Guidance: Oral-B maintains leadership in product innovation, demonstrates its competence in integrating technology in Continue reading

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Party Continues for Fiesta China

Party Continues for Fiesta China

November 9, 2019

The Homer Laughlin China Company (HLC) of Newell, West Virginia, navigates a tough business environment to maintain its iconic Fiesta brand as the last large commercial pottery maker in the U.S..

Despite strong competition from China, Mexico, and India, affordable pricing, and a heavily manual manufacturing process, HLC has diversified its business into 60% consumer market and 40% food service industry.

The company also started its own online sales 10 years ago.

As a result, HLC is able to remain competitive with its top quality Fiesta China carrying the made-in-America credentials since 1871.


Video Spotlight: How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made


This post is based on the Forbes article, The Family-Owned Company That Makes FiestaWare Counts On Diversification And Online Sales For Growth, by Jim Vinoski, October 24, 2019, and the YouTube video, How Fiesta Dinnerware Is Made, by Insider, September 9, 2018. Image source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges of the commercial pottery industry in the U.S.?

Guidance: The challenges include strong foreign competitors from China, Mexico, and India on labor costs, strong local competitions with 30+ pottery makers, price competition, and a heavily manual manufacturing process.

2. How did Homer Laughlin Continue reading

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Bans on Drive-Thrus Continue

Bans on Drive-Thrus Continue

October 27, 2019

Some cities in the US and Canada have banned new drive-thru restaurants in an effort to combat societal and health issues such as curb pollution, obesity, and traffic.

One Canadian study of bans in 27 cities showed improved health results but a similar study in southern Los Angeles found increased obesity rates after the ban was implemented.

For additional information, see our previous OM in the News post on the ban Minneapolis placed on new drive-thrus.


Video Spotlight: Why Some US Cities Are Banning Drive-Thrus | TODAY


This post is based on the CBS News article, Cities ban new drive-thrus to fight climate change, by Kate Gibson, October 14, 2019, and the YouTube video, Why Some US Cities Are Banning Drive-Thrus | TODAY, by Today, October 11, 2019. Image source: Glow Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What can fast-food restaurants do to work around this new limitation to their core service process?

Guidance: Students will likely struggle to envision a new set of processes to replace the traditional drive-thru process.  Suggestions to stimulate idea generation: Consider the use of technology to order ahead and allow delivery by the store, the “old” drive-in model Sonic continues to Continue reading

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