129 years later, GE sells lighting unit | Today's launch is a test of NASA's private-sector plan | Pandemic leads to boom in Airstream RV sales
May 27, 2020
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Trends & Technology
After 129 years, General Electric is exiting the lighting business with the sale of that division to Savant Systems, which specializes in smart homes. The deal will transfer 700 employees and includes licensing of the GE brand.
Full Story: CNN (5/27) 
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Today's launch is a test of NASA's private-sector plan
(Gregg Newton/Getty Images)
Today's scheduled launch, weather permitting, by NASA and SpaceX would be the first time a private company carries American astronauts into orbit -- the culmination of years of work to transition mission control to the private sector and potentially open up space travel. Boeing also has a space vehicle in development, planned for launch in 2021.
Full Story: Reuters (5/26),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/27) 
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Pandemic leads to boom in Airstream RV sales
(Airstream)
Airstream has more than weathered the coronavirus pandemic, with RV sales hitting records this month and confirming the company's hopes that people would look for a safe way to travel. The company has overhauled operations to ensure production safety, up to and including "issuing full face shields and having fewer people in the units at the same time," says CEO Bob Wheeler.
Full Story: Chief Executive online (5/26) 
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Boeing is bringing in medical experts, engineers and academics to study how the coronavirus travels through the air and inside the cabin of an airliner. Boeing is also looking at technologies that could improve safety and disinfect surfaces.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/26) 
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Meeting customer needs and expectations
A focus on customer service should be a priority for wholesalers, both in the current climate and moving into the future. How can businesses deliver on that? Hear from experts at NetSuite, Logistics Bureau and SmartBrief in this on-demand webinar.
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Supply Chain
Global supply chains are falling victim to the coronavirus pandemic. Suffolk University business professor Ken Hung writes that the problem can be addressed by evaluating risks on the demand side and supply side and then striking a balance between the two.
Full Story: CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly online (5/22) 
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Safety
The BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals facility in Port Arthur, Texas, and the chemical industry as a whole has worked hard as designated essential infrastructure to protect employees while maintaining production of critical products used in personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers and other goods during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Greg Masica of BASF TOTAL Petrochemicals. The facility's proactive approach to safety has helped minimize transmission and, in total, BASF has donated more than 9,500 gallons of hand sanitizer to those in need.
Full Story: Port Arthur News (Texas) (5/27) 
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Workforce of Tomorrow
Illinois-based Klein Tools has had a mix of outcomes for its business during the pandemic, but it has avoided layoffs or furloughs while helping customer service teams transition to home-based work. "We are taking the hit on our bottom line, of course, but we want to take care of our employees, and we also know this will allow us to move faster as business starts up again," says President Mark Klein.
Full Story: Forbes (5/26) 
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A committee of ASTM International is working to develop standards for exoskeletons and exosuits, which are often associated with factories and Industry 4.0 efforts.
Full Story: ASTM Standardization News (May-June 2020) 
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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton,
writer, playwright, Pulitzer Prize winner
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