Walmart is waiving its $35 minimum order requirement for Walmart+ program members to get free shipping, though the new feature will not apply to grocery orders delivered from brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart rolled out the $98-per-year membership program in September, offering discounts and other perks that include using an app to scan and pay, and the new free shipping benefit will apply to clothing, electronics and other non-perishable items shipped through Walmart's fulfillment centers.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted more companies to use technology to streamline returns and other areas of reverse logistics, writes Pratik Kirve of Allied Market Research. He also recommends using data to reduce waste and making sure warehouse workers are protected from the virus.
Distributors that want to sell their business should put secure IT infrastructure in place, update their valuation and consider deal structures with extended earnouts, writes Cheryl Aschenbrener of Sikich. Potential buyers "are evaluating cash forecasts, not just budgets, and they are taking a hard look at working capital," she writes.
Reverse logistics operations in retail should include "a strong disposition process to determine why the product is being returned," whether because of vendor defects, product issues or delivery damage, writes Riaz Husein, CEO of management consulting firm Profit Chain. He adds that retailers should have enough space and staffers to handle returns and take safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The European Parliament last week voted in favor of a European Commission proposal to introduce right-to-repair rules for electronic devices. Advocates also want the European Union to keep manufacturers from making products hard to repair or limiting their life span.
Mobile warehousing and storage trailers have provided thrift stores and large home improvement chains with much-needed space during the pandemic, and they have other benefits as well, writes Sarah Johnson, executive vice president at Milestone Equipment Holdings. Those include cost savings, flexibility and ease of operation, she writes.
Watchmaker Barrelhand, homebuilder Icon and rocket engine maker Firehawk are among manufacturers creating businesses through 3D printing, and each was honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for manufacturing and industry.
Hygiene and disinfection are a focus for manufacturers of household appliances as consumers look for ways to guard against the coronavirus. Washing machines from Whirlpool have added heating elements to kill germs, while LG Electronics; refrigerators come with ultraviolet lights.
Baltimore-based dry ice maker Capitol Carbonic is expected to produce its pellets for Pfizer as the pharmaceutical company prepares to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine. The challenge will be keeping the vaccine cold after its shipped, including at pharmacies and retail outlets, Capitol Carbonic executives say.
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