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Food Delivery Apps Change The Restaurant Scene
With the ubiquity of food delivery apps such as DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub and UberEats, people are eating restaurants foods but they are doing so at home rather than going out to eat at the restaurant itself.  Ordering food via an app is becoming easier and easier for restaurant customers. Food delivery apps downloads have increased 380% compared to 3 years ago, and it is predicted that delivery sales in the US will rise an average of 12% a year to $76 billion in the next 4 years. In response to this shift, restaurants are changing how they do business. Restaurants are adjusting their locations to accommodate the increased demand for delivery or pickup orders. New restaurants are foregoing in house dining all together. Instead restaurants are leasing space with kitchens purely to prep food for delivery orders. These kitchens only restaurants are known as ‘cloud kitchens’ and rely entirely on food delivery apps to serve their customers. Large fast food chains are taking notice of this shift in customer’s demand for deliver via apps. In August 2018, McDonald’s announced a $6 billion redesign of the company’s US restaurants. Included in this update is designated parking spots for mobile order pickups. Showing that food delivery apps are the future of the restaurant industry.   Source : Bloomberg https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-29/restaurants-shrink-as-food-delivery-apps-get-more-popular?srnd=checkout  
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Customer Satisfaction Awards Help Automakers Advertise
Any US consumer who spends time watching television is probably familiar with the JD Power and Associates as a means of ranking customer satisfaction with cars. It appears in many car commercials and while most consumers would say they’ve heard of it, few would say they actually knows what it means. JD Power and Associates began in 1968 when James David Power III and his wife began conducting detailed market research through mailing surveys to car customers and asking consumers what “problems” they experienced within the first 90 days of their car purchase. The survey consists of over 200 questions in eight categories – exterior, interior, features/controls/displays, audio/entertainment/navigation, seats, climate controls, powertrain and driving experience. The answers to these questions are intended to represent the customer’s voice and reflect their satisfaction with a particular car. However, this measure is not without its issue. The customer’s survey answers include concrete factors but also the customers opinion. In other words, a faulty component in the car is given the same weight as a feature the customer did not understand or disliked. Nevertheless, the results of these surveys are extremely beneficial to car manufacturers. Using the feedback from the survey Kia was able to make changes and reach No 1 in the customer satisfaction rankings. Luxury carmaker Porsche has also turned to the JD Power and Associates data to perfect their cars and achieve high ratings with customers. However, car companies that use the data to improve their cars often do not use their high rankings in advertising once they are achieved as they do not want to draw customers attention to their prior low rankings. Still other car companies do us their JD Power and Associate rankings because consumers see value in it. First the name of the survey and rankings sounds substantive and meaningful. Though it is the name of a real person it almost sounds like it was the expertly designed to be the name of a car ranking service. Secondly, it impresses people by being the real reactions of real customers, something that holds a great deal of weight with consumers.  Despite consumers not knowing much about the JD Power and Associates process, it sounds official and gives significant reassurance that they are making a smart choice when they purchase a car with a high ranking.   Source :https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/11/27/18105479/jd-power-car-commercials  
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Apple Moves Into Electronic Medical Records
Tech giant Apple is currently in negotiations with the US Department of Veterans Affairs or VA to provide electronic health records for military veterans. The goal of such a partnership would be to simplify a patient’s hospital visit with portable electronic health records. For apple the benefits would also include being able to reach millions of new users through the proposed platform. According to the plans currently being discussed, Apple would create unique software tools that would allow the VA’s over 9 million currently enrolled veterans to transfer their health records to their iPhones. Apple would also provide engineering support the VA. Apple had already announced it’s plans to introduce electronic records of this nature in January 2018, but VA officials are hesitant to approve the program. The VA is concerned that such a program would expose veterans’ data. Apple and other tech companies are eager to find a way into the $3.2 trillion US health care market. Another data firm, Alphabet, has been introduced a rival electronic health records service for the UK’s NHS. Electronic health records show all the signs of being the future for the health care industry, an early adoption of electronic health records by the VA would be a huge step in that direction.   Source :Market Watch https://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-could-provide-veterans-with-access-to-electronic-medical-records-2018-11-20  
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Cattle Industry Turns to Robot Herders
The cattle industry has long struggled with employee injuries. It is not a matter of worker or even company negligence, rather it is an inherent risk when the work involves herding 1,600-pound Angus steers. The work is simply very dangerous. According to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 1,360 workers were injured by cattle in 2017. Sometimes injuries from livestock can be fatal. To combat these issues, a slaughter operations manager at Cargill Meat Solutions redesigned a Russian made robot to herd cattle. Cargill Meat Solutions customized the robot to the work of moving livestock by adding a strong metal exterior and other utilizing an MP3 player to play recordings of noises to drive the cattle forward. The company tested the effectiveness of the robot in their Nebraska and Pennsylvania locations, proving that the robot could be used to herd cattle. Robotics are being used with increasing frequency in dairies and feedlots. Partly because it keeps humans out of dangerous situations, but also because most human workers are no longer interested in taking those kinds of jobs with livestock. However, it is wrong to think that humans have been completely replaced in cattle herding positions. A robotic cattle driver can cost up to $50,000 meaning that it is not yet feasible to use only robots for livestock herding at this time. Still, as costs for robotic technology goes down it is likely that more livestock companies will move to robot herders as a means of keeping their workers safe.   Source :New Public Radio https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/11/27/666991079/cargill-tests-robotic-cattle-driver-as-a-way-to-improve-worker-safety  
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Ford Moves Toward Electric Scooters
Ford Motors is purchasing electric scooter company Spin. The deal was announced last week and makes Ford the first automaker to invest in bike or scooter sharing. Scooter sharing is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation in cities. Customers can download the app which allows them to unlock electric scooters, which they can then ride and leave at their destination. A electric scooter rental typically costs $1 to begin and an additional 15cents per mile, electric scooters max speed is 15mph. Spin is one of the smaller scooter companies operating today, it is currently only in 14 markets and is working to expand into 100 markets over the next 18 months. Ford’s purchase of Spin comes at a time when auto companies are looking to build so called mobility portfolios, as consumers purchase fewer cars auto companies are finding new ways to continue to be a part of how they get around.  Electric scooters are particularly attractive as they tap into the market of the 46% of Americans who travel 3miles or less with their vehicles. Electric scooter ride share allows Ford to collect data on customers who travel short distances and learn more about their habits.   Source : https://www.npr.org  

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