THE WEEK’S OVERVIEW – CORPORATE

Items of interest that might have been missed in the press of events:

  • McDonalds’s has enlisted the aid of robots to speed up service.  The company is instituting voice-activated drive-throughs to make ordering quicker and more efficient; those are currently being tested in a suburb of Chicago.  Robots are also being used inside the restaurants to place pieces of chicken, fish and fries into the vats of oil for cooking.  The move to robots is in an effort to make customers’ wait times shorter and compete well with the company’s competition.
  • General Electric did well at the Paris Air Show, inking some impressive customer orders including making the largest single-engine deal ever with IndiGo a low-cost carrier from India,  which placed an order for engines costing $20 billion.  And General Electric reported last week that its commercial-engines-and-services business is nearing a record $209 billion in orders placed and in line to be filled – both of which give GE a much-needed foundation to buoy its current efforts.  The company makes the Boeing 737 MAX, which has been grounded while software problems are solved.  Production on the engine orders placed previously, has kept up the pace and met all targets.  All of which is needed good news as GE continues to work out the wrinkles in its other divisions.
  • Apparently crowdedness on mass transit systems is the major concern when making journey decisions, according to Google.  To attempt to assist in the decision making process, the company has reported that they will add a feature to Google Maps that allows users to assess crowded conditions on mass transit.  When a user searches for directions in the app, the recommended route will include how crowded a particular bus, street car, train, ferry will be.  A Google spokesperson has indicated that the crowded feature works best when trains and buses run on schedule.  Response to the feature has been mixed – one spokesperson for a public transit system said that his customers were more concerned about rising fares and service cuts than they were about the conveyances being crowded.

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