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Walmart, drone firm

set NW Arkansas run

Walmart Inc., which recently said it is testing drone delivery in North Carolina, will start another pilot program in Northwest Arkansas early next year.

The retailer said Monday that it will work with drone delivery firm Zipline to deliver select health and wellness products from a Walmart store near its Bentonville headquarters. The service could potentially expand to include general merchandise, the company said.

Zipline's drones can deliver to homes within a 50-mile radius of its base. Founded in 2014, Zipline operates mainly out of South San Francisco. It has delivered medical supplies in Rwanda since 2016.

Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president of customer product, said in a news release that Zipline's drones use "really cool" proprietary technology that allows for on-demand deliveries in less than an hour. It also eliminates carbon emissions, Ward said, which fits with Walmart's sustainability goals.

If the trial operation is successful, Ward said, Walmart will look to expand it to other areas.

-- Serenah McKay

Webinar to focus on

supply-chain issues

A free webinar sponsored by Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions addressing disruptions in company supply chains brought about by the covid-19 pandemic is scheduled for Thursday.

Issues covered by the webinar will include improvement of corporate supply chains and preparation for the next disruption; assessing a supply chain's risk to disruption; and determining what strategic improvements a company can make to its supply chains to prepare for unplanned changes in demand or supply.

Robert Martichenko, chief executive officer of LeanCor Supply Chain Group is the primary presenter of the program, according to a release. The webinar will be held between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Participants must register at: Questions may be addressed to Rudy Ortiz, manager of client services with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission at (501) 749-7484.

Attendees will also receive a free copy of the e-book, "De-Risk Your Supply Chain: Robust Resilience in an Age of Turbulence" produced by Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions, as well as a free supply chain assessment produced by LeanCor.

Arkansas Manufacturing Solutions is a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

-- John Magsam

State index closes

with 4.32-point loss

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Monday at 432.86, down 4.32.

Ten index stocks rose, led by a 4.8% rise in P.A.M. Transportation shares. Shares of America's Car-Mart fell 10.4%.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.


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