Economies of Scale – Rauen Sales Sat, 12 Jun 2021 01:29:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Experts Question High Price of Covaxin in Private Market Amid Government Subsidy for R&D | India News Fri, 11 Jun 2021 23:15:00 +0000

MUMBAI: The price of the locally made Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, which at Rs 1,410 per dose is almost double that of the Serum Institute’s Covishield has raised problems in the vaccine ecosystem.
Covaxin is the most expensive jab in the private market and even higher than Sputnik Vat Rs 1145, which is currently imported from Russia.
Experts questioned the justification for the high prices of Covaxin, as it is based on established technology, is produced in the country and its R&D has been partially subsidized by the Center. Other vaccines like polio and hepatitis B using a similar technological platform, are affordable due to the large volumes and economies of scale, a strategy that should have been followed from the start in the case of Covaxin, they declared.
In the absence of a one-size-fits-all policy, the Center would have to negotiate affordable prices for all vaccines in the private market to avoid profit, public health experts added.
A questionnaire sent to Bharat Biotech went unanswered. The government has invested in preclinical studies for Covaxin, and amounts totaling Rs 11 crore and Rs 35 crore have been spent on clinical trials on Covishield and Covaxin respectively. In the case of Covaxin, the intellectual property is shared by Bharat Biotech (BB) with the Indian Council for Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.
“If a model of technology transfer and partnerships is followed, volumes could increase, lowering costs for the manufacturer,” an industry expert told TOI.
Until then, it is necessary that all vaccine prices be capped by including them on the national essential drugs list. “We have to keep in mind that Covaxin is a joint collaboration with the ICMR, and it is surprising that the government has no control over the exorbitantly priced vaccine. From ICMR’s initial funding for clinical trials to a huge sum paid to Bharat Biotech to improve manufacturing capacity, Covaxin enjoys full government support. In this context, nothing justifies this high price, ” said Amulya Nidhi of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan.
“The costs are not, but should be transparent, given that the government has invested in its development. The expectations and announcements that it would be cheaper than bottled water turned out to be cruel jokes. It is a vaccine based on old and well-known technology. If production costs were high, the vaccine should have been manufactured by PSUs. The current price suggests that BB is making an exorbitant profit, ” said Murali Neelakantan, senior lawyer at Amicus.
Also, there is a need for transparency in production costs, which does not exist in India. There appears to be a huge profit margin in the prices of private vaccines, said Leena Menghaney, a lawyer working in public health. In its recent order, the Supreme Court asked the government to provide details of the direct and indirect subsidies given for research, development and manufacture of all existing vaccines and future vaccines it proposes to authorize.

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Why the world is in a maritime crisis Fri, 11 Jun 2021 15:04:25 +0000

  • Your favorite brands pay 10 times the regular price of shipping your stuff across the ocean.

  • Shortages also abound.

  • All thanks to a chaos in the maritime trade that has been going on since last year.

  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

The price of a shipping container looks a lot like a stockpile of memes.

The Drewry World Container Index, which measures the price of a shipping container, is up 282% from the same period last year. FreightWaves

Soaring shipping costs indicate our shortage of semiconductors, wood, chicken, chlorine and, really, “almost everything.” The pandemic shattered the supply chain last year, and shipping companies that carry goods around the world are still not recovering.

We rely on a complex global supply chain. This is the reason why we can get a two day shipping on the super cheap Wayfair furniture built in Vietnam or why seafood caught in the United States is so cheap (much of it is actually processed in China before it was sent back here).

Shipping fuels our ability to purchase a wide variety of inexpensive products. This system needs a lot of things to work, but I’m going to distill them into a few important things:

And, all of those things have broken at some point over the past year and a half! In fact, many of them are still broken. Here’s how it happened and why the shortages continue.

The strange new mega-ships of our world

I am new to the world of shipping. So, to better understand what’s going on with our current chaos, I spoke with Simon Sundboell, a 20-year veteran of the container shipping world based in Copenhagen. He is the founder of the maritime transport intelligence company eeSea.

To understand the shipping debacle, Sundboell took me back to the mid-2000s. Shipping was a more fragmented industry than it is today, and manufacturers and retailers could pit these various companies against each other. to each other to get low rates. To achieve economies of scale, major ocean carriers began to require larger vessels.

The world's largest container ship in the port of Hamburg

This monster ship contains 23,964 containers. Called HMM Algeciras, it is shown here entering the Port of Hamburg in June 2020. It seems the Hamburgers, who appear to be photographing the HMM Algeciras, are very excited about the ships. Photo by Axel Heimken / picture alliance via Getty Images

An analysis of the fleet listed on the Hapag-Lloyd website, which is the sixth largest shipping carrier in the world by volume, clearly shows. I discovered that the average German shipping line ship built in the 2000s could hold just under 6,400 containers about 20 feet long. For ships built after 2010, this number double to about 11,500.

Sundboell told me that these large vessels have been successful in increasing the profitability of Maersk, MSC and other large carriers, but the margins are tight. The ships could not be filled to less than about 90% in order to keep these carriers in operation.

It reminds me of America oddly long freight trains, which were three miles long in order. On a completely different note, chicken breasts have increased by 80% over the last decades (and the birds themselves grow Faster).

In our pre-pandemic time, everything was getting bigger and bigger! But maybe we flew too close to the sun.

No ships

The first blow to the global shipping network came in the early spring of last year, Sundboell told me. As the pandemic spread around the world, it was unclear whether factories in Asia would be opened or whether consumers around the world would even have the option to purchase durable goods. So they started to cancel the departures.

“The carriers are sitting here in March 2020, looking at a market where they don’t know if the demand, that is to say the containers that go on their ships, is going to drop by 5%, 15%, 30% or 50 %, “Sundboell told me. And remember, these companies can only profitably operate their mega-ships if they are full.

As a result, carriers began to “empty” or cancel their crossings. Major maritime alliance announced discounts of up to 22% on travel between Asia and Europe in spring 2020. Between Asia and North America, carriers reduced by about 20% of capacity.

Parking forbidden

A manufacturing slowdown and forecasts of an economic collapse forced the shipping world to a halt in early half of 2020. By the second half, the world was starting to “turn back on.”

Rather than becoming frugal, consumers started spending all the money they had hidden for travel and dining on thing. It’s no secret that more people have bought treadmills, sofas and hair dye than ever before. This trend is again turn on the American ports that handle our imports. Port of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States by volume, broke its cargo record in the first quarter this year. The port of Long Beach, the second largest, handled more cargo than ever last month.

About 20 container ships waiting to be unloaded at ports in LA and Long Beach

Two of the 20 containers are waiting to be unloaded in Southern California in November 2020. The surfers are just hanging around. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This unusual boom in volume helped trigger massive traffic jams in the port. Let’s focus on Long Beach and Los Angeles, the two largest ports in our country.

In the first half of 2020, data from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association showed that less than 5% of shipments had a dwell time – the time a ship spends in a port rather than at sea – greater than five days. . It grew steadily throughout the year. And from October to December of that year, about a quarter of the ships waited more than five days.

By the end of January 2021, some 55 ships were crammed around the ports of LA and Long Beach, apparently lying in the ocean for up to two weeks. FreightWaves noted that it took longer for some of these ships to simply be unloaded than for them. cross the pacific.

Why is there a delay in unloading these vessels? The boom in demand is, of course, one of the main reasons. US ports are also experiencing a labor shortage. There is a persistent shortage of longshoremen who undertake the crucial task of getting these containers off the ship and loading them onto trucks or trains. Dozens of people have been quarantined due to the coronavirus at various times Last year.

Above all, when something gets lost with shipping, there is a major butterfly effect. A ship unloaded two weeks late in Los Angeles will also be two weeks late when it arrives in, say, Chittagong, Bangladesh, to load IKEA furniture. The ship before that may also have been two weeks late, so the carrier could simply cancel the ship IKEA was waiting for space on, Sundboell said. Then IKEA will have to scramble to find another way to move your nightstand – and potentially every order they’ve placed afterwards, which will now be pushed back on the road.

No containers

Midway through 2021, the situation has not improved.

There is another shortage at the root of our shortages: the lack of shipping containers. Or rather, a lack of containers where they belong.

Some of these containers are currently used on ships, as Flexport’s Ryan Petersen noted on Twitter this week. This includes ships that might be lying around in the ocean, waiting to dock and unload.

The biggest problem is that a lot of these containers don’t go back to Asia to be reloaded.

US exports have not kept pace with imports from China, our largest trans-Pacific trading partner. According to SONAR data from FreightWaves, the volume of imports from China via shipping is up 54% year-over-year. Exports only increased by 4.4%. This means that many containers are leaving Asia, but not enough have returned.

Starbucks opens first container store in mainland China

Photo by VCG / VCG via Getty Images This Shanghai Starbucks opened in 2020 and is made up of shipping containers. Ugh! We need to get these containers back!

Until recently, as Petersen explained in a recent episode of Bloomberg’s Odd Lots, shipping companies didn’t realize they had to bring in more empty containers than ever before. We’re still fixing this container imbalance, and experts predict it will stay wobbly until 2022.

At least the expedition scions are doing well

The dirty secret is that the bottlenecks in shipping right now are apparently bad for everyone except the shipping companies. If those containers were to stay in Los Angeles instead of returning to Shanghai, it would only reduce shipping capacity … resulting in ever higher freight rates and increasing profits for major ocean freight lines.

Indeed, recent years have been among the first for some time that shipping companies are win the game. Maersk, for example, made a profit of $ 2.9 billion in 2020; he lost silver three of the four years leading up to 2020.

Shipping companies did not have the upper hand over the brands they carried business before the pandemic. Now Zara, IKEA and their peers are scrambling to find space on one of these ships and are willing to pay a heavy price, Sundboell told me.

Zara shopper

Generic fast fashion, now on the verge of hitting Weimar Republic prices. Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

This will continue to make everything more expensive. Sundboell gave the example of Nike, which typically pays $ 2,000 for a 40-foot container full of sneakers. Now that container could be over around $ 15,000 to $ 20,000.

A shoe or clothing manufacturer like Nike wouldn’t normally worry about the cost of transporting your goods across the ocean. “It wasn’t something you would ever worry about,” Sundboell told me. “Now suddenly at $ 20,000 you start to see well that in margins that are not even profitable to sell it anymore.”

Should we prepare for a sneaker shortage now? Get ready, guys …

Let me know what you think of this latest dispatch at What’s the next shortage? Do you have any other ideas on what’s going on in shipping? Thanks for reading!

Read the original article on Business intern

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Pinedale roundup | UP Energy becomes PureWest Thu, 10 Jun 2021 21:32:37 +0000

SUBLETTE COUNTY – What’s in a name?

With the acquisition of the assets of Pinedale Energy Partners Operators, Anticline’s largest natural gas producer is once again changing its name to pursue a new image.

With the continued decline in natural gas prices and a competitive market, Ultra is carving out a new niche to distinguish itself as an environmentally friendly operator with reduced emissions and more efficient equipment.

“Along with our name change, we have changed our mission – to advance modern life by producing natural gas in a safe, environmentally responsible and cost-conscious manner – and these changes reflect these new commitments,” said Christopher Valdez, CEO of PureWest. .

It has partnered with Project Canary to certify its wells as TrustWell’s “responsible source gas” and will have 871 certified wells this year and the rest by the end of next year, he said. .

Between Pinedale and Denver, PureWest now has around 150 employees – it declined to say how many PEPOs were retained after the Ultra takeover.

Already rigorous

The standards set by the 2008 Anticline Pinedale Record of Decision that Ultra – er, PureWest – strives to achieve are already demanding.

“We operate in one of the strictest regulatory environments in the country,” Valdez said last week. “We have built momentum to meet the high bar set for us by regulators (Wyoming and the federal government) and have continued to innovate and advance a number of voluntary initiatives. “

These include quarterly camera leak inspections at all facilities, which he says show “one of the lowest methane intensity rates in the country – 0.04%.”

The installation of solar heat pumps and the removal of pneumatic devices were part of Ultra’s continuing efforts.

“This year, we are piloting a line heater bypass project, which has the potential to reduce our nitrogen oxide emissions on a field scale, and we will continue to seek opportunities for technology upgrades that will reduce our environmental footprint, ”said Valdez.

The company relies on the development of new RSG markets by the public and private sectors that can “transition to a low carbon economy”.


When asked what the company’s future vision is for the Pinedale anticline, Valdez said, “To be the most responsible and profitable Rocky Mountain-focused natural gas company. Our recent acquisitions have allowed us to apply our focus on safety and sustainability to a wider swath of the field and take advantage of the economies of scale associated with a larger operation.

“In addition to our focus on ESG and cost leadership, we are working to improve well productivity to make Anticline development competitive in the North American supply stack. “

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IJM Plantations shares jump nearly 23.6% to 3.5-year high offered by KLK Thu, 10 Jun 2021 03:46:00 +0000

KUALA LUMPUR (June 10): Shares of IJM Plantations Bhd (IJMP) jumped to 58 sen or 23.58% to hit a three-and-a-half-year high of RM 3.04 at the start of trading today on the back of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) is offering to acquire a 56.2% stake in the group for RM 1.53 billion or RM 3.10 per share.

By 11:20 am, IJMP had reduced some gains to RM3.02, still up 56 sen or 22.76%. At RM 3.02, the meter was valued at RM 2.17 billion.

The counter, which was the biggest winner this morning, saw 13.55 million shares traded.

Meanwhile, KLK had lost eight sen or 0.37% to RM21.68 at 11:23 am after increasing 36 sen or 1.65% to RM22.12 at the start of the session. The meter was valued at RM 23.52 billion based on the latest share price of RM 21.68.

Hong Leong Investment Bank (IB) research analyst Chye Wen Fei said in a note today that the price of KLK’s offer is fair to IJMP shareholders given the lukewarm price sentiment on plantation stocks on the backs of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) concerns, adding that crude palm oil (CPO) prices have peaked and the offer price represents a 18.8% premium over its target price (TP) for IJMP.

It maintained its IJMP “buy” rating, with a higher TP of RM 3.10 (up from RM 2.61 earlier), in line with the price of KLK’s takeover offer.

MIDF Research, meanwhile, also said that the offer of RM 3.10 per share values ​​IJMP at 19 times the price-earnings ratio (PER), above its valuation of RM 2.62 based on the year ended March 31, 2022 (FY22) 16 times.

He considered the offer price to be reasonable given that the current CPO price has exceeded RM4,000 per ton, also a record high.

“We believe the deal is fair for KLK to secure a controlling stake in IJMP (at an 18% premium over our TP of RM2.62) and is more likely to appear attractive enough for minorities to ‘IJMP will accept it if the deal evolves into a binding offer for the rest of IJMP’s shareholders,’ he said.

It also maintained its “buy” call on IJMP, with an unchanged TP of RM2.62.

On the other hand, PublicInvest Research analyst Nurzulaikha Azali is also in favor of the proposal as the deal represents 1.9 times the price per pound (P / B) and 44,500 RM per hectare planted (ha), a slight industry P / B premium and the previous acquisition of upstream assets from KLK.

“The price of RM 3.10 per share also represents a premium of 24.5% over our valuation of IJMP at RM 2.49 per share. We believe the price is reasonable given the currently favorable prices of the CPO and the areas planted by the IJMP which are in their prime, ”she said.

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB analyst Ng Lee Fang said she believes the deal could potentially increase KLK’s profits from 2% to 9% for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022 ( FY22).

“We estimate the potential acquisition of IJMP to increase KLK’s oil palm plantations by 28.7% to 274,688 ha. This will also allow KLK to slightly lower its average age profile of the estate; the average age of its palm oil plantations of 12.2 years is higher than the 11.8 years of the IJMP, ”she said.

She said that KLK should have no problem financing the acquisition in cash, as it had a cash balance of RM 4 billion at the end of March 2021 and a net debt level of 24%.

“However, we estimate that the acquisition of IJMP could increase KLK’s debt ratio to 37% / 46% (assuming a 56.2% / 100% stake in IJMP),” she said. added.

She maintained her “add” call on KLK, with a TP of RM 25.25.

On the other hand, PublicInvest Research analyst Chong Hoe Leong said the proposed acquisition could potentially contribute at least 10% of KLK’s earnings for FY22 and FY23.

While the offer may seem expensive, he believes it is a profitable transaction given the current strong CPO price momentum, low interest rate environment, and synergies in the market. of consolidation.

He believed that there would be economies of scale given the proximity of the KLK and IJMP plantations to Sumatra and East Kalimantan.

“Given the recent retracement of the share price, the potential upside is attractive and warrants an upgrade to ‘outperform’ based on our sum of TP derived from the RM25.51 coins,” he said. he declares.

MIDF Research said that following the acquisition, KLK’s total planted area will increase by 27.2% to 284,930 ha, from 223,964 ha, far more than its peers, namely IOI Corp Bhd (178,068 ha) and Genting Plantations Bhd (159,521 ha).

“The larger area planted can result in a potential increase in annual profits of 10% to 12%, assuming KLK acquires up to 100% of IJMP, while in a scenario where the acquisition is limited to 56.2% Initial%, KLK’s annual profit increase is estimated at 6% -9%, ”he said.

On top of that, he said, synergies could be obtained from various factors, such as cost reduction (through economies of scale resulting from purchasing more fertilizer). ), the combination of talent and technology and the improvement of income.

The research house, however, left its profit estimates for FY21, FY22 and FY23 unchanged at RM 1.11 billion, RM 1.09 billion and RM 1.1 billion respectively, pending the outcome of the agreement.

It also maintained its “buy” call on KLK, with an unchanged TP of RM27.01.

Read also:
KLK offers to buy IJM Plantations shares from IJM Corp for RM 1.53 billion

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Sinch buys MessageMedia for $ 1.3 billion to compete with Twilio in enterprise SMS services – TechCrunch Wed, 09 Jun 2021 10:30:00 +0000

Sinch – the Swedish company which provides a suite of services to businesses to integrate communications and in particular “customer engagement” into their services by means of APIs – has made another acquisition in its global market to grow its business and compete more directly Twilio. The company announced today that it has acquired Message, a provider of SMS and other messaging services for companies to manage customer relations, user authentication, alerts, etc.

The acquisition is completed for $ 1.3 billion, of which $ 1.1 billion is in cash and the remainder in shares (or in Swedish currency, SEK 10,745 in total based on Sinch’s share price and yesterday’s exchange rate). The deal is expected to be finalized in the second half of this year.

The deal is remarkable not only for giving Sinch a major breakthrough in the corporate SMS world, but also for the timing. Sinch’s great rival less than a month ago Twilio announced the acquisition of ZipWhip, another big player in the same business SMS arena, for $ 850 million.

MessageMedia, based in Melbourne, Australia, is currently operational also in New Zealand, the United States and Europe, and focuses on providing services primarily to the SME market with a self-service platform where Customers can create and operate services, with the option of using a web portal provided by MessageMedia to manage traffic.

It has some 60,000 customers and handles more than 5 billion messages a year, Sinch said. Growth is particularly strong in the US market, where MessageMedia adds 1,500 new customers each month. Along with SMS, it also provides businesses with technology to create MMS experiences and mobile landing pages, and it also provides them with tools to integrate other functionality as well as API gateway.

Sinch himself says he manages some 150 billion mobile customer engagements for his clients each year and has 8 of the top 10 tech companies as clients.

Sinch is listed on the Swedish stock exchange and currently has a market cap of $ 13.6 billion, and the deal comes just weeks after the company said it would raise $ 1.1 billion for other acquisitions, with much of the money coming from Softbank, one of its major backers. funds.

Given the scale of this deal announced today, we now know which deal Sinch had in mind. It would be interesting to know if Sinch’s decision to buy MessageMedia preceded Twilio’s for ZipWhip, which certainly doesn’t sound like a coincidence.

“Sinch drives mobile customer engagement for some of the world’s leading brands and technology platforms. With the acquisition of MessageMedia, Sinch will now be able to bring the benefits of enhanced mobile customer engagement to every small business on the planet, ”CEO Oscar Werner told TechCrunch. “You will no longer need the deep pockets of a company or the technical skills of an engineer to deliver first-class customer experiences. “

Sinch has been rapidly buying out companies in recent times to expand its existing business, not only harnessing the huge wave of people using phones and the internet to communicate in these times of pandemic, but also to grow stronger and have more savings. scale in the communications industry, essentially a business based on the aggregation of additional income.

This fact led to many consolidations, with Twilio also rapidly buying out small, strategic companies.

In this regard, MessageMedia is a strong buy for Sinch as it generates strong cash flow. MessageMedia is expected to make $ 151 million in profit for the year ending June 30, with gross profit of $ 94 million and EBITDA of $ 51 million, Sinch said. Sinch himself is also profitable.

Sinch’s other deals include Inteliquer for $ 1.14 billion, ACL in India for $ 70 million and SAP’s digital interconnect business for $ 250 million.

For its part, MessageMedia plays a lot in and is a product of the same API economy that has lifted the likes of Twilio, Stripe and many others built on the premise of knitting together very complex services, which customers can then do. use as simple lines of code that they integrate into their own digital operations, whether they are websites, applications or internal systems.

Communications, and especially systems based on messaging APIs, are estimated to have a market of $ 9 billion to $ 13 billion, said Sinch, with the United States accounting for 30%, and the global market is expected to grow between 25 and 30% until 2024. SMEs, which might lack the resources to create such tools from scratch, are a big part of this activity.

“Mobile messaging offers a huge return on investment, but small businesses often lack tools that meet their specific needs,” Paul Perrett, CEO of MessageMedia, said in a statement. “Serving these customers presents a tremendous opportunity, and with Sinch we can build a global leader in our field. “

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Fresno wants to add more commercial cannabis licenses Tue, 08 Jun 2021 22:29:00 +0000

Before awarding even a single retail marijuana license, Fresno City Council is considering increasing the number of licensed sellers.

The current allocation is 14 retail cannabis licenses – two in each of the council’s seven districts. The city code allows this number to increase to 21, with three in each district.

The municipal council is should vote on the extension to 21 at its meeting on Thursday. The resolution is sponsored by members of the Cannabis Subcommittee: Miguel Arias, Nelson Esparza and Mike Karbassi.

Esparza applauds the expansion effort.

“Fresno will reap the positive economic impact of adding additional licenses while remaining well below the ratio of 1 retail license per 10,000 people,” Esparza said. “In our current political framework, cannabis is much more regulated and fairly distributed in Fresno than this fiasco we have experienced with the saturation of liquor stores for decades.”

Esparza says the expansion now rather than later would capitalize “on the economies of scale of the current application process.”

Karbassi does not know if this is the right decision. His name appears as the sponsor because he is on the subcommittee.

“I haven’t decided if I’m going to vote for this,” Karbassi said. “What concerns me is that I consider it alcohol. I am worried about impaired driving. I am worried about something so new. So I don’t know if I really want a proliferation of more dispensaries, ”Karbassi said.

Is there a demand? City Councilor Says Weedmaps Shows It

Karbassi said that information from Weed Cards, a website featuring multiple delivery services in the Fresno / Clovis area, says demand could be strong enough for seven more retailers.

“We are talking about the illegal operations that we have now. … There are a lot of dispensaries right now, part of the state’s demands is to shut them down and stop the illegal sale. The hypothetical hope is that you guarantee safe products, good products. We obviously have to capture the tax revenue from that, as opposed to someone selling God knows what, ”Karbassi said.

Esparza, who also teaches economics at Fresno City College, says the city can handle more places.

“Cities with higher per capita license rates suggest that Fresno will have no problem supporting 21 companies,” Esparza said. “The market will take some time to calibrate as these new establishments are introduced and residents of Fresno get used to having legal and sanctioned locations to purchase recreational cannabis. If there is a miscalculation, then ultimately the free market will adjust accordingly, as it does in any industry, ”Esparza said.

In this Jan. 6, 2018 photo, an employee stores cannabis in a store shortly before his first day of selling recreational marijuana in San Francisco. (AP file)

Timeline: interviews now, licenses in December

the estimated schedule – updated last month – shows the interview process for social equity applicants starting this week. Retail licenses will be granted in two categories: standard, which covers most applicants; and social fairness, where applicants must meet certain income and fairness thresholds, such as a previous conviction for a marijuana-related crime.

For seven licenses, one or two must fall into the social equity category. The city says there are 75 applicants for standard retailers and 20 in the social equity category.

The scoring of candidates, based on a set of criteria, is expected to be completed by August 20. The conditional use permit process – setting operating standards for retailers in their specific locations – begins August 30. It is scheduled to end on December 3.

The city council will eventually vote on the issuance of UPCs for candidates selected by the city manager.

Karbassi expects legal issues after the selection of retailers.

“Once we start rating people, even though we have those standards there, people are going to complain. We’re probably going to be sued because people are going to say it’s unfair, ”Karbassi said.

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Outsourcing Strategies to Excel in Manufacturing Tue, 08 Jun 2021 04:19:56 +0000

NEW DELHI: Manufacturing outsourcing began in the 1970s, when companies contracted non-core processes to third-party vendors to alleviate labor arbitrage and avoid settlement payments. The concept of outsourcing was officially recognized as a business strategy, with increased adoption in the 1990s. Outsourcing opened up opportunities for economies of scale, lower production costs and access to quality production.

Today, recognizing the gains from outsourcing, several Fortune 100 companies have rapidly expanded their sourcing capabilities. The trade shock triggered by the pandemic, leading to supply chain disruptions and sharply rising input costs, has reinforced the tangible benefits of outsourcing. Effective outsourcing strategies can help build resilience through increased capacity; achieve sustained cost savings through specialized knowledge, skill sets and digital technology deployment by outsourced vendors; and securing a long-term competitive advantage.

Unlocking Value Through Outsourcing

Bain’s analysis indicates that the adoption of outsourcing has immense strategic potential with multiple benefits. While improved scalability and flexibility can help optimize fixed costs to around 20% of original levels, reduced capital intensity can help increase asset turnover by 30%. More importantly, outsourcing can deliver a 200% increase in bandwidth allocation for senior management focused on extracting value from core businesses. For example, outsourcing construction, preventive maintenance, and business operations have proven to be beneficial for utility companies.

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Outsourcing strategies.

Development strategy: As a first step, companies must identify the potential functions that will benefit from outsourcing. Functions should be considered at two levels: strategic relevance to the entire company and potential cost and quality improvements by engaging an external business partner. This will allow the creation of an “outsourcing roadmap”. While non-core functions with low strategic relevance and cost / quality advantage can be outsourced to business partners from the start, core functions can be gradually moved or deconstructed into sub-functions for later evaluation.

Supplier evaluation and negotiation: This is a critical phase with full due diligence of potential suppliers based on strong competitive selection criteria including quality, price, compliance, capability and service delivery. Additionally, examining this phase from the perspective of business continuity and cost / gain estimation would guide final partner approvals based on risk / return tradeoffs.

Management of suppliers: Outsourcing should be seen as a value-managed partnership requiring three key elements: a unique team attitude, incentives based on service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs), and well-defined compliance and governance structures for operational reviews. Incentives and strong governance can help instill a mindset of ownership and create common goals towards a value-driven relationship.

Organizational capacities: Supplier capabilities are built on five key principles: a single point of contact (SPOC), cross-functional teams to drive the implementation, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, a strong governance structure and escalation matrix and support. These elements are crucial to streamline and improve the efficiency of workflows.

Risk mitigation strategies

Outsourcing is a powerful business tool but it is not without risks and challenges.

Four key risks can derail the entire program: misalignment of business goals with partner goals, inept cultural and change management practices, and inability to factor in total cost of ownership and a insufficient investment in skills development.

Clearly defined KPIs for payments linked to business objectives and a strong win-win proposition incorporating risks and incentives as a counterweight for partners can ensure alignment and risk reduction. Cultural alignment and change management are essential for business continuity. Companies and partners need to find the right balance in the way they work: Visible sponsorship by senior leaders through rigorous up-front engagement and clear communication would pave the way for buy-in from across the organization. Partnership agreements must also take into account volume variability and other exceptions, which leads to a full cost view rather than a single focus on base price negotiations. Additionally, companies need to devote resources to technology upgrades of the supplier pool and upgrading employee skills.

A non-zero sum game that fosters a strong ecosystem of trading partners

Bain & Company has engaged with a leading global manufacturing player to help define and deploy its outsourcing strategy with around 40% coverage of total costs and a potential 3-5% improvement in EBITDA. While core activities with high strategic relevance and critical technology requirements will be outsourced with a view to progressive involvement of specialized external partners in the future, non-core activities such as procurement, specific operations and maintenance were outsourced to specialist business partners after extensive diligence and alignment with specific KPIs to achieve the best results. This can prove to be a tremendous stimulus for the development of an ecosystem of symbiotic business partners.

In summary, manufacturing companies that opt ​​for outsourcing stand to gain from improved efficiency, cost reductions, increased scale and value extraction from core businesses. The time has come for manufacturing companies to view outsourcing as the holy grail of accumulating the elusive trinity of benefits: increased capacity, sustained improvement in costs, and a focus on quality.

(Arunava Saha Dalal and Deepak Jain are partners and Rohit Singh is a senior manager in Bain & Company’s New Delhi office. They are members of the company’s Advanced Manufacturing and Services practice, with Jain leading the practice in the Asia Pacific region. )

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How Utah Could Be The Saudi Arabia Of Sustainable Energy And Why It Likely Not, Writes Editorial Board Mon, 07 Jun 2021 11:24:51 +0000

We don’t pay lip service to solar, wind and geothermal power, but Cox’s devotion to 20th century sources is depressing.

Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune Rocky Mountain Power runs tours to promote its Blue Sky clean energy program with a bus trip to the wind farm at the foot of the Spanish Fork Canyon. Rocky Mountain Power is committed to purchasing power from the facility with nine wind turbines, which at full capacity generate 18.9 megawatts per hour.

A normally pious man took a Sunday off from church to go hunting. Alone in the woods, he comes face to face with a giant bear. The man turned and ran.

Realizing that he couldn’t hope to outrun the bear, the man began to climb a tree. But it didn’t take long for humans to realize that bears can climb trees too.

Running out of options, the man turned his gaze to the sky.

“Lord,” he said, “I know I shouldn’t call on you now, I skipped the church and everything. But, if you can have a nice thought for an old friend, I would ask you a favor.

“If you can’t help me, please don’t help the bear.”

It’s time for the United States, the state of Utah, and all government agencies and subdivisions to stop helping the fossil fuel industry. Do not ban or stop or ban or tax to death. But let him survive as best he can in the free market which he and his supporters have always claimed to respect and revere.

Innovations and economies of scale, as well as free decisions about buyers and investors, pave the way for a future where sustainable energy sources – solar, wind, geothermal – makes more sense. They can both save the planet and develop markets, create jobs and rocket the market, rather than relying on centralized planning.

Utah’s public and private sectors should, in all respects, be a leader in this monumental change. We have an innovative business class, leading research universities, and solar, wind and geothermal resources begging to be tapped.

Sustainable energy is also much more compatible with Utah’s other greatest asset, its public lands, which don’t deserve to be plundered by increased drilling and mining.

Despite the obvious need and obvious benefits of sustainable energy, most of Utah’s elected leaders continue to hold on to the dirty and declining industries of the past.

Gov. Spencer Cox is among those who signed a letter denouncing the Biden administration for its break on drilling leases on federal lands. He did so despite a review by agencies of his own executive branch that Biden’s decision would have minimal impact on power generation in Utah. This is largely because most of the oil and gas drilling here is done on public, private or tribal lands, not all of which are affected by the presidential moratorium.

that of the governor A roadmap for Utah and statements from its own Office of Energy Development devote much of their energy to talking about Utah’s relatively clean coal and the alleged windfall of so-called waxy crude oil that is said to be in abundance in the Uintah Basin.

But everything Cox and other Utah Republicans say shows they have loyalty and no plan. On the rare occasions when they allow themselves to worry about carbon emissions, they have suggested building an expensive railroad to ship oil from the Uintah Basin – in order to use fewer diesel trucks. This week, they said positive things about a planned nuclear power plant in Wyoming – a plan that substitutes deadly nuclear waste for CO2.

Sustainable energy sources are lip service, but our state’s official devotion to 20th century energy sources is endlessly depressing.

What’s particularly infuriating about the governor’s stance on oil leases is that he has spent time issuing much-needed guidelines and advocacy – mostly advocacy – that hope to minimize the effects of the mega-drought. In progress.

Cox hopes we all know how short of water we are, how much we should act to reduce our use, and how dangerous the wildfire will be this summer if a few careless individuals shoot at target or introduce. small sparks in large stands. of dry brush and grass.

The other day Cox invoked the power of prayer to break the drought. But he still can’t bring himself to face the facts about climate change openly.

At the same time, authorities warn that the expected hot, dry summer is likely to result in power outages and more forest fires.

Real leadership – from the governor, the legislature, county commissions, tribal councils, our universities, and utility companies – would make Utah the Saudi Arabia a sustainable energy (except with democracy, human rights and fewer murders of journalists.)

The contrast between the governor’s call to respond to the drought and his continued support for a major cause of that drought – climate change brought on by our continued dependence on fossil fuels – leaves us wondering if he is hearing his own words.

And why should anyone else take it into account.

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Elon Musk dragged Bitcoin where he dreaded going Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:27:25 +0000

Bitcoin uses a lot of electricity. The same goes for electric cars, space travel, and civilization in general, but few things burn energy so brazenly. To appease criticism, Elon Musk and Michael Saylor announced late last month that Bitcoin miners in North America had agreed to form the Bitcoin Mining Council, an organization that would promote energy transparency and sustainable mining practices. A noble effort, of course, but which has attracted much criticism. Participants in a decentralized currency tend to be skeptical of cooperative efforts, which is just a politically correct term for collusion. To them, a Bitcoin mining board looks a lot like OPEC or, worse, the Federal Reserve.

The idea of ​​Bitcoin mining was originally envisioned as “one processor, one voice,” where individuals around the world could run Bitcoin software and participate in the recording of transactions. Mining is essentially a lottery, where the computing power is proportional to the chance of winning the right to register a new block. As with most things, however, Bitcoin mining benefits from economies of scale. Large companies can invest in custom silicon chips or pool digital assets to amortize mining revenues. As a result, a small number of companies dominate the vast majority of Bitcoin mining. When crypto mining is done in massive data centers with specialized hardware, a single processor doesn’t stand a chance.

Bitcoin is actually very centralized, with a qualified majority controlled by a handful of large mining companies (aka hash). For governments, the concentration of mining power has certain advantages. If a miner gains more than half the computing power of the network to use the majority hash rate, he can selectively censor participants by refusing to include their transactions in new blocks. This means that known ransomware operators, for example, can be prevented from spending their Bitcoin.

Earlier this year, Marathon Digital Holdings, one of the largest Bitcoin miners in North America and a member of the newly formed Mining Council, announced that it would fully comply with U.S. protocols, including anti-mining practices. money laundering and the Office of Foreign Asset Control. standards. As a result, the Marathon mining pools began to exclude non-compliant transactions from their mined blocks.

In theory, economically rational Bitcoin miners elsewhere could pick up abandoned transactions and place them in the next block, collecting transaction fees along the way. However, a colluding council might choose to ignore subsequent blocks that don’t play by the rules. The software protocol dictates that users should always follow the longest string, so that a group with the greatest hashing power [prevail]. There is a saying that Bitcoin is for enemies. Not only does the protocol welcome mutually hostile participants, it thrives on that hostility.

Bitcoin’s unique value proposition is its ability to resist human arbitrage, made possible by the fact that participants are unable to cooperate and change its software. Still, if Russia, Iran, and North Korea bring great hashing power to the network, U.S. banking regulations are unlikely to be enforced by the Bitcoin protocol.

Over the past weekend, the Bitcoin network braced for a privacy upgrade. Although the Marathon mining pool drew attention for its initial refusal to signal support, its leader changed course under pressure from the Bitcoin community. He issued a statement saying the company’s mining pools would stop screening future transactions.

However, the lack of regulatory compliance will not last. Joe Biden’s administration is said to be already discussing cryptocurrency “guardrails”. Even though North American Bitcoin miners intended to follow the principles of censorship resistance, the formation of a council presents a tempting target for regulators. Congress will have hot bodies hanging around for testimonials and licks.

Without the pressure of legal tender laws, Bitcoin’s value comes from a shared belief in its resistance to censorship. In the past, the prospect of centralized mining would be enough to distract participants. In 2014, a Bitcoin mining pool briefly gained 51% of total hash power, causing a worldwide sell-off. Even though it might have been possible to harness majority hashing power for profit, the possibility of shattering the illusion of decentralized trust motivated operators in this pool to back down. The company issued a statement promising to keep future potency below 40% and urged others to do the same.

Now that Bitcoin appears to have secured institutional support, participants aren’t in such a rush to head for exits due to a loss of decentralization. Instead, investors will rely on Bitcoin’s potential to subsidize clean energy and respect for sustainability as a primary source of value. Bitcoin purists will have to decide if the price hike is worth it.

Elaine Ou is Bloomberg Opinion Columnist and Blockchain Engineer at Global Financial Access in San Francisco

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Gary Griggs, Our Ocean Backyard Sat, 05 Jun 2021 22:01:47 +0000

There is one issue that affects virtually every person on the planet, regardless of race, religion, age, income, or place of residence: the climate. Whether it’s droughts, fires, water shortages, hurricanes and floods, crop losses, melting ice and rising sea levels, an ocean that heats up and becomes more acidic, or one of the many other environmental impacts associated with climate change, every person on the planet is already or will soon be affected by one or more of these global changes.

Gary Griggs

There is no longer any doubt that these changes are driven primarily by human activities, primarily the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – which has continued at an increasing rate for over 150 years. In the hour you spend reading the Sunday newspaper, the world will have burned an additional 620,000 tonnes of coal, 275,000 barrels of oil, and in so doing, emitted an additional 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And all of the carbon dioxide molecules trap heat, they have no political affiliation, and you can’t pump an extra 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every hour without expecting impacts.

While it’s tempting to blame all this energy use on everyone, other countries, other people, or your neighbor, Americans have been a major contributor for decades. While China surpassed us in annual carbon dioxide emissions about 15 years ago, we are still No. 2 in the world, followed by India. Together, these three countries generate 50% of all carbon dioxide released by humans.

We can’t stop or correct any of these climate changes anytime soon, but the sooner we reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by switching to renewable energy sources, the sooner we can start slowing down this giant chemistry experiment and its effects. effects. on all of us.

There is no shortage of articles, books, opinion pieces or interviews focused on these issues, often from the point of view or with the conclusion that we cannot switch to sustainable / renewable energy sources. fast enough to make a difference or to meet the goals that California and the federal government have set. There are several reasons for this, one being the well-funded campaigns of denial, deception, delay and distraction waged by the fossil fuel industries and their supporters for years. Another factor is the pessimism of many regarding renewable energies, which are part of human nature.

John Carey, a well-respected science journalist, recently published an excellent article in the Journal of the Atomic Scientists, which offers a refreshing and forward-looking take on the whole issue of renewable energy and the progress of recent years, as well as a comparison. with some other historic technological achievements, despite widespread pessimism.

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the president of IBM, declared that there could be a total world market for “maybe five computers”. Lord Kelvin predicted nearly 50 years earlier that “radio has no future”. Most humans have never been very good at predicting or even understanding the pace of technological or social change and what might emerge from those advancements. Has anyone dreamed that we would all now have in our pockets the power of a 90s supercomputer, allowing us to buy virtually anything online, watch excessively TV programs or share videos of our grandchildren or puppies.

Carey points out that John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, is wrong when he says that half of future emission reductions will have to come from technologies not yet invented. We already have the basic technologies to deal with climate change and they are also becoming increasingly affordable and at an increasing rate. While there are occasional major breakthroughs, we have also become increasingly innovative with incremental improvements in materials, designs, manufacturing and installation processes. We can very well look back 25 years and ask ourselves why we thought it would be so difficult and expensive to switch to renewables.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in 2010 that the total global solar photovoltaic capacity would reach 410 gigawatts by 2035. By 2020, 15 years before its forecast, the number had already reached 707 gigawatts ( the Hoover Dam generates only 2 gigawatts).

Due to continuous developments, onshore wind power and new solar PV installations cost less than keeping many existing coal plants in service. From 2019 to 2020, the electricity production capacity of renewable energies increased by 50%. Denmark generated more than 50% of its electricity in 2020 from wind and solar. These did not depend on major technological breakthroughs, but rather on continuous improvement in materials and designs, economies of scale, industry interest and political will. We can do this to improve our lives and preserve the health of the only planet we have if we start aggressively now.

Gary Griggs is Professor Emeritus of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. He can be contacted at For previous Ocean Backyard reviews, visit

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