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Kindred Announces Strategic Partnership with VARGO® for Mutual Client E-Commerce Fulfillment Solutions


Kindred announced a partnership agreement with VARGO to incorporate its artificial intelligence (AI) pick and place robotic solutions with VARGOs warehouse execution system (WES) to enhance both parties solutions for retail and e-commerce fulfillment. Kindred has been working with Hilliard, Ohio-based VARGO since 2017 and partnered on e-commerce fulfillment system design and integration for Gap Inc. Gap has deployed more than 100 Kindred SORT robotic systems in combination with VARGOs WES.

This partnership between VARGO and Kindred further demonstrates the commitment of both of our companies to bring strategic and innovative distribution solutions to the industry that solve real fulfillment challenges brought about by limited labor availability and, most recently, COVID-19 social distancing requirements, said Bart J. Cera, president and COO of VARGO. The marriage of these application-based technologies, like Kindreds pick and place robots, teamed with the appropriate distribution center design, equipment and execution software, provides our customers with highly efficient and industry-leading distribution solutions. We look forward to continuing to partner with Kindred in bringing the latest technologies to our customers.

To create a safe working environment for its employees amid the COVID-19 outbreak, Kindred and VARGO customers use SORT AI-powered warehouse robots to increase social distancing measures. Rather than standing side-by-side with co-workers to conduct pick and place operations, one employee can manage three to four Kindred SORT robots simultaneously, keeping up with e-commerce fulfillment while maintaining social distancing.

VARGOs Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine (COFE) “ a waveless warehouse execution system (WES) “ is the power behind the e-commerce fulfillment revolution and is pulling the industry into its advanced waveless order fulfillment system. COFE is a WES software that synchronizes and sequences all processes and resources “ people and equipment “ within a fulfillment center and responds instantaneously to dynamically changing environments. COFEs waveless process continuously assigns new orders to a revolving batch of work and eliminates downtime created in wave-based environments. By creating a continuous flow of work, COFE provides a true, lean order fulfillment solution.

We have been working side-by-side with VARGO as a valued partner since our market launch in 2017, said Marin Tchakarov, CEO of Kindred. We certainly value their technology as well as their collaboration in helping to build the warehouse of the future, powered by intelligent machines that ultimately augments the human workforce.

Kindreds AI data shows retailers are facing dramatic peaks in online orders since the COVID-19 pandemic forced retailers to close a number of brick and mortar stores. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, the number of units SORT picking robots process per day has increased by 45% across the installed base.

SORT pick-and-place robots utilize AutoGrasp„¢, a robotics artificial intelligence platform that identifies items to pick, place and sort into complete end-customer orders. AutoGrasp„¢ combines AI-powered machine vision, grasping and manipulation algorithms that handle a range of merchandise, including deformable items such as polybagged items.

Kindred uses cutting-edge AI research and human-in-the-loop data methodology to continuously improve robot capabilities so that picking becomes smarter, faster and more accurate over time. Kindred SORT robots have picked more than 100 million units in production to date.

About Kindred

Kindred is a robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) company that develops robots to solve real-world problems. Its mission is to enhance the lives of human workers with the power of AI robotics. Kindreds cutting-edge technology is the foundation of a number of proprietary platforms, including AutoGrasp„¢, developed to operate robots autonomously in dynamic environments. Its team of scientists, engineers, and business operators have set a new standard for reinforcement learning for robots. The company is co-located in San Francisco and Toronto. For more information, visit

About Vargo

VARGO is a team of mechanical and software engineers changing e-commerce operations by designing fulfillment solutions differently than anyone else in the industry. For nearly five decades, VARGO has worked with manufacturers, distributors and leading retailers such as American Eagle, Gap, FashionNova, Forever21 and numerous 3PLs to improve their e-commerce operations and material handling systems, increase processing capacities and reduce order cycle times. VARGO uses its proven, pull-based methodologies to create intelligent solutions for fulfillment centers and continues to be a leader in its industry by integrating robotics and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) into its solutions. VARGO is the only company that offers COFE (Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine), the software that does for fulfillment what Lean did for manufacturing. For more information, visit

Carla Vallone

Portavoce PR for Kindred AI


[email protected]

Michele Lemmon



[email protected]


S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Implementation of Tesla's Addition to S&P 500


NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — S&P Dow Jones Indices (“S&P DJI”) has determined it will add Tesla Inc. (NASD: TSLA) to the S&P 500 at its full float-adjusted market capitalization weight effective prior to the open of trading on Monday, December 21, 2020.

As announced on November 16, 2020, S&P DJI conducted a consultation with market participants regarding the implementation of the addition of Tesla to the S&P 500. During the consultation, which closed on November 20, 2020, S&P DJI received a variety of feedback, including implementation suggestions beyond those proposed in the consultation.

In its decision, S&P DJI considered the wide range of responses it received, as well as, among other factors, the expected liquidity of Tesla and the market's ability to accommodate significant trading volumes on this date. After the market close on Friday, December 11, pro-forma files will be distributed, and a press release will be published announcing which company Tesla will replace in the S&P 500.

For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit

S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has been innovating and developing indices across the spectrum of asset classes helping to define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit


S&P Dow Jones Indices
[email protected]

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SOURCE S&P Dow Jones Indices

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MIB Acquires Paperless Solutions Group


BRAINTREE, Mass., Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MIB, the life insurance industry's most trusted and secure partner for data-driven services, announced that it has acquired Paperless Solutions Group (PSG), a digital solutions provider. The acquisition expands MIB's portfolio of solutions aimed at making the application and underwriting processes quicker and more efficient.

MIB's expanded portfolio will include PSG's products and tools that automate and facilitate the application process, including requirement gathering, signatures, policy delivery, application submission and underwriting risk assessment. These services integrate flexibly and easily with carrier systems and complement MIB's existing products, which help insurers assess risk during and after the underwriting process. 

“PSG has a long history of service to the life & health space with a special eye to process improvement,” said Jeff McCauley, President of PSG.  “The team and I are very excited to join the MIB Group as we believe the alignment of our products, services and personnel will bring even more innovation to the industry.”

“The life insurance industry is in the early stages of a digital transformation that has only accelerated since the onset of the pandemic,” said Brian Winikoff, President and CEO of MIB. “PSG's portfolio of products and services are well positioned to support the industry's quest to simplify and expedite the insurance application process and fit well with the solutions MIB offers our clients today.  Integrating PSG's platform with our existing services will enable us to provide next-generation capabilities focused on automating the approach to selling and underwriting life insurance.”

PSG's tools can be used individually, or on a bundled basis, and are easily incorporated into a carrier's existing systems through robust API plug-in capabilities. “We believe PSG's platform could provide significant value to the life insurance industry by streamlining the underwriting process and providing an efficient and reliable portal to collect key data closer to the point of sale,” said Winikoff.  That value is of critical importance as the life insurance industry looks to new technologies to help them drive efficiencies. 

About Paperless Solutions Group
PSG is a leading provider of cloud-based software solutions for the life insurance and financial services industry. Our products and services provide unparalleled automation and integration for the insurance services industry. These innovative offerings conduct millions of transactions annually by enabling the presale, new business and underwriting, point of sale, and post-sale support. To learn more about PSG, please visit

About MIB
MIB Group, Inc. is the life and health insurance industry's most trusted and secure partner for data-driven risk management and digital solutions that protect the financial integrity of its members and clients while addressing their evolving needs. Owned by its members who span the life insurance industry, MIB is uniquely positioned to provide data-driven solutions that address common industry challenges and enable clients to gain efficiencies, manage their risks, and grow profitably.  For more information about MIB, visit

Media Inquiries:
Betty-Jean Lane
MIB Group, Inc.
[email protected]

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SOURCE MIB Group, Inc.

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Hawai'i Business Coalition Launches Inaugural National Commercial Rent Survey on Dec. 1


HONOLULU, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The inaugural National Commercial Rent Survey (NCRS) will launch on Dec. 1 and run through Dec. 18 in an effort to continue gathering valuable information on the direct impacts COVID-19 is putting on businesses across the country. The results will be shared in January 2021. The survey is available here.

This study is an expansion of the Hawai'i Commercial Rent Survey (HCRS), which is now in its third phase, reaching mainland markets in partnership with the Seattle-based Center for Housing Economics. Led by Ryan Tanaka, president of Island Business Management and the organizer of the HCRS, the surveys have produced valuable data fueling his advocacy efforts and the introduction of a Commercial Landlord-Tenant Grant Program that would use federal CARES Funds to help Hawai'i businesses cover their commercial rent during this pandemic.

“Small businesses represent the economic foundation and backbone of many communities across the country, including Hawai'i, so to have this type of detailed research and data to understand the impacts to the business community in invaluable,” said Tanaka. “Hawai'i is a microcosm of what businesses are feeling across the country, and while there is no silver bullet solution, additional data and insights can help Congress make better decisions about future aid for business in an effort to revitalize the national economy.”

Roger Valdez, director of the Center for Housing Economics agrees and added, “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we've heard from housing providers concerned about their residents who have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay rent. Many housing providers also have commercial property in their buildings and their residents work at businesses struggling to survive and pay their rent. Residential and commercial property owners and their customers are economically linked and that's why we're supporting the survey.”

The first two commercial rent surveys were organized by Tanaka with the support of the Hawai'i State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), and more than a dozen businesses and trade organizations. DBEDT will administer the third Hawai'i study and the national survey which are closely aligned in the information it is gathering and what its finding hope to achieve.

“While time may feel like its running out for those suffering, I believe we still have time to save many business from going under with commercial rent relieve being a critical need,” said Tanaka.

The results of the second Hawai'i Commercial Rent Survey revealed that even more Hawai'i businesses were suffering financially as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on. Many have had to make the difficult decision to scale back their workforce and lay off employees.

In October, the Second Hawai'i Commercial Rent Survey included the feedback of more than 1,400 businesses from across the Aloha State, representing over 40,000 workers. The survey revealed:

  • Four in 10 businesses have not paid their rent in full.
  • Three in 10 businesses expect to miss three full rent payments between October and December 2020.
  • Tourism accounts for at least one quarter of the overall revenue of 42 percent of businesses.
  • 86 percent of businesses expect their annual revenue to decrease in 2020, and 82 percent to decrease in 2021.
  • Only 11 percent of businesses received rent reduction.
  • Only 5 percent of businesses were able to restructure their lease.

As part of a business coalition with trade associations, financial institutions, and other business organizations, Tanaka is working to get a Commercial Landlord-Tenant Grant Program approved and implemented for the state. The business coalition's effort differs from other available federal aid programs as it focuses on helping commercial landlords.

“There isn't a lot of help out there for commercial property owners at this time, but they are a big part of the economic recovery framework,” said Tanaka. “Even though it is November, our program could still be activated in two phases with the first part now using a smaller tranche of CARES Act money, followed by additional support allocated in the New Year. However, time is running out and we can expect more business closures if we don't do something now to help keep businesses alive.”

The full results of the Second Hawai'i Commercial Rent Survey can be found here:

About the National Commercial Rent Survey
The National Commercial Rent Survey is an effort to gather actionable data and information on the direct impacts that COVID-19's is putting on businesses across the country. Originally created by a coalition of Hawai'i-based business leaders as the Hawai'i Commercial Rent Survey, the survey is made possible with the support of Island Business Management, LLC, the State of Hawai'i Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Centers for Housing Economics, NAIOP Hawaii Chapter, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Hawai'i Restaurant Association, Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Hawaii Food Industry Association, Hawai'i Lodging and Tourism Association, Hawai'i Executive Collaborative, First Hawaiian Bank, Central Pacific Bank, American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union, and others. Detailed survey results are anonymous and only aggregated totals and averages calculated from the respondents were used in the analysis.

Media Contact

Ryan Tanaka, Island Business Management, LLC, (808) 224-5418, [email protected]

Nathan Kam, Anthology Group, (808) 539-3471, [email protected]


SOURCE Island Business Management, LLC

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