Tag Archives: organizational buying

Flippy the Robot Works the Kitchen

It can hard to find restaurant workers lately, particularly for fast-food chains where the jobs can be long, hot, and greasy. One of the more thankless jobs is probably flipping burgers and fries. It’s boring, repetitive, and carries an everyday risk of burns from hot oils. But now, CaliBurger (California) has deployed a robotic assistant to flip burgers and fries. The robotic arm, aptly named “Flippy,” is the product of Miso Robotics in Pasadena.

Flippy is billed as the world’s first autonomous robotic kitchen assistant that can learn from its surroundings. It can work a grill or fryer, cooks perfectly and consistently every time, collaborates with kitchen staff, and is OSHA safety-compliant. Now ‘employed’ by CaliBurger, the company plans to launch 50 more Flippys at additional locations. Flippy can make 300 burgers a day, all without burns or complaints for additional break times!

Flippy’s role hasn’t been an easy one. Similar to many human workers, Flippy was ‘fired’ in the spring and had to be retrained to work better with humans. Flippy has been a popular draw for the restaurant though; they have been overwhelmed by the response by customers who want to see Flippy in action. The robotic arm isn’t cheap though. Flippy costs between $60,000 – $100,000.

But then again, Flippy never asks for a day off!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who was worked at a fast-food restaurant? What was the experience like for them?
  2. View videos at Miso Robotics: https://misorobotics.com/
  3. View CaliBurger: https://caliburger.com/in-the-news
  4. Review the buying process for organizations.
  5. For Miso Robotics have students work on the actions taken in each of the five steps.
  6. Consider assigning different student groups to work on different target markets. Then the process for the different target markets can be compared and contrasted.
  7. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, other sources

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Super-sized Scoreboards from South Dakota


There is no doubt that the Super Bowl is a big stage for marketers. But, think also about other companies that gain from a Super Bowl presence. After all, professional sports teams and franchises are also big spenders, providing fans with the best experience possible and sparing little expense to lure people off their couches and into the stadiums and arenas.

Consider the humble score board whose job it is to track the plays, excite the fans, and provide the big screen game experience to thousands of fans. Ever wonder about where the score boards originate and how they are manufactured? It’s a fascinating story of engineering combined with marketing. View the video from CBS Sunday Morning and get an inside look at how Daktronics builds the video scoreboards to increase excitement of fans and consumers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss organizational buying. How is marketing different when selling to businesses rather than consumers?
  2. View the video:
  3. Bring up Daktronics’ Web site: http://www.daktronics.com/en-us
  4. Divide students into teams and have each team brainstorm new businesses that might benefit from visual signs (not just sports teams).
  5. Select one of the business and design a marketing campaign to sell video signage.

Source: CBS Sunday Mornings, Manufacturing Business Technology

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