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UPS adds pickup, to fly more drones

United Parcel Service Inc. is responding to the growth in online shopping and pressures for speedy delivery by seeking to expand its drone deliveries and adding thousands of new spots where customers can pick up packages.

The Atlanta-based package delivery giant said Tuesday it is adding 12,000 new package pickup locations inside CVS, The Michaels Co. and Advance Auto Parts stores. The new locations will bring to 21,000 the number of pickup points UPS has in the U.S. and to 40,000 globally.

The company also announced that starting Jan. 1 it will offer pickup and delivery services seven days a week, adding service on Sundays.

It said it is setting up a subsidiary that will focus on expanding its drone-delivery operations, limited now to delivering medical samples at a group of hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina. It filed for certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for the subsidiary, called UPS Flight Forward, to fly drones beyond line of sight, at night, and with an unlimited number of drones and operators in command.

 

Chambliss achieves cybersecurity standard

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C., a Chattanooga-based law firm representing local, regional, national, and international clients, has successfully reached the international cybersecurity standards for law firms set by Meritas, a global alliance of independent business law firms.

"It's important to our firm to continuously implement best practices, especially when it comes to the protection of our clients' information," said Tony Young, executive director for Chambliss. "Meeting a global quality benchmark helps us attain the level of cybersecurity to protect the interests of our clients."

The standards define 10 essential cybersecurity requirements that the 182 independent law firms that are Meritas members and future new members of the organization are expected to meet. As part of the process, Chambliss completed an assessment of cybersecurity best practices and readiness, implemented cybersecurity enhancements in key areas to respond to ever-changing online risks, and completed a compliance review against the Meritas standards.

Chambliss has information security, risk assessments, technical and physical safeguards, employee training, third-party risk management, and business continuity plans in place along with a breach response process.

 

Auto supplier expands in Auburn, Alabama

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced that an Italian auto supplier plans to expand its operation in Auburn.

Ivey's office said Tuesday that the $15 million expansion project at 2A USA in Auburn will create more than 50 jobs. The facility is a Tier 1 supplier to major producers of automobiles and heavy trucks.

Ivey's office said 2A's parent company is Italy's biggest privately owned high-pressure die-casting industrial company. It specializes in the casting of large, complex aluminum components.

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said in a statement that Alabama's auto supply chain continues to "grow in scope and sophistication as companies such as 2A expand their operations in the state."

 

AutoNation names new CEO for 2nd time in 4 months

Four months after the country's largest auto dealership chain named a new chief executive to replace its longtime CEO, it's making another change at the top.

Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Miller is the new CEO at AutoNation, replacing Carl Liebert, who came to the company from the USAA financial services firm in March.

Executive Chairman and former CEO Mike Jackson said Tuesday that everyone knows the risks of hiring someone from outside. "Carl and I had an ongoing discussion, and it was a mutual conclusion that it was just not the right fit," Jackson said on CNBC.

Jackson stepped down four months ago after leading the 325-store company for 20 years, and Liebert, who had been chief operating officer at the USAA and had worked as an executive at The Home Depot and General Electric, was named as his replacement.

It's always difficult for an outside executive to adapt to a company's unique culture, but even more so with an outsized personality and strong presence like Jackson still around, said Autotrader.com Executive Analyst Michelle Krebs.

"Mike Jackson is a force of nature and he still obviously is very active in the business," she said. "That's always going to be difficult for someone."

Now it's something that will have to be dealt with by Miller, who has been with the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company since 2009 and has been CFO since 2014.

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