What does unhealthy pizza, a brand new addition to your home and telehealth all have in frequent? They’re reflective of companies which have thrived in the course of the pandemic. Let’s say know-how has performed a component.
COVID-19 might be the worst pandemic in trendy historical past. As of the time of writing, it has sickened 27 million worldwide and killed over 8,80,000. The economies of each nation are in tailspins. Nonetheless, a couple of companies haven’t solely survived in the course of the pandemic however have additionally thrived. What many have in frequent is their adoption of the newest know-how.
Looking for Deliverance
(Image courtesy of restaurant.org.)
Eating places have been among the many hardest hit of all companies. Within the U.S., 15,000 have closed their doorways, with 60 percent of them not expected to reopen. However a couple of that employed know-how to its fullest earlier than the pandemic started have emerged higher off, utilizing know-how to cater to a clientele that sees a packed restaurant as a risk slightly than an attraction.
Cheaper by the dozen. Domino Pizza rolls out e-bike supply. Modified Rad Energy bikes fitted with the corporate’s insulated cargo containers on the back and front with capability for 12 giant pizzas. (Image courtesy of Domino.)
Domino’s invested tens of millions in know-how. In 2009, Domino’s then-president Patrick Doyle acknowledged that its pizza was the worst after listening to ex-customers evaluating the chain’s pizza to cardboard (see YouTube). Doyle rebooted the corporate’s merchandise with “actual cheese” and an enormous funding in know-how. When the pandemic hit and the general public switched—nearly in a single day—from consuming in to having meals delivered, Dominos was prepared. You may order a Domino pizza with a Tweet to @Dominos and easily utilizing the pizza emoji. Each good speaker is listening on your Domino’s order. You may Slack for a pizza, too. Domino’s could even be listening in on the U.S. president’s direct line to the Kremlin—the corporate delivers to each Washington, D.C. and Moscow.
The Domino’s app is the simplest strategy to order we’ve ever heard of. In 2016, the app launched a “zero click on” function. Merely opening the app begins a ten second timer. Do nothing, and your favourite pizza will probably be ordered and despatched to you. Interrupt the timer to order one thing else—and watch toppings fall right down to your pizza.
How might unhealthy pizza worsen? It may very well be chilly when it arrives. Lately, the corporate rolled out a whole bunch of e-bikes in a handful of cities. To forestall its pizzas from being delivered chilly, the e-bikes have specifically designed insulated containers within the entrance and rear. With a high pace of 20 mph and parking within the massive metropolis not an issue, your e-bike supply will probably be quicker than an car supply, says Domino’s.
Domino’s final quarter earnings (July 2020) confirmed that U.S. same-store gross sales had been up 16 p.c. The corporate’s income for the quarter was $920 million, beating expectations. Throughout the identical time, the collective restaurant business misplaced an estimated $120 billion.
A swarm of robotic automobiles transfer merchandise from one place to a different in an Amazon sorting heart. (Image courtesy of Amazon.)
Amazon, one of many world’s largest tech firms, additionally makes use of supply companies in finishing the “final mile” from the warehouse to the shopper, making ample use of know-how in its warehouses and sorting facilities. Probably the most outstanding component in these services is the swarms of yellow and black “drive items” that take a product bundle that has been bought to a chute that corresponds to the zip code of its vacation spot. Amazon additionally makes use of robotic arms with grippers that take merchandise off conveyors and locations them onto the pallets in its warehouses. One other kind of robotic arm utilized by the corporate lifts pallets to and from flooring and cabinets.
The pandemic initially caught Amazon off guard. Feeling its results, Jeff Bezos requested at one investor assembly if there have been any Amazon shareholders, and if that’s the case, prompt that they could need to sit down. However, after pouring $4 billion into stabilizing its provide chain and bettering employee security, the corporate recovered to put up its finest quarter ever with $89 billion in gross sales.
Throughout the nation, warehouse have taken to utilizing automation to interchange sidelined employees. Automated sorting items type piles of attire on the American Eagle Outfitters warehouse in Hazleton, Pa., utilizing mechanical arms, pc imaginative and prescient and AI.
Stanley (homeowners of DeWalt, which purchased Craftsman from Sears) spent $1.5 million on including cobots (collaborative robots) to its South Carolina plant that makes electrical hand instruments. The cobots stored the manufacturing facility up and working though many employees weren’t capable of return attributable to COVID-19.
DIY Constructing Growth
Gross sales of hand instruments, store instruments and different instruments of the development commerce, in addition to materials and provides, have taken off as DIYers have taken to reworking the houses they’re caught in in the course of the pandemic—and maybe lastly attending to initiatives they could have been pushing aside.
Constructing provide shops like House Depot and Lowe’s can’t sustain with demand. Lowe’s quarterly gross sales had been up 35 p.c in comparison with the identical shops a yr in the past, with a complete income of $27 billion. House Depot lately posted its greatest quarterly gross sales progress in nearly 20 years, with gross sales up 23 p.c to $38 billion.
Flip off Mute and Say Aah
A health care provider explains an intravenous injection to a affected person with the help of a coaching arm x utilizing telehealth. (Inventory photograph.)
Whereas most docs closed their places of work and deferred all however probably the most vital care, placing all elective procedures on maintain, Kaiser-Permanente, the nation’s largest HMO, was capable of benefit from the know-how it had been placing into place. Kaiser had centralized affected person information and was already utilizing a community of docs when each different medical follow was primarily based on single docs or small teams of docs. Kaiser sufferers had entry to docs 24 hours a day. The corporate had in place a tele-health system (like Zoom) for many who might had been unable to get to a health care provider’s workplace. Telehealth was barely used earlier than the pandemic (1 p.c of scheduled visits), however as well being care employees turned more and more anxious about catching COVID-19 from their sufferers, telehealth turned a necessity. In April, 74 percent of “visits” within the Kaiser-Permanente system had been by cellphone and video.
Telehealth is now the solely method some well being care suppliers will see sufferers. So pervasive has it change into that Trade observers forecast that telehealth is right here to remain, pandemic or not.
International IT Service—Constructed for a Pandemic
International IT service, as soon as a staple joke of each comedian who might rely on laughs by saying “Howdy, that is Mike from tech help” with an Indian accent, is now not a laughing matter. EPAM makes use of 32,300 professionals, a lot of them programmers from the previous Soviet Union, to service American and European firms. EPAM has been capable of benefit from the wants of companies that ship their very own IT workers residence to work solely to find that work-from-home is supported neither by infrastructure nor tradition. Wanting round for these accustomed to working remotely, these firms can simply land on the web sites of IT help firms like EPAM.
EPAM’s income($632 million) surpassed expectations by 6 p.c in its final quarter (ending June 2020).
Most Businesses Were Unprepared for Covid-19. Domino’s Delivered, Wall Avenue Journal, September 6, 2020.