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Many Businesses Struggle to Stay Alive, Tech Savvy Businesses Thrive > ENGINEERING.com

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Many Companies Battle to Keep Alive, Tech Savvy Companies Thrive > ENGINEERING.com

What does dangerous pizza, a brand new addition to your own home and telehealth all have in widespread? They’re reflective of companies which have thrived in the course of the pandemic. Let’s say know-how has performed an element.

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, just a few companies haven’t solely survived in the course of the pandemic however have additionally thrived. What many have in widespread is their adoption of the newest know-how.


In search of 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 just a few 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 relatively than an attraction.

Cheaper by the dozen. Domino Pizza rolls out e-bike delivery. Modified Rad Power bikes fitted with the company's insulated cargo containers on the front and back with capacity for 12 large pizzas. (Picture courtesy of Domino.)

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 a giant funding in know-how. When the pandemic hit and the general public switched—virtually 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 sensible speaker is listening in your Domino’s order. You may Slack for a pizza, too. Domino’s might 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 best solution to order we’ve ever heard of. In 2016, the app launched a “zero click on” characteristic. Merely opening the app begins a ten second timer. Do nothing, and your favourite pizza will likely be ordered and despatched to you. Interrupt the timer to order one thing else—and watch toppings fall all the way down to your pizza.

How may dangerous pizza worsen? It may very well be chilly when it arrives. Just lately, the corporate rolled out a whole bunch of e-bikes in a handful of cities. To stop its pizzas from being delivered chilly, the e-bikes have specifically designed insulated packing containers within the entrance and rear. With a prime pace of 20 mph and parking within the large metropolis not an issue, your e-bike supply will likely 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 trade misplaced an estimated $120 billion.

Automated Warehouses

A swarm of robotic vehicles move products from one place to another in an Amazon sorting center. (Picture courtesy of Amazon.)

A swarm of robotic autos 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 corporations, 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. Essentially the most outstanding factor in these services is the swarms of yellow and black “drive items” that take a product package deal 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, instructed that they could need to sit. However, after pouring $4 billion into stabilizing its provide chain and enhancing employee security, the corporate recovered to submit 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 kind piles of attire on the American Eagle Outfitters warehouse in Hazleton, Pa., utilizing mechanical arms, laptop imaginative and prescient and AI.

Stanley (house owners 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 as a consequence of COVID-19.

DIY Constructing Increase

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 properties they’re caught in in the course of the pandemic—and maybe lastly attending to tasks they could have been laying aside.

Constructing provide shops like Residence Depot and Lowe’s can not sustain with demand. Lowe’s quarterly gross sales had been up 35 p.c in comparison with the identical shops a 12 months in the past, with a complete income of $27 billion. Residence Depot lately posted its largest quarterly gross sales development in virtually 20 years, with gross sales up 23 p.c to $38 billion.

Flip off Mute and Say Aah

A doctor explains an intravenous injection to a patient with the aid of a training arm x using telehealth. (Stock photo.)

A physician explains an intravenous injection to a affected person with the help of a coaching arm x utilizing telehealth. (Inventory photograph.)

Whereas most medical doctors closed their places of work and deferred all however essentially the most vital care, placing all elective procedures on maintain, Kaiser-Permanente, the nation’s largest HMO, was capable of make the most of the know-how it had been placing into place. Kaiser had centralized affected person knowledge and was already utilizing a community of medical doctors when each different medical observe was primarily based on single medical doctors or small teams of medical doctors. Kaiser sufferers had entry to medical doctors 24 hours a day. The corporate had in place a tele-health system (like Zoom) for many who may had been unable to get to a physician’s workplace. Telehealth was barely used earlier than the pandemic (1 p.c of scheduled visits), however as well being care employees grew to become more and more apprehensive about catching COVID-19 from their sufferers, telehealth grew to become a necessity. In April, 74 percent of “visits” within the Kaiser-Permanente system had been by telephone 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 may depend on laughs by saying “Good day, that is Mike from tech assist” with an Indian accent, is 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 corporations. EPAM has been capable of make the most of the wants of companies that ship their very own IT employees residence to work solely to find that work-from-home is supported neither by infrastructure nor tradition. Trying round for these accustomed to working remotely, these corporations can simply land on the web sites of IT assist corporations like EPAM.

EPAM’s income($632 million) surpassed expectations by 6 p.c in its final quarter (ending June 2020).

Reference

Most Businesses Were Unprepared for Covid-19. Domino’s Delivered, Wall Avenue Journal, September 6, 2020.

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