Retail-Facing Firms Should Lean On EHS Analytics Solutions To Meet Holiday Demand Surge In The Wake Of COVID-19 Lockdown

  • Blog
  • Environment, Health & Safety

Retail-Facing Firms Should Lean On EHS Analytics Solutions To Meet Holiday Demand Surge In The Wake Of COVID-19 Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic caused increased activity in the warehousing, logistics and online retail industries, as remote shopping for groceries and other necessities quickly became the norm. Online retail activities continued while high street activities contracted. Thanks to this, online retailers continued to bring goods to the market, with some experiencing a boom in sales. For instance, Amazon realised a net sale of $96.1 billion in Q3 2020, a growth of 37% in comparison to 2019 numbers in the same period. In the context of the recent pandemic and lockdown measures, an increase in net sales for firms like Amazon means an increase in back-end warehousing and logistics operations. Increase in operations, in turn, means a probabilistic increase in incidents and accidents. Adding to this is Deloitte's projection that a 34% decline in travel spends will give retailers a boost this 2020 holiday season, up to 66% of total holiday spend. While it is welcome news that COVID has not cancelled Christmas, firms operating in the warehousing and logistics scene must always ensure the health and safety of their staff but especially more so during this period of demand surge. 

Firms that have implemented EHS analytics in their operations are in a position to apply the insights gained from historical data to reducing potential incidents and accidents. These firms, which typically see a surge in activity and demand during the approaching holiday period, must leverage a full arsenal of EHS training, learning and development software as well as the facilitating analytics technologies to ensure the health and safety of their workforce. Vendors like Axonify offer an AI-powered microlearning solution, delivering a bite-sized burst of targeted information tailored to frontline workers based on their historical training data, behaviours, tasks and roles (See Verdantix Merck Sharp & Dohme Drives Strong Safety Culture Engagement Through Safety Training Software). Similarly, KPA offers a solution that ties together training data with incident data on an analytics dashboard, giving users insights into the efficiency of their training programmes.

In a bid to maintain or improve business resilience and operational performance, firms have adapted their EHS software spends. Unsurprisingly, training is still a topical area, driven by the market effects of the coronavirus pandemic. In a survey of 301 EHS decisionmakers spanning 31 countries and 25 industries, Verdantix asked survey participants about their intended spending in various EHS categories for 2021. For EHS training, learning and development, five per cent intended more than a 25% spend increase. In comparison, 18% intended increased spending in the range of 10 to 25% (See Verdantix Global Corporate Survey 2020: EHS Budgets, Priorities & Tech Preferences). A combination of pandemic worries and a change in consumer holiday spending priorities will surely see firms in the warehousing, retail and logistics industry verticals utilise more training and analytics software solutions.  

Kel Udeala

Industry Analyst

Kel is an Industry Analyst at Verdantix. His current agenda focuses on EHS, Industrial Hygiene and Occupational health software. He has a background in oil and  gas, renewable energy, waste management and recycling. He holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from University College London and an MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering from Brunel University London.