🏥 Can Amazon improve warehouse conditions?


May 19, 2021

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The Hustle

Google’s I/O event showed off the new slicker-looking Android mobile operating system, which now operates on 3B+ devices. Unfortunately, the iPhone still shows a green bubble when texting with an Android.

The big idea
Amazon warehouse

Amazon’s new safety program aims to improve employee wellness

An Amazon warehouse doesn’t exactly seem like an ideal spot to meditate or bliss out, but the ecommerce giant is trying to make it happen.

Amazon is rolling out WorkingWell, a program that it hopes will slash its incidence rate — an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) metric to compare and evaluate safety — in half by 2025.

The announcement follows a recent Amazon union drive, which saw the ecommerce giant prevail but also raised questions over the company’s campaigning tactics.

WorkingWell is part of a $300m investment in employee safety

About 40% of Amazon injuries are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are sprains and strains caused by repetitive motions.

Per CNBC, WorkingWell includes:

  • Daily “Health & Safety Huddles” with interactive videos
  • Hourly prompts to do short physical and mental activities
  • Healthy food options, like fruit and granola bars
  • “AmaZen” kiosks with guided meditations, positive affirmations, and calming videos
  • Wellness Centers staffed with injury prevention specialists

Amazon’s been piloting it since 2019, and it’s already in effect at 350 sites in North America and Europe. By the end of 2021, it will be rolled out to all US sites.

Amazon’s been criticized over safety before

Several not-so-AmaZen reports in the media have highlighted huge issues:

  • The Atlantic discovered that the breakneck pace required to meet quotas was causing injury.
  • Reveal highlighted that warehouse robots only make things worse by moving at speeds impossible for humans to match.
  • The Information found that Amazon’s trucking ambitions have led to 50 serious crashes over the past 3 years.

According to CNBC, big safety overhauls are possible: The OSHA says companies that implement solid safety management systems can see a 52% decrease in injury rates.

For all involved, that would be a prime outcome.

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SNIPPETS

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  • Apple is under fire following a report that the data of its customers in China is on government servers and that it’s aiding the Chinese government in censorship.
  • Coca-Cola serves 1.9B+ drinks a day. To help stay on top, it’s turning to seltzer and sports drinks.
  • Google expanded a partnership with Shopify that allows 1m+ merchants on the ecommerce platform to make their products more discoverable. The move is an attempt to compete against a small internet firm called Amazon.
Retail Tech
PayPal logo

PayPal goes ‘post-purchase’ with Happy Returns acquisition

Last week, PayPal acquired logistics wunderkind Happy Returns for a “who knows, won’t tell” amount. The Santa Monica-based company provides logisticsl software and services to online retailers flooded with returns.

For PayPal, the acquisition is a bet on:

Say it with us, REVERSE LOGISTICS

Based on Happy Returns’ own data, items purchased online are 3-4x more likely to be returned than those purchased in store. Data from the National Retail Federation supports that claim — customers returned nearly $1 out of every $5 spent online last year.

All those returns create a costly logistical and tracking nightmare for retailers.

Happy Returns helps online retailers manage returns with software and a network of 2.5k+ IRL Return Bars.’ Customers can return items by carrier or box-less to any Happy Returns drop-off. Participating retailers cut waste, costs, and operational headaches.

It’s wholesome stuff…

… but it’s really about the retail journey.

PayPal interest in Happy Returns goes beyond helping customers return misfitting pants. The company has ambitions to control the entire retail customer journey on- and offline.

Jamie, pull up the acquisition tracker:

And PayPal’s been courting Happy Returns for a while. Back in 2019, PayPal picked up most of the check during Happy Returns’ $11m financing round.

Consider this the follow-through.

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Food Tech
Goldbelly food

Goldbelly raises $100m to bring Momofuku and Guy Fieri classics from across America

Ever wished you lived in Flavortown, USA? What if Flavortown was inside your kitchen all along?

Food delivery apps saw record-breaking sales amid the pandemic, and Goldbelly was no exception. The Bay Area-based platform plans to announce a $100m financing round led by Spectrum Equity later this week, per the New York Times.

Goldbelly differs from apps like Postmates and Uber Eats…

… in that the delivery radius is the entire United States.

Craving a duck pie from NYC’s Momofuku or Guy Fieri’s BBQ Trash Can Nachos? Have them shipped frozen straight to your door and whip them up in your kitchen.

With travel and dining off the table due to the pandemic, Goldbelly saw huge growth:

  • Co-founder Joe Ariel says sales have more than quadrupled over the past year
  • Goldbelly jumped from 40 employees to 130
  • Over 400 of the 850 restaurants currently on Goldbelly joined since the start of the pandemic

Goldbelly plans to use its new funds to add staff, recruit new restaurants, and offer online cooking courses with celeb chefs.

It’s not yet clear if that growth will continue…

… or if diners will return to their local faves. If there’s a downside for the consumer, it’s that ordering cross-country can be pricey.

For example: If you go to Ms. Chi in Culver City, California, you can get 8 chicken Jiaozis for $11, or ~$1.38 per dumpling (it’s ~$3.45 each on Goldbelly). If you live near, you’d likely choose dine-in or takeout.

But when you’re talking absolute faves and Michelin stars from 1k miles away, a premium is likely worth it. And that’s what Goldbelly’s banking on.

Pro tip: A dozen Guy Fieri Caliente Margs are $69. Nice.

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Podcast

How an Astrology App Makes $10m+

Have you checked your horoscope today? Millions of Americans have — and it’s generating companies like Sanctuary millions in profit. On episode 182 of My First Million, Shaan and Sam explain why these companies are so profitable and how you can capitalize on a similar trend.

They also talk about…

  • How a boxing commentator created a $400m empire
  • How to start profitable side projects quickly without overthinking
  • How Judge Judy and Ryan Seacrest made millions creating “personal monopolies” and what you can learn from them
🎧 Listen here →
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Source: Reddit

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