Indian River Consulting Group's Pandemic Revenue Index of 12 distributors declined by 0.8% for the week of Aug. 3 to 7. "As was the case last week, half of the index participants saw a sales gain vs the same week in 2019," Mike Emerson writes.
Applied Industrial Technologies reported fiscal fourth-quarter net profit of $30 million and total sales of $725.1 million, both down from a year ago. Full-year profit and revenue also declined year over year.
The US auto industry has been making gains since the lows of the pandemic, but the recovery isn't complete or spread evenly across facilities, according to this analysis. Some auto manufacturers have reported higher levels of worker absences, citing pandemic-related concerns.
Many companies had been turning to automation and robotics for distribution and order fulfillment before the pandemic struck, and now that trend is accelerating, according to this analysis. "The ability to scale up quickly or scale down without laying off workers or reconfiguring workers has become more important," says Thomas Boykin of Deloitte.
Operational technology presents a challenging cybersecurity problem, but one simple step is to separate OT networks, writes Andrew "AJ" Jarrett of the TEEX Cyber Readiness Center. Vendors and supply chains should also be held to standards, while IT and security teams need the support and collaboration of other departments, Jarrett writes.
FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith wrote in a letter to shareholders that the company has "enormous cause for optimism" and is increasingly emphasizing e-commerce. "We've shown our mettle amid a global crisis, and the world will continue to look to FedEx to deliver critical cargo," he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
Current and new third-party Amazon sellers can get advice on expanding their business on the platform during a free online conference called Amazon Accelerate on Sept. 1-3. "We are deeply invested in empowering small businesses, and now more than ever, it is critically important for us to bring our seller community together as we all navigate new economic realities," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon's CEO Worldwide Consumer.
Walmart has joined forces with Instacart to offer same-day delivery options. The partnership is being started in four pilot markets in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Tulsa, Okla., and will feature delivery of groceries and other items.
HD Supply Holdings has announced it will sell its Whitecap construction and industrial business to a division of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a cash deal worth $2.9 billion.
Uline, a Wisconsin-based distributor, is planning to occupy nearly 1.2 million square feet of warehouse space at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The building involved belongs to Trammell Crow Co. and CBRE Global Investors, and Uline's portion will amount to more than half of the Passport Park project.