Afternoon Coffee: COVID-19 reshapes US employment; Retailers struggle to achieve one-day delivery; Icertis enters public sector

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The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped US employment, which is likely to last beyond the health crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The pandemic and its related restrictions shocked the US economy and job market in spring of 2020, leading to a workforce reordering as the economy recovered. Jobs declined at retail stores, restaurants and bars, the article said.

At the same time, jobs grew at warehouse and transportation businesses that serve online customers as e-commerce spiked greatly. The article reported that courier and messenger jobs increased every month since February, growing the sector by greater than 20%. Overall employment across industries is down 6.5% from February. The US economy has regained 12 million of the 22 million jobs lost this year.

Retailers struggle to achieve one-day delivery in 2020

A new report found that of 116 retailers studied, none managed to achieve one-day delivery this year, according to Supply Chain Dive. Retailers took around 2.8 days to fulfill orders in 2020, compared to 1.8 days last year.

Zara, Staples, CVS, Lowe’s and Amazon Prime were among the top-performing retailers that had the fastest delivery orders completed with no errors. Retailers have done what they can to keep up with the flurry of e-commerce orders, but carrier caps have derailed retailers getting products to consumers on time this holiday season, the article said.

To keep up with shifting demand and safety concerns, the report said that 65% of retailers offered buy online, pickup in store; reserve online, pickup in store; or curbside pickup — a 52% increase from the year before. The report said that 57% of retailers are offering contactless pickup, which hasn’t been offered in previous years.

Icertis enters public sector with new Icertis Contract Intelligence platform for Federal

Icertis, a contract lifecycle management provider, recently announced it will enter the public sector with its new Icertis Contract Intelligence platform for Federal (ICI for Fed). In a press release announcing the news, Icertis said it aims to help government agencies accelerate their digital transformation efforts, while reducing contract turnaround times and providing acquisition decision support.

“Entering the public sector is a monumental moment for our company, and contract intelligence will prove to be a strategic advantage for government agencies as they are faced with constant challenges and opportunities,” Neal Singh, Chief Operating Officer of Icertis, said in the press release. “ICI for Fed decreases time to value for our customers and provides a highly extensible platform that can easily be tailored for agency-specific needs. We are committed to meeting growing demands, security and compliance requirements of our government customers, and this is only the beginning.”

Icertis hired Mike Cook as its General Manager for Public Sector as well. Cook has more than 15 years of experience in government procurement, focusing on the acceleration of government organizations’ digital modernization efforts.

Happy New Year!

Afternoon Coffee will take a brief hiatus for the holidays. We'll catch back up soon. Happy New Year!

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