Startup Injects Pandemic Vaccine Cold Chain With a Healthy Dose of High-Tech

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) technology (AIoT) may be the biggest disruption to the industrial refrigeration industry since the invention of the first commercial ice-making machine two centuries ago.

In this second year of a modern pandemic, startup Youtiligent has developed an AIoT-based technology to help companies keep vaccines cold across complex distribution supply chains. Moving far beyond sensor-based temperature monitoring, Youtiligent’s promise is to securely capture real-time electric power anomalies in onsite commercial refrigerators, allowing distributors to take action before vaccine spoilage.

“Sensors that capture when a product’s temperature has decreased below the acceptable degree range are not effective when it comes to distributing something like the coronavirus vaccine,” said Avichai Belitsky, co-founder of Youtiligent. “We combined AI with IoT technology to deliver real-time alerts for cost-effective predictive and preventive maintenance. Organizations can act faster in making data-driven business decisions based on what’s happening in real time, such as sending in a repair technician before it’s too late.”

EKG for cooling appliances

Based in Israel, Youtiligent is piloting its offering with healthcare organizations in that country. Belitsky also expected high interest from refrigeration manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical and other institutions with clinics, pharmacies, and research labs, such as hospitals and universities. The startup continues to serve customers in its original target markets that include the food and beverage and retail industries.

“This is what we call the ‘EKG for appliances,’ tracking electric current across compressors, engines, and pumps that power any cooling machine, whether it’s making ice cream to be sold the next week or cooling expensive chemicals that researchers can safely store and use over many years,” said Belitsky. “Every machine action has a unique fingerprint, and being able to track each one with algorithms yields valuable, actionable insights.”

Real-time data prevents problems, opens opportunities

When the customer connects a machine’s power cord into the Youtiligent “smart” plug at the wall socket, the solution’s AI and IoT technology translates the electric consumption signals, by machine part, into usage data that’s saved in the cloud. As the technology detects potential problems, it sends real-time alerts to designated contacts on any device. People can also view detailed historical activity dashboards for recordkeeping and proof of cold-chain compliance.

“Our plug-and-play solution delivers significant ROI with low total cost of ownership,” said Belitsky. “Manufacturers in some industries also like this solution because they can offer products-as-a-service, whether they embed Youtiligent into new refrigerators or as an aftermarket add-on to customers with existing machines.”

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AI Plus IoT Are Among The Most Important Ingredients In Pandemic Vaccine Cold-Chain

The combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) technology may be the biggest disruption to the industrial refrigeration industry since the invention of the first commercial ice-making machine two centuries ago.  

In this second year of a modern pandemic, startup Youtiligent has developed an AIoT-based technology to help companies keep vaccines cold across complex distribution supply chains. Moving far beyond sensor-based temperature monitoring, Youtiligent’s promise is to securely capture real-time electric power anomalies in onsite commercial refrigerators, allowing distributors to take action before vaccine spoilage.

“Sensors that capture when a product’s temperature has decreased below the acceptable degree range are not effective when it comes to distributing something like the coronavirus vaccine,” said Avichai Belitsky, co-founder of Youtiligent. “We combined AI with IoT technology to deliver real-time alerts for cost-effective predictive and preventive maintenance. Organizations can act faster in making data-driven business decisions based on what’s happening in real-time, such as sending in a repair technician, before it’s too late.”

EKG for cooling appliances

Based in Israel, Youtiligent is piloting its offering with healthcare organizations in that country. Belitsky also expected high interest from refrigeration manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical and other institutions with clinics, pharmacies, and research labs, such as hospitals and universities. The startup continues to serve customers in its original target markets that include the food and beverage and retail industries.

“This is what we call ‘EKG for appliances,’ tracking electric current across compressors, engines, and pumps that power any cooling machine, whether it’s making ice cream to be sold the next week, or cooling expensive chemicals that researchers safely store and use over many years,” said Belitsky. “Every machine action has a unique fingerprint, and being able to track each one with algorithms yields valuable, actionable insights.”

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SAP Commerce Cloud Dresses up Digital Storefronts

COVID-19 has caused disruption across the global economy, forcing companies to alter tried-and-true business processes and meet customers where they are. 

With in-person interactions no longer the default option, companies are investing in digital commerce sites for business and consumer transactions.

SAP Commerce Cloud is aiming to make it easier for businesses to open these digital storefronts and customer engagement platforms to support B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer sites all on a single platform, said Paula Hansen, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for SAP Customer Experience.

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SAP.iO Startup Cuéntame Supports Mental Health in the Workplace

In 2020, the global pandemic and the related economic uncertainty have increased stress levels for employees around the world. The loss of productivity caused by the surge in mental health disorders is estimated to cost companies a trillion dollars per year. We sat down with Regina Athie, the founder of SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco startup Cuéntame, to discuss mental health and better understand Cuéntame’s solution, which supports the mental health of Spanish-speaking employees in Latin America and North America.

Q: What does Cuéntame do to support mental health?

A: Cuéntame provides personalized mental health services and resources for all employees at their convenience. By using questionnaires and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we are able to place employees on tailored tracks that suit their needs best because mental health solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Cuéntame offers a full spectrum of tools, lessons, and coping techniques, including mediation, webinars, podcasts, and psychotherapy.

Q: Why did you found Cuéntame?

A: Each of Cuéntame’s co-founders has a unique experience with mental health in their personal life. For me, I realized there was a need for more creative mental health solutions when my dad was diagnosed with depression, but our insurance refused to pay for any treatments. Depression is just like a physical illness, such as cancer, yet society and employers do not make it a priority. Cuéntame provides a tailored digital solution to meet mental health needs for Spanish-speaking employees at any company.

Q: How has the importance of mental health in the workplace changed since the beginning of the pandemic?

A: Before the pandemic, mental health was seen as a luxury. It didn’t focus on preventative measures–instead, it focused only on providing support to employees in a crisis. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic, mental health is largely about providing tools to support employees and their families cope with the symptoms of our current situation, whether it is depression, anxiety, loneliness, or burnout. Our treatments to these problems include providing tools to overcome these symptoms, teaching resiliency, and creating communities of support in and outside of work.

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With a SAP collaboration and a round A underway, Pico comes out punching from Covid-19 crisis

The Israeli startup is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world and was selected to take part in SAP’s first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program.

It is no secret that there are many tech companies that benefited from Covid-19. For Haifa-based startup Pico, which has created a technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into identifiable customer profiles to support business objectives, the pandemic has not only been good for business but has helped validate what the company has been preaching for years.

“Covid-19 accelerated our growth tremendously. In the last two years we were running around with our sales pitch that you have to know who your digital fans are because most of your fans are online and not at your stadium and you don’t have data about them and need to start building this database. Now it isn’t us doing the pitch, it is the teams and the leagues doing it,” Pico CEO Asaf Nevo told CTech. “Everyone in the industry now says we have to understand who these people are. They suddenly realize there is a void, sometimes of tens of millions of fans, that they are spending tens of millions of dollars a year to engage with, but have no idea who they are. In these rough times when we don’t know when people will be back at stadiums, we have to understand who they are, start monetizing them, and begin to look at digital engagement as a new revenue stream.”

Pico is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, German football Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund and several NHL teams.

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With a SAP collaboration and a round A underway, Pico comes out punching from Covid-19 crisis

The Israeli startup is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world and was selected to take part in SAP’s first-ever fan experience–focused startup accelerator program.

t is no secret that there are many tech companies that benefited from Covid-19. For Haifa-based startup Pico, which has created a technology to turn engaged, anonymous sports and entertainment fans into identifiable customer profiles to support business objectives, the pandemic has not only been good for business but has helped validate what the company has been preaching for years.”Covid-19 accelerated our growth tremendously. In the last two years we were running around with our sales pitch that you have to know who your digital fans are because most of your fans are online and not at your stadium and you don’t have data about them and need to start building this database. Now it isn’t us doing the pitch, it is the teams and the leagues doing it,” Pico CEO Asaf Nevo told CTech. “Everyone in the industry now says we have to understand who these people are. They suddenly realize there is a void, sometimes of tens of millions of fans, that they are spending tens of millions of dollars a year to engage with, but have no idea who they are. In these rough times when we don’t know when people will be back at stadiums, we have to understand who they are, start monetizing them, and begin to look at digital engagement as a new revenue stream.”Pico is currently working with over 60 sports teams globally from some of the biggest leagues in the world, including the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, German football Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund and several NHL teams.

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COVID-19 Is Transforming How We Shop For Food

t’s no surprise that grocery stores have done particularly well during the pandemic. Everyone needs to eat and stock up on dry goods. What is surprising is the way the pandemic is changing our buying habits.

People are spending less time in stores, but when they do go, they buy more. There is less human contact as people shop more online and have goods delivered. And supermarkets have become more transactional with less focus on merchandising as people want to get in and out quickly.

During a discussion about the new era of grocery retail sponsored by SAP as part of the The Retail Summit, experts from a home delivery food kit business and an unmanned grocery retailer shared insights and new developments.

Corona cohorts

Robert Grieg-Gran, Co-Founder of Mindful Chef, UK’s highest rated home-delivered recipe box, recounted how the team sat down to make some strategic decisions at the start of the pandemic. Before Covid-19, the company was delivering 12,000 fresh food boxes a week, each containing 5 or 6 meals. When the crisis hit, people stopped eating out, and cooking at home was the only option. Panic buying emptied supermarket shelves, supply chains were disrupted, and competitors were closing their doors. Suddenly, Mindful Chef was delivering 35,000 boxes per week. 

“We asked ourselves, what could we do differently, so people could access fresh food when they need it most,” Grieg-Gran explained. The team was determined to keep their doors open throughout. This meant dropping the menu, increasing the supply chain lead time, and making lots of last-minute substitutions.

“Was the service amazing? No. Was the supply chain perfect? No. But we thought it was important for our customers to get something, rather than us to just shut our doors,” says the chef from Devon. “We added new packing staff, expanded our relationships with our warehouse and delivery partners to scale the business, and maintained ownership of our end-to-end fulfillment process.”

The strategy paid off. People who signed up in March have become repeat customers. “We call them our Corona Cohorts,” says Grieg-Gran with a grin. “They come back because they know they’ll get what they want. After all, food is still a very intimate thing. You’re going to put it inside your body, so you need to trust the people you buy it from.”

Technology and data analytics play a key role in the business. Mindful Chef’s customers expect the team to curate options, so they don’t have to think about what to cook. Data science makes it possible to give each customer the best recommendation because they won’t see menu options they don’t like. The company uses machine learning models to figure out what customers like based on their purchasing histories.

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Pandemic Accelerates Consumer Demand for Personalized Free Sample Boxes

Consumers are eager to discover new brands and have never been more open to trying free samples from the safety of their own homes. These were among the recent findings from a consumer shopping behavior survey conducted by startup Sampler.

Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported being more open to new brands, while just two percent said they were sticking to familiar products. What’s more, 98 percent of people were more likely to try new products if they had samples delivered to their homes compared to picking them up in store. Marie Chevrier, Sampler’s founder and chief executive officer (CEO), said these findings reflected why product sampling is full speed ahead on a digital makeover.

“Being able to digitally target consumers who have an interest in your specific products is light years ahead of traditional in-store sampling approaches,” Chevrier said. “Brand managers at consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are amazed at how targeted and measurable they can be, reaching more people who really want their products and staying close to them. Every consumer brand needs this higher level of targeting, and the COVID-19 pandemic just accelerated that demand.”

Relationships Built on Personalized Samples

Headquartered in Canada, Sampler has helped more than 500 of the world’s leading and emerging consumer packaged goods brands send samples to consumers who are interested in their products and build lasting relationships that stoke demand for more.

Sampler customers hail from 24 countries, primarily in North America and Western Europe. The brands cut across beauty, food, beverage, household, baby, personal care supplements, and vitamins, and have one common characteristic: they want to target, track, and measure product sampling programs with greater effectiveness. Like online advertising, brands decide which consumers they want to target. Except, in this case, they are shipping actual sample products to Sampler’s warehouses located worldwide.

Consumers looking for free samples can opt in to receive personalized boxes of product samples by completing a profile. Sampler has a total of approximately 60 million insights from a database of 2 million consumers. The company targets consumers against a filter of 700 segments, such as eating habits, fashion tastes, ingredient preferences, and historical activity with Sampler itself. The relationship building comes in when Sampler asks consumers how they feel about the products they received and if they were likely to purchase them. Follow-up also encourages consumers to leave reviews or ratings with feedback and take advantage of additional offers to make a purchase.

Digital Heralds New Age of Product Sampling

According to Chevrier, half of Sampler consumers who try a product sign up to receive a brand’s newsletter, and one-third rate and review sampled products. Depending on the product category, she said that companies can expect to convert between one to 10 percent of products sampled to a purchase within 90 days.

Many companies incorporate Sampler into social media advertising promotions on their own websites or others, serving up free sample offers targeted toward consumers who have opted in for certain product categories. Sampler also works with various partners, such as online magazines and retailers, with offers for their audiences.

“Companies can easily embed their free offer in an online influencer’s video review, allowing viewers to click on a link and claim their samples,” Chevrier explained. “When consumers leave reviews and ratings, the company can bring that feedback directly into their own platforms and marketing campaigns.”

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Shopping Study: Pandemic Accelerates Consumer Demand For Personalized Free Sample Boxes

Consumers are eager to discover new brands, and have never been more open to trying free samples from the safety of their own homes. These were among the recent findings from a consumer shopping behavior survey conducted by startup Sampler.

Ninety-eight percent of respondents reported being more open to new brands, while just two percent said they were sticking to familiar products. What’s more, 98 percent of people were more likely to try new products if they had samples delivered to their home compared to picking them up in-store. Marie Chevrier, Sampler’s founder and CEO, said these findings reflected why product sampling is full speed ahead on a digital makeover.

“Being able to digitally target consumers who have an interest in your specific products is light-years ahead of traditional in-store sampling approaches,” said Chevrier. “Brand managers at consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are amazed at how targeted and measurable they can be, reaching more people who really want their products, and staying close to them. Every consumer brand needs this higher level of targeting, and the pandemic just accelerated that demand.”

Relationships built on personalized samples

Headquartered in Canada, Sampler has helped over 500 of the world’s leading and emerging consumer packaged goods brands send samples to the consumers who are interested in their products, and build lasting relationships that stoke demand for more.

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SAP.iO Foundry New York Launches Accelerator Program for Women and Diverse Entrepreneurs Focused on Retail, Manufacturing and Automotive Technology

NEW YORK — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has announced the launch of the SAP.iO Foundry New York Fall 2020 virtual accelerator program with six early-stage enterprise startups led by women and/or diverse entrepreneurs. These startups are driving innovation with solutions relevant to the retail, manufacturing or automotive industries.

“Digitalization is advancing enterprise business progress more than at any other time in history,” said Vanessa Liu, head of SAP North America Foundries. “Understanding that startup innovation can drive value for our customers and partners in these industries in a post COVID-19 global society, we welcome these entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds to the SAP.iO family.”

SAP customers need to adapt quickly to market dynamics, and this requires an unparalleled commitment to digitalization. To this end, SAP.iO remains committed to its SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative, announced in early 2019, and to the belief that a healthy ecosystem includes entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.

“We welcome this innovative group to the New York Fall 2020 cohort,” said Peter Maier, SAP president of Industries and Customer Advisory. “We are particularly looking forward to working with these companies on our industry cloud solutions for retail, manufacturing and automotive that will enable our customers to rapidly respond to new business requirements and drive cost-effective transformation and sustainable growth.”

The 12-week program will be held virtually. The new cohort includes startups using technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, 3D printing, robotic fabrication and ultrasonic to drive new business insights and capabilities. The cohort will have access to curated mentorship from SAP executives, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), and opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers. The program will culminate with the Demo Day in December 2020.

The SAP.iO Foundry New York cohort includes the following startups:

  • Cogniac is an enterprise platform utilizing AI, human-computer interaction tools and large-scale data management to enable easy automation of any visual inspection task for the industrial and manufacturing industries.
  • Hero is an online shopping platform that helps retail store associates connect, through text, chat and video, with hundreds of millions of online shoppers.
  • Ivaldi provides companies with a sustainable, cost-effective digital distribution solution to identify, qualify and distribute digital spare-part files for on-demand production and distribution.
  • LISNR’s ultrasonic data-over-sound technology enables proximity verification and contactless transactions for merchants, financial service providers and automotive and transportation companies.
  • Rheaply offers an award-winning asset management and exchange platform to help customers visualize, quantify and utilize their physical assets.
  • Wise Systems is an AI-driven dispatch and routing software that helps enterprises adapt to everyday challenges, improving fleet efficiency and customer service.

To learn more about SAP.iO and how SAP is helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries, visit SAP.iO.

SAP Boosts Industry-Wide Innovation with Startup Partnerships

The COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme test in business agility, particularly across some of the hardest hit industries like healthcare, supermarkets, and manufacturing. Iristrace, a European-based startup, has developed a cloud-based platform that one hospital in Spain is testing to provide better patient care regardless of unpredictable demands.

Healthcare providers can use the COVID Patient Record Management mobile app to monitor real-time data about everything from hospital bed capacity by room to what equipment each patient is being treated with, and their vital signs.

“The algorithm helps simplify decisions for more informed and effective conversations about next steps,” said André Kingham, chairman of Iristrace. “Like most organizations, hospitals can’t easily rework IT systems to add new protocols. Our cloud-based solution allows the hospital to quickly evolve protocols and cascade compliance into patient care without IT expertise.”

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Startup Boosts Industry-Wide Business Agility

The COVID-19 pandemic is an extreme test in business agility, particularly across some of the hardest hit industries like healthcare, supermarkets, and manufacturing. Iristrace, a European-based startup, has developed a cloud-based platform that one hospital in Spain is testing to provide better patient care regardless of unpredictable demands.

Healthcare providers can use the COVID Patient Record Management mobile app to monitor real-time data about everything from hospital bed capacity by room, to what equipment each patient is being treated with, and their vital signs.

“The algorithm helps simplify decisions for more informed and effective conversations about next steps,” said André Kingham, chairman of Iristrace. “Like most organizations, hospitals can’t easily rework IT systems to add new protocols. Our cloud-based solution allows the hospital to quickly evolve protocols and cascade compliance into patient care without IT expertise.”

Save time, reduce mistakes, improve patient care

Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners on the front lines can rely on the mobile app for continuity of daily patient care. Whether they are at the patient’s bedside or behind the scenes with testing and research, providers can use the app to reliably capture and analyze relevant information. This can speed up hospital admissions and patient transfers for surgery, and support safer handovers during shift changes along with better release decisions.

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SAP.iO Foundries: Healthcare Startups Transform Pandemic Response

Healthcare startups are challenging longtime industry practices and assumptions, transforming everything from patient care to organizational efficiencies.

Two entrepreneurs recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York and shared their respective missions to help patients and providers in a vastly changed healthcare landscape.

Real-Time Intelligence Improves Time Management

Applying computer science and systems thinking to improve people’s lives has been a central tenet of Kishau Rogers’ career as an engineer and computer scientist. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amped up the mission behind her newest venture called Time Study. More than 35 hospitals throughout the U.S. rely on the startup’s “time intelligence” cloud-based platform, which uses machine learning to track how physicians, researchers, and other healthcare employees spend their time.

“Instead of just counting hours worked, we wanted to shift the concept of timesheets to a human-centered approach, elevating opportunities to improve people’s lives at work,” Rogers said. “Many of the time management issues we were already looking at, such as data silos and complexity, have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

Time Study has helped hospitals better understand fast-changing workforce movements, whether employees were hunting for scarce personal protective equipment (PPE), jumping into different care-giving roles onsite, or providing new patient services like telehealth. Some hospitals have improved data collection and reporting times by 80 percent and increased regulatory compliance by more than 120 percent.

“Having this platform during the crisis allowed hospitals to see the immediate impact on physician satisfaction levels and performance, as well as employee activities and workflow,” Rogers explained. “Many hospitals are using this data to make resource adjustments as they uncover work performance patterns. With real-time insights, they can better align resources while meeting quality patient care and evolving compliance mandates around patient care standards and reimbursement.”

Rogers was particularly excited about Time Study’s recently launched mobile app. In addition to selecting from time entry categories, healthcare workers can use voice notes to capture tasks in the moment, upload text messages, or time themselves as they perform activities. As the algorithm learns someone’s work patterns, people can spend less time on reporting.

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Healthcare Startups At The Center Of Data-Driven Pandemic Response

Healthcare startups are challenging longtime industry practices and assumptions, transforming everything from patient care to organizational efficiencies. Here’s how two entrepreneurs that recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York viewed their respective missions to help patients and providers in a vastly changed healthcare landscape.

Real-time intelligence improves time management

Applying computer science and systems thinking to improve people’s lives has been a central tenet of Kishau Rogers’ career as an engineer and computer scientist. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amped up the mission behind her newest venture called Time Study. Over 35 hospitals throughout the United States rely on the startup’s “time intelligence” cloud-based platform that uses machine learning to track how physicians, researchers, and other healthcare employees are spending their time.

”Instead of just counting hours worked, we wanted to shift the concept of timesheets to a human-centered approach, elevating opportunities to improve people’s lives at work,” said Rogers. “Many of the time management issues we were already looking at, such as data silos and complexity, have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

Time Study has helped hospitals better understand fast-changing workforce movements, whether employees were hunting for scarce PPE, jumping into different care-giving roles onsite, or providing new patient services like telehealth. Some hospitals have improved data collection and reporting times by 80 percent, and increased regulatory compliance by over 120 percent.

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Mobile Robotics Startup Powers Warehouse Productivity Safely

When Rahul Nambiar, co-founder and CEO of Botsync, transformed his passion for robotics into autonomous mobile robots with three other co-founders, little did they imagine their efforts will become key in the new reality of business today.

“As a company, we want to resolve the mismatch between consumer demand and limited labor supply in the logistics and manufacturing sectors,” said Rahul. “It is estimated that by 2028, there will be 2.4M jobs unfulfilled in these industries. So, we knew there will be a definite demand for the autonomous mobile robots we are building. What we hadn’t expected was how quickly this demand would evolve.”

In today’s new normal where businesses resuming operations are facing new restrictions due to COVID-19 infection risks, the logistics and manufacturing sectors are finding it challenging to operate. They face mandatory sanitation measures, safe distancing rules, and a manpower crunch due to restrictions in travel. This has seriously affected productivity levels.

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