Amazon India said that it has made nearly 100 changes in its on-ground operations to maintain social distancing in its buildings and ensure safe deliveries for customers, associates, employees and partners. With the third phase of the lockdown set to end on May 17, e-commerce companies still wait for the government's nod to start full-fledged services. Currently e-commerce companies are allowed to only supply essentials. In its statement, the company said that it has adopted new practices within all its operations sites including fulfilment centres, sortation centres and delivery stations through new formats of communications, process changes, new training methods and several policy changes.
On the employee front to ensure safety, the company has staggered the shift start times and break times and also capped the maximum occupancy in canteens and common areas to maintain safe distance between employees. While temperature screening at all entry and exit stations and face masks have been made available at all sites, several kiosks for self-screening of temperature have also been introduced. Amazon has also made changes in its training to online sessions or app-based meetings and in-person coaching sessions have been restricted to only critical cases with reduced meeting room capacity, maintaining a two-meter social distance.
The company has made changes to its process flow for their on-ground staff which includes changes in the way items are picked, packed and bagged to ensure a minimum distance of two metres following social distancing guidelines. Self-declaration process has been mandated for all contractors to screen any potential cases. Henceforth only one person would be allowed to load or unload products at any time and even the arrival time of drivers and delivery associates has been staggered to avoid crowding at sites.
Most importantly, at the time of delivery, associates will do contactless deliveries and place the order at customers' doorstep to avoid any physical contact for the safety of the consumers.
During the third phase of the lockdown, the government relaxed its norms allowing e-commerce firms to deliver both essential and non-essential items across green and orange zones. However, in red zones, they were allowed to deliver only essential items that include grocery, hygiene products, and medicines. Amazon Inc during its quarterly results said that India's lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic has been the biggest impact to the company's international business segment. CFO Brian Olsavsky said that the company was in a 'bit of a holding pattern' except for grocery fulfillment, the only operations that the company is currently carrying out due to government restrictions.
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