Tag Archives: business

How Midsize Businesses Can Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

The impact of COVID-19 on human lives is the first thing everyone should worry about. Thousands of deaths around the world have made the virus a huge threat to humanity, in many ways. One of the other ways it impacts us is the impact on global economy. The spread of the disease and restricting measures to contain it have put many businesses in frustrating situations, and even cause people to lose their jobs. Many companies look for effective ways to avoid damage, layoffs, and shutdowns. There are several useful practices that can help midsize and larger businesses to survive the coronavirus crisis.

How midsize businesses can survive the coronavirus crisis

Focus on protecting employees and customers

Companies are already implementing a work-from-home approach for their workers and social distancing practices for those who need to be present. Essentially, ensuring safety measures for those are an inevitable part of the company’s responsibility. Strict non-travel or self-isolation policies are also in place for the majority of businesses. However, some firms will need to take more advanced actions. Although many companies will need to cut costs, it is important to consider less harmful ways to do so. If it is possible, try to avoid laying off employees, or reach a compromise that will leave both sides satisfied.

On the customer side, the main thing businesses will have to provide is good communication and support. Your customers are as worried as you are, but in this challenging time, they will remember your brand’s behavior. It strongly depends on the company’s communication strategy whether your customers will stay loyal to you, or whether you will lose a point of contact. If your services are still available, make sure to clearly communicate that you still operate, or can offer your products or services in any other convenient way for the customer. Out-of-normal situations require out-of normal solutions, so don’t hesitate to rethink and restructure your strategy.

Emergency plan and reformation

It is crucial to outline a few possible outcomes of the evolving situation, and how your business will handle each of them. Gathering with the team and brainstorming your next moves will help prepare and secure yourself in the face of uncertainty. To better understand and analyze the situation, define the most vulnerable and strongest areas of your business, and how you can articulate them to avoid damage. Re-calibrating your inventory, logistics strategy, and sales is essential to adjust to the new conditions. Monitoring how the pandemic evolves will also give businesses a helpful insight on the next moves.

Consider taking the aid package from the government

Once the COVID-19 started hitting the global economy, small businesses were the first to suffer the damage. However, many mid-size and larger businesses have also experienced a substantial impact. The ones who find it very challenging can apply for an aid package from the recently approved governmental $2 trillion stimulus package. According to the statement, businesses with 500 to 10,000 employees can take direct loans with interest rates up to 2%, after qualifying for certain requirements. In particular, the aid has to cover at least 90% of employee paychecks until September 2020.

How A 3PL Can Benefit An E-Commerce Business

Today, we can buy and sell everything we want online, but one thing still remains the same – items need to reach us. Unlike the traditional method, e-commerce made logistics for retail companies more complicated than it was in the offline era. More and more companies start using 3PL for e-commerce transportation. 

The number of small businesses and retail companies is constantly growing, and the number of customer demands grows even faster. Today, customers define what good service is, and most good customer reviews include fast and smooth shipping experiences.

Here is where third-party logistics providers (or 3PL’s) come to help. 3PL’s are who can help you manage your logistics, warehousing, inventory and load management. In other words, you can fully or partly outsource any transportation needs to a logistics company, and focus on marketing or other parts of your business.

How can you use 3PL for e-commerce business?3PL for ecommerce

  • Supply chain management. A good 3PL can analyze your supply chain, define current gaps and provide solutions to increase efficiency. Also, you can cut unnecessary operational spends with a 3PL and reduce overall spending on logistics.
  • LTL and consolidation. Logistics companies often possess a large carrier network and offer numerous transportation modes. If you are a small company, less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping can be a solution for your time and budget. 3PL also provide consolidation programs to move your goods in the most practical and cost-effective way.
  • Warehousing and inventory. Smooth and consistent order fulfillment is what modern e-commerce companies are looking for. Some 3PL’s can not only manage inbound freight and storage but also take care of your inventory and order fulfillment with the help of their technology and expertise.

Working with a reliable and reputable 3PL can simplify your operational responsibility and enhance your supply chain performance.

Apart from that, here are some comprehensive advantages of outsourcing your logistics to a third-party:

  • Reduce costs, save time. With all the services provided by the 3PL, you can significantly reduce your transportation costs. It also allows you to eliminate manual management and focus on your main competence.
  • Visibility and reporting. Most 3PL providers use transportation management systems (TMS), which lets them efficiently manage every shipment. Technology gives you 360-degree visibility into every operation and assures you keep track of each update.
  • Flexibility. While a 3PL manages your transportation, you stay in control. Regardless of how your transportation needs change with time or demand, a good 3PL can adjust.

To sum it up, working with a reliable third-party logistics provider can benefit e-commerce companies in many ways. From order fulfillment to shipment tracking, a 3PL can provide effective solutions to help your business prosper.

Need logistics help? Contact us now with any questions you have! 

 

A Look into the Holiday Shipping Season

The holiday season remains one of the busiest times for retailers, and each year, the volume of shipments continues to grow. E-commerce continues to make advancements for supply chain needs and service requirements, making it harder to compete with big companies like Amazon. This year, e-commerce sales are estimated to obtain 52 percent of total orders made during the season.

Here are some key trends to look for this year during the holiday season:

Optimizing mobile applications

Almost all consumers have smart phones with access to mobile applications. It is essential to provide your customer with a convenient way to use your mobile application so that they can easily carry out their supply chain function or make purchases online. As more people are shopping on their mobile device, your mobile version should be as polished as the website. If customers can make purchases through your app, make sure that the checkout process runs smoothly and that the site will handle technical obstacles during the peak days of sellouts.

Offer free shipping

Many retailers are offering free shipping to customers during the holiday season to produce more sales and customer loyalty. When shopping for the holidays, many customers are more likely to shop at places that offer free shipping deals instead of companies that do not. The companies that are offering free shipping should prepare for the holiday season in advance and have all of their shipments in before the big shopping days arrive to ensure they have enough product for the volume of orders they will be receiving.

Focus on supply chain efficiency

Handling the stress of the holiday season can be challenging. Businesses need to control and monitoring their supply chain at every stage of operations to make sure all the processes run smoothly. Reviewing warehouses, reading over contracts with 3PL providers or fleet owners can help companies run a successful, organized supply chain during the busiest season.

Extensive sales period

Extending the sales period is a popular and efficient way to take the pressure off of the company and logistics providers, as the general volume of orders is pushed back and given more time. In addition, elongated selling time means more purchases. According to statistics and experts forecast, the period between Thanksgiving and the end of Cyber Monday week represents 37 percent of the total U.S. holiday retail sales.

Every year, the preparation process for the holiday shipping season becomes more complex. New technology and solutions are constantly being developed to help companies overcome the peak season. A proper analysis, research, and preparation in advance will do a lot in reaching aspired goals.