The coronavirus pandemic is infecting countless people and has closed down hundreds of thousands of companies. Many ecommerce companies are trying to remain open and service customers while keeping their workers and consumers safe. Others have actually momentarily closed down and are considering how and when they can reopen.
As experts to wholesale distributors, merchants and ecommerce companies, we are working with a variety of “vital” companies staying operational, along with retailers implementing local curbside pickup. Like you, our hope is to get through this and move on to the “new regular.” Meanwhile, here are some things to keep in mind:
Adhere to CDC, OHSA, Government Guidelines
CDC and OSHA have laid out clear treatments for operations in this coronavirus crisis. As we work with business that are remaining open, we discovered the CDC has released some very clear guides for staff member and facility security. It is also releasing day-to-day and weekly updates to keep you informed. Contrary to federal government’s common long, jargon-filled treatments, these are clear and can be an excellent resource to notify your policy, treatments and training materials.
- Educating staff members to recognize the signs of coronavirus and what to do ill.
We are not promoting violation of any regulations or pronouncements by health and security agencies like the CDC and OSHA, local, state or federal government. All of us concur that the number-one top priority is worker and customer security.
- Sanitizing numerous workspace surface areas. For several of our clients, this suggests shutting down production a number of times per day to sanitize
- Develop policies for worker security, availability of individual defense equipment and training
We understand keeping your clients and staff members safe is of utmost value.
Order Fulfillment and Customer Service
Crafts store Michael’s with countless SKUs is operating curbside pickup throughout the pandemic. Many major sellers deal this service also, including Kohl’s, Petco, Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, DSW, GameStop and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Your customers understand these are difficult and attempting times, however that doesn’t suggest they’ll be client with slower or irregular performance. Each business needs to figure out how it can carry out and the service levels it can provide. Here are 2 examples out of our recent experience with grocery shopping utilizing curbside pickup:
- Communicate item accessibility; invoice of order; whether you permit order adjustment; communicate when prepared for pickup;
- How will you achieve these functions? Productivity for lots of businesses is lower than normal. They have added extra shifts.
- How flexible can your customer care be on order modification? Certainly, you don’t desire to have every customer and order being an exception which is a headache.
We have actually gone shopping 3 significant grocery chains including Walmart, which offered us the finest experience. The market never anticipated curbside pickup to face this type of volume, worrying sellers’ people, processes and systems.
A specialized foods company we patronize only a couple hundred ready entrée and side food products has an extremely structured process: You hire the order; they examine product availability on their POS; they credit authorize the purchase; they select the order and location it in a cooler for instant pickup. For little stores this might serve as a design.
With one large chain, we might not successfully cancel three days in advance of curbside pickup. The regional shop had no way to cancel. A client service chat failed to answer in a five-hour duration. And the customer support IVR stated we ‘d be on hold for 254 minutes!As the regional store started selecting, we received an e-mail and might cancel the order. From a customer perspective, some simple things to think about:
Sales and Inventory Strategy
A number of our consumers have enormous item varieties. Tracking and potentially reordering all items throughout the supply chain may not be possible. As a possible stock and sales method, what if you take care of crucial products only– the 80/20 in your assortment? Pareto’s Law (20% of items offers you 80% of sales) uses to numerous retail and ecommerce merchandise varieties. If this doesn’t hold for your organisation, what secret products will stay in stock to optimize sales?
- How are overseas providers impacted by coronavirus? Are they at full production, decreased hours or closed?
- Are key suppliers, either domestic or offshore, in lock down?
- When you predict sales on essential products and compare in transit and in stock times, for how long will inventories last? Are their alternate providers? Can you position larger order for key items to maximize sales?
- Is your personnel (buyers and transport personnel) continually wanting to expedite deliveries and keeping tabs on key products? How can you be more proactive to prevent surprises when items don’t ship on time or at all?
- Have you budgeted for higher freight costs? How will gross margin be affected?
- Provided the reality of significant sales decreases and higher costs, how is money flow impacted? Can you increase credit lines? We hope you gotten the Cares Act and the Payroll Protection Plan through the Small Business Administration.Being momentarily shut
Many ecommerce business are trying to remain open and service customers while keeping their employees and clients safe. A consumer service chat failed to respond to in a five-hour duration. How versatile can your consumer service be on order adjustment? Numerous of our clients have enormous product varieties. You need to think about the dangers of continuing operations on the future of your organisation and your consumer relationships.
down is devastating. You need to consider the threats of continuing operations on the future of your business and your client relationships. This indicates complying with CDC and OSHA requirements, and adapting rapidly to altering conditions. We hope that God will restore your households and business soon. Brian Barry is President of F. Curtis Barry & Company