To Our Valued Customers: Smart Warehousing has received numerous requests for a statement regarding the impact of the newly emerged COVID-19 on their supply chains. From an operational standpoint, the basic fear is that a significant number of employees could be unable to attend work due to illness, thus hampering a company’s ability to perform contracted services. With this in mind, Smart Warehousing continues to monitor the status of COVID-19 in accordance with our personnel and disaster preparedness policies. At present, Smart Warehousing is unaware of any cases of COVID-19 at any of our fulfillment locations affecting our personnel or our ability to perform contracted services. For additional information, the CDC has set up a website (Coronavirus Disease 2019, available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html) to provide information as it becomes available. We value our customers, our associates and our future. We are communicating precautions and awareness to our internal associates and will continue to communicate with you as additional details emerge. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of your normal contacts at Smart Warehousing. Please click here for PDF version of Smart Warehousing COVID-19 Statement.
With the coronavirus continuing to spread, you may be asking yourself how to best keep your employees healthy and infection-free. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a pneumonia-like virus that originated in China and has now spread to six out of the seven world’s continents, excluding Antarctica. There are now more than 83,000 cases with at least 2,800 deaths worldwide. New coronavirus cases were reported in Europe, including Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia with some cities in Italy on lock down. There are several cases of the virus reported in the U.S. The outbreak in China seems to be slowing, but if you would like to prepare your business for the possibility of a potential pandemic, see our suggestions below. Communication Work with your HR department to prepare an instruction guide for employees ahead of time to educate them about the coronavirus and ways that they can keep themselves healthy. This material should be communicated through all available channels to ensure that all employees can access it. A couple of great resources to utilize when gathering information include the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flexibility The best way to avoid possible transmission within your company is to implement flexible working arrangements. This eliminates the potential for transmission not only at the office, but also during their work commute. During this time, take advantage of project management dashboards, chat platforms and other online tools. If this is not an option, implementing face masks, hand sanitizer and proper personal hygiene can help avoid viral infections at the workplace. Reconsider Leave We want to avoid a situation in
To many, the Chinese New Year marks the beginning of the New Year, while businesses see the holiday as a supply chain nightmare. The date of the festival falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice on December 21st, which happens to be January 25th, 2020. Even though the Chinese New Year only lasts one week, many factories and businesses shut down for about 10 days before the holiday to allow for travel time, causing the disruption to last anywhere from 35-40 days. As you can imagine, this throws a serious wrench into many business’s logistics plans. The Chinese New Year will affect your supply chain in several ways. During this time when employees travel back to their hometown, all manufacturing projects are put on hold while manufacturers and distributors go on vacation as well. This means that no orders ship out of China or Taiwan. Any attempts at phone calls or emails will remain unanswered as no one will be present on site. You may experience serious production slowdowns about one to two weeks before the Chinese New Year because employees have already left to travel back home. In addition to slow production, you may also run into some quality control issues as workers rush to complete orders before too many employees leave and before they close for the holiday. The Chinese New Year produces a lot of turnover within factories, resulting in additional quality control problems from inexperienced new hires. This all may seem like inevitable chaos, but fortunately we have several tips to help keep your supply chain running smoothly. Ship Orders Early: Try to
Each year the way we do business continues to evolve as technology advances. These changes have international affects across the globe, while others influence us on a personal level. Overall, technology is altering how we work and understand our businesses. Smart Warehousing and Paul Wallbank with Ovations have predicted the following technology trends and focuses for 2020. 1.) Computers Machines are gradually taking over more tasks within all different industries, from long-haul trucking and customer service to healthcare and inventory management. For example, Smart Warehousing utilizes S.W.I.M.S., our web-based order and inventory management system created specifically for the warehousing and supply chain management industry, to provide our customers with real-time visibility of their inventory. All the while, these computers are talking to each other, which speeds up decision making processes and reduces the need for specific management within companies. 2.) Reorganization As mentioned, the increase of computers and quicker decision-making results in the need for less management. In order to remain competitive, companies must reduce management levels in order to process information quicker. If not, they will lose business to others who are more adept. 3.) 3D Printing 3D printers build three-dimensional, solid objects by adding material layer by layer through a computer-aided design model. This allows the user to print anything from an acoustic guitar to entire houses. 3D printing is occurring alongside advances in biological engineering. It is predicted that within the next decade we will have the capability to print skin, body parts and organs. 4.) Mobile Apps It is hard to imagine a time when we did not have access to smart phones, and the mobile
One of Smart Warehousing’s current customers, Easy Treezy, made an appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank in episode 1110, during their 2019 Shark Tank Holiday Special. Kurt Stange, founder of Easy Treezy, presented their patented system that makes setting up your Christmas Tree easy (hence the name) in as little as 60 seconds. This innovative and lightweight tree comes in cone-shaped parts that can be easily assembled with locking magnets. The best part – the trees are already pre-decorated and pre-lit, reducing the hassle and long-drawn process of buying and setting up a traditional tree. The trees range in cost from $279-$899 and can be purchased on Amazon and the Easy Treezy website. With hopes of securing a partnership with a Shark, Kurt asks for a $400,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity. With margins at 35%, Easy Treezy is projected to sell over $2 million in 2019. The sharks agreed that the trees could be an effective seasonal business, but unfortunately no one was biting, and they were unable to close a deal. Although Easy Treezy did not secure an investment with the sharks, their business is booming and continuing to expand! When the Christmas Trees first appeared on QVC, they sold out of product and continue to receive positive reviews of their innovative trees. Smart Warehousing manages Easy Treezy’s inventory by accurately storing, picking, packing and shipping their products so they can remain focused on their core business. Smart also coordinates all product and shipping standards by the retailers they are selling through, including Amazon, Target and Walmart, to successfully deliver their Christmas Trees to the distribution centers and
Every year companies are required to shift their efforts to target the ever-changing consumer trends to achieve a successful holiday shopping season. The Deloitte Insights Consumer Industry Center conducted cutting edge research in their Deloitte 2019 Holiday Retail Survey to best determine where companies should focus their energy to achieve superior business results. Smart Warehousing has constructed a consumer profile to help make this year’s shopping season one for the books. 1.) Steady Consumer Spend This year, consumers are predicted to spend $1,496 per household. Projected consumer holiday spend has had a 5.4% compound annual growth rate since 2012. Consumers are anticipating spending the same, if not more, than last year, yet their outlook on their future household finances have dropped 13% from 2018. 2.) Price, Product & Convenience Consumers continue to make price a prime deciding factor while holiday shopping, but product quality and variety rank even higher. As competition increases with product deals and assortment, convenience rises as a prime differentiating factor, especially in online stores. 3.) Free Holiday Shipping With the growing rise in online shopping, we are all aware of consumer’s shipping expectations, but which do they value more – fast or free shipping? Deloitte found that 85% of consumers prefer free shipping over fast shipping. Of that, 80% of shoppers who prefer free shipping are willing to wait three or more days to receive their order, while half of shoppers intend to use the buy-online-pick-up-in-store option. 4.) Increase in Experiences Holiday spend over the last five years has seen an increase in “experiences” over gifts and total other spend. These experiences include travel, dining