It is a strange world we are living in and the economy keeps on changing. The United States has made many fundamental shifts in how it does business as of 2020. This is all because of the COVID-19 pandemic and many companies are having to make drastic changes to the way they work. From shipping departments doubling in size overnight to floor sales staff being let go. The changes are really happing on the back end of many companies and what is happening is that shipping departments have become the most important parts of companies. This is happening in many different ways and this year they must stay competitive in order to survive.
The easiest way for a company to go bankrupt is to not be competitive. This year most brick and mortar companies are changing into more e-commerce based businesses. The transition is truly complicated but one simple way they are losing to the competition is through lack of proper quartermaster purchasing. When you are overspending on packaging supplies the whole shows starts to collapse. If you end up buying boxes at twice the price of your competitor then it is hard to lose several percent on every single sale. What happens if your tape and labels are also being sold at higher prices?
The answer is to shop well. This means finding a great packaging supplies company and get better deals. If you can go direct and buy in bulk, I have found that you can at least stay competitive and maybe get a competitive advantage over a rival. That is the easiest, simplest, and yet most overlooked area. It is because the shipping department seems small and there are bigger fish to fry, but if you do not look out this area will sink your e-commerce company.
The next area that can be difficult is staff changes. In order to make your shipping department thrive, you may have to change who is working for you or hire new people while letting old ones go. I find it better to retrain if you can. The sales department workers on the flood who are now no longer needed can be great shipping department workers. I know it is a job shift, but they know your products and can help get it out to new people. They can also help with the customer service side of your company that may have not existed the week before. The new transition will mean lots of more calls coming in about fixing issues. Sometimes it is best to have your best salespeople on the phone to keep people happy.
Another area that may get your company into trouble is not having a big enough work floor. This may be because you are shifting to an e-commerce company. The shift I have been seeing is for companies to start eliminating the sales floor or brick and mortar sales sections and put them to use for storage and shipping. This can be done with a simple shelving system and a good labeling system that you already have in place. If you don’t have one I suggest using the ABC’s and numbers to order your new warehouse. I also like the use of cardboard boxes on shelves to hold products instead of expensive alternatives. Hope these tips help your company in these hard times.