Monthly Archives: February 2021

Lessons from Management and Boxes

If you are in the U.S. than you know that the economy has changed.  We are now massivly focused on online and getting packages through the mail.  Due to the massive amount of different regulations from state to state companies are struggling to keep up with the change.  Many companies have moved from a brick-and-mortar store to a more e-commerce focused business almost overnight. This has changed the backend and in many cases the front end of many stores.  If this change is happening to your company or you are pondering moving to a larger e-commerce focused business then I want to go over some things that could save your business because they worked for mine.

Foot traffic is going to be lowered for most of the country in all of these brick-and-mortar stores.  In our business, this meant a total revamp of our company.  We ended up moving many of our staff into different positions and at different times in order to allow us to keep our staff. Since our front-end staff was no longer needed to sell directly to customers we transitioned them into working on our newly focused e-commerce section.  This was not as easy as we imagined it would be.  We have to not only train these employees to do shipping but we need the safe space.

Delivery concept. Boxes on pallet in the warehouse. 3d

When you are limited by rules and space is an issue you have to find a way to overcome that.  We now moved from foot traffic sales to almost all online.  This big switch meant that we needed to move our front-end store into a much smaller section.  The easiest way was to get a hold of the landlord and make sure it was fine to put in a temporary wall that took the floor space on the front end and made it much smaller.  We lowered the floor space by about half and started to create more space for everyone involved and the things we needed to place there.

We knew that we had to change and we made a priority to be able to store the products more efficiently and be able to find and move them in and out of our system more reliably.  See with a brick and mortar store display and showing products correctly takes priority.  The other thing to think about is to eliminate inventory issues such as theft.  That can ruin your number fast.  So in order to do this, we ended up ordering lots of shipping supplies in order to organize our new back-end store better. We looked up some articles and other staff remembered that most big box stores simply use cardboard bins that they ordered as shipping supplies.  It was a good plan. 

It is all about making things easy and workable.  So, we move the back end of the store into aisles that allowed us to use a numbering and letter system to categorize each product in more detail.  We had a good system but since our inventory was going to double and need to be a bit more efficient it was necessary.  The staff understood the system really quickly.  This was a wonderful thing because the alphabetical aisles and numbers for each shelf sped up each order gatherer in finding a product. With any luck, these tips will help you out.

Packaging Items for the home

This year has been a bit of a wild ride so far.  The local lockdowns in 2021 are still happening and the economy is an absolute wreck.  Unemployment is on the rise and our new president is tanking our economy even worse.  I work from home now thanks to draconian laws and so does my wife.  This means that we also spend lots of time working on the home as well since we have so much extra time on our hands.  This has taught us many lessons. From working on bathrooms to cabinets we have learned that there are some items that are a must-have for the house.  Shopping smart is key and going online and purchasing from a shipping supplies store has been the best pricing we have found.

When things go wrong sometimes you need a quick fix and that is all. Many situations have to have quick solutions to save disaster from happening.  If you want to not waste a day shopping for a part at a big box store or simply watch your house start to flood, quick fixes are important.  One of the things you need to have on hand and lots of types of it is tape.  The amount of problems you can solve with tape is incredible.  In the end, the quick fix can save hours, money, and sanity. 

So let me begin by telling a story.  This last year we painted the exterior of our home.   It was a terrible task and took many weekends.  The time came when we had just gotten back from the store and began painting.  We broke an extendable pole and were unable to reach the top of the home to paint.  This was because the part that broke was what screwed into brushes and rollers.  Instead of taking an hour of the day and forty bucks for the part we instead improvised.  I pulled out some trusty duct tape and went to town putting a brush on the end of that pole.  It took five minutes and a total of a few cents.  We were right at it again and that part of the house was painted just fine.  This was not only a time and money win, but a psychological win as well.  The more these problems don’t get fixed quickly the more disheartened you get and the less likely you are to do more projects.  So the best place to get this product and all tape is actually at shipping supplies stores.  Just batch order it all and save some cash that way too.

It doesn’t matter what you are ordering, do it all at the same time and ask for a discount.  It usually works and is a great way to save money. We wanted to make sure our attic was stored and ordered correctly. But plastic cartons cost a lot of money when you need 20 of them.  Instead, when we ordered tape we added thick heavy rated boxes to the list.  These were pretty cheap in bulk purchasing of twenty and they did not flex at all getting heavy items up the attic ladder and stored away.  Plus they will help keep out bad things and keep the items safer because they are a bit thicker and deal with the weather a little bit better. 

Cutting your budget on boxes, tape, and bubble wrap

This year has made everyone think about things a little differently.  We are now all forced to wear masks or be arrested in almost every part of the United States.  We can no longer even shop in person without one.  It has changed the fundamentals of freedom and enjoyment of the United States.  This is all over a virus that is 99/7% survivable to everyone.  That is pretty sad and to survive the rules and regulations and no go bankrupt the people and not the politicians have had to pivot to survive.  Thinking about boxes and tape is something that I never thought could help stay afloat.  The reality is that our company has made a whole lot of changes and our entire marketing section just was told to do everything in the house.  That means that we are working on projects that we never have and are learning just like major marketing companies how to purchase items from the best location in order to keep costs low and our business sales high.  

Our company started where we knew it was important and that was corporate gifting.  We knew we needed our products to be of high quality and they had to look fancy.  This is a complicated task when it comes to making regular cardboard look good.  This meant being smart and methodical. 

We started off by knowing our needs.  We looked at what we had purchased last quarter from marketing companies and had sent out previously to see what products we would have to purchase.  So we learned that we needed a specific type of box, filling, and tape.  Those were the three main items to send these gifts which we would order separately depending on the company we were gifting to.  Now that we knew what we needed the plan was to find the best price, shipping, and availability.  That was a certainly complicated task but worth the time invested due to the cost savings we could get each quarter.  The goal was to save money so we knew we needed to get all of these shipping supplies cheap and fast. 

Obviously we started on Amazon.  The idea was to find something that we could ship within two days and get in high quantity for a good price.  This was indeed what we found, but the shipping for large quantities actually was about a week because it was not on prime for most of the products we needed.  The other thing was that the custom great looking boxes were really not available.  This was a viable option and I kept all of the prices in the cart because I like to be precise.  We gave local stores a try as well. 

The local options were not really that great.  The convenience was nice because if we had an issue we could get any box, tape, or filing right away by driving down the road.  But options are flat-out limitations if there are few and that is what we found.  The prices were also much higher than Amazon and that was a sad thing.  There were issues with the cost and that was not worth it to us for limited options. So we went online instead and that is because we had to in order to survive. 

Let’s Talk About Warehouses in 2021

It is now 2021 and eCommerce is king.  The fact is that we are not all slaves to the new economy and regulations that are totally changing how we live and how we shop.  The changing economic platform that continues to hit the United States can be hard to keep up with. This goes doubly for companies that are focusing on eCommerce.  It has been seen that one area that your company needs to thrive in is its warehouse.  In order to rock the best eCommerce service having a warehouse that is firing on all cylinders is really important. Money can be lost on the smallest of things and you can lose competitive advantages by simply using the wrong tape. I must say that there is no way you can keep up with the competition unless your warehouse is rocking. So let’s go over a few areas to make sure your warehouse is operating in peak condition.

Don;t overlook the small things and realize that the biggest thing you do is get rid of your items. One simple area to look into is the supply section of the warehouse.  This can be a huge budget area and if you are doing well in this area you can cut down on lots of costs.  Now depending on your company, you may be shipping tons of boxes out.  If this is so then you need to be checking all of your shipping supplies and focusing on cutting the costs of those areas.  I have to say that finding the best price on boxes or tape can be a life-changing experience for a warehouse.  The difference in using the right tape on 500 boxes a day can be tons of money so be wise.

When you are shopping buy in bulk.  I have found that even ordering all your products together at the same time can give up to 25% discounts on thousands of dollars of merchandise a month.  That adds up quickly and can allow you to spend more in other areas or simply operate more lean in the future.  

Be cognizant of the efficiency of work.  Another area that you can look into is literally how your employees are working.  If you don’t have a system for everything that they are doing then you are most likely losing money and time on how they are working.  I like to put multiple teams or people to the same task and ask them to solve the same daily tasks and see what they do.  I may tell one to try to do it faster or however, they want to do it.  It helps to see professionals do what they want how they want to do it.  Most teams won’t find anything new, but some will create a faster more efficient warehouse and end up saving you tons of money. 

Be kind to all your shipping providers as well.  These men and women actually are the heart of your company.  So get to know them and help them out if you can. If they like to have boxes stacked one way to pick up then oblige them.  They keep your packages safe and ensure your shipping supplies get to where they are going safely. So be kind and be smart with them. 

E-commerce and shopping changes in 2021

We are now seeing the record number of businesses that incorporated in eCommerce this past year and the online sales are absolutely skyrocketing.  It has been a change in how we think, how we shop, and how we flat outlive.  Trash companies are having to cope with the massive amounts of extra shipping supplies coming in.  So this year was a huge year for the entire economic environment of the world.  The Covid-19 pandemic took place this year and it legitimately changed the world and how we produce, ship, and shop. 

The majority of the world ended up moving into its own version of social lockdowns and social distancing and it forced a good portion of the world to be on house arrest.  House arrest means that you are not able to leave your home without the fear of being arrested.  This was a worldwide acceptable compromise for health.  It did turn out to be the liberty killer that took away the freedom of much of the world for a virus that turned out to be not what we were told.  It was actually similar to the common flu and just like the flu people who have complicated health issues are susceptible to it.  Now we are still adjusting to the new normal of purchasing. It has been a new normal of success for many as well and if you are not selling online then you probably should look into it. 

We are now seeing the effects of the new world order.  The change in shopping and purchasing has caused a rise in shipping supplies and use all across the world.  Deliver jobs have become one of the most essential and hired positions across the world.  Sales for online shopping almost doubled in the two-month lockdown in the United States and Amazon profited like none other even after a 40% stock market drop. Companies that sell shipping supplies ended up selling more boxes, tape, and supplies than ever before.  This is due to the change in how people were purchasing. Now companies like Shopify are struggling to keep up with all the new people selling. 

It is sad to see the destruction of so much local business though.  It was not as easy for a walk in store to be told by the government that they could no longer be open.  Brick and mortar stores changed to e-commerce stores overnight. People were not able to leave their house for fear of being arrested and they ended up purchasing through fear from their home for several months. This fundamentally changed a large majority of stores.  They had to move from the mindset that they would be able to sell face to face and change up to the fact that people would be searching online.  So signage marketing completely went caput.  SEO became one of the most sought after marketing products. 

Marketing is now the most important tool.  It is simply the fact that people cannot buy your new brick and mortar, turned eCommerce products if they cannot find you online.  This means you need to budget quickly for the change in order to stay ahead of the competition.  If you are new to the game it costs money and takes time to hit the top of the search pages so get on it fast.