Happy New Year everyone!
We are super excited to be celebrating the start of 2020. Not only is this week the start of a brand new decade, but “20-20” has a great ring to it. “Twenty-twenty” is the optical measurement for perfect vision so we think that it’s fitting that this year be an opportunity to achieve greater CLARITY about where you want to take your company.
– What vision do you have for your future?
– How does your business fit into the current ecosystem?
– Have you identified all the ways that you can streamline your process?
– Do you know where your blind spots are?
When we look back on the last decade, it’s extraordinary the seismic shift that has happened within retail, warehousing, and supply chains. New consumer habits, new laws and new technologies have transformed our world. Many people are playing catch-up with this new landscape.
Online shopping, distribution, and shipping technologies exploded to create a new world and way of doing business. No matter where you and your company are at today – you have great potential for change. Even small pivots can have tremendous effects after 1 year.
Let’s look at some game changers:
First things first. Don’t automate a bad process, identify your pain points. When is the last time you talked to ALL levels of your warehouse staff to understand where challenges or limitations exist? Walk the floor and chat with staff about their thoughts. Once you identify the source of a bottle neck, then ask yourself : should it be streamlined? Sourced out? Or Automated? The answer will vary for every product and every warehouse. Your answer could be staff training, new technology, a new partner – or automation. Some of the most transformative technologies in the last decade include: cloud inventory, voice-picking, bilingual scanners, automatic bagging machines, and customizable WMS.
It’s time to invest in these technologies so you don’t get left behind in 2020. You may not even be aware of the abundant technology solutions on offer to ease your digital transformation. We helped one of our clients identify and tackle the issue of low literacy rates amongst their warehouse staff. Illiteracy is much more common with workers than you might imagine. This could be costing your company -and adopting a tech solution such as voice-activated scanners could be a game changer. Technology can help you leap-frog over obstacles.
2019 brought dramatic changes in sales tax rules; 43 states adopted economic nexus laws, requiring out-of-state sellers to collect sales tax. Thirty six of those states also enforced marketplace facilitator laws. Businesses of all sizes have had to scramble to keep up with changing tax liabilities, and more changes are coming in 2020. How are you coping with all this change? Arm yourself with more knowledge about changing tax laws expected in 2020: Avalara offers a free online seminar, click HERE to register.
Remember – a robust and customizable WMS can automate and accommodate your specific tax needs right into your process – saving you time and money.
MAP OUT YOUR ECOSYSTEM
We all exist within a larger ecosystem. Do you know where you stand in relation to the emerging ecosystem? And more importantly – where do you want to stand in the next decade?
If you can dream it – we can build it.
Are you servicing a niche industry – or are you competing with the bigger players? Whatever your end goal make sure that you have clarity on where you stand and then create a roadmap for how and when to engage with new elements.
Some new elements to consider are:
– Shifting or expanding your product base
– Evaluating your location and warehouse footprint
– New technologies
– Adopting new partnerships
Reimagine your own ecosystem. Same day shipping used to be a luxury – now it’s fast becoming an expectation. Are your shipping partners right for you? And your future? How about your suppliers? Have you looked at how to make your business greener? Waste is expensive and sustainability isn’t a fad. The 2020s will revolutionize packaging. Are you going to invest in the past – or the future? What does your customer base think? Don’t forget … your customers are your #1 partners.
The devil is in the details. Data is consistently one of the most overlooked resources available to a business. Depending on the distribution and sales channels you use, you may or may not have access to all your own data. If you can’t access your data that’s a lost opportunity right there. You should own your data so that you can unlock it’s insights. Where are your biggest clients located? Who are your smallest clients? Which group is growing faster? What is driving that growth? When you crunch data and look at hard numbers it takes out the emotional skew. Sometimes we overlook potential simply because we don’t see it sneaking up on us.
Our old habits got us to where we are now so we tend to trust those habits – but the landscape ahead of us keeps changing… so, will old habits serve us in the future?
Welcome to TWENTY TWENTY folks!
Here’s to health, wealth, happiness and greater clarity for a new decade.