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Asendia to Utilize Tigers Logistics for Oceania Launch

Asendia to Utilize Tigers Logistics for Oceania Launch

As expansion takes shape for Asendia, Tigers will maintain local logistics for the soon-to-be launched Asendia Oceania subsidiary throughout Australia. The international shipping and distribution company released information this week confirming Tigers is the provider of choice and will utilize its robust warehousing network to support efforts in B2C and omnichannel fulfillment.

“E-commerce fulfillment and international cross-border products continue to be a major focus for Tigers across the Asia-Pacific region, and builds on our cooperation across the USA into Europe, Russia, and Asia,” said Andrew Jillings, Chief Executive Officer, Tigers.

“Partnering with Asendia as it launches Asendia Oceania across Australia and New Zealand is an exciting moment that reflects Tigers’ ongoing global growth, and our support for the logistics and supply chain industry as it evolves through digitization and e-commerce.”

The companies announced the collaborative efforts will ultimately support increasing demand within the B2C cross-border e-commerce market, while focusing on strategies in supply chain optimizations in the near future. The Oceania launch is representative of Asendia’s global expansion plan and how the company will meet demand while offering fresh digital, logistics, and delivery services.

“The launch of Asendia Oceania is an exciting new milestone for Asendia in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Lionel Berthe, Head of Asia-Pacific, Asendia.

“It’s another sign of our commitment to growth in the region, and partnering with a global logistics player with strong capacities and experience in Australia such as Tigers is a key differentiator for cross border end-to-end services.“

Uncertainty Over Brexit Leaves the B2B World in Suspense

When talk turns to Brexit, much of the discussion revolves around what will happen once the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland leaves the European Union. While the United Kingdom Parliament hashes out a withdrawal agreement, with Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm, the economy is already shifting in anticipation of… what? The trouble is, no one is quite sure. Even experts can only make educated guesses since their research hinges on the type of withdrawal the United Kingdom and European Union ultimately consent to.

Where Brexit currently stands – A high-level view

The European Union recently approved a second extension of the Brexit deadline to allow May additional time to forge a deal in Parliament and finalize the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Union. While the new October 31, 2019 deadline offers some breathing room, it leaves the United Kingdom and European Union in an uncertain economic limbo for most of this year.

The spiderweb of potential events that lay ahead for the United Kingdom stem from two of the most likely outcomes:

-May passes her withdrawal agreement in Parliament by October 31st. If she succeeds, the United Kingdom can hammer out future trade deals with the European Union, to be expanded upon after the separation is finalized.

-May does not pass her withdrawal agreement by October 31st. This would mean the United Kingdom leaves with no trade deals in place, and very little room to negotiate ideal terms in the future. A “no-deal” situation has the potential to create lingering consequences, particularly at the border between Northern Ireland – which is part of the United Kingdom – and the Republic of Ireland, with the European Union.

While those in favor of Brexit are eager for a more economically independent United Kingdom, others hope that the withdrawal agreement will come with lenient tariffs, not just at the Irish border, but for trade across the United Kingdom and European Union. Unfortunately, only time (and an approved withdrawal agreement) will tell how the trade relationship between the United Kingdom and Europe continues.

What Brexit means for businesses in the United Kingdom

Politics aside, the United Kingdom has already seen changes to their market and businesses since the original Brexit vote in late 2016. The pound sterling (GBP), which dropped drastically after the majority of United Kingdom citizens voted to leave the European Union, remains weakened in comparison to the United States Dollar (USD). The approach of each Brexit deadline has triggered a slight drop in the market, followed by a recovery a few days after the granted extensions.

The GBP and Euro (EUR) have become tied to shifts in the political sphere, rather than the market. Companies are making financial decisions in anticipation of a plummeting currency values caused by Brexit.  Many banks have already moved their home offices  from London to various European cities. Healthcare facilities are stockpiling life-saving medicines in the event of a shortage. United Kingdom-based businesses are reducing their investments and employment opportunities. 

How will Brexit affect U.S. business with the United Kingdom?

With a diminished value for pound sterling, currency exchanges between USD, GBP, and EUR won’t be very attractive for a while, especially when considering the added per-payment fees charged by banks to transmit funds across international borders. Global businesses depend on stable markets to keep exchange rates as uniform as possible; someone will always be paying the difference, whether it’s the buyer purchasing more currency, or the supplier receiving a reduced amount.

Companies whose accounts payable teams have adopted payment automation into their processes can use their rebates to mitigate irregular exchange rates. Payment solutions that lower the cost of electronic payments through exchange rate transparency ultimately improve the buyer’s relationships with their suppliers.

Only one thing left to do

The United Kingdom and European Union are in a transitory stage – and that is an enormous understatement. The Brexit experience is genuinely frustrating because it has no precedent, so no one’s sure what will ultimately happen. Economic growth may stagnate for a while, but as with any market, where there are ebbs, there will be flows. The only thing left to do is what the United Kingdom already does best: “Keep calm and carry on.”

Alyssa Callahan is a Technical Marketing Writer at Nvoicepay.  She has four years of experience in the B2B payment industry, specializing in cross-border B2B payment processes.

Supply Chain Professionals: Boxzooka International Ecommerce & Fulfillment

Located on the east coast, Boxzooka Fulfillment and Global Ecommerce provider takes managing client requests to the next level through a one-of-a-kind tailored approach offering back office operations for online retailers, order fulfilment for both direct consumer and direct B2B wholesale order fulfilment, while providing automated, customized solutions. Through this approach, Boxzooka not only creates and maintains competitive advantage as a leader in managing the flow of goods, the company boasts an impressive volume of loyal clients who don’t have to seek outside sources to get their needs met. By taking the extra step out of the process, Boxzooka provides an all-in-one solution. The company isn’t afraid of investing more into their customer needs, as they look at the long-term impact it has on their customer base. In other words, customers always come first.

“We’ve accomplished building and maintaining a business with near 100 percent client satisfaction rate,” Founder Brendan Heegan said. “Most warehouse 3PL operations have an 80/20 rule where 80 percent of the revenue is coming from 20 percent of the clients – those are the ones that get the VIP treatment, if you will, and the other 80 percent of their clients get scattered support where some days are good, and some days are bad. They get a lot of client complaints and we don’t have that because everybody’s getting an equal amount of support and attention, just what they need and more. We don’t lose clients.”

Boasting their very own technology, the integrated game-changing capabilities built into their platforms provide customers with an unmatched global reach, eliminating the need for assistance from an outside source or 3PL. The company’s custom technology platform serves as a major differentiator among competitors and as a significant driver behind their robust customer base and retention strategy.

“We own our own technology and we developed everything in-house. Our systems are comprised of a warehouse management system that handles inventory management movements, receiving and shipping out orders. We’ve also built-in a transportation management system (TMS) – companies might use ShipStation or Stamps.com, but we have all that built in to our warehouse management system so there’s no need for a secondary system in order to perform that function,” Heegan explained. “The platform also enables retailers to open the doors to the global market with the turnkey solution that we provide. “

Beyond automation, Boxzooka fosters an environment where employees aren’t limited to one silo. By fully integrating the ins and outs of operational processes, the company fully utilizes the talents and abilities of each employee.

“We cross train everybody, all the time, on every function so that all of our people can do anything at our warehouse. They’re constantly being thrown at different things. That probably decreases our efficiency and increases internal costs a little bit, but we look at it through the perspective that if we lose a team member, then that function doesn’t break and it allows us to shift labor around, making us operationally very competitive. We have a great service because everyone can do everything in our warehouse.”

5 Trends Changing Business Payments in 2019

Suddenly, business payments are hot. 

I’d say there’s a growing level of understanding of the space and a feeling that B2B payments are starting to come of age. That is good news for customers, considering decades have passed since there was innovation in this space.

Here are 5 trends for business payments in 2019:

B2B payments innovation has begun

Many of the people who wanted to meet me were venture capitalists and private equity partners. B2B payments is a very, very large market—36 trillion in payment volume—versus about three billion for consumer payments. Most business customers are still paying with paper checks. This has always been an interesting category because it’s so big, and so far behind in digitization. Now, as the consumer payments technology market is becoming saturated, B2B payments have captured the attention of the investment community. There are a lot of new investments happening, so look for offerings related to B2B payments in the next few years.

Payments as a backbone

Vendor payments are tied to a lot of other processes. Once you digitize payments, it opens up opportunities with procure to pay, dynamic discounting, supply chain financing, and lending to name a few. For example, we’ve already seen Uber experiment with making auto loans to its drivers and taking the loan payments directly out of their pay. Companies should look to digitize payments with an eye to efficiency and cost savings now, and as a springboard into other innovation opportunities down the road.

Full payments automation

The first wave of new entrants in B2B payments has already hit the market, and many of their value propositions sound the same—cloud, simple, automated. But, not all of them are really in the cloud, simple, or automating the whole process. B2B payments have long been plagued by partial automation, and that’s a big reason why so many businesses are still stuck on checks. Cards and ACH make the transfer of funds electronic, but they also introduce new manual processes for file preparation, reconciliation, and vendor enablement. New, truly automated solutions can handle every part of the process. The person in accounts payable should only have to select the bills they want to pay and click the “pay” button. Buyers need to look past the marketing language and check under the hood.

Banks embrace fintechs

Five years ago, the relationship between fintechs and banks was adversarial. There was a lot of talk about fintechs using technology to take over different aspects of banking and to do it faster, cheaper and better. Over the past 18 months or so, we’ve seen the conversation shift. There is a growing recognition that banks and fintechs have very different strengths and that they will be stronger together. Bank and fintech relationships are now starting to form. Examples include Bill.com’s relationship with JPMorgan Chase. The idea is to bring Bill.com’s solution to small businesses through the bank channel. Chase’s recent acquisition of WePay provides an application for three-party payments for platforms such as ConstantContact and GoFundMe. This is just the tip of the iceberg; we will see many more partnerships and acquisitions in 2019.

Blockchain is still a technology to watch

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins Bitcoin, is still very much part of the conversation. This is the only technology that truly has the potential to change banking and finance as we know it, providing a new set of instantaneous, decentralized, global payment rails. Banks and fintechs such as Ripple and Earthport are collaborating and getting traction, demonstrating they have a value proposition. But, if banks find ways to control it, it may end up being a better experience, but it won’t be any less expensive than current options.

All of these developments are great news for customers because the market is picking up speed and companies will have a lot more choices than in the past. B2B payments are far more complex than consumer payments, and there’s next to no technological innovation applied to them until very recently. Companies have lived with the status quo for decades. That is all about to change.

As fintechs encroach on core bank activities like lending and payments, banks are going to step up their game by either improving their own services or teaming up with the innovators. 

Karla is Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder, and member of the Board of Directors at Nvoicepay. She has 20 years of experience in management, finance, and marketing roles in both large and early stage companies. Along with the founding team, she has grown Nvoicepay into a leading B2B payment network

Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami 2019 to Set Stage for New Era in Retail Ecosystem

From May 28-30, US and Latin American apparel industry professionals — from buyers to sellers throughout the B2B and B2C supply chain — will converge at the Mana Wynwood Conference Center in Miami for the industry leading Apparel Textile Sourcing Miami (ATSM) show.

The event — originally scheduled to take place a week earlier — has revised its dates to take place alongside North America’s No. 2 fashion event, Miami Fashion Week, bringing to Miami an unprecedented opportunity for industry professionals to benefit first-hand from the latest developments transforming the fashion industry from design to production.

Launched in 2018, ATSM is returning to Miami double in size, connecting attendees with a wider variety of sourcing partners, product categories and service providers, and delivering a world-class seminar speaker roster. With ATSM and Miami Fashion Week now occurring on the same dates just a few blocks away from each other, it is expected that more than 12,000 industry professionals will be in South Florida during this time.

“The overwhelming response of the show is a reflection of the success of last year’s event as well as a market need for apparel and textile professionals to adapt to changing trade realities and keep up with the future of the industry,” said Jason Prescott, CEO of JP Communications, producer of the show and publisher of North America’s leading of business to business trade platforms TopTenWholesale.com and Manufacturer.com.

Apparel and textile trends

In addition to experiencing the latest fashion production trends first hand, ATSM visitors will learn about the key role cyberspace is now playing in the sourcing ecosystem and how eCommerce, which was once a topic confined to retail businesses, must now be understood and implemented by suppliers and SAAS businesses throughout the entire sourcing supply, show organizers said.

Attendees will have opportunities for Q&A with speakers and panelists on the subjects of B2B omni-channel marketing, dropshipping, B2B2C software solutions, near-shoring and reshoring, cross-border eCommerce for factories and online retailers, and more to be announced.

New show sections announced

ATSM 2019 has announced the launch of a dedicated Footwear Pavilion, a Technical Textiles section and live demonstrations of state-of-the-art machinery. As robotic automation in manufacturing is increasingly adopted, the ability to produce merchandise at lower cost will allow microbrands to add more design seasons to their collections and new designers to enter the market.

ATSM is supported by manufacturers and industry partners across the globe, including the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel (CCCT), the largest textile and apparel trade agency in both China and the world.

Leveraging Visibility to Gain Control of Your Supply Chain

As an increasing number of business and consumer products are now being sourced globally, supply-chain visibility management has become an undeniably vital tool for any business to have at their disposal. Knowing where your product is at any stop along the supply chain not only keeps you aware of potential roadblocks that could arise, but it also allows you to adapt and make changes to your supply chain in real-time to avoid those roadblocks.

With so much global competition vying for your customer’s dollar, the last thing your business wants to do is drop the ball over poor visibility – but how do you give customers an inside view when so many parties are involved in the supply chain? The answer – according to Steve Williamson, Director, Solution Consulting at BluJay Solutions – is leveraging that visibility with the use of mobile technology. BluJay is a provider of supply chain software and services including MobileSTAR, an app that works with both Android and iOS mobile devices to provide real-time tracking, proof of delivery and last-mile routing solutions.

“When you look at a global supply chain or placing orders, you want to know the ‘immediates,’” says Williamson. “You want to know all the things going on with your order, but when you’re manufacturing globally there’s no way to get that kind of visibility on your own. There are a lot of different systems and parties involved, and no one company is in control of it all. Providers like us are in the marketplace to bring all of those pieces together.”

But getting those pieces to fit together neatly is no small task. While BluJay offers a single technology platform with a constant flow of new features and solutions, many companies still manage supply chain execution with point solutions or manual processes.

“The challenge is, does one tool do it all? The quick answer is no. There’s no perfect recipe. Vendors are looking to pull all these technologies together and try to get the visibility from say, an RFID provider or get the visibility of an ocean container, and it’s that ‘try to get’ that is always challenging,” says Williamson.

And that challenge can be just as frustrating for end-consumers and business-to-business (B2B) customers, too.

“As a solution provider, we’re always looking at that – what would our customer’s customers experience be? Depending on what you’re moving within your supply chain, the importance of that could be tenfold – it could be that someone’s waiting on that part to do something else, so subsequently that little piece could be a domino that knocks down all the other dominoes in a bad way or in a good way.”

And that’s where apps like MobileSTAR really prove their worth. To be able to view where a shipment is at any stage in the supply chain – right from your mobile device – can really save the day for that ‘customer’s customer.’  Delayed shipments can be re-routed, or re-sourced, damaged shipments can be re-ordered, and if lost shipments cannot be found, your customer can easily notify their customer about potential delays – all from the information provided by one easy-to-use app. It’s not a perfect solution – but it’s pretty close.

“When you look at visibility, the question really comes down to ‘what kind of business are you?’ Are you a proactive business or a reactive business? Are you waiting for something to happen in your supply chain… or are you monitoring your supply chain and see a disruption and reacting to it?”

According to Williamson, the reactive provider – while still most-likely reacting appropriately to the problem – is inefficient. A proactive provider could have potentially stopped the problem earlier along in the supply chain and avoided a lot of subsequent problems along the way. Thankfully, mobile apps like BluJay’s MobileSTAR are designed to do the proactivity legwork for you. So even if you fall into the reactive category, you can be proactive with minimal effort, before the problem has a chance to get worse.

The solution, according to Williamson is called Control Tower. Control Tower monitoring allows your business to be able to “drive and react” to problems along the way by providing visibility and connectivity to supply chain partners, from origin to delivery. Information you once had to hunt down from multiple sources, and at a great cost to your time, is now streamlined and available from one platform that connects many participants.

“Solution providers like ourselves are really partners. And I think that’s the way that the supply chain will ultimately be solved. There will be strong partnerships with all the potential parties involved in a supply chain movement to be able to give the companies themselves – and then their end users – visibility.”