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Lessons from Retailers that are Thriving Despite the Pandemic

retailers

Lessons from Retailers that are Thriving Despite the Pandemic

While many retailers are struggling, there are those that are thriving during the biggest period of change in most of our lifetimes. Apple’s Steve Jobs said that “innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity and not as a threat”, so what lessons can we learn from retailers that are innovating and thriving?

1. Digital

As brick and mortar retailing ground to a halt for many, digital became a lifeline. It’s a good start to have a transactional shopping website but it’s not enough to thrive in most markets. You need to provide a smooth digital customer experience – the site must be simple to use, easy to pay, and provide relevant order progress updates. It needs to go further and bring your brand experience to life so customers can see the same values and priorities are at play in both your physical and digital worlds. Then, layer on an integrated social media approach to bind everything together and keep a close connection with your customers that drives sales. All aspects have to be integrated and telling the same story, so separate teams working in silos can’t deliver the business punch that a well-rounded experience and communication plan provides.

Strong brands with a clear proposition are showing us how to do it, for example, sports retailers including Nike, Adidas, and Foot Locker. With engaging website content that goes beyond the products, stores where there is always something new to see, and integrated social media messaging, they are a great model for any business to learn from.

Amazon has extended its lead in retail during the pandemic by being exactly what customers needed when going to the mall was not an option. Amazon is easy to use, offers a wide product range, and gets your purchases to you quickly. With Prime, they go beyond simple retail models and create multiple connection points with customers’ lives. There’s probably only room for one Amazon in the market, yet you can take the lessons from their success and translate them for your own brand. How do you build a tribe of loyalists? How can the customer journey and delivery be made simple and on-brand?

2. What’s your story?

Having a clear proposition and strong customer offer has never mattered more. Clarity on what you stand for makes it easier to have a consistent story across all your customer touchpoints. And don’t forget that it’s always been important to offer customers the right products and services to drive sales. The enduring demand for Apple’s must-have products made their stores a retail destination, with queues outside the door as soon as they were able to open. Are your products compelling enough for customers to make a journey to shop for them?

3. Meet customers where they want to be

In the UK, successful brick and mortar retailers enduring falling footfall have partnered with third party food distributors, like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, to give them a new and easy route to customers. In the US, Target-owned Shipt gives members same-day delivery from a range of local retailers via their app. For the retailers, it’s a clever approach that gives them a new fulfillment route with almost zero effort to set up.

Disney has been innovative in how they reach customers. The timely launch of their Disney+ streaming service has given them a new route for film releases like Mulan, as well as a captive audience of people based at home looking for new content. In early August Disney CEO Bob Chapek reported that Disney+ had over 60.5 million global subscribers; an impressive number given that they launched less than 12 months ago. You don’t have to go as big as Disney, however. My local bakery set up online ordering within a week and started a fresh-baked bread home delivery service with a trailer attached to a bike. They used social media to encourage regular customers to support them by ordering online and provided easy links to start ordering.

What innovative route to customers could be right for your customers and brand?

4. Keep trading

One of the biggest lessons comes from retailers who were able to keep trading because their food offer meant they were able to sell the rest of their ranges too, for example, Target in the US and B&M in the UK. Being labeled an “essential retailer” in the UK meant keeping your stores open and brick and mortar sales coming in. These stores saw an online surge and kept some physical sales too, meaning they had a stronger sales base to help them weather the storm. If the government orders you to close, you have little choice yet if you can find ways to keep trading and stay part of your customers’ lives it is much easier to bounce back. If you shut up shop for even a short while you can quickly lose relevance for your customers, a hard lesson many apparel retailers are struggling with now.

5. Review your efficiency

Retailers who have thrived have been flexible and responsive to change. As the routines of daily life have been turned upside down, new customer shopping patterns have made previous ways of working and colleague rotas outdated. You need to review your operation and make it efficient for the new realities of trading. The best operators use workload models and workforce management systems to calculate the resources they need now and alter shift plans to fit the changed demand. Don’t stick with the way you used to do things, or you’ll spend too much salary budget when it’s quiet and not have enough colleagues available in the busier spells. If you haven’t got a workload model that calculates the hours you need, get one as soon as you can as it will help manage your all-important cash flow. If you wait until things get back to “normal” to put robust workload planning in place, you could be waiting a long time and mismanage your salary investment in the meantime.

In a world of constant change, thriving retailers make constant readjustments and it does feel uncomfortable. The fittest thrive, so make sure your operational core is working well and flexible enough to cope with the demands that variable business levels will throw at it.

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Article by Simon Hedaux, founder and CEO of Rethink Productivity, a world-leading productivity partner that helps businesses to drive efficiency, boost productivity, and optimize budgets. For more information see https://rethinkproductivity.co.uk/

logistics

Technological Advancement in the Logistics Industry

In the last ten years, the rise of over 3.5 billion registered users participating in global e-commerce has occurred. The ease and openness of the e-commerce industry allow individuals and businesses to participate in domestic and international e-commerce trade platform, giving each country the opportunity to scale up its workforce and revenue collection. With the help of technological advances, products are now being introduced by the Internet through social media, live streaming, and many more avenues, rather than the traditional sales marketing and advertising methods. The growth of e-commerce has also affected the logistics infrastructure requirements and needs.

Logistics company owners are left with a variety of problems due to the ever-changing e-commerce world, including proper storage, competitive pricing, quick delivery, and fluctuating quantities and unpredictable changes. Though most are eager to find a solution, many have yet to realize that the solution requires full technology integration. Consistent system maintenance and development, integrating sales, operations, administration, and financial functions, connecting and configuring a variety of endpoints, protection from cyber-attacks, and many other functions are essential to creating a cost-effective and productive company during the internet era. With a complexity of technology system operations, it is best for companies to partner with a trusted technology company in developing a logistics platform that will deliver multiple benefits and develop long-term commercial ties.

The availability of a technology platform that works without geographical boundaries will have a huge impact on e-commerce and logistics users because they will be able to collaborate and cooperate with each other under one platform on every computer and smartphone device. Each user in real-time is able to list detailed logistics requirements and services to include pricing schemes, transportation schedules, warehouse spaces, detailed information operations, and others. Additionally, a working relationship with only particular companies and owning branch offices, warehouses, and vehicles in other countries should be transitioned into more transparent cooperation with local companies. Being able to share resources with trusted local companies will give advantages in speeding up operation processes and minimize cost while reducing investment risks.

Internet commerce trade will reach global sales of 17.5 percent in 2021 with a compound annual rate of 15 percent. As a result, many countries have introduced new regulations for e-commerce items that have created confusion and problems for many companies. These e-commerce regulations are overlapping with non-e-commerce items, resulting in a delay in clearance. In addition, when the pandemic lockdown period is lifted, we will see an increase of international and regional trades with the rise of conflict as a result of slow information distribution, causing delays and missed delivery dates.

We are at a point that it is almost impossible for companies to function properly without technological help in recalling HS code numbers, custom tax code, restriction and document requirements, operation notification and monitoring, and many others. With the availability of a real-time crowd sharing platform that is accessible for users, business and logistics transactions are a click away to finalize. Companies should prepare to meet unprecedented regional and international unexpected trades challenge in the internet era, nothing has ever flourished entirely alone: the logistics industry needs an advanced technological integration platform to flourish in the e-commerce era.

 

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Eddy Syaifulah is the head of Mahyu LLC.

challenges

KÖRBER: ONLY 1 IN 10 BUSINESSES CAN STAY AHEAD OF THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN CHALLENGES

Körber, the Hamburg, Germany, global supply chain technology leader from software to materials handling automation, on Sept. 1 announced the results of its “2020 State of Supply Chain Complexity” survey.

Among the top findings: Manufacturing and fulfillment complexities only continue to grow–and 91 percent of supply-chain professionals cannot stay ahead of these challenges.

More products, distribution channels, and customer expectations make supply chains more complex, according to Körber, which polled 1,200 global supply chain professionals to learn how they cope with supply chain complexity, how they feel their solutions stack up against the competition and how they’re managing the transition from manual to automated processes.

Technology integration and customer demand ranked among the top challenges today’s supply chain faces.

The issues respondents said most often contribute to their company’s supply chain complexity include:

-48% ‒ integrating and ensuring software, materials handling equipment (MHE), and technologies work together throughout the entire logistics ecosystem

-46% ‒ integrating functions across the supply chain – from manufacturing to end-customer deliveries

-46% ‒ meeting consumer expectations for speed, cost and adaptability

Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents said senior executives view the supply chain as mission-critical–an important step in gaining support for upgrading warehouses and last-mile technology.

“Now isn’t the time for supply chains to break under pressure–yet, 48 percent of companies have experienced growth in complexity this past year,” said Rene Hermes, chief marketing officer for Körber Supply Chain. “It’s good to hear so many executives see this business area as mission-critical. Now we must transform that understanding into action.”

Access the 2020 State of Supply Chain Complexity Survey here: https://www.koerber-supplychain.com/complexitysurvey.

AI

AI and Cryptocurrency – How They Can Work Together Effectively

There will soon come a time when artificial intelligence will be running on top of cryptocurrency systems like Blockchains with its capability to increase machine learning capacity and create new financial products. It will take the technology leaps and bounds further in making it one of the mainstream emerging technologies.

According to the research being conducted about the future of AI, the market is estimated to grow to a whopping $190 billion worth of industry by 2025. Considering how much the market is expected to grow, Blockchain and AI convergence are inevitable.

Both the emerging technologies have been around for a decade now and deal with data and value. Where Blockchain enables a secure storage and sharing path of data, AI analyzes and generates significant insights from data to create value.

Having such similarities, there is no doubt that both the technological realms can be merged to create a more advanced and efficient machine learning blockchain system to benefit the masses. Let’s have a look at how Blockchain and AI are a perfect match.

How Blockchain and AI Is the Perfect Match

The following are some key pointers and examples that evidently showcase how combining Blockchain and AI is a consequent step forward in the right direction for increased efficiency and profitability.

Blockchain connecting with the AI basics

Firstly, it is essential to know that most of the hype surrounding startups integrating Blockchain with artificial intelligence is exactly just that, hype. Such companies are far too young and inexperienced in the industry to be talking about a big game. With few clients and less commercialization, it is understandably not possible to carry out such advance convergence.

The majority of such companies have raised money through the initial coin offering or the ICO. This means that the solutions they offer are as thoroughly evaluated as they would have been had the company raised a significant amount of venture capital money.

However, it is quite so possible that these companies may become successful in the future, but until then, they just create useless hype about the advancements in this technology.

Many people limit the usage of Blockchain technology and associate it with just cryptocurrency transactions. As a digital ledger that can record economic transactions, Blockchain can be expanded to virtually record almost anything of value.

There can be both public and private blockchains. Where the public ones are open to the public, the private or ‘Permissioned’ blockchains are restricted for usage by ‘invitation-only’ and mainly used in the corporate environment. This also makes them faster than public forums as the users are mainly trusted and verified personnel making the transactions verifiable faster.

One of Blockchain’s more important features is that it allows even the unrelated parties to carry out a transaction and share data through a mutual ledger. As cryptography validates the transactions, it makes it more efficient for participants not to rely on third-party evaluators to carry out a transaction. Deploying cryptography ensures that data transactions are secure, incorruptible, and irreversible once recorded.

Artificial Intelligence is not a term making rounds for a decade now. It very much comprises of every new technology that has near-human intelligence to carry out a task. AI models are used to assess, understand, classify, and predict using relevant data sets. Machine learning then cleanses the data as it gathers insights creating better useful data sets for use.

As it is evident, data is the central component to AI and Blockchain that allows a secure and collaborative effort towards data sharing. Both Blockchain and AI ensure the trustworthiness of data and extract valuable insights from it.

How Microsoft is Improving Machine Learning for Blockchain

According to the research conducted at Microsoft, the company is working on finding out ways to design efficient collaborative machine learning models hosted on public blockchains. The incentive behind this effort is to make AI decentralized and a more collaborative forum using Blockchain.

While there is no doubt that advances are being made in machine learning, the benefits that are being created as the results of these efforts are not as openly available. The masses have limited resources and cannot always access cutting-edge technology such as machine learning systems.

Such systems are highly centralized and used as the proprietary datasets. Not only are they costly to recreate, but even the best models can become outdated if not consistently refreshed with new data.

The idea is to allow advanced AI models and bigger datasets to be easily accessible, sharable, updated and retrained to increase the adoption, acceptance, and overall effectiveness of AI. People will soon be able to adopt this easy and cost-effective method to run and access advanced machine learning models through regular devices such as laptops and smartphone browsers and collectively participate in improving data sets and models.

Therefore, Microsoft is keen on developing what they call a Decentralized & Collaborative AI on the Blockchain framework. It will significantly increase AI community collaborations to retrain such models with valuable datasets on public blockchains. The machine learning models would be made free for public use as they would know the code they are interacting with.

Some applications that Microsoft is looking forward to integrating are virtual assistants and recommender systems like used by Netflix to recommend shows to its audience. Considering such models, Blockchain makes sense because of the increased security and how trustworthy it is for the participants.

The well-established nature of the blockchain system and the associate smart contracts ensure that the models will always perform up to the specific requirement. As the models are consistently updated on the Blockchain used unhinged by the user’s local device, every user gets to see the one genuine version of the model.

Hence, even though Microsoft’s framework isn’t favorable for operating at large scale for now, but sooner or later, it will be the norm. There is little to no doubt that organizations like Microsoft are doing advanced research and practical work to converge AI and cryptosystems like Blockchain. There is no doubt that cryptocurrency is the future of money. So it is in the best interests of the organization to start working on merging Blockchain and AI for improved benefits.

How can an organization merge Blockchain and AI?

Just as Microsoft, more advancement is made for combining Blockchain and AI for fulfilling specific usage requirements. Such cases will depend on the company’s specific needs, but the core preference would be related to data. This will allow companies to improve their digital and data capabilities by developing a combination of AI and Blockchain solution to fit their operations.

The very first step needs to be taken by the executives to identify the specific business needs and whether creating an AI and Blockchain system would address that need. This can become easier if the organization has already worked on AI and taken initiatives in other operations because now you can integrate Blockchain to improve them.

Similarly, if the company owns valuable data, they can monetize by converging a blockchain environment and sharing the data with AI model creators. For instance, a progressive car company like Tesla probably has a good collection of valuable data collected by its cars. They can put it on a blockchain system as their self-driving cars will continue to collect huge amounts of data that they can use to improve the neural networks powering self-driving operations and functions.

With a trusted name as Tesla, the public would not be too complacent about maintaining their privacy. Blockchain would allow the company to make the driver information anonymous to ensure privacy while collecting data to improve neural nets in use.

The company can even share anonymous data with car insurance companies. It would allow the insurers to price their insurance packages for self-driving cars more efficiently and with an educated mind, given how the risk profile of a self-driving car is different from that of a regular car.

The whole packaged win-win situation here is that where the company would improve its cars, the public would get advanced transportation, complete privacy, and the right insurance for the right price without getting exploited.

Using Digital Investment Assets for Trading through Blockchain

You must be already aware of how Blockchain is already a ready-made, and good-to-go digital ledger used to store and trade financial instruments such as cryptocurrencies and cryptographic tokens. However, Blockchain is still a nascent technology, been only around for a few years. Where cryptocurrency has definitely taken the world by storm, cryptographic tokens are comparatively more nascent.

Hence, it is evident that there is no probable activity and enough data yet to apply AI to financial products like a cryptocurrency that are traded through Blockchain. However, the upgrading technology and data sets show a promising future for AI taking insights from these data sets to create financial products and trade them autonomously.

How can an organization merge Blockchain and AI?

The convergence of artificial intelligence and Blockchain would be a huge step forward, and the process will cover four distinct yet inter-linked stages.

Stage I: Proof of concepts

Stage II: Asset tokenization

Stage III: Digital Investment Assets DIA

Stage IV: AI agents trading DIA

The four stages will represent how Blockchain is proof of concepts initially. On the second stage, assets are tokenized and traded. Tokens can represent underlying security methods, physical assets, cash flows, and utilities. This reduces the alleged transaction cost and decreases the time taken for settlement to improve audit accountability.

AI and Blockchain Applications

There is no denying that a decade back if someone would have presented us with an idea of magical internet money called crypto in the future, we would have laughed and made fun of the person for coming up with Superman and Kryptonite theories. Fast forward to ten years down the line, and cryptocurrency not only exists, but there are real-world integrations of its blockchain system with AI.

Smart computing power

Think of a machine learning code that would upgrade and retrain when given the right data. That is exactly what AI affords the users to tackle tasks more efficiently and intelligently.

Diverse data sets

The combination of Blockchain and AI can create smarter and decentralized networks to host various data sets. Creating a blockchain API would enable the intercommunication of AI agents resulting in diverse codes and algorithms to be built upon diver data sets, ensuring development.

Data protection

It doesn’t matter if data is medical or financial. Certain data types are too sensitive to be handled by a single company and their coding system. Storing such data on a blockchain and accessed through AI would give its users a huge advantage of personalized recommendations, suggestions, and notifications while securely storing data.

Data monetization

Data monetization would make both AI and advance Blockchain easily accessible to smaller companies. As of now, developing and growing AI is costly for organizations, especially those who do not own data sets. A decentralized market would create space such companies for which it is otherwise too expensive.

Trusting AI for decision making

AI is growing smarter with time. Through the use of blockchain systems like crypto, transactions will become smarter, making the process easier to audit.

Conclusion

All in all, the collaborative effort of blockchain technology and AI is still majorly an undiscovered territory. One of the main reasons why we still have yet to see a commercialized joint adoption of the Blockchain system and artificial intelligence is that the upscale implementation of their convergence is quite challenging.

Many businesses, although having ventured on with AI, are skeptical when it comes to conjoining Blockchain. They are in their early stages for testing the waters for AI and Blockchain coming together in isolation. As they continue to figure it out for appropriate public distribution, the convergence of the two technologies has had its fair share of scholarly attention as well. Yet still, projects solely developed to promote the groundbreaking match are still primarily not catered to.

There is no doubt that the potential of this combination is clearly there and developing, but how it will play out for future public use can be anybody’s call.

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Claudia Jeffrey is currently working as a Junior Finance advisor at Crowd Writer, an excellent platform to get assignment help UK. She is a self-proclaimed crypto-influencer. She has gained significant expertise and knowledge in this regard over the years and likes to share it with an interested audience.

retail

Facing The Challenge of COVID-19 in Retail Sector

TradeGala – the B2B online marketplace was originally created as a digital platform to smoothly connect new and established fashion brands with buyers from all over the world. As a business owner, you try to prepare for every eventuality, but I don’t think anyone could have seen the current crisis coming or the scale with which it would affect businesses globally. We had to move quickly to adapt to the situation, reassessing our processes, slowing things down and working closely with our suppliers and providers to make sure that no-one was left behind.

The community spirit within the industry has surprised me more than anything, as companies have really pulled together to overcome the difficulties we all face. Sales across the whole retail sector have obviously been affected, but traffic has been improving since June and we’re looking to the future with a positive outlook as we work together to succeed.

It is vital for businesses to keep implementing new ideas” in “turbulent times” by planning for the future and building a strong foundation. The fashion industry, in particular, has changed drastically due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It’s clear the fashion industry has changed completely, as has customer behavior, and we need to make sure we fully understand our customers’ changing priorities in order to give them what they want, how they want it. We’re listening closely to our audience to make sure we stay relevant and in tune with their needs, and we’re investing both time and resources into the latest technologies to improve our customer journey at every step of the way.

In these unprecedented times, entire sectors have fallen prey to the complexity left behind in the pandemic’s wake. Many retail companies have seized the opportunity to reinvent themselves in the digital space, harnessing the importance of free-flowing business as the world evolves to a new way of virtual living. TradeGala has smoothly adapted to the new normal, reassessing continuity plans and addressing valid concerns from partnering entrepreneurs and customers alike. In response to the shock to supply and logistics chains and the fall in customer demand, both Goddiva (our women’s occasionwear fashion brand) and TradeGala have implemented critical changes in strategy to ensure safety from disruption and inclusivity for all the business partners and entrepreneurs using our platforms.

As demand drops, the marketplace community must focus on back-to-basic points; optimizing choice, re-assessment of prices, and managing short term costs, while finding new, innovative, and inclusive methods to provide customers with an unwavering reason to keep shopping.

We know that after the COVID-19 pandemic, start-ups will need the support and experience of mentors and industry experts more than ever. Part of the TradeGala vision has always been to help young and emerging entrepreneurs make their mark in the fashion industry. This strategy will not change at all and the COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened our corporate vision to work even closer with industry entrepreneurs. We must understand that the post-pandemic retail world will be very different; it’s all about taking it with a grain of salt.

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Mina Melikova is the CEO of TradeGala

risk

Why COVID-19 is a Galvanizing Moment for Eliminating Physical and Digital Supply Chain Risk

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the resulting economic fallout was felt across borders and industry alike. From manufacturing to financial services, every industry has been scrambling to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the bottom line. For many businesses, this has helped serve as an urgent wake-up call to take proactive steps to identify and eliminate risk across their global supply chains, which typically span several tiers of suppliers dispersed across the world. Real-time supply chain risk visibility plays a critical role in avoiding business disruptions.

The Economic Risk

There is an immense economic risk that needs to be considered when a business operates a global supply chain. At the start of the pandemic, we witnessed the inevitable ripple effects across not just multiple industries but also across multiple different tiers of suppliers. For example, 3.74% of sub-tier suppliers in the Department of Defense’s ecosystem closed as a result of the pandemic. 75% of small businesses have reported that they have only enough cash in hand for 2 months or less. As suppliers struggle or go out of business, significant supply chain disruptions are common.

This instability coupled with the multitude of other economic crises facing the world, such as ongoing trade friction with China, could precipitate a fundamental collapse of global business as we know it. We must monitor our supply chains for more points of exposure to risks than ever before.

The Data Security Risk

With computer hacking having increased 330% since the start of the pandemic, global businesses also need to account for the cybersecurity risks involved with having a supply chain across multiple countries and potentially hundreds or thousands of suppliers. The data systems of global suppliers are a potential entry point to a brand’s or government agency’s data systems, presenting a major challenge across the global supply chain. Organizations must be able to assess and continuously monitor the strength of supplier data security measures and the changing cybersecurity-related risk associated with their suppliers.

Even after the pandemic subsides, the need for real-time risk monitoring in the extended digital supply chain will persist, especially as cybersecurity attacks grow in sophistication.

New Technology for Physical and Digital Supply Chain Risk Management

When it comes to monitoring risk associated with multiple tiers of suppliers, the majority of businesses are still way behind. According to Gartner, only 27% of companies perform ongoing third-party monitoring and only 2% directly monitor their 4th and 5th party suppliers. Although companies know they’re vulnerable to disruption by a sub-tier supplier, not enough are being directed or given the tools to actively monitor them effectively.

Historically, the majority of businesses attempt to identify, assess and manage supply chain risk manually and only periodically. This is because, previously, automation technology focused on making sense of large amounts of extended supply chain ecosystem data has not been up to the task. Much has changed. The global machine learning market was valued at just $1.58B in 2017 and is now expected to reach $20.83B in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 44.06%. New AI and machine learning-based technology is emerging rapidly and changing the game. This new technology can immediately illuminate risks across all tiers of a global supply chain because data on tens of millions of suppliers is continuously monitored from both a physical and digital supply chain perspective and across numerous risk factors.

Incorporating AI-powered solutions into your supply chain risk management strategy can automate the identification of risks that exist deep within a supply chain. In addition, adopting this technology ensures that an organization has continuous, real-time information to inform ongoing risk management efforts and identify problems before they threaten the business.

There is no way to know when the pandemic and its resulting implications will cease. Or when and where the next global event will happen. Looking ahead, successful businesses will be ready to continue functioning in a safe and secure way regardless of what issues they face. Supply chain-related blind spots and resulting disruptions can pose major complications for organizations that aren’t able to effectively identify and map risk. COVID-19 has driven a greater sense of urgency to shore up these problems. New technology for automated, continuous monitoring of supply chains end-to-end presents a new path toward operational resilience, business continuity, and overall health.

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Jennifer Bisceglie is the CEO of Interos, the first and only business relationship intelligence platform to protect enterprise ecosystems from financial, operations, governance, geographic, and cyber risk in every tier of enterprise supply chains, continuously.

cargo

Shipping Strategies for High-Value Cargo

Shipping cargo of any kind requires taking certain precautions to ensure the shipment arrives at its destination safely. Things get more complicated when high-value cargo is involved. Shipping cargo that includes unique pieces of art, fine jewelry, electronics, luxury apparel, pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and high-end food is riddled with even more risk. Any company can use a variety of shipping strategies for high-value cargo. The main aim, however, is always to completely eliminate the risk of damaging, losing, or anyone stealing the items. The strategies have to account for an optimal delivery route and provide security at each stage of shipping – transshipment, transport, and storage.

How does cargo theft happen?

Most logistics companies worth their salt are able to ensure their shipments of high-value cargo do not get lost or damaged by taking all of the necessary precautions. However, one risk that is getting increasingly harder to eliminate is that of theft. If the company’s capacity is tight, this might force them to work with carriers they don’t have longstanding relationships with. This can open up the door for sophisticated theft. People who do this know a lot about the luxury goods supply chain. They are able to obtain the right credentials, or at least look like they did.

If they don’t opt for fraud, they will opt for hijacking. Different territories around the world report different criminal patterns. Shipping companies have to toe the line of providing the best and most effective security strategies for the shipping of high-value cargo without their surcharges skyrocketing. Through careful planning, identifying problem areas, and mitigating risks, a company can develop successful shipping strategies for high-value cargo.

Speed

One of the simplest ways of eliminating the risk of theft when it comes to high-value cargo is to expedite the entire shipping process. The more quickly it happens, the fewer opportunities there are for something to go wrong. Picking the right timing can both help with the speediness of the delivery as well as further lowering the risks. For example, it is advisable to avoid the shipping of luxury items during weekends and holidays. The company should also plan the route meticulously. In turn, it should require the drivers to check in with the dispatcher at regular intervals as well as report any detours.

Expedited shipping requires a lot of careful planning and ensuring the security of the entire supply chain. Properly preparing the shipments for transit, monitoring the security measures, and ensuring visibility of the shipment throughout the process are all important strategies to ensure the safety of high-value cargo.

Building trust

Unfortunate incidents are more likely to happen when dealing with new partners companies don’t have sufficient experience with. Creating lasting business relationships means staying informed and involved in every part of the shipping process. It is one way to ensure your high-value cargo arrives at its destination safely at the allotted time. Building the trust between a company and its partners requires a lot of work on the ground. This includes regular visits to the facilities, educating the personnel about security threats and how to spot them, and learning about the language, infrastructure, and common practices of new countries they do business in.

Security measures

Shipping strategies for high-value cargo usually involve several different security measures. Some of the common combinations are using box trailers or anti-slash curtains, dedicated trucks, carefully selecting and training carriers, and having fixed parking instructions. It is also important to ensure that the shipment is monitored at all points of transport. Visibility means following a shipment from the pick up to its final destination. Some of the tools used for this include barcoding, RFID tags, and GPS trackers.

Another one of the great strategies for preventing theft is hiding the fact that the shipment is anything worth stealing. Checking the regulations and working within their confines can help you make the documentation as generic as possible. As much as they can, shippers try to use generic terms or code instead of listing specific information about the shipper and consignee. This is particularly important to apply to the description of the high-value cargo.

Furthermore, it might even be a good idea to limit access to sensitive information within the shipping company itself. It is also important to require a sign-off of count and condition whenever the shipment changes hands.

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Neal Samson is a freelance writer with extensive working experience in the logistics industry. He mostly writes articles for companies like Tik Tok Moving and Storage and covers a variety of different topics related to logistics, shipping, and moving.

Transport Management

Quality Tips for Better Transport Management

With the world becoming more interconnected than ever, the pressure and expectations from the transport industry have increased exponentially. Everyone wants a smooth, safe, and secure journey whether they are moving for their jobs or to meet someone. Moreover, the expectations from the logistics companies have been increased too. 

Transportation management is no more about just moving freight at a lower cost. The technology has advanced and the structure of the supply chain is no more linear. Along with complex structures, many other factors are compelling shippers to improve their services in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. 

Increased demands:

Customers are looking for quick, efficient, and secure deliveries where they are constantly updated about the location of their products too. 

We cannot deny that in the context of supply chain operations,  logistics and transport management are interrelated. Transportation plays a major role right from manufacturing to the final delivery of the product. Better transport management can lead to successful order completion. There can be a different outcome if there is a flaw in the logistics or transport policies. Let us find out the things you can do in order to have a more efficient transport system network. Below, some tips to improve transportation networks are discussed.

Using Technology for Various Transport Operations

Technological advances in the communication and transport industry can help bring sustainability and adaptability in transportation networks. One of the most significant jobs belongs to the transport managers since they can encourage and advertise buying and adapting technologies that support cleaner and greener vehicles and eco-friendly technologies. Potential advantages include:

-Reduced emissions

-Lesser vehicle expenses 

-Less fuel utilization

Go for Automated Solutions

There is no simpler method to smooth out your transport management than to automate the whole process. An automated transportation network can simplify and streamline all operations. With automation, transport managers can constantly keep themselves updated and know:

-If the trucks are operating

-Real-time location of the fleet

-Their destination

ERP Framework:

One of the best approaches to examine and save money on working expenses is to embrace mechanized arrangements like an ERP framework. This product robotizes the whole cycle, guaranteeing each cycle runs rapidly and decisively so any blunders that lead to misfortunes can be limited. Moreover, the framework likewise empowers you to assess salary and costs for a specific period so you will have the option to plan your spending all the more carefully.

Big Data

Constant improvement in viable transportation the executives are currently regularly acknowledged by key transporters on account of the expanded utilization of technology and using air freight framework giving the capacity to obtain informative reports for meaningful business knowledge. This enormous development towards more utilization of the information to gather bits of knowledge made by measures inside innovation is known as “Big Data.” 

How Can Transport Software Help?

The latest transport management software can provide other facilities including:

-Keep a track of journeys 

-Organize delivery trips

-Monitor the usage of fuel per vehicle

-Allocate and track drivers 

-Analyze the collected data

Transit Applications

Develop transit applications to provide real-time information regarding the route and location of the vehicle. This can also help the drivers to adopt the best and the most efficient route and improve the overall services.

Analyze the Overall Performance

Time to time analysis of the performance is necessary. The initial phase in making economical arrangements is to completely investigate and understand everything related to the whole transportation including:

-Costs

-Policies

-Procedures

-Operations and activities

This gives the information to create noteworthy sustainable systems. Fleet managers can begin by exploring existing measurements and observing devices to evaluate the use of vehicles, patterns, and mileage. This will help spot all the pros and cons and new improvement open doors in various business zones.

Using Metrics

It is necessary to monitor the transportation footprint and network. One can do it by using metrics. With huge amounts of data, identification of key operating indicators can help you look for the right information. The management must have the ability to convert the data into useful information.

Identify the Needs and Priorities

The transport business is focussed on the need to satisfy the customer’s needs. A sustainable approach in transport management can lead to more profit and better performance.

To achieve this, the business policies and priorities must be understood thoroughly.  Business needs could incorporate operational data, for example:

-Where vehicles are based and how they are planned,

-Their journey

-Stacking 

-Strategy necessities

Sustainability

The pressure on companies to go for sustainable solutions is increasing. Ecological targets could incorporate carbon decrease, practicing air quality control, and improvement of the eco-management tracking. Sustainable measures can include:

-Driverless fleet

-Cleaner vehicles

-Inclusion of eco-friendly technologies

-E-cargo bikes

Self-Driving Trucks:

The innovation for self-driving trucks is still under the process of development and it needs to defeat certain hindrances, for example, improving driverless programming to make it ready to proficiently work on urban streets with heavy traffic. No one can deny that it’s one of the transportation future trends. Transportation organizations need to plan for upcoming innovation changes inside the business and begin including self-navigating management systems in their trucks that can learn from genuine drivers.

E-Scooters

According to reports, the popularity of scooters has increased and the number of bike users has increased exponentially. This indicates that citizens are also contributing to a greener environment.

Cargo e-bikes can reduce congestion and deliver faster. They are environmentally friendly as they are charged with battery and can be ridden on sidewalks. Amazon and UPS have already started delivering through them.

Don’t Miss Out on the Chances to Improve

A significant improvement can be brought by keeping a track of fuel expenses and its total consumption along with fulfilling all the arrangements and travel demands. Effective management of transportation is impossible without the worker’s awareness and his/her adherence to the company’s strategies. To promote a spirit of cooperation, teamwork, and commitment among the employees, the managers need to have:

-Continuous monitoring

-Improvements in the operation

-Acknowledgment of employee’s good performance

These improvements combined not only prove to be profitable for the companies but can also help them to have a stronger logistics network that can reduce:

-Accidents

-Traffic congestion

-Pollution

Scalable Business Operations

By going for scalable solutions, companies with larger networks can deal with demand and complexity issues. Joining all the separate supply chains can help view everything from a single lens. A centralized system can assist in analyzing the role of each department including customer service, marketing, and sales efficiently.

At the point when all the steps included are run manually and independently, it can become hard for the supervisor to recognize issues, screen progress, and take actions. That is why it is crucial to embrace a centralized structure that joins all the steps.

Appropriate Planning and Preparation

The first step towards effective transport management is to have proper planning. The reason to invest in planning is to achieve maximum output in a shorter amount of time. There are numerous components associated with this, from the acquisition of products and their storage to their final delivery. 

Other important things:

Other things that need to be taken care of are time, transportation, and expenses. Supply chain administrators must have the option to build up an extensive work process to guarantee the efficient running of operations. 

Unexpected Situations:

Though the planning is done to get the best possible results and efficient performance, yet the possibility of uncertain threats must not be overlooked. The best example of an uncertain situation can be taken from the recent pandemic which led to numerous supply chain problems all across the globe.  It is better to be prepared for surprising conditions, including:

-Bad weather

-Shortages 

-Delays 

-Damages to goods, etc.

Training and Guiding Employees

Your employees play an integral role in the growth of your business. No job should be considered trivial or unimportant. All the departments and all the workers including the drivers, delivery guys, warehouse workers must be given proper guidance and training for productive performance. 

Agility

It is the company’s job to improve their abilities and bring agility in the operations. They all must be well aware of the:

-Company’s rules

-Their jobs

-Technologies they are working with

A centralized HRM system can monitor the performance of the workers and help conduct training.

Streamline Your Warehouse Management

Transportation jobs can’t run easily without proper inventory management. The capacity of products and course of action of distribution centers influence the transportation cycle. In this manner, make sure that all things are organized.

Accessibility of Products:

Efficient transportation management takes into consideration the accessibility of materials and customer’s requirements, guaranteeing that those goods are ideally used and distributed. Moreover, the degree of consistency helps the transporter carrying out his job in a better way.  

-Accelerate the picking cycle

-Simplify forklift working

-Use barcode scanners to add more speed and accuracy

______________________________________________________________

Danielle Gregory is a full-time Writer, Traveler, and Marketing Expert who is Currently Working for QAFILA. Danielle’s writing relates to a range of subjects such as logistics and IoT. Besides writing, she enjoys traveling, Cooking, and Riding

cheese

Global Cheese Market Hit Record Highs But Is to Lose Momentum Against the Pandemic

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Cheese – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2019, the global cheese market increased by 2.3% to $114.1B, rising for the third year in a row after two years of decline. The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.1% over the period from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations in certain years. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when the market value increased by 7.1% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the global market reached its maximum level in 2019.

Taking into account the closure of the HoReCa sector worldwide due to the pandemic, a decrease in consumer incomes and possible disruptions in the work of international supply chains, global cheese consumption is expected to stagnate in 2020. Afterward, the start of gradual market growth is expected as the global economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The market is forecast to expand with an anticipated CAGR +0.6% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 27M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Consumption by Country

The U.S. (6.1M tonnes) remains the largest cheese consuming country worldwide, accounting for 24% of total volume. Moreover, cheese consumption in the U.S. exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, Germany (3M tonnes), twofold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by France (1.6M tonnes), with a 6.4% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume in the U.S. totaled +2.5%. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: Germany (+4.4% per year) and France (+1.3% per year).

In value terms, the U.S. ($25.9B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Germany ($11.2B). It was followed by Italy.

The countries with the highest levels of cheese per capita consumption in 2019 were the Czech Republic (64 kg per person), Germany (37 kg per person) and France (25 kg per person).

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of cheese per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by the Czech Republic, while cheese per capita consumption for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Market Forecast 2019-2025

Driven by increasing demand for cheese worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +1.8% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 31M tonnes by the end of 2030.

Production

In 2019, the amount of cheese produced worldwide rose slightly to 26M tonnes, picking up by 2.6% on the year before. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.6% from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations in certain years.

Production by Country

The countries with the highest volumes of cheese production in 2019 were the U.S. (6.3M tonnes), Germany (3.5M tonnes) and France (1.9M tonnes), with a combined 46% share of global production. These countries were followed by Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Argentina, Russia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, the UK and Canada, which together accounted for a further 26%.

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of cheese production, amongst the key producing countries, was attained by the Czech Republic, while cheese production for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports

In 2019, approx. 7.1M tonnes of cheese were imported worldwide; rising by 3.5% against 2018. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.7% over the period from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 with an increase of 4.2% against the previous year. Over the period under review, global imports attained the peak figure in 2019 and are expected to retain growth in the near future. In value terms, cheese imports rose to $32.3B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

Imports by Country

In 2019, Germany (778K tonnes), Italy (536K tonnes), the UK (495K tonnes), the Netherlands (390K tonnes), France (377K tonnes), Belgium (341K tonnes), Spain (310K tonnes), Japan (303K tonnes) and Russia (284K tonnes) represented the major importer of cheese in the world, mixing up 54% of total import. The U.S. (180K tonnes), Saudi Arabia (148K tonnes) and Greece (135K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total imports.

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of purchases, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by the Netherlands, while imports for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Germany ($4.2B) constitutes the largest market for imported cheese worldwide, comprising 13% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by the UK ($2.1B), with a 6.5% share of global imports. It was followed by Italy, with a 6.3% share.

Import Prices by Country

The average cheese import price stood at $4,532 per tonne in 2019, falling by -1.6% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the import price showed a noticeable descent. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when the average import price increased by 11% year-to-year. Over the period under review, average import prices attained the peak figure at $5,303 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2019, import prices failed to regain the momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was the U.S. ($7,560 per tonne), while Saudi Arabia ($3,362 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Japan, while the other global leaders experienced a decline in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

lemon juice

The Pandemic Hampers the Growth of the Global Concentrated Lemon Juice Market

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Concentrated Lemon And Other Citrus Fruit Juice – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Only a Slight Growth of the Global Concentrated Lemon Juice Market is Expected, As The Pandemic Hit Major Importing Countries

The value of the global concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice (excl. orange and grapefruit juice) market stood at approx. $647M in 2019, declining by -6.0% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

In physical terms, global concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice consumption also declined slightly the last year, amounting to 258K tonnes in 2019. From 2015-2018, the market increased steadily, but in 2019 the growth lost its momentum due to a slight decrease in the lemon harvest in Argentina, which remains the largest lemon juice producing country.

The countries with the highest volumes of consumption of concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice in 2019 were the U.S. (31K tonnes), Argentina (16K tonnes) and Japan (15K tonnes), with a combined 24% share of global consumption (IndexBox estimates). These countries were followed by Canada, Spain, Germany, China, India, Peru, France, Brazil and Mexico, which together accounted for a further 38%.

From 2007 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of consumption of concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice, amongst the key consuming countries, was attained by Spain, while consumption of concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice markets worldwide were the U.S. ($79M), Japan ($56M) and Argentina ($47M), with a combined 28% share of the global market. These countries were followed by Germany, Spain, China, Canada, France, Brazil, India, Mexico and Peru, which together accounted for a further 37%.

The countries with the highest levels of concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice per capita consumption in 2019 were Canada (371 kg per 1000 persons), Argentina (354 kg per 1000 persons) and Peru (298 kg per 1000 persons).

Concentrated lemon juice is a well-known product in South America and in Southern Europe, as well as, being imported, in the U.S., Canada, and across Western Europe. By contrast, in Southern and South-Eastern Asia, the market is relatively underdeveloped; however, China emerges as the fastest-growing lemon juice importer – rapid urbanization and the rising popularity of the western-style cuisine drive the use of lemon juice here.

Apart from the other types of juices which are largely consumed as a beverage, concentrated lemon juice is used as an ingredient in various recipes in baking, grilling, and as an ingredient in marinades and salad dressings, in cocktails, hot tea, lemonade, and hot lemonade. It also may have some non-food applications like home deodorization and cleaning. Therefore, population growth remains a fundamental market driver, combined with increases in disposable income, which in turn will contribute to enhanced consumer spending.

The major downside risk for market growth comes from the possible contraction of incomes due to the COVID pandemic. In the context of falling incomes, consumers primarily tend to exclude non-staple goods from purchases, which include concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice.

Concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice is a widely traded commodity, with the share of exports in total global output increased from near 72% in 2007 to about 86% in 2019 (IndexBox estimates). This is conditioned by the rising demand for tropical and citrus fruit juices in those countries that don’t grow many lemons like the U.S., Europe, and Canada, on the one hand, and Argentina’s (together with some other countries) specialization in lemons, on the other hand.

The largest concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice importing markets worldwide were the U.S. ($102M), the Netherlands ($87M), and Japan ($63M), with a combined 40% share of global imports. Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Italy, the UK, China, Israel, and Belgium lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 37%. The hit of the pandemic in the U.S. and Europe was severe, which leads to a dramatic drop in terms of GDP and consumer spending. This is to affect the consumption of concentrated lemon juice which is largely supplied by imports.

In Latin America, the impact of the crisis on domestic demand should be less significant because concentrated lemon and other citrus fruits and concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit juice are available locally. However, the concentrated lemon and other citrus fruit industry in large producing countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico) are largely export-oriented, therefore, the decrease in demand in Western countries can damage local producers and cause further disruption of supply chains.

Accordingly, the market is expected to decrease somewhat in 2020 and then to start recovering gradually. Over the next decade, the market is expected to grow modestly, with an anticipated CAGR of +0.3% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 265K tonnes by the end of 2030.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform