Tag Archive: e-commerce

B2B, B2C & Associated Technology

September 25th, 2020

B2B
According to 99 Firms, B2B e-commerce will hit $1.8 trillion by 2023. They have also stated that over 80% of B2B buyers visit a website before making a purchasing decision. Wow! It puts a new perspective on B2B portals and the associated customer experience and their criticality to growth plans. One final compelling statistic is that mobile is expected to be used for 70% of the queries in 2020. By all means, you should consider your B2B customer experience and the technology and marketing initiatives to support your growth plans.

B2C
According to eMarketer, B2C e-commerce will surge by 18% in 2020 whereas brick and mortar will decline 14%. The net gain is that e-commerce will increase to almost 15% of total retail sales (20% if excluding gas and auto sales). Of course, household essentials lead the way with the impacts of coronavirus. Orerlo projects e-commerce at 16.1% in 2020. No matter which statistic becomes a reality, the bottom line is e-commerce is surging! According to 99 Firms, global retail e-commerce will hit $4.13 trillion in 2020 with over 2 billion digital buyers. Not pocket change! An eye-opening statistic is that by 2040, 95% of all purchases is expected to be via e-commerce. Undoubtedly, you should jump on setting your e-commerce strategy.

Technology
There are many e-commerce system options available. Executives are realizing the importance of their B2B and B2C e-commerce strategy. Our most proactive clients have been pursuing e-commerce technology for quite some time. In some situations, it helps to start with a strong foundational base, your ERP system.  In other situations, clients cannot wait for ERP and decide to hook into ERP down-the-line. Of course, all the ERP software suppliers have jumped on the B2B/B2C bandwagon (at least in terms of preferred software partners) which adds a layer of complexity to ERP selection. With these powerful statistics, it isn’t an area you can afford to miss. There are several mainstay names such as Magento and Shopify, as well as some simpler options and intriguing newer names to the scene. Of course, similar to ERP selection, what is best “depends” on several key factors.

According to 99 Firms, credit cards are the most preferred form of payment for online with shoppers around the globe. Thus, credit card software and payment processors are also of relevance in ERP selection projects. The second most preferred form of payment is electronic payment, led by PayPal. Do you know what makes the most sense for your situation?

At a minimum, start thinking through your B2B and B2C roadmap. Start with your growth plans, understand your customer preferences and build a roadmap to support a successful path forward. If you are interested in a B2B/ B2C assessment and/or B2B/ B2C software selection, contact us.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on this topic:

The Rise of E-Commerce & WMS Popularity During the Pandemic

Systems Pragmatist



What’s Going on in Supply Chain: Shark Bite Biz Video

September 8th, 2020

David Strausser, podcast host of Shark Bite Biz, and I talk about what’s going on in supply chain. We talk e-commerce, customers’ customers, suppliers’ suppliers, what our most successful clients are doing currently, the pareto principle and more. Listen to our episode (after a short advertisement).

 

       

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Although there are many steps every manufacturer or distributor should take during these unprecedented times, there are a few critical and common steps everyone should pursue. At a minimum, immediately address the following:

  1. Your customers’ customers – Understand your demand, changing buying behaviors, changing product and service needs, etc.
  2. Your suppliers’ suppliers – Understand your supply capabilities, your suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers cash positions, risks, ability to innovate, etc.
  3. Don’t forget your internal operations – The equivalent of your customers’ customers’ view of your operations, capacity, staffing flexibility, skills, etc.
  4. Frequent touch points – Demand and supply (SIOP), employees, customers and suppliers
  5. Sync up with your strategy – Are you still going in the “right’ direction? Think about rapid and agile strategy.
  6. Innovate – Only those that innovate thrive. During these unprecedented times, successful companies will pull away from the pack by innovating.

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive long-term. If you are interested in doing an assessment and rapid roadmap tailored to your company, please contact us about this new service offering.

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.



The Rise of E-commerce & WMS Popularity During the Pandemic

August 4th, 2020

According to Forbes, COVID-19 accelerated e-commerce growth by 4-6 years. Smart players are taking advantage of the opportunity. Only Amazon takes in more money than Shopify’s websites, and analysts are predicting a 75% annual rise in the next five years.

The ONLY item in common across all clients and colleagues across the board is the rise in e-commerce during COVID-19. In fact, it has been the only bright spot in many cases. As a result, there is an increasing interest in B2C AND B2B software to support improved customer satisfaction and efficient order processing and fulfillment. You do NOT have to sell to consumers to be interested in providing increased value to customers and increasing internal efficiencies!

On a related topic, warehouse management software (WMS) is also gaining in popularity. Not surprisingly, as e-commerce increases, smaller, more frequent shipments become commonplace. So, executives and supply chain leaders are thinking about how to effectively and efficiently handle this increased volume in the warehouse. It is a completely different model than pallet and case shipping in the traditional warehouse. Additionally, unrelated to e-commerce, as manufacturers and distributors work to manage costs to offset the negative impacts of COVID-19, they want to further utilize WMS systems to increase their efficiency and cost effectiveness.

One Tip to Implement This Week:
Although e-commerce and WMS are hot topics in supply chain management, they may or may not be relevant to your situation. The key is to be thinking about what is integral to creating a superior customer experience with increased profitability and cash flow. Does technology support your objective? If so, which technology?

If you have the opportunity to serve customers directly or the opportunity to encourage your B2B customers to place orders through a customer portal (giving them better visibility and accessibility), now is the time to launch a B2B/B2C software. Do a quick review of your situation so you have the facts to assess the best path forward but do not delay. Invest quickly and reallocate/expand resources to take advantage of the opportunity while the iron is hot.

An an example, check out the story of what e-commerce did for the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Similarly, the proactive ERP partners are pursuing WMS and related business analytics to provide extra value to their clients during these turbulent times.

If you are interested in a rapid assessment of your situation and/or an e-commerce, WMS, BI or ERP-related selection to support your growth plans, contact us.

If you are interested in learning more about these types of trends and impacts for manufacturing and supply chain, read my free eBook Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19.



What’s Going on in Logistics & the Upcoming E-commerce & Logistics Summit

July 30th, 2020

The most recent webinar in our APICS Inland Empire webinar series featured Frank Moullet from Shamrock Foods talking about distribution, food service and how they’ve navigated through COVID-19. We had an engaging discussion on how they made a sharp right turn pivot early on and why people remain critical to success.

 

       

The world is changing rapidly. E-commerce is rising rapidly as consumers gain comfort ordering for home delivery instead of venturing out to the store. Of course, this is creating ripples throughout the supply chain. Distributors are re-thinking inventory strategy. Almost every executive is realizing that agility and resilience are vital to success. According to a National Association of Manufacturers’ recent webinar with CFO and COO experts, automation is top of mind, as well.

Join me on July 22nd as I moderate a panel discussion, Building Resiliency in Supply Chain at the E-Commerce & Logistics Summit. There is a special rate for APICS members for $30. Use special rate code BODshares708.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
In manufacturing and logistics, we have been quite preoccupied trying to keep up with volatile demand and supply swings, let alone how to do that keeping profitability and cashflow intact. So, it makes good sense to take a few minutes and take a step back to listen to folks who have found paths to success and/or are piloting/researching new concepts that could “work” in your industry or company. I definitely recommend listening to our APICS webinar with Shamrock Foods Branch Operations Manager Frank Moullet and/or join us at the E-commerce and Logistics Summit.

Additionally, keep abreast of what is going on in your industry, your profession and within the end-to-end supply chain that will impact you. Read industry magazines, keep an eye out for noteworthy news and key trends. We address these topics as well as many others in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive in 2021. If you are interested in doing an assessment of your global supply chain footprint, associated risks and opportunities and how to navigate changing conditions, please contact us.

 



e-Commerce & the Rise of Online

June 9th, 2020

According to the statistics as well as client commentary, e-Commerce sales and online everything is on fire:

  1. According to data from Adobe Analytics, the second half of March saw a 25% increase in e-commerce sales.
  2. Even more impressive, Adobe said that April saw a 49% increase in U.S. e-commerce sales!
  3. Of ALL our clients, the only unanimous area of growth during COVID-19 was in e-commerce sales.
  4. According to a Gartner CFO survey, 74% intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.

 

Thus, the key question is whether you are proactively thinking about online opportunities. If not, get ready to see your competitors rush by.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

Undoubtedly, you should be thinking about online from all angles:

  1. E-commerce (B2C): If you haven’t started offering e-commerce capabilities, you better evaluate rapidly and get on board. There are several options for how to pursue this opportunity. You can offer direct e-commerce with your website. You can go through a partner with key customers and folks such as Amazon. The bottom line is that your customer doesn’t care how you provide the capability but they expect to be able to order easily.
  2. B2B: If you serve other businesses, you cannot ignore these trends because you don’t sell to consumers. Your customers expect a B2B customer portal with the same type of e-commerce capabilities that Amazon provides. We have been helping a client with a systems roadmap, and it is quite clear that the “80/20” from the customer and sales viewpoint is Amaon-like capabilities (with an almost exclusive focus on B2B currently). Nothing else is sufficient.
  3. Supply chain partners: What are your customers, suppliers and other supply chain partners offering?
  4. Employees: Remember, your employees expect you to have Amazon-like capabilities and online capabilities as well. This perception spills over into all aspects of the business.
  5. Online is more than B2B/B2C: Have you thought about how COVID-19 has forever changed the way we do business? After all, if Gartner thinks 74% will change to remote work in some fashion, that is a HUGE change. How will that change your industry, your supply chain and your employees’ needs?

E-commerce was already on the rise, and COVID-19 gave it a strong boost. As with everything, there are advantages (such as the consumer gaining quick delivery of essential items) and disadvantages or challenges (managing freight costs, reconfiguring warehousing operations and space requirements, implementing technology rapidly, figuring out how to be environmentally-friendly delivering to tons of consumers and many more issues). Those who are most successful in proactively thinking through these considerations and creating strategies will thrive whereas the rest are likely to struggle significantly. Which avenue will you pursue? Read more about this topic as well as your strategy, priorities, key trends, and your restart recipe for success in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19 . If you are interested in a rapid assessment, please contact us.