Direct-to-Consumer Thrives While People Work from Home
June 19, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has instituted a new way of living— at least for now. We’re no longer making frequent trips to the grocery store, window shopping at the mall or perusing the aisles of a department store. Highly populated activities, such as concerts, festivals and even summer camps, are canceled, and many offices remain closed. All this means that people are spending less time at brick-and-mortar stores, more time at home, and ordering items online for delivery right to their door.
Consumer goods businesses must meet the rising demand of direct-to-consumer (DTC) orders efficiently, especially if retailer orders have slowed down due to temporary closures or limited store hours. Now is the time for consumer goods importers and distributors like you to diversify your order channels with various omni-channel options. This helps in the current situation and with risk management and mitigation moving forward. Disruptions, like the coronavirus, will potentially be less dangerous in terms of effectively running your business.
Though not the case for all merchants, most consumer goods vendors with an online presence, either through their website or via retailers, are thriving during the coronavirus pandemic. If your company’s direct-to-consumer footprint is smaller than you’d like, now is the time to consider expanding. It’s also the time to explore online options if your company doesn’t have any DTC footprint.
In making your business available to the consumer outside of a brick-and-mortar shop, you’re able to position yourself for profitability and make your business more agile in response to customer demands. So much of running a successful business involves a prepared and enabled workforce, but because so much of the workforce is remote, that’s now become an additional challenge. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that’s in the cloud is an excellent tool to encourage productivity, open communication and efficiency; it’s everything you need to continue to ensure that warehouse operations are functioning as they should.
Running an ecommerce business creates an opportunity to not only sell directly to your customers but to fulfill orders for big, ecommerce retailers. Honey-Can-Do, a leading home products company, does exactly that.
“With record numbers of consumers home during the pandemic, demand for home products has risen significantly,” said the company’s founder and CEO, Steve Greenspon. “However, many non-essential brick and mortar retailers were closed, and ecommerce was able to provide a tremendous opportunity to meet market needs. We were very fortunate to be in a strong position to fulfill the increased demand from online shoppers while diversifying from the much lower demand of non-essential retailers.”
Effective warehouse management is a huge part of meeting retailer and DTC demand. Without proper communication, workflows and organization, it’s going to be challenging to smoothly and efficiently fulfill both large retail orders and small DTC orders.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: warehouse efficiency shouldn’t be rocket science; it should be intuitive. But because of the business of the space, it’s easy to become disorganized or overwhelmed if processes, procedures and protocols aren’t implemented. Having a robust warehouse management tool can help reduce costs, increase inventory accuracy and storage capacity, and improve customer satisfaction.
Imagine now having all of that warehouse management functionality in addition to an ERP. An ERP with built-in warehouse management system (WMS) functionality that’s made specifically for your unique industry challenges could help improve efficiencies throughout your business. It enables you to stay competitive and productive, two qualities that are particularly crucial right now.
Apprise ERP has importing and distribution features that are essential to you and your industry as it is now and how it will evolve in the future. That’s the best part of Apprise: it grows as you do, positioning you as a top contender in your industry.
Even when much of the workforce is remote and at home, an ERP that’s in the cloud and has electronic data interchange (EDI) functionality makes the arduous task of getting customers their products that much easier and more efficient. No matter where you are—whether home or at the warehouse—EDI solutions enable you to interact with your trading partners seamlessly and in real-time to help you increase revenues and reduce costs by meeting mass merchant compliance requirements.
We understand that the success of your business relies on happy customers. We know you want to get those orders in efficiently, processed through the warehouse, out the door, and into customers’ hands as swiftly and safely as possible. We are here to help you with that. If you’d like to talk more about how Aptean can support your direct-to-consumer efforts, particularly as we work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, please reach out. We’d love to talk.