Tuesday, 27 September 2016

What to be Cautious of in International Trade - Part 1

Many businesses are drawn to international trade as a way of expanding their audience and increasing revenue. There are lucrative markets abroad; there are importers of services and products who are looking to work with new trading partners from overseas.  While the appeal is great, there are some points to be cautious of and we will be covering a few key points over the next two days.

Language – Translation can be extremely challenging, especially when you need to consider the idioms that are used to characterise your ideas or marketing. Not everything can be easily translated into the host languages you may encounter.

Marketing – Marketing approaches will often need to be tailored-made to each country in order to reach the right audience and avoid failures. Extensive research into the culture is a must before first entering into the market. This will consume time, money and increase your marketing expenses dramatically.

Legalities – Always check the laws, customs regulations, import restrictions and corporate requirements before you venture into any new markets. You could end up in a joint venture without realising what is happening.

Human Resources and Raw Materials – Check that there is a skilled labour market available, especially if your company needs highly trained technicians.  You will also have to check that the materials you require and other supplies and equipment are available so that you can remain efficient.

Government – Not all governments welcome foreign investment or reject certain distribution relationships to be set up. Always check the government restrictions, tariffs, limitations on currency repatriation and the history of expropriation before you make any commitments. Use legal advisors that have experience in international trade so you can be made aware of the tax treaties that will influence your ideas.

 Return tomorrow when we will be continuing our look at international trade.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Beginner's Guide in Finding the Right Shipper - Part 2

Today we’re continuing our tips on finding the right shipper and how to keep your customers happy with your shipping provisions.

Shipping profitability
If you want to be successful at ecommerce you will need to work out how to ship profitability.  Shipping is a large expense for ecommerce and you have to do plenty of research to help you avoid losing money.  Map out your costs that are associated with your products reaching your customers before you work out your pricing and strategy for your ecommerce site.

Insurance and tracking
Shipping insurance and tracking provides security for you and your customers. Most couriers now provide insurance and tracking at a relatively low cost and you should include it in your packages. Some companies have insurance built into the cost while others will a dd it on as an extra cost.

Customs declaration and forms
If you are shipping outside your country you will need the right documentation. You can pick up the documents from local shipping or postal offices and sometimes they may be available online. The forms provide information for the custom officers such as what’s inside the package, the cost and if it was a gift or a purchase.  Being trustworthy on these documents can help avoid problems at customs, such as delays. Make sure your customers know that any customs delays are out of your control.

Tariffs, taxes and duties
Your customer will be the one responsible for any fees that are added on by customs. They will need to pay the additional fees when the item is delivered or to free it from customs. Include this information in your shipping policy information so your customers are not surprised if they face additional fees. Customs duty calculators can be used to find the fees your customers might incur.

Business accounts
Consider setting up a business account as you can benefit from different services and discounts.

Label your packages
You will need to work out how to label your packages. You can start writing by hand but this can be too time consuming. Many eCommerce platforms will allow you to print off your labels to stick to your packages with tape, or consider investing in sticker mailing labels that can be printed by a home printer.

Fulfillment warehouse
Fulfillment warehouses will help you with automation and take on the task of shipping for you. They will hold your inventory in their warehouses and if your shopping carts are integrated with their system they will then pick and pack your orders and ship them out on your behalf.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Chit chat: What is the Role of Process and Information Management?

Modern approaches to business and ebusiness refer to the processes rather than the functions. They work towards to become more streamlined. They focused on the goal of satisfying customer and their needs. ICT is a tool that is used to ensure a smooth flow of information.

An eCommerce business needs to have a suitable and efficient ICT infrastructure in order to be successful. Becoming an ebusiness, they need a suitable infrastructure to handle the changes and implement the new activities that are necessary. They also have to consider the use of ERP systems, access to the internet, a web presence and buying and selling online capabilities as well.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Beginner's Guide in Finding the Right Shipper - Part 1

Many new eCommerce business owners do not have many ideas on the shipping of their products.  Shipping can be quite daunting but we have a few tips that will help you navigate the waters and help you understand the topic.

  • Packaging and marketing
Customers now see shipping, packaging and the presentation to be part and parcel of the complete shopping experience. Many businesses now have to go above and beyond to keep their customers happy and encourage loyalty.  You can use your packaging and the presentation to stand out from the competition. For example, you can make your packages social media worthy, with customers helping to promote your brand through images shared on their social media platforms.  Think about how you can improve the customer experience through packaging and use it to improve your brand.

  • Packaging options
It is important to ensure the products arrive in one piece and in excellent condition. Think about your options and what will be the most suitable option. There are simple envelopes to padded options, different sized boxes, and protection options and so on.

  • Providing shipping options to your customers
Decide your shipping charging strategy for your customers. You have lots of options available: free shipping, real time carrier charges, or charge flat rates. The size and weight of your products will have to be considered to help you make the right offerings.

  • Shipping information
Provide lots of information for your customers. Make sure all the information and options are clearly visible on your website. Include details about where you ship to, the shipping options, customer tracking, insurance, shipping times and so on.

  • Shipping calculations
Shipping couriers will make their rating decisions based on multiple factors including: package size, destination country, tracking, package weight, insurance and departing country.  Different shippers will provide different options. Use their own shipping calculators to start comparing their prices and options. Compare them all and do your own price comparisons so you can find the best one for your business.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

What Does an Online Start-up Need for an Efficient & Effective Inventory System?

Good inventory management is necessary, whether you have a brick and mortar store or an eCommerce site.  Avoid your business turning into chaos with these tips on what you need for an efficient and effective inventory system.
  1. Get organised. You will need to begin with organising all the products into the system you choose to use. You will need to put them all into classifications. You can organise products by category, type, sale, season and so on, depend on t he system you use. It is worth taking time to do it from the start. You will then be able to sort products based on their classification.
  2. Manage your product variations. Sizes, colours, materials and so on. You will be able to organise each product variation with an adequate inventory management system.
  3. Assign barcodes to all of your products. Barcodes will help you to keep a close eye on all of your products and keep a track on them.
  4. Track the stock count. It is a must to avoid customer disappointment when placing orders. You can inform customers that their order has been cancelled because the product is out of stock. Inventory management systems allow you to set up automated reminders to place orders or new products when the inventory is below the set level.
  5. Use apps and plug-ins.
  6. Organize inventory management. It gives you greater insight into your business. The inventory can show you what products sell the most, which ones are in greatest demand and which ones are not. You’ll be able to see the movement of your inventory and this will assist you in the future in multiple ways: special promotions, marketing campaigns, forecasting, and orders and so on.
Inventory management that is well managed will help you run your business more efficiently, help to avoid waste and financial loss and ensure your customers are not left disappointed.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What to Ask for When Looking for a Reliable Automotive Shipper?

Looking for a reliable automotive shipper? Here are the questions you should ask to help you avoid having a disappointing experience.

  1. Ask about registration and licensing. You want to ensure your shipper is compliant.
  2. Do they have a variety of container sizes with different capacities?
  3. Cargo loading services. There are lots of different services available so ask which one they offer. Will they pack and load items for you? Will they deliver to your address or to a point where you have to collect? Will you have a few days to unload or will they expect you to do it immediately? Ask now to avoid unexpected surprises when it is not too late.
  4. Are there cargo tracking tools available? Will you be able to track the progress online at your convenience?
  5. The overall price of the service. Some shippers may have hidden fees. Ask for a complete breakdown of the costs and any additional fees you may face.
  6. Make sure the company follows the laws and regulations of the country your goods are being received.
  7. Ask which shipping company is using and check their safety certificates.
  8. Do they have insurance? Will your goods be covered if something was going wrong? Make sure they are guaranteed to be insured.
  9. Are there any holding facilities are provided in case your goods arrive before the expected arrival date?
  10. Are there any discounts available?

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Business Tip: 10 Most Common Business Traps for eCommerce Start-up

Here are 10 traps of eCommerce businesses risk companies may fall into when get started.

  1. Fail to build a brand. Branding is important that can separate you from your competitors. It can attract and convince buyers to come to you when they shop.
  2. Fail to focus on the right traffic sources. SEO often attracts the most attention and gets high rank in the search engines, but it is not the only source of traffic. ECommerce stores need to focus on other channels that will also link their audience and the business owners together.
  3. Become blinded by publicity. Business owners have to ensure they are sticking with the expectations of their customers but not putting all of their efforts into PR.
  4. Heavily focused on being a start-up. Being a start-up is exciting and people can forgive some little mistakes because of your new status. However, you should remember to operate a business from the beginning.
  5. Fail to focus on profit. You need put profit as the first priority. Without money, you are not able to operate for long.
  6. Not stocking the right products. Even when niche selling you risk selling the wrong products. Focus on selling quality products within your niche and do not pick products that could hurt your brand.
  7. Excess products for sale. Too many products can be overwhelming for customers. Do not offer too much choice.
  8. Cash flow management problems. Many businesses fall into the trap of poor cash flow management; it is not limited to eCommerce stores. Cash flow is essential as you have to pay your bills, employees and suppliers.
  9. Fail to create business plans. Planning is essential for business. You need financial planning, marketing planning and so on. These plans need to be in place from the start. You can always change your plans but you need to know what you are working towards.
  10. Fail to recognise that eCommerce is not a get rich quick scheme. You will have to invest your time, energy, money and effort and it can take a very long time to get off the ground. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Royale International Group – Silver Sponsor at the Automotive Logistics - Global Conference

Held on 20-22 September 2016 at Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center - The market recovery of the last few years has been remarkable. US vehicle sales are still reaching fresh highs, OEMs are reaping impressive rewards, while production and investment are still rising across the US and Mexico.
As a result, it brings booms to the automotive logistics sector, so as inbound, outbound or aftermarket sub-sectors. Now in its 17th year, the Automotive Logistics Global conference is the North America’s longest-established and most widely respected forum for top-level automotive logistics strategy. This year’s conference takes place on September 20th-22nd at the Renaissance Center Marriott in Detroit brings together, bringing together every element of the supply chain from procurement to delivery and from production to aftermarket support. Taking such a holistic approach in the supply chain will be exactly the focus of this year’s Automotive Logistics Global conference, where car makers, tier suppliers, logistics providers, infrastructure operators and technology solutions suppliers will all join together to with Royale International Group to debate the strategies best suited to tomorrow’s global supply chain scene.

For more information, please see the Automotive Logistics Global website.

9月20-22日 | 美國 底特律 

隨過去幾年美國汽車銷量的市場復甦,在美國和墨西哥的生產和投資同時上升,令汽車的物流的需求亦隨即增加。Automotive Logistics - Global Conference 作為北美擁有最悠久歷史及連續舉辦了17年的頂級汽車物流戰略論壇。


請前往 Automotive Logistics Global 的網站獲得更多有關論壇的詳情

What to Consider When Choosing A 3PL for eCommerce - Part 2

  1. Will the 3PL be able to cope with disasters? Disruptions in the supply chain can have a negative impact on your bottom line. You must know that your 3PL will be able to deal with disasters and problems and there is a plan to prevent serious disruptions.
  2. Do the 3PL have a deep talent pool? Logistics talent is in shortage at the moment and this is causing problems in the industry. Check the experience of the staff and ensure they have the talent, knowledge and experience to help your business. Make sure they invest in their employees and provide training to ensure that the talent remains strong.
  3. Are they able to bring you to the suitable technology providers and give you insights into the practices in your industry and the current trends?  Check the 3PL conducts market.
  4. Make sure the 3PLs is researched using the metrics that are most important for your business. Ask questions such as how they show ongoing cost and process improvements and how they manage stock rotation parameters and so on.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Chit Chat: What Is The Foundation Of eBusiness?

eBusiness is more than just switching from a paper-based paradigm to electronic model. There is more than simply selling online. It is complex and it involves re-engineering processes and structure within an organisation. Being electronic, an eBusiness allows new relationships to be formed between sellers and customers. It creates networks and allows customers and suppliers to form a direct line of communication. New electronic marketplaces can be formed, such as exchanges, catalogues and auctions and so on.

New strategies are being inspired by technology.  There is evidence that shows eBusiness initiatives can lead to improvement in performance. Higher gross margin is created thus more revenue per employee. Technology allows for improved transmission of data. This enables firms to be more transparent with their customers and suppliers.  eBusinesses are not confined by geographical constraints.

eBusiness relationships are commonly classed as either B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to customer). ERP is required to exploit the advantages of B2B. The web pages are used as interfaces for the customers.