Friday, 30 September 2016

The roles of transport & distribution on international trade - Part 2

Road transport is one of the more flexible transport modes for international business. This is especially true in the EU as there is an efficient motorway network and it is usually easy to cross borders. Other advantages include the lower costs, extensive road networks, scheduling convenient transport and having secure and private consignments.  

There are different types of carriers including couriers, freight forwarders and hauliers. The risks of road transport include:

·        Long distances can take a long time
·        There may be breakdowns and traffic delays
·        Goods could become damaged
·        There may be toll charges to pay
·        The road and traffic regulations may differ from country to country.

The advantages of sea transport are as follows:

·        Shipping large amounts of goods at low cost
·        The shipping containers can be used for rail or road transportation

The disadvantages include the slow speed of sea transport, inflexible routes and timetables, difficulties in tracking, port duties and taxes, fuel and currency surcharges and the need for additional transportation overland.

Rail transport is an efficient form of transport that is also cost effective. The advantages include fast rail links in the EU, and the fact that it is more environmental-friendly than other modes of transport. There are risks to consider too:

·        Inflexible routes and timetables
·        Rail costs more than road in most cases
·        Disruptions from industrial action or mechanical failure
·        The need for other transport to reach the final destination

The advantages of air transport include:

·        Ability to ship goods quickly even over long distances
·        A high level of security

The risks include:

·        Paying taxes at each airport
·        Flight delays and cancellations
·        Fuel and currency surcharges
·        Need for additional transport
·        Inflexible routes and timetables

Thursday, 29 September 2016

The roles of transport & distribution on international trade - Part 1

Assessing Transportation Requirements For International Trade

The types of international transport and distribution include rail, air, sea and road. You will need to make decisions regarding the right type of transportation to use. This will be influenced by different factors such as your business requirements, the country of destination and the type of goods you are importing or exporting. You will need to ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What are you distributing? Weight and size will have an effect on costs.
  2. How quickly do you need the product to reach the destination? Some types of transportation are faster but they are more expensive to use.
  3. How will the transportation costs affect overheads?
  4. Where are the goods going? Not all counties have established infrastructures.
  5. How valuable are the products? Get insurance quotes.
  6. Will customers have special requirements?
You may need to use a combination of transport modes and concentrate on balancing the cost, organisation, service quality and time. Matching the transport mode with the type of goods you are shipping is also important. If you are shipping perishable goods which require a faster shipping time, road and sea may not be a good choice. You will also need to consider if your goods need to be temperature controlled during moving. Consider the special requirements that may influence your transportation mode too. Dangerous goods will have to comply with the rules in place.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

What to be Cautious of in International Trade - Part 2

Today we are continuing our brief look at what you need to be aware of before you venture into international trade. Yesterday we mentioned all of the major barriers to be aware of. If you are able to review each of the barriers and identify a market that has potential there is no reason why you can not proceed with your plan. However, there are a few things you need to consider if you want your international expansion to be successful.

A domestic foundation must be strong and stable – Before you venture into overseas you must have a solid base in place. You need to have enough capital as well as the resources, technical expertise, training programs, support systems and multilingual personnel.

Strategic partner – You need to have the right strategic partner as this is a critical component of an international venture. Build that relationship before committing fully, and look for candidates that can prove they are successful and have the financial resources. Conduct face to face meetings and negotiations. You might need to find a local agent to help you find the right candidates. Ideally, look for someone in your industry that you have worked with before.

The pricing structure – Do not make the mistake of having unreasonable expectations about the prices you can charge your overseas partners. Be realistic. Overpricing will discourage candidates or could make your new partner lack the capital for development. If your pricing structure is too low you will not be able to provide training and support incentives or adequate resources. Patience is required as it takes time to see a return on investment and make a profit when expanding overseas.

Trademark protection – Most rights and trademark laws are only based in one country. Your domestic trademark will not automatically transfer to other countries, which is different to the international copyright laws. Make sure you carry out the required steps to ensure the registration of your trademarks in all the new markets and that the trademarks translate properly.

Choose your new markets carefully – Spend time on investigating and researching new markets so you are able to see the potential and how big the market will become.

Tailor your services and products – Make any necessary changes to your products and services before you finalise your prices and any other characteristics. Research tastes, trends, buying habits, different cultures and traditions and norms.

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.

Friday, 16 September 2016

What to Consider When Choosing A 3PL for eCommerce - Part 1

Here’s a useful short list of considerations when choosing a 3PL for eCommerce.
  • Are the 3PL’s you’re considering technologically prepared to provide an up-to-date service? Make sure they have the technology in place and are able to share their processes across their customer base. Look at how the company is investing in technology and how much of their IT budget is being spent on innovation.
  • Will the 3PL be able to keep up with the growth of your business?  Their logistic services must be able to scale with you and handle your growing requirements as it grows. Look for a 3PL that will be able to take on extra inventory initially. The 3PL will need to work closely with you and understand your plans and forecasts.
  • Is the 3PL in a good financial position? 3PLs are capital intensive businesses and they need to be financially stable so they can be in a position to help your business improve. Will they be able to weather disruptions and take advantage of innovations in the future that will help your business grow?

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Business Tip: Is Free Shipping The Only Option For eCommerce Success?

One of the main reasons customers abandon carts at the checkout on eCommerce websites is because of shipping and handling. The rates might be too high or the shipping times are too long. The customers rethink about their buying decision and often they decide to go elsewhere. 

As an eCommerce business owner, you have several choices for shipping. Here are three options to consider.
  • Free shipping. Many customers now expect free shipping.  However, it is important to check your margins and your profits before you decided to offer this service. Free shipping does give you an advantage over your competitors, but it can minimize your profits. One option is to offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.
  • Charge the amount that you pay for shipping. Many eCommerce platforms make it possible to set up shipping quotes so your customers can check the prices. The real time calculator enables your customers to quote shipping fees and this helps to build trust. This is an excellent option if you sell bulkier or heavier products.
  • Flat rate shipping for each package that is sent or for the set weight ranges and order totals. You will need to do preparation works to find out the average shipping costs for the packages you send out. Using the average price is a good idea as this will stop you from under or over charging too much

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Business Tip: What to Note in Setting-Up eCommerce? Step 3

Creating Your eCommerce Website

You have your own products and you are working with one or more manufacturers. Now you have another challenge, setting up the website.  Here are some steps you will need to take.
  1. Choose your eCommerce platform. It is a platform where you manage all of your products. You can create categories for the products; checkout process and other functions. Search the eCommerce platforms and think about ease of use, growth possibilities and how you will be able to manage the website. There are platforms that are user-friendly and other platforms that are technically challenging. Choose the right one for you to start with.
  2. Domain name and hosting may not be offered as a part of your eCommerce platform deal. You might need the domain name, hosting and SSL certificate in order to create a safe website for your customers.
  3. Logos and website design will affect the image of your business. You will prefer your site to look professional and function fluidly. You can buy templates for websites or pay for designers to create custom designs for you.
Once your website has been created you can start filling up the site with your products and start offering your products to your customers.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Business Tip: What to Note in Setting-Up eCommerce? Step 2

How to Find Great Manufacturers and Products

When you decided the products you wish to sell, the next step is to find the right manufacturers. Here are some methods to try when searching for great manufacturers.
  • Use Google Shopping, a very strong search engine that searches products sold online along with resellers and suppliers. Enter the products you want to sell into Google Shopping and search for manufacturers under the brand section of the results.
  • Directories can be found online. These directories include details of suppliers and make it easier to find manufacturers.
Make a list of potential manufacturers using the methods above. Then, begin to contact the manufacturers and ask if they would be happy for you to resell their goods. Some manufacturers may not want to work with new sellers. Ask about their application process and requirements and start trying to build relationships with the suitable manufacturers.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Business tip: What to note when setting-up eCommerce?

An eCommerce business can be an excellent money making tool. Online retail continues to increase year on year as more people feel safer and more confident of buying online. It is not as hard as you might think to start earning extra money via an eCommerce website. Today we’re looking at the first step in creating an eCommerce business.

Step one – choosing the industry and product

Choosing the right industry and product can be the most difficult decision. The product will have a huge impact on how successful your website is. Here are a few things to consider when deciding which products to sell:
  • Price - How much the product costs? If it is too high the customers will expect over the phone contact both before and possibly after the sale. This type of customer support takes time and costs money.
  • Margin – How much will you take on every sale you make? Speak to the manufacturers or distributors directly to find out the figures.
  • Local availability – Can the product be purchased locally? Choose products that locals need to go online to find.
  • Shipping size – What is the size of the product? Bigger and heavier one has larger shipping costs and these can have a negative impact on your sales. Most customers now expect free shipping.
  • Passion – How interested in the product are you? 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Chit Chat: About eBusiness in healthcare

Healthcare is also included in eBusiness, however, it is different from other industries in many aspects. Electronic processes have been presented in healthcare for many years. eHealth is a term that is commonly used today as it covers different aspects required for providing connectivity for commerce, contents and care in healthcare. eBusiness is a subset within eHealth and this covers commerce. All electronically supported processes in healthcare originate from business management and the supplier and manufacturer’s processes in healthcare are classified as eBusiness in healthcare.
  • eProcurement is the online purchase that describes the healthcare providers’ side
  • eCommerce is the online seller from the suppliers’ side
The healthcare market of medical suppliers is highly specific. Electronic media that support buying online and selling online needs to take the specification of market into consideration. Detailed product and process knowledge are required for those medical suppliers and devices that are used in patient care directly by the patient and for simple commodities.  Knowledge is a must when automating the supply chain.
Disastrous outcomes such as death may be only found in some industries. Healthcare providers need to deliver the best quality at all times as the patients make their buying decisions on more than just price.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Steps to find a reliable shipping partner

Here are the steps to follow in order to find a reliable shipping partner.

  1. Ask for quotes from multiple companies
  2. Research all of the companies that send you quotes
  3. Check that the company is in good standing
  4. Check that the shipper has all the required licenses
  5. Ask for recommendations from people around you that you trust the most
  6. Check the customer services to ensure they are able to assist you. Poor communication should be taken as a warning
  7. Look at the shipping rates and find out who is responsible for these fees
  8. Read all of the legal terms before you make any agreements

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Picking the right product to drop ship

Forget your own passions. The key to find the right product is to do extensive market research. Begin by examining different types of customers to find the best one. Some of the most beneficial customers are:
  • Hobbyists
  • Businesses
  • Repeat buyers
You must also consider the following:
  1. Price point of the product. Higher price point implies the need to provide added value to customers.
  2. Marketing potential for the product. Brainstorm the ways you will promote your store.
  3. Product attributes. Products with lots of accessories will improve your overall margin.
  4. Turnover rate. Low turnovers may be resulted from selling outdated products.
  5. Accessibility of product. Products that locals may have difficulties to find.
  6. Size of product. Smaller products are often better as heavy items are expensive to ship.
Measure the demand for your products. If no one wants to buy your products, you will find it very difficult to get off the ground. It is easier for you to fill in the demand for products that already existed rather than create new demand.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

How to find the right drop shippers to work with?

There are plenty of ways to find the right drop shippers for you to work with.

  1. Contact the manufacturer directly. This is applicable if you already knew the products you want to sell. Call the manufacturer and ask for a list of wholesalers. You can then contact the wholesalers on the list, ask if they drop ship and ask about how to set up an account.
  2. Use Google to find a quality supplier.  Search extensively and do not use the website to judge the suitability. Edit your search to find the most appropriate drop shippers for you.
  3. Find a competitor who drops ships and places an order. You will then receive the return address of the drop shipper and you can use these details to get in touch and ask about opening your own account.
  4. Go to trade shows and connect with the wholesalers and manufacturers in your chosen niche.
  5. Use directories to find drop shippers.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The roles of drop shipping supply chain for manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers

A supply chain can be described as the path products taken from concept through manufacturing and to the end users. A drop shipping supply chain is slightly different from traditional supply chains as the retailers do not take delivery of the products. The customer orders from the retailers who then trigger the delivery from their drop shipping suppliers. There are three players in the supply chain: manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Let’s take a look at their individual roles in the drop shipping supply chain.

1.    Manufacturers
Manufacturers are the one who creates the products. They do not sell the products to the public but sell in bulk to wholesalers and/or retailers.
It is cheaper to buy products in bulk from manufacturers but most will have minimum buying requirements. When customers place their orders, the buyers need to stock and re-ship the products and this is their responsibility. This is why it is often simpler to buy from the wholesalers directly.

2.    Wholesalers
The wholesalers buy the products in bulk directly from the manufacturers. The wholesalers can then mark up the price and sell them to retailers who then sell the products to the public. Some wholesalers do have minimum buying requirements but they are usually much less than the manufacturers.retailer
Wholesalers will have dozens or even hundreds of manufacturers, but they do commonly have a niche or operate in a specific industry. Many of them will only sell to retailers and not to the public directly.

3.    Retailers
Retailers sell directly to the public. They mark up the prices of the goods, no matter they purchase directly from a manufacturer or a wholesaler. If you run a business and your orders are made via drop shippers, you are regarded as a retailer.

Monday, 5 September 2016

What to consider when you are the drop shipper?

Here are two important things to consider when you become a drop shipper.
  1. You will have to deal with problems that come when dealing with a third party. There might be errors made by the orders or out of stock items and fulfilment problems. 
  2. The KISS mentality will help you. KISS stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”  Focus on creating the easiest solutions that you can implement.
There are solutions to turn to when the third party supplier causes some problems for you. Never put the blame on your drop shipper as it will make you look like an amateur.  Own up to the problem and fix it so the customer knows they can trust you. You could refund shipping fees, offer a discount or upgrade the order to make it up to the customer.  

Reputable suppliers will also take responsibility for the mistake and pay to cover the costs of returns and shipping. Upgrades may not be given for free though, and they will need to count as your public relation or brand building expenses.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Chit Chat: An Introduction to eBusiness

Ebusiness is more than just an electronically run business. Ebusiness creates new types of relationships between customers and the suppliers. The relationship is loose as they take place electronically rather than face to face. Internal and external business processes of a business work toward connecting the business partners without the additional costs that come with a traditional business.

Ecommerce is focused on trading B2B and B2C relationships. There are different technical approaches that are used to connect all the business partners together. The technology extends much further than just emails. The work flow systems and interfaces are required and secure data exchange is necessary.

Ebusiness is already well established and continues to grow and contribute to growing economies around the world. B2B holds the largest share of ecommerce but B2C is better known to the public and is only successful in sectors such as tourism and retail trade. The larger the business is, the more they will use information technology and communication.

Friday, 2 September 2016

What is Drop Shipping?

When a store sells a product that they don’t keep in stock and are not responsible for the shipping, most likely they use drop shipping. This is a retail fulfilment method that commonly used. The store sells the product to its customer by purchasing the product from a third party supplier and then ships it to the customer directly. The store does not even see the product, stock it at all. This is what separates drop shipping from the standard retail model.

Benefits of Drop Shipping
  • There is no need for a huge amount of capital to get started. Ecommerce businesses can be set up without the need to invest thousands in purchasing the inventory. The seller only purchases what the buyer has placed an order and paid for their goods.
  • It is easy to get started and there is no need to handle or pay for warehousing package or shipping orders or tracking the inventory for your accounting. The seller does not deal with the returns or inbound shipments or managing stock levels.
  • The overhead cost is low.
  • Drop shipping businesses can be run from anywhere providing there is an internet connection. Many are run from homes.
  • There is a good selection of products available as the seller does not have to buy or stock them in advance of sales.
  • Drop shipping businesses are easy to scale so the seller can grow with the business and expand as the need arises.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

How can closer supply chain relationships be implemented?

Here are some methods that can help promote closer supply chain relationship implementation.
  • Using supply base rationalisation works to reduce the amount of suppliers that an organisation directly deals with. The rationalisation involves re-tiering the entire supply chain so other suppliers fall under lead suppliers who then deal with the people below them in the tier.
  • Supplier associations are used to bring the suppliers together with tier one suppliers so they can be coordinated and developed. They work to make improvements in quality and frequency of communication.
  • Keiretsu is the supplier association used in Japan. The characteristics of keiretsu are the control of the network and the ownership is formed on equity exchanges between the members.
  • The Italian solution is known as districts. They bring many SMEs together and placed in a close geographical network.
  • Integrating processes, joint strategy determination and synchronisation are the ways to improve the responsiveness of the supply chain.
There are barriers to implement, which include self-interest, focus on negatives, opportunism, preoccupation with price and the inappropriate use of power.