The boom in global e-commerce continues to change how shipping and logistics companies approach distribution and fulfillment. As a result, an increasing number of companies are moving toward multichannel fulfillment services to satisfy customer demands in today’s culture of “now.” This increased consumer demand and overall industry growth are creating significant transitions for shippers who must act quickly to manage transitions on time and within budget.
Transitions come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of difficulty and complications. The following are examples of common transitions that, if mismanaged, can either make or break your business:
Acquiring a company
Managing one business is complex. Adding another company into your existing one is a whole other story. New companies come with new systems, workflows, technologies, and people, which can create latency across operations if your business is lacking in available resources and adaptability. Integrating systems can be a learning curve and onboarding and training an acquisition’s workforce can confuse existing processes if they are not well defined.
With more e-commerce companies experiencing tremendous growth, the demand for new locations and warehouse space is exploding to support new volume. Every company wants warehouse space closer to its customers, making securing real estate an extremely competitive venture. Local governments and regulatory agencies also present hurdles that can suspend operations, resulting in costly downtime.
Launching a new product
Launching a new product can change a company’s entire trajectory. It can bring increased volume and demand and extend a company’s reach with new customer demographics. Depending on demand levels, production and distribution processes can experience a complete overhaul, requiring a business to be innovative in their responses and solutions.
How should you manage them?
While transitions within your business come in every color and size, the ways you manage them share striking similarities. You need defined ownership when it comes to championing these transitions, which is why finding a partner with proven project management successes is crucial. They can identify the potential pain points and key areas of focus for your business to build a custom strategy around them.
Having a partner with an intentional focus on systems integration is key to maximizing innovation. You can have the latest technology, but if you do not use it correctly, you will never get your desired results. Your partner should have the right resources and technology to handle your volume and provide expertise in properly implementing and using your existing tools to ensure you enter a transition with your best foot forward.
Plans always change during transitions and the right partner should factor in risks to mitigate losses and downtime. For example, if moving into new locations in an unfamiliar market, your partner will be able to leverage their existing relationships and knowledge of local regulations to prepare your business for any roadblock it may encounter.
When navigated with an engineered approach, transitions will unlock growth for your business that was previously unattainable. This level of attention and support is what the right logistics partner will bring to your situation. Sharing open lines of communication with your partner and having your senior level employees readily available will mitigate risks and optimize operations throughout transitional periods.