The Situation Surrounding COVID-19 Has Created New & Unique Supply Chain Challenges
As the situation surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) within the U.S. continues to evolve, many businesses are facing new and unique supply chain challenges. In light of all that is happening, we feel it is prudent to offer a timely review of how our on-demand fulfillment model is built to accommodate supply chain disruptions of this kind. Although it is widely known by now that both state and federal governments have designated that certain “essential services” (including warehouse, transportation, and logistics providers) remain operational throughout this period, our intent is to offer clarity beyond these designations and showcase specific ways that our on-demand warehouse network can help mitigate risk and offset uncertainty during these periods of disruption.
Three Ways That Ware2Go is Ensuring Smooth Fulfillment & Distribution Coverage for Merchants
In order to provide an update on how we are continuing to serve the needs of merchants during times like these, the below list highlights three steps that our warehousing and operations teams are taking to address the changes we are seeing in the distribution space.
- Order Channel Realignment. As the incorporation of social distancing practices and shelter-in-place guidelines spreads across the U.S., many merchants are anticipating a reduction in the order volumes derived from their brick-and-mortar channels. However, they also expect large increases in their digital and mobile order volumes as customers stay at home and shop online. We have already seen these elevated levels of online demand with many merchants and anticipate even further spikes as widespread stay-at-home guidance remains in place. With this in mind, Ware2Go is actively working with merchants to shift their fulfillment coverage towards their online channels. In addition to expanding coverage for marketplaces, websites, and mobile channels, we’re streamlining access to small parcel and LTL transit options so that merchants can expedite the distribution of orders of all sizes and quantities to their end customers.
- Distributed Inventory Planning. For merchants who are storing all of their inventory within one or two warehouses, we are able to expand their presence across additional facilities. Although the current situation has not impacted the operations of any of our warehouse partners, we have already developed and are maintaining a strong contingency plan. By leveraging our vast network of best-in-class warehouse and 3PL partners as needed to reposition merchants’ inventory, we can ensure ongoing fulfillment and distribution coverage across the U.S. even as more shelter-in-place mandates are instituted. As explained by Chris Domby, VP of Operations at Ware2Go, “Given the close-knit partnerships we’ve formed with our warehouse and 3PL partners, we’ve been able to rapidly reallocate merchants’ inventory across multiple in-network facilities. This is important so that in the unlikely event of closures, all merchants will still have open facilities to manage fulfillment of new orders to customers.”
- Storage Capacity Adjustments. Because many international suppliers remain under lockdown and some coastal cargo ports are closed for business, there have been shifts in the amount of warehouse space that merchants utilize. Even within the U.S., some businesses are finding that their primary distribution channels are becoming strained or are at risk of temporary closures. These developments come during a period in which many merchants are experiencing a spike in online purchases as a result of shelter-in-place and social distancing practices. Ware2Go is able to help businesses in this predicament. With our flexible storage space and multichannel fulfillment support, we allow merchants to quickly pivot their operations to support growing digital demand and accommodate fluctuating stock levels as supply lines remain uneven. We’re also able to act as a temporary solution to manage fulfillment or inbounding that is typically conducted through other channels, as our optimized fulfillment services can provide 1-2-day delivery for the entire U.S. and our flexible warehouse space makes it easy to quickly add or reduce capacity as needs evolve.
Reach Out if You Find Yourself in Need
Although these are challenging times, we’re proud that our team and partners have remained so strongly dedicated to serving our clients and their customers. For the months of February and March, all 28 Ware2Go warehouses remained fully operational and maintained over 99% on-time fulfillment and delivery for clients. Moving forward, we will continue to follow all U.S. federal, state, and local government guidelines for how to manage logistics operations during this time while also further extending warehousing and fulfillment support to merchants in need. If you find yourself challenged to manage any aspect of your warehousing, fulfillment, or general logistics operations as a result of the current situation, we encourage you to reach out. We’re here to help in any way that we can.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and stay positive. As we all advance forward, know that we at Ware2Go are tremendously thankful for the hard work of our team and the teams of our partners and clients, and look forward to achieving even further growth and success together.
All the best,
The Ware2Go Team