How to prepare for your business operations to reopen
As a packaging solutions provider for brands that manufacture products in Southeast Asia, we’ve been dealing with the Covid-19 virus and the ramifications to businesses since the end of January.
As the first wave of business closures occurred in China, we immediately began planning to keep our employees safe and ensure the least amount of business disruption for our customers.
The clients I am working with today are all facing similar issues, a big decline in sales in Europe and the US, while trying to manage ongoing fixed costs. On the back of this, brands are left with crowded warehouses and little space to receive incoming goods from Asia.
When I am talking with clients, my advice first and foremost, it is very important for you to stay in touch with your packaging solutions providers. The value provided to you through a local presence network in the buying region will keep you informed on market developments and allow you to make strategic business decisions.
- What is the current packaging production capacity?
- Are deliveries on-time or delayed?
- What happens if I need to cancel an order?
Our local teams in Asia are speaking with factories and suppliers daily and have the most up-to-date information available.
Recently, one of my European apparel brands reached out and asked for production updates in Bangladesh, its major sourcing country. Because Bangladesh is in a complete lockdown, the company was considering moving parts of production to surrounding countries to avoid manufacturing delays. We were able to help a transition to alternative production and packaging facilities in China through our relationships with a broad network of suppliers keeping business flowing instead of being stalled for several weeks.
As difficult as these challenges are, my clients are not leaning back. We are in frequent contact which is helping us create a balanced forecast to ensure they are in the best position possible to start shipping product again once the global market starts to open up.
We are all in the same boat navigating the stormy seas. My best advice to you is to keep your eyes on the future, have frequent contact with your suppliers, and maintain a supply chain relationship built on transparency. As soon as this boat starts moving again rely on your packaging captain to bring the boat home.
International Sales Manager
Ralph Northausen has been active in the international packaging market for numerous years, both working with flexible packaging for the food industry, as well as paper packaging for the corrugated industry.
He has a great customer focus and wide knowledge of logistic streams from Asia, due to his experience in the automotive industry.
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