E-Commerce experts share their tips on how to expand your operations overseas A huge benefit to starting an eCommerce business is the endless growth possibilities that are available to take your business from a small one-person operation in the UK to a full-scale business operating internationally.
Editor’s letter. Welcome to our Q3 issue of The Business Concept. The Business Concept is dedicated to providing you with the latest, most intricate visions from across the business landscape. Globally, there is an endless amount of support for business development – and The Business Concept is here to showcase the solutions and assistance being provided around the world. This issue has been intricately formed to announce a selection of innovative businesses from all over the world. We are proud to share this amalgamation of articles that truly display their excellence, and we hope that they bring forth inspiring ideas for each of you. We are all aware of the power of enthusiasm and positivity in all that we do. As such, motivation in business is essential. We know that these businesses have put in the hours to carve out their own space within the world. And great achievement has come from their extreme concentration, originality, and hard work. Not only have these passionate individuals, teams, and businesses found their place in their industries, but they are also moving others to do so – all for the sake of technological advancement, ease of access to services, and a better world to live in. The coming months are due to see ideas move even further, and at a quick pace. We are looking forward to introducing more pioneering ideas to you in the next issue, and we wish you another happy quarter ahead. We look forward to welcoming you back next time. Sofi Bajor - Editor
Contents 4. News - Pandemic and global security shocks shake up supply and demand - British Business Investments commits up to £10m to Haatch Ventures 6. REHASENSE: REHACARE 7. Bridewell inspires next generation of cyber talent with opening of new state-of-the- art SOC 8. Experts share the top challenges faced by B2B retail businesses and insight on how to tackle them 9. Mission Underwriting Managers, LLC: Most Influential CEO, 2022 - Arizona, USA 10. It’s the solution, not necessarily the technology. 11. REHASENSE: SPACE LX 12. AMRs: the safe choice for the warehouse. 14. E-Commerce experts share their tips on how to expand your operations overseas 16. In celebration of National Payroll Week, expert urges firms to utilise latest payroll tech
News. 4 Pandemic and global security shocks shake up supply and demand Economists from leading trade credit insurer, Atradius, have published their predictions on the future of global value chains and warned against businesses making any major changes to their production strategy, despite ongoing challenges. In the report, Atradius claims that the COVID-19 pandemic posed unprecedented challenges to global value chains. Demand and supply-side shocks created several bottlenecks, including logistical disruptions and shortages in equipment and labour. Atradius highlights the Russia-Ukraine conflict as a key factor for exacerbating already existing disruptions, distorting parts of the European value chain and rising commodity prices. Production was hit in the early stages of the pandemic by factory shutdowns in China before moving to Europe and the US throughout 2020. Although this had an immediate effect on the global production of manufactured goods, Atradius suggests that the manufacturing industry quickly recovered to pre-pandemic levels and is now relatively resilient to new waves of infections. On the demand side, Atradius reports that consumption patterns shifted from local services to imported manufactured goods, such as electronic products and equipment, partially due to the increase in people working from home. The demand for goods still remains and as such, has resulted in a sharper than usual downturn in equipment and material shortages relative to demand. One major industry that is still struggling is the semiconductor industry. This is due to a rapid rebound in vehicle sales during lockdown and post-pandemic. And, despite being only partially integrated into the European supply chain, Atradius draws attention to the fact that Russia and Ukraine provide some key manufacturing inputs, particularly in the automotive industry. Similarly, labour shortages are also a key risk for industrial recovery in both the EU and the US. Shipping costs also soared due to the misallocation of shipping containers, and several ports had problems processing cargo due to a shortage of dockworkers and truck drivers. Atradius suggests the situation has not significantly improved in recent months. To counteract these growing challenges, Atradius explains that firms may be tempted to consider several options to improve supply chain resilience, including reshoring production, diversifying suppliers and customers, and holding more inventory. However, Atradius warns that alternatives such as these could come with important downsides and that they do not necessarily increase robustness or resilience. In terms of reshoring, Atradius argues that localised production is no guarantee for robust value chains and that almost every economy is affected by both supply and demand shocks, despite their different degrees at different stages. Diversification of suppliers at the various steps of production in a value chain can increase robustness and resilience. But Atradius warns that this can lead to additional costs for firms, as they need to invest in multiple suppliers to tailor inputs and to make sure that parts and components from different manufacturers fit together. In a similar vein, holding more inventory is likely to be the most straightforward way to enhance the robustness of global value chains, but this also comes at a cost. Damien Dawson, Regional Manager at Atradius UK & Ireland, said: “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict posing a number of problems for global trade, we do not expect to see a major shift in production strategy nor any major step back on the globalisation ladder. Though alternative solutions to global value chains are tempting, they pose equally challenging risks and do not always offer a better solution. “Instead, we think it is more likely that firms will make slight adjustments to their production strategies such as maintaining higher inventories of critical goods, such as medical supplies. There may be limited reshoring as labour costs in some manufacturing hubs, notably China, increase as they move up in the value chain, but this would have happened irrespective of the current supply chain bottlenecks. Our belief that the key economic rationale for global value chains continues to hold is substantiated by experience with previous supply chain shocks, such as during the 2008/2009 financial crisis and the 2011 Japan earthquake.” Production was hit in the early stages of the pandemic by factory shutdowns in China before moving to Europe and the US throughout 2020. Although this had an immediate effect on the global production of manufactured goods, Atradius suggests that the manufacturing industry quickly recovered to pre-pandemic levels and is now relatively resilient to new waves of infections.
5 News. British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, today announces a commitment of up to £10m to Haatch Ventures (Haatch) through the Regional Angels Programme. Haatch, headquartered in Stamford, Lincolnshire, is an early-stage investor and is led by founders Fred Soneya and Scott Weavers-Wright OBE, who have both founded and exited businesses themselves and have invested into more than 50 start-ups. The commitment will allow Haatch to invest in high-growth digital and tech-enabled businesses across the UK. Haatch will invest in early-stage companies through its SEIS Fund and will provide follow-on capital to support high-performing companies through to Series A from its EIS and Follow-On EIS Funds. Since Haatch was founded in 2013, it has invested in more than 50 early-stage digital transformation companies which are currently valued at over £400 million. Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “By investing alongside Haatch’s SEIS, EIS and follow-on funds, this commitment from British Business Investments will facilitate additional earlystage investment to smaller businesses across the UK. The Regional Angels Programme plays a vital role in developing the early-stage funding eco-system across the UK regions and nations, bringing together patient capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of high-growth smaller businesses.’’ Fred Soneya, Partner & Co-founder, Haatch, said: “We are thrilled to be working with British Business Investments and to have their support. Their commitment enhances our financial offering to our portfolio companies and recognises the critical impact that entrepreneurs have on our economic future. Our clear focus on digital transformation businesses has meant that we have been able to capitalise on the adoption of digitisation faced by consumers and enterprises at a pace that has accelerated over the last few years.” British Business Investments commits up to £10m to Haatch Ventures
- - - The growth of the team over the years has allowed them to offer a comprehensive solution to airports which can now be exported around the world. With a new global mindset at the heart of the business, it’s clear that Airport Operations has a long way to go. Jan22180 HALL 4, STAND A 51 You are welcome to make an appointment in advance. We look forward to seeing you! Visit us at Rehacare TRACK WHEEL PAWS REHACARE 2022 ICON 60 +44 (0) 333 220 0704 [email protected] www.rehasense.co.uk
6 Bridewell inspires next generation of cyber talent with opening of new state-of-the-art SOC New 24/7 centre of excellence seeks strengthen UK’s cyber resilience now and for years to come it has become harder to recruit the right resources to secure and monitor their systems over the past 12 months. The opening comes amidst a sustained period of large-scale growth for Bridewell, with a 100% increase in SOC analysts in the last year alone. The company recently announced an expansion to the US with a new office in Houston, Texas, and is currently hiring 10-12 cyber experts a month, with headcount set to double in the next 12 months. Bridewell is also set to open a leading-edge forensic lab within the SOC next year. This will enable the company to dive deeper into its digital forensics capability, further strengthening its position at the front lines in the fight against cyber crime. UK cyber security services firm, Bridewell, has announced the opening of its new 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) in Wales. The company’s largest investment in property to date, the state-of-the-art SOC will provide rapid identification and response to threats whilst laying the foundations for sustained cyber security excellence for generations to come. Run by a team of over 50 experienced, industry-certified consultants, the new SOC provides Bridewell with a fivefold increase in capacity, allowing the company to scale in line with rapidly expanding client needs. Both CREST and SOC 2 accredited, the SOC is available as either a fully outsourced or hybrid model, providing organisation with proactive identification and response to cyber threats via 24/7/365 threat intelligence, incident response, and managed detection and response (MDR). The SOC forms a critical part of Bridewell’s links with Welsh cyber security communities and educational partners, including Cyber Colleges Cymru, a government initiative that creates pathways into a career in cyber for Sixth Form College students, and the University of South Wales. Bridewell partners with the University for both internship and apprenticeship programmes, with students embarking on a development plan to build the essential skills needed to run a modern, agile, and responsive SOC, under the guidance of experienced Bridewell analysts. Designed with sustainability and staff wellbeing in mind, the new SOC caters for all styles of working and is powered entirely by renewable energy, supporting the company’s ongoing sustainability efforts since becoming carbon negative last year. Anthony Young, Co-CEO at Bridewell comments: “The new SOC provides significant scale and capability to ensure we can continue to provide our clients a leading managed detection and response service. It will also support Bridewell’s growth in developing much-needed skills across offensive, defensive, and threat intelligence domains. What’s more, our commitment to developing skills across wider cyber communities will see our experienced professionals helping to shape the next generation of young cyber talent. Our SOC will bring people and communities together in a collaborative and sustainable space where cyber skills can flourish.” Demand for managed security services is surging across the UK as organisations continue to grapple with the cyber security skills shortage. Recent Bridewell research reveals nearly a third (31%) of cyber decision-makers in critical national infrastructure organisations don’t have the skills to run a modern SOC and over two-thirds say May21079 7.
Experts share the top challenges faced by B2B retail businesses and insight on how to tackle them Here, Flowlity, an innovative AI-based supply chain planning and forecasting solution, sheds light on the top five challenges currently faced by businesses in the B2B retail sector and insight on how these issues can be tackled. Customer acquisition and retention Customer retention has become one of the biggest challenges faced by B2B retail businesses. This is largely due to what businesses can offer their customers to guarantee retention. There are two key things that customers are always looking for, which is often a challenge to provide - lower costs and higher efficiency. Ensuring that these are guaranteed is a top priority for businesses, to acquire and retain customers. If these can’t be provided, customers may switch to an alternative source that can provide them. By introducing a solution to optimise businesses supply chains, lower costs are likely to be a benefit that can be provided to customers, to ensure retention. This is because it ensures a more efficient system, accounting for less overstocks and shortages – meaning businesses can keep costs lower. Shipping constraints B2B retail suppliers are currently facing more shipping constraints than ever before – causing substantial challenges and overwhelming businesses. According to a report by the UK’s Road Haulage Association last year, the UK was short of 100,000 HGV drivers (1), which they stated was a crisis for the industry. They highlighted many factors for this shortage, including the pandemic and Brexit. This figure is only likely to grow, putting more pressure on businesses to keep up with supply and demand. To combat this, businesses need to take into consideration various factors, including repeat and bulk orders and real-time tracking, before they proceed with their shipping strategy. The shift towards e-commerce It’s no great surprise that the pandemic has supercharged the shift towards e-commerce. In fact, Gartner’s forecast predicts that by 2025, over 70% of B2B retail businesses will have adopted an e-commerce platform (2). This isn’t all bad news for businesses, as generally speaking companies who have made the switch appear to be having greater success. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t come with its challenges. The shift from offline to online is a drastic change for some more traditional businesses – requiring various levels of upskilling and reassessing processes. In order for B2B businesses to sustain themselves during the e-commerce shift, they need to think wider than their own geographical location and local brands – providing greater opportunities and prospective customers. Introducing an effective and efficient solution to manage businesses supply chains can help support this move, by taking away any stock uncertainties that may occur following the e-commerce expansion. The post pandemic era has caused amplified expectations from customers, which has prompted B2B retail businesses to evolve drastically. Because of this, several businesses are facing challenges to balance supply and demand and maintain strong customer relationships. A solution such as Flowlity, takes external and unpredictable factors that could impact stock into consideration – to allow businesses to replenish stock uncertainties and have what is known as ‘safety stock’, so that businesses can keep up with supply and demand. Outdated supply chains It’s evident that there are several B2B retail businesses still utilising traditional and outdated methods for their supply chains, some who are very reluctant to change. This is without a doubt leading to substantial problems for businesses, as these methods don’t provide a holistic view of their supply chain. This results in problems including stock shortages, overstocks and most importantly – a revenue loss. The demand and pressure placed on B2B retail businesses is rapidly increasing, meaning implementing a sophisticated solution that offers demand forecasting and replenishment optimisation is essential for businesses to stay afloat and ensure success. Time to change For B2B retail businesses to prosper in the future, they must introduce modern supply chain solutions by integrating technology and moving away from traditional methods. Armed with its innovative AI-based tool and unique new planning and stock optimisation methodology called ‘Resilient Planning’, Flowlity is already working with several companies in the retail sector to better inventory management and improve customer relationships simultaneously. For La Redoute, the software has already led to an inventory reduction of 40% and at e-commerce retailer Camif, stock shortages have reduced by 10%. By introducing a solution to optimise businesses supply chains, lower costs are likely to be a benefit that can be provided to customers, to ensure retention. This is because it ensures a more efficient system, accounting for less overstocks and shortages – meaning businesses can keep costs lower. Jan22376
- - - Jan22194 CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 9 2022 7 - - - May22065 A Most Influential CEO, 2022 - Arizona, USA Mission Underwriting Managers, LLC [email protected] www.missionunderwriters.com
10. It’s the solution, not necessarily the technology. Craig Whitehouse, Managing Director of Invar Integration, takes an objective view of problem solving within the warehouse. recommendations relating to technology and potential suppliers are unbiased, and are not determined by the need to sell a proprietary product. A good integrator with strong software capabilities can therefore bring together the very latest and most advanced technologies for the task, producing a best-in-class solution. Having in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field of advanced warehouse automation, helps too, of course. For instance, there are any number of suppliers of AMRs capable of handling cartons, however, they all have their own particular attributes and limitations. Understanding the technical specifications is essential. But important to know too is the purchaser’s priorities – is it price, space, reliability etc? The starting point for any automation project has to be a complete understanding of the aims and objectives of the business. What level of growth is the business expecting year-on-year – is it 20% or more? What financial resources are available for any automation project? Limited capital may not preclude automation, as point solutions and scalable technology can be deployed in stages over time. More specifically, what problems are you trying to solve? Automation may be adopted for any number of reasons, such as: increasing capacity, reducing reliance on labour, overcoming space constraints, lowering costs, increasing storage density, speeding processes, introducing higher levels of accuracy or enhancing operational resilience. But where in the warehouse can technology be best applied in order to deliver the desired objectives? An independent systems integrator can help guide a business through this process, ultimately, figuring out what an optimum solution should look like and then finding the appropriate hardware to deliver against the set objectives. Critically, it’s this independence that enables the customer to have access to the very latest advanced technologies, a resource that can deliver the best-fit technology for their application. All in all, far better than taking a hardware first approach and then trying to crowbar the solution around it. Bringing a combination of technologies together in a cohesive way, based on process efficiency and overall performance, is what counts and much of this depends on the software development and the skills of the integrator to successfully tailor the solution for optimum performance. One of the biggest factors determining whether a solution works well or not is the software. That’s why it’s important to work with an independent systems integrator with its own in-house developed software and control solutions. As an independent, full-spectrum automated warehouse solutions provider, Invar Group is free to select the most appropriate technology for the task, and being a multifaceted organisation that brings together skilled individuals with competencies across warehouse management software, systems integration and controls, we take responsibility for the complete turnkey-key system from start to finish. Warehouses have become busy fulfilment factories, where throughput and performance can determine business success or failure. Now, as costs rise and labour availability falls, many companies are turning to technology to alleviate the pressure points in warehousing processes in order to free up valuable human resources and drive productivity. But technology in itself is only part of the equation; those looking to adopt automation should consider their options fully, and very carefully, before arriving at a decision. For a prospective buyer it can be tempting to read a few articles, identify a technology that looks appropriate and simply approach a technology vendor directly. Of course, this may work out fine. However, there is the danger that the buyer may just see the technology rather than the solution required. It’s all too easy to be sold a system that may work okay, as a compromise, but doesn’t necessarily offer you the best result – perhaps, falling short on flexibility, scalability, performance at peak or overall value, to mention but a few possibilities. What is missing here is independent, informed thinking. Automation, with the plethora of technologies available, can offer a whole host of possible solutions to a range of warehouse processes – from goods-received, storage and order picking to packing, sorting and despatch. New technologies, such as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) combined with pick-to-light technology, have transformed good-to-person order processing in recent years, bringing highly flexible and scalable, low-Capex solutions within comfortable reach of small to medium size enterprises. But the choices are many and varied, which can be bewildering – making unbiased technical expertise an invaluable resource to tap into. Working with an independent integrator offers a number of advantages. First and foremost, being independent means that May21215
- - - The growth of the team over the years has allowed them to offer a comprehensive solution to airports which can now be exported around the world. With a new global mindset at the heart of the business, it’s clear that Airport Operations has a long way to go. May21234 SPACE LX THE LIGHTWEIGHT ROLLATOR Rehasense UK +44 (0) 0333 220 0704 [email protected] www.rehasense.co.uk
AMRs: the safe choice for the warehouse. The good news is that the UK is one of the safest countries in Europe in which to work, with consistently one of the lowest rates of fatal injuries across all industries compared to other large European economies. It’s a similar story for work related injuries and health problems. Even better news would be to continue minimising the accidents that still do occur in the warehouse. According to HSE’s ‘Transportation and Storage Statistics in Great Britain’, slips, trips or falls on the same level (45%) were the most common of the main kinds of accidents in transportation and storage for the latest three years (2018/19-2020/21), and 6% were from being struck by a moving vehicle. There were 10 fatal injuries in 2020/21 – a period that of course includes the Covid pandemic – which compares with the annual average number of 13 fatalities for 2016/17-2020/21. The fatal injury rate (0.85 per 100,000 workers) is around twice the all industry rate (0.42 per 100,000 workers). Looking at non-fatal injuries around 2.1% of workers in Transportation and Storage sustained a workplace injury. This is significantly higher statistically than that for workers across all industries (1.8%). Technology has always provided innovative safety solutions, but in the form of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), it can have a massive impact by changing fundamentally how work is carried out in the warehouse – particularly by removing the need for people walking in areas where fast moving heavy vehicles, such as forklift trucks, are travelling. The pressure to fulfil orders with shorter lead times is increasing, upping the activity within warehouses and distribution centres, particularly in sectors such as grocery, which deal in large amount of fast moving items. A distribution centre typically operates with a mixed fleet of counterbalance, narrow aisle and order picking trucks rushing around it. Racking aisles are one area where these vehicles might encounter pedestrian pickers. However the busiest accident risk zones are the areas where staff manually carry or push a cart or pedestrian truck between Goods In, pick zones, packaging desks and marshalling areas. Even with careful planning of pedestrian routes, close proximity between these large machines and people – and therefore risk of accidents – is hard to avoid. All it takes is a moment of hesitation or distraction. Using AMRs to automate the transportation of goods, roll cages, pallets and other storage units between these areas in a warehouse is a highly effective method for separating people from vehicle traffic to avoid the risk of collisions. Where cohabitation of mobile robots and humans does occur, such as to support order picking in an aisle, an AMR equipped with autonomous navigation will provide far superior levels of safety. The faster the robot moves in one direction, the further the area of detection stretches, and the slightest obstacle entering the robot’s vicinity will trigger an emergency stop. Equipped with security cameras and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) units, AMRs can travel on complex routes that are much narrower than alternatives such as AGVs can travel within, and they have a perfect perception of the environment around them. An iFollow robot, for example, analyses its situation in real time to avoid obstacles or even overtake slower vehicles. Two 3D cameras (front and back) give a three-dimensional perception with a wide viewing angle and Frazer Watson, UK–Ireland Country Manager at AMR designer and manufacturer iFollow, examines how AMRs can contribute to improving safety in increasingly busy warehouses. volumetric detection of objects even at long distances. Taking in the environment around them, the safety LIDARs complement each other perfectly and play an essential role in the 360° object detection of the vehicle. When the robot works in cooperation with humans, navigation modes can take into account the proximity of the user, for example during order preparation. A further safety design element comes in the form of an AMR that is 100% symmetrical and can navigate in both directions, which will avoid time-consuming and turning manoeuvres. Of course, using AMRs to transport goods across busy warehouse traffic routes not only keeps workers safely distant from busy warehouse traffic, it also provides an aid to reduce strain related injuries. Some 1.6% of workers in warehousing suffer from work-related musculoskeletal disorders (new or long-standing cases), which is statistically higher than that for workers across all industries (1.2%). Pushing roll cages or manually carrying items around a warehouse will increase the risk of these injuries. With an AMR carrying the load, however, staff are free to concentrate on less physically strenuous tasks such as picking orders. As the miles transported and loads carried racks up on an individual mobile robot, its build will ensure it maintains its performance and reliability and therefore its safe operation. This is where robust build and quality engineering will set a range of robots apart, as is the case with iFollow AMRs. Automated technology keeps robots under control so they do not become the cause of any collisions or stop where they are not supposed to thus causing a hazard. AMRs will follow instructions from a Warehouse Management System (WMS) via robot fleet management software, which should be capable of being implemented on any type of computer. A web application will allow managers to check in on the AMR via a smartphone. With a few clicks, locations can be modified, missions can be assigned to the robots and tasks scheduled. This is the kind of technology iFollow builds into its range of AMRs which are geared to improve productivity in grocery, industrial, pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, logistics and mass distribution sectors, which all operate busy, fast moving warehouses. The company made the strategic choice to design and manufacture its own autonomous mobile robots – which are all guaranteed – and fully develops its own navigation and fleet management algorithms. Being designed for intense and repeated use over time, iFollow’s AMRs not only deliver great value and productivity, they also ensure safe operation. Where cohabitation of mobile robots and humans does occur, such as to support order picking in an aisle, an AMR equipped with autonomous navigation will provide far superior levels of safety.
13 AMRs: the safe choice for the warehouse.
To help demystify the difficulties associated with expanding operations, eCommerce experts from Systemise Fulfilment in the EU and USA have helped UK businesses to take the leap to expand globally. To show you, if you’re considering going global, that these opportunities aren’t out of reach for anyone. What to consider before expanding into the EU? Ales Kylar, Manager of Systemise Fulfilment in the Czech Republic shared: “A huge benefit to choosing to expand into the EU is there is much less competition in comparison to say the UK or US markets. A common misconception is that UK companies may struggle with language barriers, however, all EU countries do business in English so this is not a problem. “There are, however, many factors to consider before expanding into Europe. I often see people make the mistake of thinking expanding into the EU will be easy, not fully preparing which ultimately leads to many businesses failing to expand successfully and reverting back to UK-only operations. “I would only recommend companies that have already successfully and sustainably grown their business and ideally, have a team also committed to the expansion mission to make the move into the EU. As businesses need to take time to figure everything out and be dedicated to building systems specifically for the EU market - which can be vastly different from what they may be used to in the UK - and it’s companies that do this that I see outperform their UK sales. “I’d also recommend seeking advice from others already in the EU market, to gain an insider view of what to expect and prepare for. For example, I work with many UK companies on a one-to-one basis to calculate all the costs associated with expanding, identify relevant wholesalers, and answer all questions related to operating in Europe. “My top tips to anyone making the move into the EU eCommerce space is first, decide how many countries in the EU you want to expand to, for example, you could opt for PAN-EU which includes Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic - this although a great option, is expensive due to needing to register for VAT in each country. An alternative approach is to choose just one country, for example, Germany which is a popular option as they are the biggest Amazon market after the USA - which is a good way to grow in Europe at minimal cost and build effective processes before expanding into multiple EU countries. “I also always recommend allocating plenty of time to sourcing and contracting new suppliers, choosing an EU accountant to file your VAT A huge benefit to starting an eCommerce business is the endless growth possibilities that are available to take your business from a small one-person operation in the UK to a full-scale business operating internationally. returns and speaking to them about how EU tax law works and what you need to do each month to remain compliant. Starting with Amazon wholesale as soon as possible, and hiring a virtual assistant to help you stay on top of things. What to consider before expanding into the USA? Jake Diego, Manager of Systemise Fulfilment in the USA shares his expertise in operating in the US eCommerce market: “Amazon USA is the largest eCommerce customer base in the world - so expanding into this market can be hugely beneficial for UK businesses and allow you to bring new products to the US and vice versa. “The US eCommerce market is more developed than the UK and therefore more complex which can mean there are more barriers to entry - but this shouldn’t scare anyone away. “To expand your eCommerce business into the US, you will simply need to apply to sell products and provide the required documentation. So, keeping clear records and all the appropriate documentation, monitoring your account health page regularly and Ales Kylar, Manager of Systemise Fulfilment in the Czech Republic shared: “A huge benefit to choosing to expand into the EU is there is much less competition in comparison to say the UK or US markets. A common misconception is that UK companies may struggle with language barriers, however, all EU countries do business in English so this is not a problem.” E-Commerce experts share their tips on how to expand your operations overseas
15. making sure you’re sourcing products with a strong demand will help you transition successfully. “A common error I see people make time and time again though, which often leads to failed expansion strategies is not managing cash flow effectively. For example putting too much capital into one product or buying products that aren’t sellable in the US market such as hazardous products, restricted brands etc., so planning ahead properly is vital. “An expansion into any new market, nevermind one as big and complex as the US can be overwhelming, so you should always carefully consider your plan and if you can, seek advice from others in the industry as there is so much that can be learnt from someone that already has that experience and daily industry exposure. For example, we often advise and assist UK businesses in their expansions and we’ve helped many to improve the speed of their expansion, lower costs and simplify their export/import processes.” Kevin Blackburn, Co-Founder and Director of Systemise Fulfilment, who is based at the HQ in the UK commented: “Starting an eCommerce business really opens up a world of possibilities. Both myself and my partner and Co-Founder Kylie started our own eCommerce business from home buying and selling products on eBay in 2015. We quickly expanded so much that we were able to quit our jobs and move into a warehouse. Now we sell products across the globe as well as advise and manage the prep and order fulfilment for hundreds of other eCommerce businesses worldwide. “Myself, Jake and Ales are keen to inspire and help other entrepreneurs to follow their dreams as we have first-hand experience of the life-changing success that can come from the world of eCommerce. We know the benefits that can be gained from implementing well thought out systems and processes that are designed to succeed in certain markets, which can be very different from one country to another”.
In celebration of National Payroll Week, expert urges firms to utilise latest payroll tech During a time when the cost-of-living crisis is reigning rife while technological advancements accelerate at a rapid pace, CloudPay has highlighted that those payroll teams embracing a digitalised approach will be key in helping businesses and employees navigate through turbulent and uncertain times and emerge fitter for the future. Through utilising the latest Payroll tech innovation tools such as Earned Wage Access or Pay on-Demand and Pay-to-Card instant payments, businesses can give their employees a consumer-grade experience that aligns with the on-demand society in which we now live. Having access to earned wages when needed, rather than waiting for payday, could also prevent some people from turning to high-interest loans and credit cards. But as the global pay expert explains, too few business leaders grasp how payroll and payments technology can provide significant cost-efficiencies as well as support employees – an opportunity that payroll teams should take advantage of. CloudPay CEO, Paul Bartlett, comments: “The rise of inflation and ongoing cost-of-living crisis is a significant concern for staff and employers alike. And with skills shortages reaching critical levels, there’s a real need for firms to consider what else they can do to attract, retain and support their staff. Post-Covid, payroll and payments leaders need to ensure they align with and adapt to the changing workplace and workforce dynamics. “As purse strings tighten, an individual’s financial wellbeing will be impacted by unexpected events and costs. The growing cost of living is only going to continue to have an adverse impact on staff, and firms need to look at innovative ways to support and ultimately retain staff. “With a potential recession also in the pipeline, large pay rises are not likely to be feasible. However, businesses and payroll teams can support their staff in other ways. One option involves the adoption of new technology in payroll processing and payments, to enable employees to have greater control over how and when they get paid. Earned Wage Access or Pay On-Demand solutions, combined with Pay-to-Card instant payments, allow staff to access their earned wages 24/7, when they need them, via a mobile app. This puts control in the hands of the individual, so they can better manage their personal cashflow by drawing down As the payroll sector celebrates National Payroll Week, leading global employee pay provider, CloudPay, has urged business leaders to consider the significant role they can - and should - play in steering the future of work for individuals, the economy and society at large. a proportion of their earned salary any time of the month. We’re seeing employees use this facility to withdraw relatively small amounts throughout the pay cycle - almost as a ‘digital ATM’. “A rapidly growing number of payroll leaders are recognising the valuable role that technology and process developments can play in tough times, and that such innovations are actually what the future of payroll looks like. But there’s still a way to go to bring the more traditional parts of our industry to adopt these opportunities. “National Payroll Week is the perfect time for experts in the field to not only re-evaluate but also re-educate the rest of the business on the powerful role that payroll plays in today’s economy. While the future is certainly unpredictable, those businesses that utilise the payroll tech that’s out there will be sure to put themselves and their employees in a more advantageous position.” During a time when the costof-living crisis is reigning rife while technological advancements accelerate at a rapid pace, CloudPay has highlighted that those payroll teams embracing a digitalised approach will be key in helping businesses and employees navigate through turbulent and uncertain times and emerge fitter for the future.