Fastenal reported nearly $5 billion in sales in fiscal 2018 and hopes to double that with growth led by its e-commerce platform and vending machines, says President and CEO Dan Florness. Fastenal has reduced the number of its store branches but has increased the number of employees.
Amazon's freight shipping operation has moved thousands of containers from China to the US West Coast, making it possible for Amazon to control nearly all of a product's logistical journey. "Make no mistake, Amazon wants to take command and control over as much of its logistics as possible," says Brittain Ladd, who used to work for Amazon Global Logistics.
High shipping rates for small, low-cost orders are a deterrent for buyers, writes Martin Rowe. "If distributors want to show top-notch customer service, they should offer free shipping on small orders," he writes.
The next era of blockchain will likely be characterized by business applications for industrial companies, with semiconductors highlighted in this McKinsey analysis. The barriers to greater industrial use are "inertia that prevents players from collaborating, a lack of standards, unclear legal and regulatory frameworks, and latency issues that make it difficult to verify multiple transactions rapidly," the authors write.
Vulnerability in the workplace leaves you open to being hurt, but it also can build empathy in trying times, Dan Rockwell writes. "If others play it safe, lack energy, or isolate themselves, the problem might be that you lack vulnerability," he writes.
Cloud-based software can help distributors save money in areas such as maintenance and IT spending, and the software itself is classified as an operating expense instead of a capital expense, writes Fred Dobrowitsky of Rutherford & Associates.
Distributors can resolve issues with dissatisfied customers by displaying compassion and listening to them -- even if they're wrong, says Legacy Marketing owner Leanna DeBellevue. "[I]f they feel heard, they'll usually agree to whatever resolution you're offering -- and regardless of previous expectations," DeBellevue says.
Online returns can be valuable in resale markets and platforms so long as retailers don't try to deceive consumers, writes B-Stock Solutions executive Jen Wehrmaker. "Resellers should be totally transparent regarding the condition of the item as well as provide any details on what the buyer can expect regarding packaging, warranty, etc.," she writes.
More than half of residents in Germany and the Netherlands made at least one e-commerce return during a one-year period from early 2017 into 2018, according to PostNord research. France had the third-highest rate of return, with 45% of residents saying they'd done so.
Food processors need to develop thorough recall and food traceability plans in order to comply with regulation and protect public health, Richard Stier argues. Plans should include a dedicated recall team, proper documentation procedures and a process to track and recover all recalled food.
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