Some business disruptions can be planned for— material shortages, natural disasters, compliance or fulfillment roadblocks. But what about the obstacles we don’t see coming? The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has touched nearly every business in the world in some way or another, and in the face of such an unprecedented global crisis, many are struggling to keep operations moving.
While it can be daunting to pivot and redirect in the midst of a constantly changing situation, it’s necessary to do so if businesses want to minimize disruptions. Here are some of the ways our clients are utilizing digital solutions to find new, innovative ways to reach their customers in a global pandemic.
Specialty Craft and Fabric Retailer
In uncertain times, it’s not only important for businesses to reach their customers, but also to connect with them. With a fully integrated Order Management System (OMS), our client is able to provide its customers with additional shopping options, such as curbside pickup for online orders and ship-from-store. These measures not only ensure patron safety and comfort, but also allows the business to continue fulfilling customer orders.
In direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company is providing free materials to any customer who wants to sew masks, gowns, and other essential medical equipment for healthcare workers. Customers can request supplies and use the company’s online library to find patterns and video tutorials to assist them along the way. Then customers even have the option of bagging up any donations they’ve made and doing curbside drop-off at any of the company’s retail stores, and our client will ensure items are donated through the proper channels.
Leading Beauty Product Retailer & Distributor
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Elevating the order experience with an OMS can mean anything from providing the ability to split-shipments to buying online and picking up in-store. Over the past year, we worked with a leading distributor and retailer of beauty products to implement an OMS to do those things and more. Recently we were challenged by our client to help quickly enable ship-from-store (SFS) and same-day delivery (SDD) capabilities concurrently. Under normal circumstances, this type of project would take three to four months. When our client asked us to find a way to deliver these capabilities in just ten days, we accepted the challenge and leveraged the foundational elements to stand up the new features in no time.
As retail businesses struggle during the COVID-19 crisis, the ability to implement new capabilities, like SDD and SFS, are becoming a must-have rather than an optional feature. In the end, we implemented the capabilities in a matter of days, and our client was able to continue fulfilling orders while keeping employees and customers safe.
Some deliverables from our work include:
- Expanded SDD to 600+ stores
- Rolled out SFS for 450+ stores in US and Canada
International Consumable Product Supplier
But what about B2B businesses? Our client, a manufacturer and distributor of various paper, building, and office products, has found ways to help its clients stay afloat as well. Many grocery and big-box stores rely on this business to supply operational items from receipt paper and paper bags to cleaning supplies and hand soap. When COVID-19 triggered worldwide hoarding and panic buying, the business’s customers found their stores were being wiped out of those products deemed necessary to continue operations and maintain the health and safety of employees.
When its warehouses and call centers were inundated with order requests, the company was able to leverage its eCommerce system to deploy resources from other departments to help manage the increase in inbound and outbound product requests. Internal teams are now able to coordinate better with their customers that are dealing with outbreaks or shortages to deliver products faster.
This is a crazy time; one few people saw coming. But it is in these times of crisis that businesses must find ways to work together. Whether it be fast-tracking the production and distribution of crucial goods, or finding ways to provide aid through donations and services; every business can harness the power of digital to connect with its customers and weather the storm together. Not sure where to start? Find out how our team of digital experts can help your business build the right digital solutions.