2021 Another Doozy:
There is no doubt that 2021 was another challenging year for many businesses especially for manufacturers and distributors.
Bringing More Jobs and Goods Back to America is a Good Idea:
Although a Global Economy will always be important to our world, the Supply Chain shortage and disruptions brought to light the important of local manufacturing in the USA. One of the largest supporters of the reshoring initiative is Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative (ReshoreNow.org). He joined us in our #USAMfgHour Twitter Chat and brought to light, the actual calculations to be considered if USA Distributors and Manufacturers are afraid to build and source more locally. According to Moser, about 60% of companies decide based on wage rates, Free on Board prices or landed cost. “By doing so they are missing 15 to 25% of the relevant costs and risks,” he said. You can learn more in this recap, chocked full of good information and food for thought.
Many of our distribution and manufacturing clients had to make tough decisions and change some business processes, suppliers and fulfillment methods. If you have not read our, 2021 Supply Chain Trends that May Stay Blog, you should. A lot of our clients who used to mainly ship large palletized freight shipments to DC’s, had to adopt to direct to consumer shipments. Some of these shipments include Blind Shipments, which allows distributors and manufactures to provide fulfillment for their customers’ customers. (Example: XYZ Auto Parts ships components to Happy Auto’s customer. Happy Auto’s customer only sees Happy Auto’s name on the address and shipping label.) Our product DCWarehouse Automation supports all of these shipment methods, so this past year we helped many clients set this up, train and use our features. Many of our clients due to the Covid Situation had staff shortages. So, we helped them automate even more processes and leverage more functionality in our software. Many of our customers started working with 3PL’s so we added many improvements to our optional module that helps support the tracking of shipments and inventory control with outside vendors.
New Software Releases:
Our team had six (6) new software releases packed full of great features. These included many inventory and materials control features enhancing the user’s experience for cycle counting, production, shipping, analysis and customer service. As you can imagine, we have always preached cycle counting even prior to these present day issues, but a few of our clients never adopted the practice until 2021.
New Projects and Initiatives:
It was a very exciting year because many clients that were slow to upgrade to our newer versions and use fresher technology used some of this down time to do just that. Eleven of our clients did a major upgrade. We also were pleased to take two new customers live on the DCWarehouse Solution. Our development team also made sure to keep our multi-carrier shipping solution up to speed with the carrier’s new services and requirements.
Last but Not Least:
It is our belief that both Social Media and Community Outreach are always important regardless if it directly benefits us or not. As a co-leader of the #USAMfgHour Twitter Chat, it was exciting to continue this in 2021 with fifty informative community building chats for USA Manufacturers and friends. Everything from marketing, sales, lean practices, safety, team building, reshoring, process improvement, vendor management etc. was discussed this year. We want to thank every single host, participant and our leadership team for helping to grow this heart-to-heart, well participated and enjoyed hour each Thursday. It was also very exciting for me to be invited onto Radwell’s Automation Nation Podcast to discuss balancing people and technology. It was my very first time doing this and I truly enjoyed working with Julie Basello-Holt and Robert Tiedeken. If you have not heard it, please take a moment to listen.
Let’s hope for everyone’s sake 2022 is a better year. Stress and anxiety are real, so what I learned in 2021 is to have patience and be even kinder to anyone you come in contact with. We’re all on this earth for a short time, so let’s work together and do the best we can to innovate, grow and prosper.