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How the logistics industry can thrive and provide during the COVID-19 pandemic

Among the main services that logistics companies provide are trucking, sea and air freighting, and warehousing—a clear manifestation that the logistics industry handles the movement of goods around the world.

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The global economy is currently headed to a steady decline due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), damaging industries such as tourism, retail, and particularly logistics—which includes the supply chains of almost all industries.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the disruption in world trade could mean a $50-billion decline in overall global exports, which would also adversely affect the Philippine supply chains. Despite responding decisively to contain the pandemic and help marginalized sectors, supply chains in the country were still impacted.

An analysis from the Center for Economic Policy and Research based in Washington, D.C also said that COVID-19 hit the heart of “factory Asia,” which consists of not only China but also Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. It was described as “supply chain contagion,” which means that the world supply chain system is exposed consequently to a “disease outbreak” due to its over-concentration.

According to Jay Marzan, chairman of JP Marzan Project Ventures, Inc., the global economy has taken a huge blow because of the current pandemic but, this must not become a reason for us to be paralyzed with fear. “Now, more than ever, supply chain leaders must rise to the occasion, and help fight both the pandemic and the economic decline.” 

Strengthening the Frontlines

Among the main services that logistics companies provide are trucking, sea and air freighting, and warehousing—a clear manifestation that the logistics industry handles the movement of goods around the world.

The industry may be experiencing declines due to global responses to the pandemic, such as lockdowns and restrictions but the importance of logistics, specifically the supply chains, is still emphasized even in the crisis. 

For instance, the Philippines decided recently to import millions of PPE sets worth P1.8 billion from China. They plan to send Naval ships to hasten the importation of the sets, because currently only about 70,000 PPE sets have arrived in the country which is less than 10-percent of the total amount.

The products would then be transported to the warehouse managed by the Office of Civil Defense where it will be distributed to different hospitals, however, it would take a long time to finish the transport of the much-needed medical supplies.

“It is instances like this that logistics leaders can make a difference where they can help the country’s economy and the health and safety of the front-liners during this pandemic,” said Marzan. 

The Need to Adapt

According to a study by Avasant, the supply chains of multiple industries such as Energy & Resources. Healthcare & Life Sciences, High Tech & Telecomms, Travel & Transportations, Retail, and Manufacturing were hit the most in this pandemic. This is troubling since the manufacturing of the pharma sector, which has an important role now is negatively impacted.

Marzan said that communications and crisis management are incredibly important right now. Creating effective plans to enhance the supply chain and continuous dialogue between leaders is critical at this point to immediately identify any weak points that need to be assessed and addressed. 

“Leaders need to make rapid and immediate decisions to sustain operations so they can maintain the successful distribution of supplies and services quickly, safely, and securely to the front-liners and people at risk of infection. Supply chains must take a holistic approach and create a strong framework,” added Marzan. 

The impact of the pandemic will also have a long-term effect on not only the logistics industry but also the global economy. How the supply chains function and how people work moving forward would massively change. Long-term planning must become an important part of crisis response.

JP Marzan Project Ventures Inc. is one of the leading logistics providers dedicated to meet the challenges of the globalized market and serves as a reliable partner for the country’s economic growth.

The company started in 1972 as RV Marzan Brokerage and used to handle customs brokerage and deliveries around Luzon. Since then, it started the separate logistics company, we know today and has established itself as a reputable logistics company consistent with the best business practices. 

It has also expanded its services and catered to the needs of companies across the country. Among its services include heavy-lift support, trucking, forwarding, logistics, domestic distribution, warehousing, rigging works, plant transfer, factory machine installation, powerplant assembly, project consultation, equipment rental, civil engineering, and trading of industrial equipment and services.

To know more about JP Marzan Ventures, Inc., visit www.jpmarzan.com.

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Xendit launches payment gateway services to individual business owners

When individual sellers integrate their business with Xendit, their customers can make direct payments via direct debit through Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), e-wallets such as GCash, GrabPay, and PayMaya, or Over-the-Counter via 7-Eleven and Cebuana Lhuillier. Meanwhile, sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships can also process credit card payments.

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The ongoing pandemic has brought out the creative side of many Filipinos, who have found ways to supplement their incomes by selling various products or services on social media. Xendit is making it easier for individual business owners to settle payments with access to a world-class platform that makes billings simple, secure, and easy.

“The pandemic has seen a rise in individual sellers who utilize social media to sell their goods and services. The digital nature of transactions means payment methods need to adapt. We want to empower these rising contributors to the Philippine economy with a platform that handles payments for them while they focus on their business,” says Alyzza Acacio, Philippine SME Task Force Lead of Xendit Philippines.

When individual sellers integrate their business with Xendit, their customers can make direct payments via direct debit through Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and UnionBank of the Philippines (UBP), e-wallets such as GCash, GrabPay, and PayMaya, or Over-the-Counter via 7-Eleven and Cebuana Lhuillier. Meanwhile, sole proprietors, corporations, and partnerships can also process credit card payments.

Since Xendit handles payments on the individual seller’s behalf, entrepreneurs can focus on fulfilling orders and growing their business. They no longer need to coordinate with each customer for payments because transaction statuses are updated in real-time on the Xendit dashboard. 

Xendit’s mission is to make payments simple, so that even entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) unfamiliar who are not as technically savvy can integrate with the platform easily. Xendit is available in platforms such as Wix, Shopify, or WooCommerce. Those who rely solely on social media for business can generate payment links that customers can access. Sellers also have access to their transaction history on a centralized dashboard to monitor sales and payments.

“We need to continue to support the Filipino micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners to embrace the digital age; they have experienced the ease that online selling and marketing and smartphones have brought them closer to their customers. The next step is to help them grow their business by helping them manage day-to-day tasks in their enterprise and improve their financial literacy as they experience and use fintech products and platforms more and more,” says Ana Mijares, Senior Trainer for the Go Digital ASEAN initiative.

To welcome SMEs, Xendit is offering up to P1.6 million worth of waived transaction fees for new sign-ups. The platform is also waiving P1 million in fees for individual sellers.

Opening its platform to individual sellers is just one of Xendit’s many ways to empower SMEs using technology. Its Level Up accelerator program supports entrepreneurs through masterclasses and challenges that give them the tools and know-how to scale their businesses. The program also includes giving P3.5 million in free transactions for 1,000 startups for one year through its video challenge

Xendit is the simplest and most trusted name in digital transactions in the region. It powers SMEs as well as the Philippines’ largest enterprises. Xendit is committed to building a solid payment infrastructure for the country and the rest of Southeast Asia.

“We launched an SME task force at the beginning of the year to help create solutions for Filipino businesses that may have been affected by the pandemic. We hope to continue our support for Filipino MSMEs so they can grow their business and help the Philippine economy,” says Yang Yang Zhang, Managing Director of Xendit Philippines.

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Gender bias is real for women in family-owned businesses

A study examining gender bias and family-owned businesses found daughters were rarely encouraged nor received support to pursue entrepreneurship education while sons mostly did.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels.com

A study examining gender bias and family-owned businesses found daughters were rarely encouraged nor received support to pursue entrepreneurship education while sons mostly did.

Professors James Combs, Peter Jaskiewicz, and Sabine Raul from the Telfer School of Management uncovered new insights about how gender bias – the preference of a gender over the other – affects the succession strategy in multi-generational family firms. Their findings are published in the Journal of Small Business Management.

When nurturing the next generation, entrepreneurial families often prepare their daughters and sons differently for their careers. The researchers noticed a common pattern in the stories shared by the next generation: Sons are often nurtured to become entrepreneurial, whether they are expected to take over the firm one day or to start a venture elsewhere. Daughters, however, receive little to no incentive to develop the leadership skills and entrepreneurial passion required to contribute to the family firm or start their own business.

In conversations with 26 children who were raised in 13 multi-generational family firms – some being centuries old – but not expected to work in the firm, the researchers found that:

  • Seven of the nine sons (78%), pursued entrepreneurial careers;
  • Only one among the 15 daughters (7%) gained an entrepreneurial education and engaged in entrepreneurship (7%);
  • Women were not encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship education, gain business experience, start a new venture;
  • Men rather than women received financial resources from the family to start their own business

“Even when these female non-successors have opportunities to acquire relevant knowledge and work to start a business, becoming entrepreneurial was still a challenging uphill battle,” says Jaskiewicz, who believes the data reveals women do not pursue entrepreneurship outside of the family because they lacked sufficient emotional and financial support from the family.

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Do customer loyalty programs really help sellers make money?

A non-tiered customer loyalty program’s reduction in attrition accounts for more than 80% of the program’s total lift or success. On the other hand, increased frequency accounts for less than 20% of the program’s lift or effectiveness.

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Photo by Blake Wisz from Unsplash.com

Customer loyalty programs have been around for decades and are used to help businesses, marketers and sellers build a sustainable relationship with their customers. But do they work? A recent study sought to find out and researchers learned that while yes, customer loyalty programs do work, perhaps not in ways most may assume.

There are two basic types of customer loyalty programs, tiered and non-tiered. Airlines and hotels often use tiered customer loyalty programs that increase rewards as program members reach higher thresholds of spending over time. Retailers and service industry businesses are more likely to offer non-tiered customer loyalty programs, in which members are rewarded with frequent, but not increasing rewards, such as “buy 10 get one free.”

This research investigated if those non-tiered customer loyalty programs actually do what they are designed to do.

The study to be published in the June issue of the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, “Can Non-tiered Customer Loyalty Programs Be Profitable?”, is authored by Arun Gopalakrishnan of Rice University, Zhenling Jiang of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Yulia Nevskaya and Raphael Thomadsen of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

The authors found that non-tiered customer loyalty programs increase customer value by almost 30% over a five-year time period. They discovered that the program’s effectiveness is not so much through increased spending per transaction or frequency of purchasing but rather through the reduction of attrition. In other words, the chief benefit is that the customer loyalty program reduces customer fall-off and turnover.

“We found that a non-tiered customer loyalty program’s reduction in attrition accounts for more than 80% of the program’s total lift or success,” said Thomadsen. “On the other hand, increased frequency accounts for less than 20% of the program’s lift or effectiveness.”

Jiang added, “One of the more interesting findings was that the impact of the loyalty program does not necessarily contribute to increased spending per transaction or increased frequency of transactions. Rather, the benefit to the business is creating more sustainable and lasting relationships with customers.”

To conduct their research, the authors worked with a company to collect data of more than 5,500 new customers who first started purchasing from that company in the same three-month period. This helped to ensure that the customers were comparable in terms of the amount of time they had to become acquainted with the selling firm. For the next 30 months, the researchers collected all subsequent transaction data from those consumers. During that period, a non-tiered customer loyalty program was introduced.

In the process, some of these new customers were automatically enrolled into the loyalty program. This helped researchers better gauge pre-program visit frequency and spending and then compare it to post-enrollment visit frequency and spending. “We were able to analyze the behaviors of consumers absent a customer loyalty program, and then after the rollout of the program,” said Nevskaya. “We evaluated frequency and actual spending amounts, and whether customers come back for repeat transactions.”

Gopalakrishnan summarized, “In the end, the primary value of a non-tiered customer loyalty program is not a means to increase frequency or spending. It’s a way to nurture a long-term and lasting relationship with the customer to reduce the defection of loyal customers over time. Non-tiered loyalty programs may provide psychological benefits that help cultivate such loyalty.”

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