General

Corporate gifts should not be limited to the holiday season – here’s why

12 November | 2019

Holiday periods are, surprisingly, the worst times of the year to send out corporate gifts to business clients. It isn’t likely to stand out, and it will probably seem like you bought it out of obligation instead of spontaneity. Rather, send out tokens of appreciation at unexpected times throughout the year. This way, you show your clients that you care about their business all 12 months of the year and keeps you (and your services) at the top of their mind. Read on for creative corporate gift ideas.

 

A better strategy

Instead, get creative. Send out gifts on other occasions – Valentine’s day, St Patrick’s Day, National Pizza Day, the list goes on and on.. On Valentine’s Day, a card on a gift could read “We love working with you!”. St Patrick’s day could be linked to how lucky you are to work with them. This way, you incorporate an element of excitement into the gift that will make it much more memorable than those exchanged during the holiday season.

 

Non-traditional corporate gift ideas 

This is your chance to make your business stand out. And, it provides a good opportunity for you to give away branded items that will actually be used. We all have enough pens, after all.

Braai fire

For Braai Day in September, a braai set

Message idea: Happy Braai Day! This one is for the Steak Holders.

 

pizza cut

For Pizza Day on 9 February, a pizza stone / cutter

Message idea: Happy International Pizza Day! We enjoy working with you. Our partnership is a pizza art.

 

coffee mugs

For International Coffee Day on 1 October, coffee mugs

Message idea: Here’s to a great working relationship. Thanks a latte for your business.

 

For World Book Day on 23 April, a coffee table book. 

Message idea: Happy World Book day! Some contents for your table to say thanks for your ongoing support.

 

Read here about the ingredients that make up an excellent corporate gift.

 

The logistics behind seasonal gifting

Did you know that Nexus Fulfilment offers logistics and warehousing services specifically for seasonal gifting? And, because of the way our warehouse pricing works, you only pay for the space you are using when you use it. After all, we do things differently – read more about that here.

 

Nexus Product Co-Packing

 

Let Nexus Fulfilment help you with your seasonal gifting logistics. Contact us.

How third party logistics can boost your supply chain

08 November | 2019

Ever wanted to know how third party logistics could help your business? Or, more specifically, how it could improve your supply chain? Third-party logistics (3PL) providers often take over the responsibilities of storing, picking, packing and shipping products for their clients – thereby streamlining much of the supply chain. 

 

It minimises risk

A lot of precious time is taken out of a business owner’s day for logistics. This could be to procure or manufacture goods, get them packaged, have them quality checked or to send them out to various locations. It involves detailed management and potentially unexpected costs, especially when you need your own network of distribution centres and when you manage risks yourself. 

This is where a 3PL provider can make a huge difference. A 3PL service will ship your goods for you, taking the load off you (literally) when it comes to organising and paying for distribution. Considering this, in addition to the high risks involved, it is often a safer choice to use a 3PL service provider for logistics, fulfilment and distribution. 

 

3PL provides for flexibility in the supply chain

For companies that have seasonal fluctuations in the volume of their stock, a 3PL like Nexus can be a game changer. Without a 3PL service, such fluctuations can bring serious financial risks. We supply our warehousing and logistics services on a needs basis. When sales cycles are down and you do not need us as much, we will not be draining your resources. 

 

It keeps you in the loop

Reporting tools are one of the best resources to have available in the logistics and transportation industry. Therefore, you have a sense of security, knowing that there is no disruption in the flow of goods through the supply chain. 

At Nexus Fulfilment, these tools provide our clients with data. This data tracks everything – for instance, the speed of deliveries, accuracy of inventory lists, and order accuracy. We also use various tools that help optimise our warehouses. Read about that here.

 

The best in technology

It is no exaggeration that the technology needed for logistics can be costly for businesses. However, because 3PLs have various clients, we invest in the best software to streamline our processes. In addition, we have partnerships with various roleplayers in the industry, which makes it easier for us to supply any services you need.

 

 

In conclusion, working with a 3PL provider allows you the time to focus on what is important: growing a business. A third party logistic provider is there to handle all the heavy-weight logistics for you. That way, you have more time to focus on growing your business.

warehouse

Would you like Nexus Fulfilment to add value to your business? Contact us

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4 Things your 3PL gift packing provider needs to consider

12 July | 2019

Not many things in life are certain. Special events, however, are. Consider an event like Father’s day – it happens every year, and on a specific day. So, what does this have to do with your gift packing service provider? A lot, actually.

You have to choose a partner that understands how important it is for products to be available in the stores at the right time – on the day that customers are buying. Asking you as the customer to move a gifting date such as fathers day out to another day is just not possible.

To make sure that events like these are covered, the third party logistics that goes into the kitting process needs to be flawless. This is the four things that every 3PL co-packing supplier worth his salt has to consider.

 

  1. Complexity

In order to accurately estimate the number of units that can be packed per hour of per day,

a good 3PL supplier will make sure they completely understand your gift packing requirements and the complexities involved with each gift pack. Everything from the number of components per pack, to the design of the packaging will influence the number of units that can be assembled in a certain timeframe.

 

  1. Time and Motion studies

It is crucial to have enough hands on board to manage a project. A good 3PL partner will conduct time and motion studies on your gift packs to understand the man power required per production line and products to ensure that the daily required outputs are met without fail. (Not sure what a time and motion study is? Read here.)

 

  1. Total space required for raw materials and finished products

If there is not enough space for a project, things fall apart. Your supplier must accurately predict the total amount of space required for receiving and storing the various components that make up the gift packs (From the packaging materials to the items needing to be picked and packed). Furthermore, there needs to be enough space for the kitting process. This includes the construction and assembly of the kits as well as for storing the finished packs.

 

  1. Quality control

Nobody wants their customers to receive poorly constructed gift packs. These unhappy customers lead to ruined relationships with business partners, which can be fatal. This is why the quality of both the raw components and the final assembled products need to be consistently and effectively monitored. A good 3PL co-packing supplier understands this and ensures that stringent quality control processes are followed at all times.

 

These factors show how important it is to have a partner that knows the kitting process inside and out. Choosing the wrong partner can cost your brand and business. This is why you should choose Nexus. Read more about our product co-packing and gifting services here.

 

How to find the best 3PL partner for your business

28 March | 2019

3PL is not just for big businesses with large budgets. It is also often a cost effective solution to smaller businesses looking to scale and optimise their business. Want to know if it is the right option for your business? Read on.

When done right, 3PL services can be cost effective. Think for example about gift pack assembly during events like Christmas. Among other things, a 3PL service will eliminate your concerns about getting a temporary warehouse space, security, infrastructure and quality control processes in place.

Quality checking is important in a 3pl partner

Would your business benefit from 3PL? Ask yourself:

Are your infrastructure and systems up to date and reliable? Are you focussing too much energy on logistics and not enough on sales and building brands? Do you need more effective quality control processes? Are the costs for running your logistics getting out of control? If any of these worries sound familiar to you, your company probably needs 3PL services. Benefits of using a warehouse management system.

When looking for a 3PL partner, consider the following:

Costs – Avoid partners that charge fixed costs for basics like warehouse space and staff. Whilst this gives you certainty on what costs would be each month, you won’t benefit from quiet times and you will be charged even when you are not using all the space. What is a fair way of calculating warehouse fees?

Safety – Ensure they have facilities to keep your products safe. Do they have effective security, health and safety processes in place? This is particularly important for higher value and sensitive products.

Systems – There is no excuse for a third party logistics company not to make use of the latest technology to drive processes. Without proper systems in place, delays and errors are inevitable.

Initiative – The ideal partner is proactive. They look after your interests and bring efficiency to your business. They work on more than what they have necessarily been tasked with.

There are hundreds of 3PL partners out there. It is all about finding one that works for you.

 

Would you like Nexus Fulfilment to add value to your business? Contact us

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Why In-Store Marketing Still Matters

12 September | 2018

 

In this digital-obsessed world, marketers can very easily become caught up in the power of marketing through our screens – while forgetting that more traditional marketing still has many benefits. The truth is that by combining the power of both digital and traditional above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) marketing methods, you can create campaigns which have optimum impact. A good example of this is with the recent launch of Budweiser by Anheuser-Busch InBev.

This launch was a 360-degree marketing initiative, and Nexus Fulfillment was chosen to be the key BTL marketing partner for AB InBev, as the in-store launch was a critical component of the launch campaign in general. This was because of the product in question: in a liquor store, in-store marketing materials have been proven to have great influence over a consumer’s purchasing decisions.

Robbie Fern, Marketing and Sales Manager at Nexus, explains: “In South Africa, online sales are still low at less than 5% of ALL retail sales. For most South Africans, purchasing still takes place face-to-face, in a bricks and mortar space, where good in-store marketing can work its power”.

Robbie points out a worldwide trend where people tend to do their pricing research online before making a considered purchasing decision offline, in a physical store. Because of this, it’s clear that in the right circumstances, BTL marketing is still a very worthwhile investment. After all, a good in-store promotion can quite easily overturn a decision made at your computer.

Some products, like electronics, are more commonly purchased online and so can take advantage of digital marketing benefits, like real-time metrics and lower marketing costs. Other products however, are targeted at customers in a lower Living Standards Measure (LSM) segment – where online research, and digital use in general, is far less likely.

For products like these, marketing campaigns do well to include in-store BTL marketing efforts, due to the target market’s limited connectivity, as well as their purchasing habits. Here you swap the digital marketing pros for others such as being able to appeal to local tastes, provide enduring (and more easily remembered) marketing material, as well as bringing in the persuasive powers of personal, human contact.

For Anheuser-Busch InBev’s launch of Budweiser, we delivered almost 600 000 product units to retailers around the country. We’re proud to say that the products were delivered on time, with 100% accuracy to their final destinations, and that the launch was considered a major success by the client.

Sources:

https://www.feedough.com/atl-btl-ttl-marketing/

http://digital-marketing-strategy.weebly.com/digital-marketing.html

https://technians.com/blog/benefits-digital-marketing-over-traditional-marketing/

https://www.aaxiscommerce.com/customer-engagement/digital-marketing-vs-traditional-marketing-what-makes-them-so-different/

https://seriouslysimplemarketing.com/traditional-vs-online-marketing/

http://themediaonline.co.za/2018/03/still-room-for-online-shopping-growth-in-sa-says-google/

 

When Below-The-Line Marketing Campaigns Go Wrong

31 August | 2018

 

When Below-the-Line Marketing Campaigns Go Wrong 

One of the most common pitfalls when you’re running a below-the-line (BTL) marketing campaign is when the kit – the promotional or point-of-sale items – lands too late in a retail space, goes to the wrong retail space or doesn’t arrive at all.  If this happens, the ramifications can be broad:

For the customer

  1. The customer loses out: If the promotional material isn’t displayed, the customer walks into a store and doesn’t become aware of the promotional campaign, so they miss out on the opportunity to save. If they’d known, they may have purchased something today that they otherwise wouldn’t have, or they may have replaced their normal brand to reap the promotional benefits.
  2. The customer feels unhappy: In some cases, the promotional material is displayed in a store and then the store doesn’t even stock the item! This time the customer is aware of not being able to save and the disappointment they feel when they find out, could create a negative link to the brand in the future.

Commercial impact to you

  1. You miss selling to new customers: For sure, the most obvious impact of a below-the-line marketing campaign not running properly is the sales potential you miss out on. An in-store promotion can lift sales by 200%, and a significant number of buyers purchase the item purely because of the promotion.
  2. You miss selling more to old customers: What you’re hoping is that customers already loyal to your brand, will take advantage of the promotion by buying more than they had planned to originally. If the promotional information isn’t displayed, they’ll purchase their normal amount, receive the discount unknowingly, and although sales revenue may remain the same, profit will decrease because of the discount given.
  3. You still have to pay the promotion price with none of the benefits: Most businesses with stores put together promotional deals in a “co-op” advertising arrangement, where the supplier pays for the promotional space and advertising, and funds the product discounts. Because of this, the supplier will almost always check if the retailer has put the promotion up correctly in store. If this is not the case, they will often refuse to pay for either the discount or promotional space cost, because they feel that the promotion was not executed properly.

What does this all mean in the context of what Nexus does? According to Robbie Ferns, our Sales & Marketing Manager: “It’s simple – we have a kit accuracy for our clients of 99.87% and delivery on time of over 99%. This means that by using us, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of having to deal with these kinds of problems”.

How do Nexus make sure your below-the-line campaigns run seamlessly?

  • We manage the critical path with you, allowing you to manage your whole BTL campaign using our campaign management tool.
  • We help with the management of your POS suppliers to ensure that promotional campaigns land on time.
  • Because we use our own courier network, we can easily change routes and delivery plans to ensure campaigns get to the correct place on time.
  • If a delivery from a supplier is running late, we can cross- doc it straight from the receiving area to the kitting floor, so no time is wasted.
  • We have a triple check kitting system in place that ensures the correct products are in the kits.

 

Sources:

http://www.theadvertisingclub.net/index.php/features/editorial/3256-difference-between-above-the-line-and-below-the-line-advertising

http://www.tradeway.co.za/blog/examples-benefits-line-marketing-techniques/

67 Minutes and beyond

20 July | 2018

Every individual and business in South Africa owes a large amount to Nelson Mandela’s legacy, and we fully support the 67 Minutes campaign on Nelson Mandela Day, and the idea of using this opportunity to do good. There are so many organisations that need support but this year we focused on these ones:

  1. Red Cross Children’s Hospital

Over the last five years we’ve donated funds to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and this year was no different. The R10 000 we donate is put into a fund that pays for surgeries to be performed on children who would otherwise have to spend months (or years) waiting for an opportunity to be operated on. This means that these kids can get back to being kids, by getting the medical attention they need to live fulfilling lives. Without these donations, the children would have to wait much longer to receive these life changing surgeries.

  1. Emasithandane Children’s Organisation

We believe that the 67 Minutes Campaign is a wonderful initiative but we also want to establish relationships with organisations that need our help, assisting them all year round and making a lasting impact. Yesterday the Nexus Team went out to Emasithandane, a home for orphaned and abandoned children that we work with throughout the year, and spent time with the children, giving them much needed blankets for winter, plus food hampers.

Currently they have 29 children from toddlers to late teenagers in their care. They continue to try and get social grants for these kids in order to improve their standard of living but as the facility is not large enough, they unfortunately have not been successful. They therefore operate 100% on donations from various associations and companies like ours. All these children and teens come to the home because they have no parents, families or foster homes to go to, so we really feel this is an organisation that needs our continued support.

  1. Hannah’s Place of Safety

 Some of our other Nexus staff members spent their 67 Minutes with the children and caregivers at Hannah’s Place of Safety. We spent the afternoon playing with the kids and giving the team there some much needed TLC with a special cake we’d arranged.

Ultimately, this day gave us an opportunity to remind us that every single person has the ability to change the world. And we have the great man Nelson Mandela to thank for that.

What is a fair way of calculating warehouse fees?

05 July | 2018

In a typical logistics profit and loss account, warehousing rental is one of the top monthly expenses you’ll see. For this reason, ensuring you have the right sized warehouse in the correct location can be one of the most important and complicated decisions for a company.

If you choose a warehouse simply based on current capacity, you’re likely to hinder your future growth potential. On the other hand, having too much unused space is a waste of cash. Because of these complex considerations, most companies outsource their warehousing and distribution functions to third party experts.

There’s the theory that your products plus other customers’ products should result in you paying less for the warehouse storage space you need. So does the method by which you are being charged for this space really benefit you?

While there are multiple warehouse storage rate methods in the market, most fall into one of three categories:

  1. A set amount of space dedicated for you at a set rate per month, e.g. 300 square meters of store space for a set price.
  2. A fee per location or for pallet space used.
  3. A fee factoring in other elements like receiving, picking and dispatch fees.

Some practical examples of the benefits and downsides of these three models:

1) A set fee for a set amount of space

Paying a dedicated rate per month for your warehouse means you’re almost guaranteed to pay for space you’re not using. For example, let’s say you’re paying for 300 square meters of racking space. If your actual products only take up racking for 200 square meters, you’ll still be paying for 100 square meters that would be empty and unused. We also know this because any provider that charges rates in this way would never allow the client to use more than the space they are paying for. They would want to ensure a maximum revenue is achieved for available space, so it would be a key metric they’d check. There would also have to be serious considerations taken when expanding space is required.

The benefit of this method is that it is predictable. Expensive, but predictable.

 2)  A fee per location or pallet space used

On the surface, this may seem a fair way to charge. You have to remember that you’ll always be at the mercy of the third-party provider in making sure they’re using space and pallet locations as efficiently as possible. This would be difficult to manage and therefore hard to know for sure whether you’re being charged fairly. Some suppliers’ policy is to have one product per pallet location. This could be a massive downside to you, especially if you only have a few units on hand taking up very little space on a pallet.

The benefit of this method versus the first one is that theoretically you wouldn’t be paying for empty locations in the warehouse. However, you’d definitely be paying for partially utilised space.

3) A variable fee factoring in other services

With this method, billing is simple in that you pay a single fee for all services including the warehousing. However, it can be difficult to understand how the bill is calculated. It’s also hard to know if you are paying a fair rate for the warehouse spacing that you are really using. This lack of visibility could cost more than you should be paying – after all, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

We do things differently

Keeping this in mind, we approach the calculation of warehouse fees differently. We do it using a very simple methodology, but one that we know will always be in our clients’ favour. It goes as follows:

You pay for the space you are using when you use it.

In other words, we charge you a rate per cubic metre per day for the products that you have in stock on that day. This means we don’t charge per cubic metre of the location – rather for the products taking up space. The exact calculation is therefore:

The dimensions of the products you have in stock x the cubic metre rate per day.

There are lots of benefits to charging in this way:

  • Only pay for the actual space used by your products – not for air.
  • Easily verify the calculation by calculating the size of the products yourself and double checking with our numbers.
  • You don’t pay for space that is not being used.
  • If you have a large delivery just before the end of the month that takes up 100 cubic metres, you only pay for space for the days you were using it. You would not pay for the full month’s storage rates on this volume.
  • You don’t have to worry about growth. Not having a fixed space allows you to flex up your stock accordingly, within a budget you can plan for.

Our calculation method makes our clients happy. However, it’s also inherent to the way we approach business. As our Managing Director Greg Kruger puts it, “We always work in our clients’ best interest, as this is core to the values of our business.”

business, distribution, fulfilment, happy, reassured

 

Would you like Nexus Fulfilment to add value to your business? Contact us

Budweiser launches in South Africa – and we helped it happen!

22 May | 2018

Huge news for local beer drinkers: Budweiser, one of the world’s most iconic beers, has just arrived in South Africa – and we helped make its launch a success!

Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) Africa is responsible for the Budweiser launch locally, having already launched Stella Artois and Corona in the country in 2017. AB InBev merged with SABMiller in October 2016, in a R1,3 trillion deal that was described by some as the third largest acquisition in history. Budweiser is considered to be one of the most valuable brands in the world, with distribution in 73 different countries. In South Africa, it is now brewed at SAB’s Rosslyn Brewery just outside Pretoria.

The beer’s arrival into SA coincides with the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicking off in Russia in June, of which Budweiser is an official sponsor. Ab InBev’s global “Light Up the FIFA World Cup™” campaign saw a variety of Budweiser marketing initiatives launching in more than 50 countries around the world.

As the key below-the-line marketing partner for AB InBev, we were proud to be part of the Budweiser launch in South Africa, in time for the FIFA World Cup. In total, we delivered almost 600 000 product units across multiple categories including caps, mugs, standees and other Budweiser-branded items to retailers around the country. The key objectives that we needed to fulfil to help make the launch a success were:

  • Ensuring a speedy turnaround time on receiving marketing materials from multiple suppliers
  • Ensuring that products arrived at their final destination in perfect condition
  • Kitting for various end destinations
  • Accurate delivery and dispatch to each destination

We’re proud to say that we turned this around in record time, and delivered products with 100% accuracy to their final destinations. Here’s to the success of Budweiser among South African beer drinkers for many years to come – cheers!

  

Nexus Director opens her heart & home

23 March | 2018

In this world there are so few people who mean what they say, and do what they say they will. Candice Brink, Customer Services Director at Nexus, is one such person. We interviewed her to find out more about her remarkable story, as a Nexus staff member who doesn’t just give our charitable initiatives lip service, but really commits – with her heart and soul.

Q: How did you come to be involved with Hannah’s Place of Safety? (HPOS)
I help out where I can and on one occasion, I was told that the kids of HPOS needed a few items. I popped in to drop off some goods and immediately connected with the kids and the host family.

Q: Of all the organisations in South Africa, why have you chosen HPOS to be involved with?
They care for kids in a time of desperate need. Janine, the house mother, gave up her high paying job to do this full time. Her selfless love and continuous sacrifices ensure a better life for all the kids that pass through HPOS. She is my absolute hero.

Q: It sound like the work they do is amazing. What drives you to want to be involved?
The kids are there for safety reasons – all of them came to HPOS because they were abused, neglected or abandoned. What they need is love, stability and affection. Even though I cannot care for all of them on a full time basis, I feel the need to make a difference where I can. After spending so much time with the kids, I’ve learned to take nothing for granted – a simple hug could be the highlight of their day.

Q: Tell us about your bond with Ezra.
Ezra is a special child from HPOS. He came to HPOS when he was only a few weeks old, and he was the smallest baby I’d ever seen. I love all the kids but Ezra was extra special from the beginning. He was unfortunately abandoned at birth, and he came straight from the hospital.

Q: At what point did you realise that you wanted to go through the process of adopting Ezra?
My family also fell in love with him and when we heard that he needed a foster family we jumped at the opportunity. We are currently fostering him and need to foster him for two years before we can apply for adoption. I was officially named as his caregiver on 1st March 2018. He is too young to understand now, but I hope he will be as happy as we are with my decision.

Q: What are you dream and hopes for him?
I know he will be a strong successful man one day, but all I want right now is for him to feel safe, loved and completely happy.

We love stories like this, where our employees demonstrate their commitment, energy and positive will to change South Africa, for the better. Candice, as your Nexus family, we wish you and your loved ones all the very best into the future, as you build many happy memories together. 

 

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