Spring approaches, and warmer weather is just around the corner – as is the start of the annual trade show season. While some of us probably attend more of them than we would like to, trade shows can provide exhibitors and attendees with a valuable forum in which to learn about new services, listen to the needs of the market, and identify potential opportunities to make improvements across the business landscape. The connection between shipping companies and trade shows may not be obvious, but in fact, any budgetary item accounting for up to 40 percent of an organization’s landed operating costs, such as shipping, deserves to be reevaluated each year. Trade shows provide the perfect opportunity to consider new shipping services and providers. For far too long, many companies have looked at their shipping service provider as simply an engine that puts products into the hands of their customers. And while that will always hold true in some ways, the days of shipping service providers simply moving products from one point to another are past – or they should be. Shipping is a business function that impacts:
  • Customer service
  • Brand image
  • The profit and loss statement
  • Information systems infrastructure
  • Core operations planning
The impending trade show season presents all of us with an opportunity to look at what is out there in the way of services that can help address business issues that are fresh on our minds coming out of the peak selling season. It also allows us to challenge the status quo by identifying areas that require improvement for which creative solutions may exist from an unlikely source. Whether your need is to lower costs, improve inventory management practices, create a better customer experience, or increase revenues – it is likely that your shipping service provider can help you address those issues. If they cannot help you identify new opportunities – then maybe it is time to consider alternatives. At the end of the day, trade shows should inspire you to identify new ways to solve business problems, old and new alike. So whether your need revolves around shipping, a new ERP platform, a third-party contact center, or any number of other business requirements, there are a lot of new ideas being presented that just may surprise you—if you are willing to go beyond your comfort zone. And if you are able to get a little fun and sun in your schedule while escaping a colder climate, that is okay, too.