The first Business Service Provider Forum hosted by BHETA (British Home Enhancement Trade Association) provided members with radical insights into the probable effects of currency fluctuations, forthcoming legislative change, the impact of counterfeiting, the future of cross border fulfilment and the best ways to maximise the potential of Amazon as a route to market.
BHETA’s member services manager, Nicola Adams-Brown, who chaired the forum, commented: “This was a very successful session, packed with timely advice for members on subjects which reach to heart of their businesses. It combined longer-term strategic advice, with practical short-term tips, as well as being an excellent networking occasion.”
Trevor Charsley of AFEX set out the likely scenarios for currency fluctuations between Sterling and the US dollar and Sterling and the Euro in the wake of different potential election outcomes and the consequent implications for Brexit. Trevor outlined potential hedging strategies to mitigate the effects of exchange rate instability.
Salesupply’s Vera Costa looked at the factors influencing the choice between cross border shipping and cross border fulfilment for ecommerce traders delivering product into multiple territories. A review of the options included the latest innovations – smart boxes, dynamic re-routing, fitting rooms on location and multi-label parcel shops. Vera also spoke about the most important factors for consumers: that goods arrive intact, on time and low cost, with 61% of customers willing to pay extra for next day delivery.
Laura Chalkley of HR lawyers Ellis Whittam reviewed the implications of a post-Brexit scenario as well as discussing The Good Work Plan. In particular, she focussed on changes to company’s obligations in terms of employment checks and contractual rights in the ‘gig’ economy.
Jack Cooper of RT7 Digital, which specialises in supporting brands trading on Amazon, gave a clear demonstration of best practice for this channel. Showing examples of brands maximising potential and others falling short, he exhorted suppliers to defend their brands to the hilt online; and recommended his preferred routes for keyword research.
With many suppliers expanding into export markets, there were some fascinating insights into the nature and rising scale of counterfeiting from i-CRC’s Lorraine Fisher. The company works with suppliers to combat counterfeiting and its services range from suggesting practical ways of prevention and identification, through to tracking down and prosecuting culprits on a global scale.
Meanwhile, Paul van Danzig, director and policy advisor at Wastepack explained the current compliance requirements for suppliers in terms of packaging waste – and why costs are presently ‘sky-rocketing’ – but also the implications of probable new legislation in this area. Not only might this alter the definition of ‘obligated producer’ to include many more supplier businesses, but it is also likely to see the full cost of dealing with packaging waste transferred from the public sector to private sector suppliers. Paul advised the forum on options and urged suppliers to make their views on any changes known to Government.
“BHETA will definitely repeat its Business Service Providers Forum event in the future,” confirmed Nicola Adams-Brown.
* BHETA offers members access to a wide range of support services via its 29 business support provider members. These service providers offer members significant discounts, free assistance or advice and guidance. Areas of expertise covered include environmental advice, exhibitions, legal, HR, corporate risk, logistics, marketing, data, recruitment and software, as well as media and industry partners.
* For more information contact the Member Services Team on 0121 237 1130 or visit the BHETA website www.bheta.co.uk.
Top: (From left to right) Sam Miah and Nicola Adams-Brown from BHETA member services, with speakers: Paul van Danzig of Wastepack, Jack Cooper of RT7 Digital, Lorraine Fisher of i-CRC’s, Laura Chalkley of Ellis Whittam, and Vera Costa of Salesupply.