Many have found the container industry to be highly unprofitable over the past several years. Making things worse, earnings have been exceptionally low for some. Several factors are responsible, notably trade’s spotty recovery from the global financial crisis, and redoubled efforts by customers to control costs. Some of the pain is self-inflicted: Poor inventory control, tedious billing cycles, lack of resources to help your daily operations flow smoothly, and hard-to-manage Excel sheets. Then, you also face economic cycles of highs and lows. The reality is that the industry is changing and so should your business. It is time to start evaluating software solutions that are specifically designed to handle fluctuations in supply and demand. It is now time to start building the capacity needed to grow your business. With the changes in the industry’s culture, it is critical not to stay behind when the right product can help you achieve more success. What may have appeared an unneeded tool is now turning into a valuable asset that will undoubtedly assist business growth.
These problems are real and significant, and largely beyond the power of any one company to address without help. Companies can no longer afford to throw up their hands and accept their fate. Hidden beneath these issues is another set of challenges: Container modifications. Many container companies realize the value of adding modifications to their core competencies, thus adding another revenue stream. The modification system is a key element in protecting profitability and ensuring technician productivity. In operations, many treat containers as just another box. However, if you do not capture every cost related to each container, whether repair or modification, you negatively impact your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly revenue.
Industry-specific software solutions can offer many hidden opportunities, not just in procurement, but also in the agility to quickly move your stock. Powerful systems that have been written with the input of your industry peers can change your company’s gross revenue and retained profit.
With a little bit here and a little bit there, companies that take on a completely integrated solution can boost earnings by as much as 10 to 20 percentage points—enough to reverse the recent trend, and return to profit. To realize that kind of upside, however, firms must also be ready for their organizations to change. That’s a nontrivial challenge. Companies need to find ways to help employees embrace new ways of working. Companies that welcome change will be better prepared than their rivals to make the best of the current business cycle and to thrive into the next financial boom in the industry.
Being well prepared for the industry’s next phase will help you soar to levels never before seen. It is important to research, ask and expose your company to the new direction in which the container industry is headed. With so many new companies entering the container industry space, a completely robust software package can be the tool that enables you to be the business owner that stands out from the crowd.