Canadian Business Insights – Interview with Bertrand Martelle, Canadian Country Manager

This week we are joined by Bertrand Martelle, Canadian Country Manager, to chat about what some businesses in Canada are experiencing during the COVID era. In most provinces, we are seeing operations and businesses entering new phases and once again being called upon to adapt. We hope you will find the insights below useful, and that they will help you be more efficient, accurate and connected!

What do you think will now be the new normal with businesses? Do you have any advice on how they can get there?

Now that we’re almost six months into the pandemic, we have begun to learn how to adapt to these new circumstances in our personal and professional life.

In the crisis’s infancy, there was so much unknown; businesses had completely shut down unnecessary activities and nonessential face-to-face visits. Working from home became the norm. Right now, we are slowly reopening the economy, and, with proper sanitation and distancing policies, we are entering into the “new normal”.

For the industries we serve, Barcoding-Canada has solutions that can be scaled to enterprise’s needs and size. The aim is to have the right level of protection while minimally impacting normal operations. We can help businesses comply with government directions. For small companies, it can be aiding in the creation of simple processes such as proper equipment sanitation and self-evaluation kiosks for employees. For larger corporations or businesses where distancing can be a challenge, more sophisticated solutions can be implemented to track real-time employees and ensure their safety. For example, high volume traffic thermal checking installations can be made available for large sites.


For businesses transitioning to ecommerce, what is your number one piece of advice?

Do not underestimate the integration effort of your ecom solution—this goes for integrating new business processes with your ERP as well as the physical aspect of managing a bigger flow of online orders to process, new solutions for order picking, and new business processes that will require present employees adopting a new strategy.

Ecommerce offerings create higher expectations from customers (B2B and B2C). This makes the tight integration to CRM that provides full visibility essential.


How do you think Canadian businesses are handling the pandemic? Where do you see room for improvement?

I think Canada as a whole is handling the pandemic very well and is adapting quickly, which requires taking the proper recommended steps. In our supply chain-focused industry, we have quickly seen contingency plans put in place to increase orders of in-demand goods as everybody expected a disruption in the supply chain.

In terms of preparing for a potential second wave, I think we have to be proactive in building alternative sourcing options or increasing the safety of stock, so that we are prepared for major supply chain disruption in the US and everywhere else.  China’s manufacturing was disrupted earlier this year, which had worldwide impact. USA supply chain disruption this fall could impact Canada.

With budget constraints being an actual issue, do you believe companies can delay upgrading to Android? If they do not upgrade, what are some of the issues you see that can affect Canadian companies?

For companies who have not upgraded to Android mobile devices yet and are still on old Windows CE/Windows mobile platforms, they cannot delay upgrading for long and expect their businesses to be minimally impacted. After all, older equipment can only be sustained for a limited time.

If companies choose not to upgrade to Android for their mobile data capture, they risk an inability to implement new business processes and to accelerate their digital strategies.

We are also starting to see more companies looking at an OPEX approach versus using CAPEX, preferring a hardware as service tactic to undertake those migrations.


What will you be paying attention to in the industry in the next 6 months? Are there any opportunities you see for our customers/industry?

Ironically, COVID has sped up many projects related to ECOM for some of our customers.

All the applications related to employee safety have an IOT-Android component, which is another excellent reason our customers cannot delay these major upgrades.

We are closely working with our customers to find creative solutions (hardware as a service is one) to help them execute unexpected/budgeted projects that can’t wait. We are also closely working with our own supply chain to make sure there won’t be any shortage of products to fulfill the demand that COVID has created.

Our customers that have been most effected saw up to 80% of their monthly revenue disappear for months. We have helped such clients sustain their existing equipment and processes until their revenue streams are restored, and they can reinvest.

We all need to show solidarity and act as true partners to overcome these changes.

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