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How Can I Protect my Wholesale Business from Coronavirus?

How We Believe Coronavirus Happened

Novel Coronavirus is believed to have originated in bats. The bats carried the virus in their blood and could also transmit it through their waste. This means that even if the bat wasn’t eaten by a human or other predator, a person might still have contracted the virus from an unclean piece of fruit. This is evidence that the bat may have defecated or urinated on it while living in the tree that produced the fruit.

What is a Wet Market?

Authorities believe that the first human contact with the virus was in a Chinese wet market. These wet markets are livestock and food markets where fresh animals are slaughtered live on the market floor. They have very loose standards, or no standards, for cleanliness. It is very easy for germs to travel from food or people in these markets.

Where is Wuhan and What Does it Produce?

The virus originated in Wuhan, which is a city in Hubei Province. Hubei Province is in the center of China, on the Yangtze River, which winds all the way through the country. Hubei Province is a major manufacturing hub for auto parts. The impact on the auto industry, which already had a bad Q4 this past year, will be predictably devastating.

How is it Able to Travel so Fast?

Medical authorities believe that the virus has an incubation period of up to 24 days. This means that there are no symptoms, and a victim might not know they were infected for almost a month. During this time, they don’t know they have the virus, but they can still pass it on to other people. This is a very long time for the virus to find new victims before being caught and contained.

What Does Lunar New Year Have to do with the Virus?

The Chinese Lunar New Year is the biggest holiday in the Asian world. It’s like Christmas, 4th of July, and New Years Eve all at once, for a whole week. During this time, people from all over the Asian world travel to visit family and the grave sites of their ancestors. This means that many people are moving around the country to reconnect with friends and family. As a result, the Coronavirus could infect thousands of people before anyone even knows about it.

Chinese Media Cannot be Trusted

The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know anything about the impact of the virus. It’s impossible for us to know what the true damage the Coronavirus is causing. This is because the Chinese authorities control the media and they only release the information they want to release. We have no idea what’s going on and we may never know. The only information that we know is complete is the SARs outbreak of 2003. There are many conspiracy theories about what is actually happening in China, but right now nothing is concrete.

Actually discussing conspiracy theories about Chinese control is pointless here and doesn’t do us any good, but the ruling party in China has a long history of media manipulation and Chinese businesses are notorious for their sell jobs when they want to land contracts. China can be a very effective business partner when everything is going according to plan, but if something bad happens, China will always cover its own tracks and sweep the damage under the rug, and you will be the last person to know. This can make China a very sensitive business partner and analysts are constantly watching China’s politics, economy, and health.

The Coronavirus is Moving Fast

Most of the information China has released is already dated and useless, or it is suspicious. The first time I had to write about Coronavirus, the death toll was in the 400s, and that was near the start of the week. By the same time the next week, it had already more than doubled, and made the report I already wrote completely irrelevant. And this was only with the suspicious information that China had given. As of this writing, there is no way to know the extent of the damage that the Coronavirus has done to the Chinese population or international business interests.

What has Changed Since SARs

  • SARs happened in 2003.
  • In 2003, China had just become a member of the World Trade Organization.
  • Between 2003 and now, China has become responsible for 13% of all exports in the world.
  • Between SARs in 2003 and Coronavirus now, China’s economic output has grown eightfold and is now worth 14 trillion dollars.

In a nutshell, China is a much bigger player in the world economy than it was the last time it suffered a major viral outbreak. Supply chains have gotten tangled up, and business has gotten more complex. When China showed up to the WHO in 2003, things were very simple for American wholesale, we still did some of our work in our own country, and Mexico was right next door. Over the past 20 years, China has become a giant trade hub of ships and planes criss-crossing the oceans, with more eggs in one basket.

How To Protect Your Business: Be Transparent

The more transparent you can be with your wholesale clients, the better. Improve tracking and inventory management software wherever possible to make sure that you and your supply chain always know where an order is. Most wholesale business clients that understand there is a supply chain crisis will be less irritated by the delay as long as they know where the product is.

How to Protect Your Business: Timeline and Follow up

Provide a timeline for when you expect the wholesale product to be delivered. In some cases, especially the way China currently is with the Coronavirus, this can be difficult to predict, so give yourself a lot of leeway for grace. You can take longer, but you’re not late as long as you fulfill your obligation when you say you will.

Providing follow ups is also an excellent way to keep your wholesale client in a healthy dialog that lets them know you are monitoring the process. If you can keep up a dialog with your wholesale client throughout the delivery process, they’ll be more agreeable with you.

How to Protect Your Business: Condense the Supply Chain

This might take some restructuring in your business supply chain, but when you are threatened by an event like a virus outbreak, it makes sense to try to shorten your supply chain and make it as simple as possible, so that there are less links in the chain that can break. In the modern consumer product environment, Chinese solutions have made things a little too easy.

Multiple components of a product might be created or built and shipped around in various stages of assembly or subassembly in a constantly moving but fragile ecosystem. Instead, try to get as many subassemblies and operations under one roof as possible, so that your product doesn’t end up half built between supply chain steps somewhere on a factory floor, or stuck boxed up in a warehouse.

How to Protect Your Business: Look for New Developing Partners

When President Trump started the Trade War with China, he forced a lot of potential business out of the country to other developing nations with better trade relationships that didn’t suffer from devastating tariffs. Many of these new potential partners are growing fast in South East Asia and are eager to pick up the slack. Their production capacity may be limited compared to the giant monster that China is, but they have an advantage that China does not, they are not under the thumb of a strict and secret regime that controls important information.

Fortunately, the Trump tariffs were already forcing business out of China and into SouthEast Asia when the viral outbreak struck, so this provided a small lead time on the virus for the businesses that went to SouthEast Asia. They originally left to avoid China tariffs, but now they are conveniently also dodging the virus.

It started as a move to avoid damaging taxes that would hurt the bottom line for the consumer. And ended up being convenient timing for diversifying a supply chain that was vulnerable to a sensitive political and health climate.

How a Toy Car became Immune to the Coronavirus

A major player in supply chain diversity is El Segundo, California based Mattel. This company is one of the world leaders in the toy industry. Since 1968, Mattel has made the Hot Wheels brand of toy cars. They sell millions of tiny scale metal vehicle models in retail stores around the world every year. Mattel has also managed to keep costs stable and the cars have not shifted in price for 50 years.

Over 50+ years, Hot Wheels have constantly had to evolve. They’ve changed their supply chain, the way they construct their products, the materials they’re made of, and the way they are painted. Original Hot Wheels were made completely out of metal and had a lead-based paint. Modern Hot Wheels no longer have lead paint. Overall, they contain cheaper plastic components that used to be metal.

In recent years, Mattel re-introduced the all metal cars as a higher price point item for the adult collector market. Throughout it all, they’ve managed to maintain the same retail price of the mainline car despite new supply chain and material changes.

These toy cars were originally made in the US and Hong Kong. In more recent years, supply chain and production of the toy cars has diversified across South East Asia. This production now includes Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. All of these countries have avoided the worst of China’s political turmoil and health issues.

SeeBiz can Help You Meet Your Next Supplier

SeeBiz.com is a networking platform for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. Your business will be more visible on the SeeBiz platform. You can make your business more visible to other businesses in your sector too. Connect with new partners in different locations that can insulate against future problems with your current supply chain. It’s like an online trade show that’s available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

Communicate with Clients

SeeBiz.com has an easy to use interface that is similar to social media platforms you already know how to use. But it’s only for businesses. By using instant messaging and built-in communication tools, as well as, putting your other business contact info on the platform, you can make sure you’re always a click away from your clients. Never lose a client or a wholesale order again. Always be able to give them the best service, and they’ll never worry about you as a business partner.

SeeBiz Increases Product Visibility and Customer Traffic

www.SeeBiz.com uploads your existing product catalog onto the platform, and brings in more traffic to your business. The more your product catalog is online, the more it is visible to clients when they search for products. Having a SeeBiz account will boost your google rankings. In addition, when clients search for products in your industry, your SeeBiz link will bump you further up in the search result list.

SeeBiz is Powered by Advertisers

Any manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer business can join www.SeeBiz.com for free, and have no obligations forever. Advertisers power SeeBiz. These advertisers buy banner ads and ad posts, in the same way that other social media platforms work. You’ll never be obligated to buy anything from SeeBiz, because the advertisers are financing the service with their ad spend.

Join SeeBiz and Find Your New Supply Chain Partner Today


You can log onto www.SeeBiz.com right now and begin searching for your new clients in locations around the world.

Don’t wait for the next political or health disaster to disrupt your business. Diversify your supply chain and insulate your business against an uncertain future. With SeeBiz, your new business partner won’t be difficult to find. And you’ll be feeling safer about your supply chain in no time.

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