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How Corona virus Pandemic created a new market for Plexiglass Acrylic Sheets

The proverbial saying, “necessity is the mother of invention” has never been truer. As the Healthcare sector geared up with all its resources to fight the deadly and highly contagious novel corona virus, the engineers and architects also joined the war by providing innovative solutions that help fight and prevent the spread of the disease.

Leading the front is the plastic industry. The acrylic products such as sneeze guards produced by the plastic industry have long been used to prevent contamination at buffets and self-service food counters. However, these products now have experienced a surge in demand as they are being installed and deployed at grocery stores, cafes, banks, and other places to ensure safe person-to-person interactions.

Sneeze guards have emerged as one of the most sought-after safety products. In this article, we are shedding light on how sneeze guards became effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Acrylic Sheets for COVID-19 Safety Products 

Owing to its excellent optical clarity and great impact strength, acrylic sheets are being used to create sneeze guards and other protective barriers shields in the times of COVID-19. Acrylic is a weather-proof flexible material that is non-toxic and easy to disinfect. 

Acrylic Sheets can also be used to make protective face shields and visors for healthcare workers. Made up of clear and non-toxic acrylic sheets that cover the face and a head strap that holds it in place, these acrylic visors are the easiest type of PPE to use.   

COVID-19 is an airborne virus, meaning it can easily spread from the respiratory droplets released by an infected person. A person-to-person encounter with an infected person can be extremely dangerous. This is why sneeze guards are so effective. They act as protective barriers and prevent the spread of respiratory droplets between the people. However, it must be noted that sneeze guards aren’t medical devices. They possess PPE-type qualities that contribute to minimizing transmission, even if customers and employees aren’t wearing masks.

Sneeze Guard Applications

Being an essential business, grocery stores remained open during the lockdowns, and sneeze guards were installed at the checkout counters. However, as we are now slowly moving towards the reopening of the economies, these sneeze guards will experience an unprecedented increase in demand. The government has rolled out SOPs for business to ensure a safe working environment for customers and employees.

Sneeze Guards for Hospitals:

Sneeze guards and intubation boxes have applications throughout the hospital facility. The sneeze guards must be installed at receptions, pharmacies, imaging labs, and waiting areas. 

Sneeze Guards for Restaurants:

Restaurants staff are at a great risk of virus exposure. In order to ensure a safe environment, restaurants must consider installing sneeze guards at ordering counters, receptions, salad bars, and buffets,, and food preparation counters. 

Sneeze Guards for Retail and Supermarkets:

Supermarkets are one of the essential businesses that will continue to operate under all circumstances. Supermarkets and grocery stores experience a lot of foot traffic. As per the recommendations of health agencies, retailers must install sneeze guards at receptions and checkout counters. 

Sneeze Guards for Corporate Offices:

Offices will have to redesign to accommodate work in the post-pandemic era. This will require sneeze guards installations at receptions, in-house coffee bars, and work stations 

Acrylic Sheets by Blink Global

Thanks to our vast sourcing network, we have provided acrylic safety products in bulk quantities to large enterprises. We are offering optical quality plexiglass acrylic sheets, that are easy to fabricate, flexible to mold, and remarkably durable. No matter what industry your business is in, our transparent and versatile plexiglass acrylic sheets can help you create a wide variety of custom acrylic products for your business. For more information please CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ACRYLIC SNEEZE GUARDS

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We have adopted these SOPs for warehouses and workplaces, have you? | BlinkGlobal

Since the announcement of the COVID-19 pandemic, all employers have been required to develop programs that contain feasible means and methods to protect their employees from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. These programs and initiatives must be compliant with CDC Guidance as well as Orders and Guidance issued by the state and respective local regulatory and health authorities.

The standard processes for offices to operate in these new times are almost the same everywhere except for some hard-hit areas where these guidelines get a little more strict. We have closely studied CDC recommendations and below we are highlighting some important protocols for safe return to work. 

  1. Temperature Screening 

Fever is a primary symptom of COVID-19, temperature screening is an easy and effective measure to detect potential infection and minimize the spread of the virus.

CDC recommends that employees should be encouraged to proactively self-check their temperature prior to coming to the office or job site if they have concerns about the potential outcome of the on-site scan. 

Here are some temperature testing guidelines,

  1. If you have medics on-site, engage them in the planning and ask them to conduct the screening. Otherwise, train a few members of your staff to conduct the screening. 
  2. Multiple screening areas are recommended to be utilized and spaced out to follow social distancing guidelines.
  3. It is important that all access screening points should be kept at a warmer temperature as scanners and thermometers (in use) outside in colder conditions and wind will give false readings.
  4. PPE for anyone performing temperature scans must be compliant with PPE Protocols.
  5. Data collected must be kept confidential and restricted to Human Resources only.

After being scanned and allowed to enter, workers must proceed directly to the work area. Workers should be encouraged to also take additional precautions such as eating close to work areas while maintaining distance from others, using restrooms closest to work areas, etc. At the end of the day, they must leave the work site directly. 

  1. Personal Protective Equipment

PPE is a set of gadgets that provide additional protective layers to a person. It is recommended for employees above 45 years old and for those with underlying health conditions. Health care workers, essential workers and everyone that is extremely vulnerable to virus exposure must be provided with PPE. 

Here are Minimum COVID-19 PPE requirements:

  • Surgical mask and face shield with a goggle/spoggle* underneath or surgical mask and a goggle/face shield combo
  • If a face shield or goggle/face shield combo cannot be obtained then a KN95 or similar mask with goggle should be used
  • In addition, nitrile gloves under task-specific gloves are recommended but are optional

Mitigation Measures at Work Sites:

The following actions are mandatory for all projects in order to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading Coronavirus (COVID-19).

  1. Increased Physical Distancing

Limit the size of gatherings and maintain a six-foot distance from each other.

  1. Sick Employees to Stay Home 

Remind everyone to stay home when they first feel sick. Report any confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 diagnosis to local health authorities. 

  1. Enhanced PPE

Everyone must wear PPE including a cloth face covering over their mouth and nose.

  1. Cleaning and Disinfecting

Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched objects and surfaces. 

  1. Health and Hygiene

Encourage employees to eat healthily, sleep well, exercise, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 

  1. Sneeze Guard/PLEXIGLASS Barriers 

Work stations must be separated with sneeze guards and Plexiglass barriers as they prevent the spread of respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. 

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LCL vs FCL – Choosing the right container capacity | BlinkGlobal

Maritime transport is critical to the world’s economy as over 90{7e1984170fd929454d69f1f4a772917cb839fb26f7e1ecd6c8a5e6994cf1a858} of the world’s trade is carried by the international shipping industry. Maritime transport is by far the most cost-effective to mobilize goods and raw materials around the world. So what is LCL and FCL?

As being someone involved in international trading, you might have heard the terms LCL(Less than Container Loads) and FCL (Full Container Load). These are two of the most widely used terminologies of maritime transport. However, these two terminologies are widely misunderstood and we have seen many cases of importers paying huge sums of money just because of their lack of understanding of these two shipping two methods. 

Let’s shed some light on LCL & FCL, its meaning, and the pros and cons of each approach.

FCL: 

FCL or a full container load is a shipment process where you get a full exclusive container for a single shipment. In FCL, your cargo space is not shared by any other cargo

 LCL:

Contrary to FCL, in LCL you do not get an exclusive container, instead, you pay for the share of the space you use. With LCL, you do not require to book for a full 20 or 40-foot capacity container.  

LCL Vs FCL (Pros and Cons)

Point of Difference FCL LCL
Delivery Speed FCL shipment is faster. The shipment will be sealed by the original supplier. The entire shipment will be loaded and transported by a combination of sea, rail or road transport to your final destination.   LCL shipping requires a longer time. The reason is pretty straightforward. Your shipment will wait at the loading port until it finds consolidation partners. This will be again required at the destination port. 
Bill of Lading To be issued by the freight forwarder.  The Bill of lading will be issued by the official shipping line. 
Inventory Size 



Price 
You’ll have to book a full container which generally comes in two sizes 20 Foot Container: 5,896 mm (L) x 2,350 mm (W) x 2,393 mm (H)40 Foot Container: 12,032 mm (L) x 2,350 mm (W) x 2,393 mm (H)The price per unit of FCL is comparatively lower, however, you must be able to pay for the full container  You book for the amount of space your goods will require so you don’t have to worry about booking the entire container. 


LCL is expensive in terms of price per unit. However, since you do not require to book a full container, you can ship limited goods at a fair price.
Damaged Goods
FCL shipping is more secure and the chances of damage to your goods are fairly less as the container only has your goods. 

LCL can get pretty risky as you cannot be sure about the other goods placed in the container which means there is no guarantee of cargo security.  

When to Choose LCL:

If you want to import a limited quantity of goods and don’t have any tighter deadlines, LCL is a wise option as it put a huge cut on the cost. However, if the cargo is sensitive and extremely vulnerable to damage you must get it insured or consult with an expert. 

When to FCL: 

If you want to import in bulk, FCL is the obvious choice as you it saves time, money, and goods are delivered in a more secure fashion. 

Shipping Consultancy by Blink Global

At blink Global, we provide shipping consultancy to all big and small importers. We also provide sourcing services and offer our clients 360° sourcing solutions. Request a quote or call us today!

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Supply Chain Disruptions Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis | How to Persevere?

The threats and challenges that COVID-19 has created for global supply chains are difficult to analyze and interpret at this point. Historically, global supply chains have experienced major disruptions like that of 2011’s earthquake and Fukushima tsunami attack but the way the new coronavirus is taking a toll on supply chains is totally unprecedented.

One of the major challenges is the lack of reliable information and data. Meanwhile the lockdowns, staff shortages, and the overall economic slowdown are forcing businesses to put a massive cut on their operational cost.

Supply Chain Disruptions – Impact on Small Businesses

In our highly globalized age, businesses commonly have long and complex supply chains and disruption at any point of the strip poses a great threat to businesses’ survival.  And when we talk about disruptions, you can take an example of products of everyday use. For instance, most of the garments products in the United States go through a detailed process before reaching you. From raw material to packaging to transportation and distribution, each clothing item takes a long voyage using different transportation means before it reaches you.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not just affected one segment of the thread but the entire value chain is disordered which has caused several businesses to throttle down or temporarily shut their operations worldwide.

How to Plan For the Future

The situation is currently chaotic but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. How long it will take to get to that side of the tunnel is pretty hard to tell at this point as the situation is evolving at an incredible pace.

With no vaccine currently available, “Social Distancing” will continue as the main measure to control the spread of the virus. This indicates that the current situation is likely to prevail for a couple of months to come. Here is what businesses can do to boost the resilience of their supply chains.

  1. Assess and strategize. Prepare for the worst by conducting a thorough risk assessment drill and prepare a backup plan for disruptive events.
  2. Create a transparent structure, establish connections with new suppliers, prioritize critical components, and identify alternative sources.  
  3. Keep yourself informed and use data analytics to analyze the shift in buying patterns. Develop a demand-forecast strategy to stay ahead of the curve by making risk-informed decisions. Plan for both short and long term as the buying patterns are changing continually.
  4. Incorporate intelligence monitoring to estimate inventory requirements along the value chain for a couple of months to come. From spare parts to after-sales stock, monitor every part of the system so that you know your capability to produce and deliver.
  5. Manage your critical supply effectively. Make sure you do not run out of critical supplies as the situation will prevail for months. Making informed decisions is key.

The COVID-19 crisis has affected shopping behaviors and we are experiencing an increase of demands of certain products such as masks, sneeze guards, and PPE whereas demand of products pertaining to automobiles is at an all-time low. To shop our collection of safety products for immediate delivery please click here.

How Blink Global Can Help You 

At BlinkGlobal we are quick in responding to changes in the marketplace and global environment. We are prepared to not only handle fluctuations, but also embrace the volatility and turn it into a competitive workforce. Let us control your inventory levels so you can focus on the merit more instead of worrying about the inventory, which will offer more opportunity to decrease costs and increase profits.

BlinkGlobal practices an agile supply chain management system of product distribution concerned with doing things quickly, saving costs, being responsive to market demand so that we can maintain flexibility while keeping our productivity high.

Read More: Supply Chain Management

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COVID-19, E-Commerce and Global Sourcing | BlinkGlobal

WHO has requested people to practice social distancing as a measure to control the spread of the virus. The new lifestyle has certainly affected our buying behaviors and preferences. The COVID 19 related Products Influenced Quarter 1 of 2020’s sourcing activity and Quarter 2 of 2020 will likely follow the same pattern. However, it’s hard to predict the future as the situation continues to evolve every passing day.

Health experts suggest that people practice social distancing for at least a couple of months to come. As stay-at-home is becoming the temporary normal, the demand for food products with longer shelf lives will definitely increase, whereas the sales of products that offer protection against the virus will experience an exponential boost. Ensuring customer protection and employee protection is now more important for businesses than paying taxes. So Health & Wellness products will remain a priority for individuals and businesses alike.

The Impact of COVID 19 on eCommerce:

Online retailers are expected to come out as the winners. However, with more than half of the world currently under lockdown and curfew, eCommerce businesses are facing struggles of their own. The disruptions in logistics and supply chains and lack of warehouse services to handle logistics collection have emerged out as the biggest challenges for eCommerce business. 

It’s certainly not a total win for eCommerce as experts believe that certain eCommerce domains particularly fashion and electronics will experience a significant decrease in sales. The reason is pretty obvious, consumers have currently delayed the buying of non-essential goods. If the situation prevails, we might see several retailers closing their doors permanently. Social avenues such as bars, pubs and restaurants are extremely vulnerable as they will remain shut for an unforeseeable time.

So there is no debate in saying that health and wellness products are the clear winners here. Hand Sanitizer is the most sought-after product as WHO has recommended people to keep sanitizers with them all the time. Disinfectants and other surface cleaning products are topping the list of most popular products.

The Impact of COVID 19 on B2B Buyer Behavior

The United States government has encouraged corporations and businesses to prioritize the safety of their employees and consumers. Owing to the new requirements we will also experience a change in B2B buying behaviors. Currently every major purchase is COVID centric. With end-user prioritizing health and wellness products B2B offshore sourcing companies will definitely receive more orders for face masks, sneeze guards, and barrier shields.

The new SOPs provided by health agencies require all organizations that employ essential workers to provide PPE to their staff. An increase in the procurement of sneeze guards/barrier shields and disinfectant tunnels has led to a shortage of these products.

 The shift in buying patterns may be considered as short-term trends but some experts believe that the changes are here to stay even after the crisis is over. As the pandemic continues to haunt the global economy, we expect sourcing for food and health category to continue its upward trajectory.

Protective Gear and Plexiglass Acrylic Sneeze Guards by Blink Brands

During these unprecedented times, we have decided to play our role by supplying Protective Gear, barrier shields, and Plexiglass Acrylic Sneeze Guards at the most reasonable prices. We are manufacturing quality protective gear within the USA  that meets all the standards set by health agencies.

 To view of collection of safety products please click here.

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Vendor Risk Management | Why is Vendor Vetting so important?

Profit is the ultimate objective of every business, undoubtedly. However, the profits depend on several factors including market competition, poor leadership, high expenditure, internal fraud, and weak links in the supply chains – particularly suppliers.

The reason why the sourcing industry emphasizes so much on vendor/supplier risk management and vetting processes is because many businesses have suffered huge losses in the past years due to lack of diligence.

Unreliability

A vendor that fails to deliver quality products on time is a rather known threat because their failure directly hurts your sales and clientele. It is important to ensure that your vendor is in a position to deliver your order to the expected quality standard on time. While this assurance can best come from past experience, there are other means through which one can determine a vendor’s reliability, including background checks, audits and referrals.

Financial Instability

Financially secure vendors are more likely to deliver effectively and on time, whereas vendors facing financial difficulties may have to overcome a set of challenges to meet your needs and you never want a supplier to compromise when fulfilling your order. A review of the vendor’s financial status and spending patterns can highlight negative financial factors about your vendor that can turn out hazardous if unnoticed.

Vendor-Employee Relationships

Fraudulent activities between vendors and their employees are common and they can create multiple challenges for your business. Vetting both the vendors and their employees is highly recommended.

Things to look out for include:

  • Pass-through schemes, an employee or contractor sets up a business, which supplies goods or services to clients.
  • Tender fraud, the manipulation of the bidding/tendering process between employees of the issuer of the bid and the bidding company lead to bribes and kickbacks.
  • Conflict of Interest occurs when an individual or organisation is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other.
  • Shell company schemes enable an entity that has no active business and usually exists only in name as a vehicle for another company’s business operations.

The best way to protect your business from unreliable and doubtful suppliers is to take precautionary measures and follow a strict vetting process, rather than having to carry out damage control. A solution that is extremely useful in the procurement process is hiring a sourcing company, that assists you with supplier vetting and supplier risk management, and facilitates the verification of suppliers to help identify possible conflicts of interest, pass-through schemes and shell companies. This is why at BlinkGlobal we offer our clients a complete sourcing solution for their business.

BlinkGlobal is your next Global Sourcing partner, no matter what you want to import and no matter where you want to import it from, we will do it for you. We offer complete sourcing solutions that guarantee uninterrupted global sourcing!

Request a Quote or Call now: 1-800-910-7024

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How to Secure Your Supply Chain during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The outbreak of the viral disease COVID-19 has operations disrupted worldwide. The virus has also impacted the global economy and has created an incredibly difficult business climate. With international borders being closed, the global supply chain system is about to topple. In order to survive, businesses have no other option but to reinvent and improvise their supply chain models.

If we analyze things in retrospect, it seems that the dependency on a single country to fulfill the needs for raw materials or finalized products is the biggest mistake businesses have been making. For instance, many of the world’s biggest companies, including some of the Fortune Global 500 firms, rely heavily on China. When the Chinese government enforced the lockdown in Wuhan (China’s industrialized province where the outbreak originated), businesses across the world experienced major disruptions, causing some of the organizations to temporarily halt their operations.  

An Opportunity to Plan

As the quote goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The virus has certainly exposed vulnerabilities of all those organizations who rely on just one country to fulfil their supply. As we hope that the conditions will approach normalcy soon, here are some measures companies can take to protect their supply chain systems.

*As the situation evolves every passing day, some of the perspectives in this article may fall out of date.

For companies that operate or have business relationships in the hardest hit countries, steps may include:

  • Prepare for additional costs or a price adjustment as a result of delays
  • Focus on cash flow, restrict non-essential travel and prepare for increased absenteeism
  • Maintain employee productivity by offering special incentives and flexible working arrangements
  • Prepare succession plans for key executive positions and educate your workforce on COVID-19 symptoms and prevention
  • Enforce all preemptive measures in your offices and processing plants as prescribed by WHO and other health agencies
  • Create an alternative supply continuity plan during lockdownsUse after-sales stock as a bridge to ensuring resilience in the supply chain network

Preparing for Supply Chains Disruption

Natural disruptions like Tsunami or COVID-19 can happen at any time. It is important for businesses to be prepared for such unforeseeable scenarios. Decreased productivity, lack of access to staff and a considerable change in shopping practices and spending are the major challenges faced by businesses. It’s hard to figure out the full impact of coronavirus on supply chains as the situation is changing at an incredible pace.

However, supply chain leaders must come up with a long term plan to prepare for the worst.Here are some important steps supply chain managers must take:

  • Ensure easy access to inventory – keep it outside of hard-hit areas
  • Analyze the financial and legal implications of products not being delivered to customers
  • Build buffer stock and focus on identifying new suppliers in other countries.
  • Now is the time to discover or develop alternative sources and diversify value chains.

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Supply Chain management | Vital Steps of Overseas Sourcing

Supply Chain is often said to be the heart of business operations. Thanks to globalization and speedy internet connections, sourcing products from overseas is now easy, fast and efficient. This revolution has created new opportunities for businesses as they now have access to products and resources at significantly lower prices. Web resources have helped businesses to diversify value chains and identify new sourcing opportunities as they can approach vendors that were once out of reach.

However, with new opportunities comes new risks. Typically, these include legal compliance, payment methods and language differences.

For someone who is new to the process, sourcing products overseas may seem like a daunting task. However, with a little research and planning you can certainly overcome these challenges. In this article, we are outlining some tips and traps of overseas sourcing that you must know about.

  • Determine Your Product Needs

A well-defined product is the key to customer satisfaction and probability. The most frustrating thing for a vendor is receiving unspecified or constantly-changing specifications. Therefore, the first and foremost thing is to be clear about your needs and expectations.

Requesting a change in the middle of the manufacturing process can be costly and time-consuming. This can result in trust issues and in the worst case, you might have to find a different vendor. So it’s important that you research and be specific about your requirements before you get a vendor onboard.

  • Consider Comparative Advantage  

Not all countries are good at producing every type of product. Certain countries have an advantage by disposition that not only keeps the costs to a minimum, but the product quality is also parallel to none. For instance, America is really good at making products such as automobiles and medicines whereas the cost of producing clothing products is extremely higher and cannot meet the cost-effectiveness and standards of products produced by countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Therefore, it is important that you do research and find countries that specialize in the products that you are trying to source.

  • Find the Right Supplier

Once you have identified the best manufacturing country of your product, the next step is to find the right supplier. A simple Google query will bring you a long list of overseas suppliers. It’s also important to research about the vendors on your list. Check for ratings and reviews, detailed information, as well as the problems related to this supplier. Suppliers also have certain rules and requirements like minimum quantity and advance payment. Be an informed consumer and ask important questions like shipping time frame and shipping charges as well as legal requirements such as taxes and duties.

  • Request Product Samples

One wise thing to do before purchasing anything from an overseas supplier is to get a product sample. Most of the vendors will agree to this and will let you inspect the quality of the product. This will also help you analyze if the product can meet your customers’ expectations.

  • Finalize Your Agreement

Once you have found a reliable sourcing partner and are satisfied with product samples, it’s important to finalize everything in writing. Language can be a potential barrier, so make sure you also have a translated copy of the agreement. Include all the key points in the contract such as pricing, payment terms, shipping terms, and delivery.