The new “hands-free” business

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I just had an interesting thought that during these trying times, sometimes we need to look at something old to find solutions. If you remember the Consumers Distributing model, I think it’s the simple answer to keeping your business running right now.

The problem right now is that you need to manage the following problems:

  1. keep your staff safe
  2. keep your supply chain safe
  3. keep your customers safe

The best way to do this is to separate your staff and supply chain from your customers. The best model to do this is to follow the old Consumers Distributing model.

Old school with new tech

Now, we have the additional benefit that they didn’t have in that we can use technology to allow people to access the catalog of products and services from their phone or computer. All grocery stores and pharmacies or anyone providing needed goods should be moving to this model right now and as quickly as possible.

The minimum viable solution in 1 day

The method for doing this quickly is to get a minimum viable solution in place right away. Here are a few simple steps to get there quickly…

  1. If you don’t already have a site for your products then get one (there are a tonne of free options right now) and get your products and prices up
    • scale back your products to essentials or even bundles of essentials like all the ingredients to make a full meal along with a recipe for a fixed price
  2. Create some way for people to place an order…
    • you could use phone, email or a quick google form
    • stay away from paper orders as that would be considered a contact point
  3. Create a way for people to pay…
    • there are a tonne of options here from PayPal to any online e-commerce system to apple pay or e-transfers
    • you could also use a mobile payment unit but that will require your staff to have contact with the customer. Ensure your staff cleans the device before and after use and limits the physical contact with the customer during the transaction
    • we suggest you avoid cash at this time
  4. Create a process for people to pick up their orders.
    • we suggest people drive up and your staff take it out to their vehicle and leave it beside their vehicle. Once the staff has left the packages the customer can get out of their vehicle and load the packages.
    • there are of course other options for delivery like partnering with uber or local community groups. This may be required in cases of quarantine where people can’t leave their homes.

Right now, speed is of the essence. This model above will allow you to be up and running in a “hands-free” mode easily in 1 day.

We should all know that limiting physical contact is the way to slow the infection rate. We should also know that this isn’t going to end soon. We are going to have to operate in this manner for months or even up to a year so if you aren’t planning on shifting your operations you are likely going to have a significant economic impact as new startups start providing your services with this low contact model.

Need help?

If you need help transforming your business to “hands-free” get hold of us at exoexecute.com/covid-19-response. We specialize in helping organizations adapt quickly to a shifting world.

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