Alpha mail the place to find business Fulfilment
By Rob Freeman | 1st June 2020
It has been a period of highs and lows for Gloucestershire firm Alpha Response as it adapts to the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis.
Based at Permali Business Park on Bristol Road, Gloucester, Alpha has a core operation of providing print, mail and direct marketing services around the South West.
The Fulfilment Warehouse , a subsidiary in Bourton-on-the-Water acquired in June 2016, provides complementary services of fulfilment and contract packing.
And as clients have changed their business models with new means of selling and communicating with customers, clients, staff and stakeholders, Alpha Response and The Fulfilment Warehouse have seen trade changing accordingly.
Business at The Fulfilment Warehouse, which picks and packs internet orders for clients ranging from confectionery suppliers to cosmetics companies, has thrived from opportunities arising from the growth in internet ordering.
Company director Craig Whiting said some clients have seen growth of more than 250 per cent since the lockdown started.
That has seen The Fulfilment Warehouse picking and packing more than 30,000 items over the past six weeks - an increase of 150 per cent on normal business activity.
He said: "Keeping up with orders has been a challenge for sure, especially while maintaining safe social distancing, supplying hand gels to staff and all the other necessary measures to ensure we play our part in keeping the virus in check.
"With more people deciding to do their shopping online it has been a great opportunity for our clients to do their online businesses with us - and it's been a good growth area for our business."
Demand for print and mailing has slowed as some businesses reduce their marketing spend due to concerns over the economy and business operations.
But quarterly turnover for Alpha Response's print and mail operations was expected to be only 20 per cent down compared to last year.
Fellow director John Orchard said: "We've found our clients fall into two categories.
"Some are finding the need to communicate more with their customers at home and we have helped them with an integrated approach combining email and postal services to provide cost-effective means of continuing dialogue.
"Other clients have cut back on marketing budgets and we look forward to being able to support them through better times as the economy recovers from this shock to the system."
He continued: "At the same time, we have also been asked by local authorities to produce for elderly and vulnerable residents, to inform them of council-run services which are available during this crisis.
"And we've worked with our travel company customers who need to send out details regarding rearranged trips or credits.
"Organisations and businesses have needed to communicate with their respective audiences, even during times like these. We've been happy to help them do so."
Mr Orchard said with the economy looking to recover once lockdown was lifted, he was aiming to support more businesses as they re-establish normal operations.
"We know it's going to be tough times for some sections of the business community, particularly those in events and hospitality," he said.
"I want to let them know that we are here to support them as they face up to the challenges and opportunities presented by this set of circumstances, and to help them get back on their feet once the crisis abates."
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