Our Vision for IERCC’s eCommerce and Blockchain Division
By Hema Dey
For businesses across the U.S. and around the world, 2020 and 2021 have been defined by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S. right now, the massive supply chain backlogs at major ports are highlighting the dangers of relying so heavily on overseas manufacturing, while at the same time a major explosion in eCommerce is putting even more strain on the traditional channels of transportation infrastructure.
It would be easy to see all of this as an unqualified negative, something to be overcome so that we can return to a pre-pandemic way of doing business. We should see it as a wakeup call, though, and an opportunity. In particular, the Inland Empire has all the elements needed to take advantage of the new shifts in how people are doing business and to bypass the shortcomings inherent in the overreliance on overseas sources.
As the head of the Inland Empire Regional Chamber of Commerce’s new eCommerce & Blockchain Division, my mission is to help mid- to large-sized enterprises in the region take advantage of the opportunities offered in this new economic climate and to employ the natural strengths of the Inland Empire to do so. Businesses here are ideally situated to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., and we have the freight and logistics capacity to distribute what we produce promptly. We don’t just have to set our sights domestically either—with Ontario International Airport and the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles nearby, we can ship our goods internationally as well.
The surge in eCommerce during the pandemic has permanently changed the face of business. There are methods to position both B2B and B2C enterprises for growth to take advantage of this. At the same time, businesses need to make sure that their digital channels are optimized to give them the online visibility they need domestically and internationally. In a world that has flipped to eEverything so rapidly, businesses unaccustomed to doing significant amounts of business online need to transition quickly.
To these ends, I’m committed to finding the best professionals to advise and educate IE businesses and to provide a platform for technological advancement to foster domestic and international commerce. My executive committee is comprised of experts who can advance those goals. Sari Megan Kern, a fractional Chief Data Officer and the founder of Alpha Data Strategies, says, “The division is focused on financially driven models, such as product and pricing analysis, that feed into any eCommerce model.” Throughout the pandemic, her work has been specifically focused on cost comparisons that allow manufacturers to find out-of-the-box solutions to the crises associated with offshore production of goods.
Joe Van Tassel, headhunter for technical roles, brings his expertise to the question of talent acquisition and restructuring. He sees opportunity in the talent relocating to the Inland Empire due to the rising cost of living in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Many of those new residents continue to commute to jobs in other regions, in large part because they’re unaware of local alternatives. “The appetite for people to stay close to home for work is higher than ever because of the pandemic,” he says. “It’s an excellent time to drive more employment to the IE because of the shift in thinking in society with work/life balance, and the opportunity that the IE can seize from a business growth standpoint in logistics and manufacturing.”
Joining them to round out my advisory team are Monisha Coelho, Blockchain and Corporate Attorney, and Craig Petronella, Cybersecurity and Blockchain Guru. Their knowledge of the legal and security challenges businesses face in expanding their eCommerce presence can help Inland Empire businesses avoid pitfalls as they grow.
The possibility ahead is one that I see as a Great Pivot—back to made-in-the-U.S.A. manufacturing and to greater opportunities for the companies in the Inland Empire. I want to empower, educate, and motivate businesses to position themselves for success in the evolving world of eCommerce. Now is the time to identify the ways in which your business can thrive by being part of the solution to the problems of the old industry models, and our division is here to help you do that. I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years to meet the challenges of today and the future.
Hema Dey, CEO, Iffel International – SEO2Sales