Safely Reopening Warehouse Operations in New York Amid COVID-19

Industries around the country are finding ways to resume business while fears regarding COVID-19 are still very fresh. The wholesale device market is no exception. We recently announced that WeSellCellular’s warehouse in Edgewood, New York, has reopened with COVID-19 precautions in place.

As of early July, New York is experiencing the lowest COVID deaths and hospitalizations since the pandemic began. This is certainly not cause for easing the safety practices that are in place for WeSellCellular and countless other firms that have resumed business in the region. It’s important to discuss how businesses that deal with order fulfillment can make work environments as safe as possible while creating minimal disruptions for customers. WeSellCellular is primed to share valuable information in this arena because it’s precisely what we’ve been doing since resuming operations on April 27.

A Look at the Basics of Safely Reopening Resale Fulfillment Centers During COVID-19

WellSellCellular was uniquely motivated to resume operations at our Edgewood facility because the work that is done there cannot be handled remotely or outsourced in any capacity. This is where our team receives and stores inventory and where we conduct our accurate inventory grading. WellSellCellular was very intentional about closely listening to and following all guidelines and suggestions provided by state and local authorities from the start. Worker safety has been a priority since the first moment the decision was made to reopen the doors for a select number of WeSellCellular team members who handle warehouse functions.

Rethinking Warehouse Space for Greater Safety

One of the first orders of business that needed to be handled before WeSellCellular’s facility in Edgewood could be reopened was to audit the warehouse’s layout. This was done to ensure that CDC guidelines regarding safe social distancing could be followed. The CDC recommends keeping a space of at least six feet from another person when in public. This is roughly the distance of two arm lengths.

In order to comply with the above guidelines, we completely reconfigured the layout of our warehouse. WeSellCellular also saw a great opportunity to restructure employee shifts to limit the number of workers present in the building at any given time. We adapted a dual-shift workflow that allows our employees to work opposing work hours. This strategy has been pivotal in keeping up with demand without creating unnecessary risks stemming from crowding inside our facility.

The dual-shift strategy was effective at further lowering in-house population at our warehouse after all office staff members were instructed to work from home for the time being. Keeping our offices empty for now has also made it possible for all conference rooms to be converted to break rooms that allow for increased social distancing for warehouse workers during their shifts. This simple tweak has proved to be an extraordinary asset for allowing workers to enjoy their well-deserved breaks without the need to leave the premises.

In addition to social distancing, the strictest of protocols are being followed by WeSellCellular employees working inside the warehouse. Leadership has communicated and enforced a requirement for masks for all who are present inside the WeSellCellular warehouse. Leadership continues to ensure that hand sanitizer is available to every employee. In addition, employees may request gloves.

WeSellCellular is also focusing on keeping our entire facility as clean and sanitized as possible. We’re doing this by having the facility cleaned on a continual basis. Cleaning logs are being impeccably maintained for full peace of mind and accountability.

Some Thoughts on Where COVID-19 Leaves the Used Mobile Device Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a unique impact on the used mobile device market. There are a few things that can be said with certainty at this point:

  • Inventory remains substantially constrained. WeSellCellular has found this to be a major concern of most of our customers, given that our customers’ businesses depend on consistent supply. Fortunately, WeSellCellular maintains very extensive and strong relationships with the largest suppliers in the industry. As a result, we’ve been able to restock devices consistently since our reopening.
  • Devices are selling out at nearly unprecedented rates once they make their way into our inventory. Our team has been working overtime to ensure that we are able to increase supply to accommodate the increasing needs of our global customer base. We are utilizing all of our available sourcing channels, strong relationships, and processing capability to test, grade, and ship rapidly.

Using Technology to Get Around Limitations

One of the ways that WeSellCellular has tried to innovate during this crisis is through the release of a newly launched PreOrders system. This platform gives an exclusive subset of approved buyers the ability to reserve inventory before it physically arrives in stock. 

WeSellCellular welcomes any additional feedback from its customers as we strive to make our platform the destination for all used smartphone distributors. We remain committed to finding new and innovative ways to serve our customers so that we can all see our way to the end of the crisis.