From Spreadsheets to Automation
by Becky Trowbridge, on December 12, 2017
Married couple Mike and Lisa (along with Mike's parents) started their Amazon business in 2010. Since then, their company has grown to a multi-department operation with a warehouse, stocking about 1,000 active SKUs through the Amazon FBA program.
Liz Fickenscher and I were recently able to talk to Mike and Lisa about their experience with RestockPro. It was a lively conversation, and we loved the great energy these two brought to the interview! Let’s look at how (and why) they use RestockPro for their business.
When the business first began, Mike was doing most of the inventory management with spreadsheets, but it quickly became frustrating. As Lisa said, “He would order and have it all in his head, and it would arrive and I would yell at him (because we’re married), ‘What are we supposed to do with this?’”
As the company grew, managing inventory through a single spreadsheet document became difficult, so they switched to Google Sheets to allow everyone access to the same file for version control. Eventually, the operation was just too big to efficiently keep track of inventory and orders with these documents, and that’s when Mike found RestockPro.
Multiple Departments, Many Uses
Mike and Lisa manufacture some of their products, but they also resell items manufactured elsewhere. All the products they sell go through an extensive quality control process to ensure that they meet the company’s strict standards. Items are then shipped into the Amazon fulfillment centers to be stocked as FBA inventory. “It is really hard to keep track of everything, but RestockPro has helped us to do that,” Lisa said.
The cross dock shipping model means that the shipping and receiving department at Mike and Lisa’s company is always busy. With so many shipments coming in and out of the warehouse, it’s important to have a straightforward way to keep track of where everything is. That’s where RestockPro comes in. Several employees use the tool to manage shipments, create purchase orders and track local inventory. They also use RestockPro to create work orders that detail what needs to be produced for the day, helping everyone stay on target.
Favorite Features: Restock Suggestions and Kitting
Mike is the data guru, so Restock Suggestions is his favorite feature. “You can see your price, the Buy Box, the seven day number, the margins, our ranking and then quantity on hand. There’s so much information that I can just glance at and get it all, and that’s what I love about it,” he said. The filtering options make it easy to customize his view so he can see the details he’s most interested in at any given time. Having a lot of information about SKUs in one place makes restocking much less time-consuming.
In addition to using RestockPro to create purchase orders, track inventory and make restocking decisions, the company utilizes the kitting feature to help order the right parts to build their kit items and keep track of what needs to be built for shipping. Kitted products typically have much higher margins, but not having a strategy to manage them can eat into that profit with added time and coordination. Luckily, RestockPro makes it easy to manage kits. Although friends advised them that it would be easier to simply sell their products without kitting, Lisa felt that it was an important opportunity to “be different and offer some more value to the customer.”
Manage FBA Inventory
If you’re ready to ditch the spreadsheets, it’s time to give RestockPro a try. You can claim your 21-day free trial here!
This post spotlights a satisfied user of RestockPro. This article is a part of our series highlighting merchant success stories. As a thank-you for participating in this article, the customer received one free month of RestockPro. If you’re currently using RestockPro and are interested in participating in this program, click here to request information.