By Jeremy Greenberg, CEO SellerCloud
The world of online selling has seen exponential growth in the last ten years, and by all accounts it shows no signs of slowing down. Advances in storage and shipping technology makes it possible for e-commerce merchants to sell more products to customers than ever before.
That’s the good news.
The bad news – actually, it’s not bad news, but more of an ongoing challenge – is that the ability to sell so many products creates a host of inventory management problems. Even the relatively simple task of hiring warehouse staff has become much more complex. In the past, it was relatively easy for a merchant to hire and train a new warehouse worker. Now, in working with our clients, SellerCloud has found that it takes an average of 120 hours to fully train a new member of the warehouse staff. Multiply that by five, ten or even more people on staff and you have a recipe for disaster. Turnover is also an ongoing factor in this equation. Meanwhile, the number of warehouses used by e-commerce merchants is only expected to grow in the years to come, putting even more pressure on sellers to find effective solutions to their warehouse management needs.
The difficulty in keeping up with their inventory management is one of the chief concerns we hear from SellerCloud’s customers. Yet, we have been unable to find an off-the shelf product that would solve this problem.
Based on hundreds, and perhaps thousands of hours of research, feedback and field-testing, SellerCloud has developed a downloadable app called Skustack, which is truly a game changer when it comes to inventory management. Using a simple hand-held device, Skustack allows e-merchants to maintain precise inventory tracking at every stage of a product’s movement. Warehouse staff can log in all inventory changes quickly and efficiently. The changes are then synchronized in real time with SellerCloud’s inventory management software in the back office.
Is Skustack for you? An easy test is to see if you can keep track of your inventory in your head. Once your inventory grows beyond that point, SellerCloud highly recommends that you consider this software for your business.
To give you a sense of just how disruptive this technology is, think about how difficult it currently is for sellers to get real data regarding their inventory. Until Skustack, if a seller wanted to get a handle on his inventory, he would literally have to shut down for a day and call in the entire staff – from the CEO to the secretary – for an inventory check.
Before Skustack, WMS software could only tell sellers how much inventory was in a warehouse. There was no ability to track inventory down to the bin level, including multiple locations. With Skustack, sellers can be kept constantly up to date regarding inventory and product movement. This is something that has never been available before.
In addition, Skustack offer a number of other benefits for online sellers, including the ability to:
- Create a list of products in any specific bin
- Track by serial number
- Track a list of bins holding a specific product.
- Compile a PickList for open orders needing to be picked and shipped
- Provide PutAway Lists
- Receive Purchase Orders
- Peform Warehouse to Warehouse and Sku to Sku transfers
- Flag problems itmes on the the PickList, PO, etc.
- See a list of all open flags and manage them accordingly
Beyond its mirco-tracking abilities, Skustack operates as an Android app, which is easily downloadable. This makes it perfect for millenial workers, who already possess deep knowledge of smartphone applications and how to use them. This means that virtually anyone on staff can become an inventory manager, simply by carrying this device. It also greatly reduces the time required to get a new hire up to speed. Until now, many online sellers were somewhat trapped by the “indispensible guy syndrome.” This is a common problem online sellers face when accurate knowledge about inventory is limited to one, or just a few, people. As long as the indispensable guy is there, the business can run smoothly. However, if that person calls in sick or quits, the whole inventory system could grind to a halt until someone new can be trained. Skustack eliminates this concern by making it easy to have a team of knowledgeable staff at your fingertips.
A third unique feature Skustack offers is the ability to match available inventory with physical inventory. For example, a seller may have ten units on the shelf, but only five might be available for sale. Some may be ready to ship, while others may have been set aside for FBA. With Skustack, as the product is picked up and shipped, the system automatically makes adjustments to the physical inventory, so you know exactly how much inventory is available for sale.
Finally, Skustack is designed to fit FBA requirments. The benefit of this is that our sellers often tell us that FBA has a very low tolerance for mistakes. As such, for anyone doing significant volume on Amazon, Skustack is a vital part of you business.