Growing an online business means investing your time and money in management, order processing, stock, tools, and sales platforms – often with little room for investing in time-saving tools. Because the majority of e-commerce stores often start out in basements and spare rooms before eventually moving to an office or warehouse – many business owners become accustomed to handling as much as possible themselves, taking on every possible task, and only outsourcing work to someone when they can no longer physically keep up. This is sometimes even necessary, because capital is tied up elsewhere (such as in stock and marketing), and because you simply don’t have time to find and interview new people – even remotely.
Combined with quickly scaling e-commerce, and demand that often goes up and down based on the season, and many e-commerce owners are left overwhelmed for at least part of the year, and unable to keep up with orders, inventory, or stock. Simply hiring on enough workers to meet the highest demand is a solution, but software alternatives like Skubana, a full-service ERP and inventory management program, make smarter use of workers and your money by cutting both your costs and your time investment.
What is Skubana?
Skubana is an operations platform designed for high-volume sellers, capable of running and automating order processing, shipping, inventory management, fulfilment by Amazon (FBA, vendor management, and cross-channel analytics. Because everything is handled in one place, you or the workers you hire can easily manage everything to eliminate human error and oversight, while reducing time investment.
This can, in turn, help you to save time and money in multiple ways.
Keeping Up with Seasonal Growth
Most e-commerce stores see seasonal growth of 10-30%, resulting in a dramatic increase and decrease of demand throughout the year. This impacts every area of your business, from inventory management to labor. For example, you must spend the time managing inventory to prevent over or understocking for seasonal changes. It’s also not always practical to hire on additional workers, even temporary ones, because it may cost more than you earn in additional profit. A tool like Skubana enables you to automate order processing and preparation, reducing the time demand on you and the workers, enabling you to keep up with seasonal changes with minimal or no changes. Most additional tasks are automated, so you only have to oversee order processing and physically pick and pack orders.
Automating Repetitive Tasks
As a business owner, you and management likely spend a great deal of time on repetitive tasks such as data entry, paperwork, emailing, and submitting forms. Skubana automates these tasks, freeing up management time so that they or you can add value elsewhere. For example, tasks such as orders are processed automatically, inventory levels are tracked and synchronized across all channels, and other tasks such as creating purchase orders are automated on demand. This, in turn, also reduces the burden on customer support because orders are processed, and therefore shipped, more quickly.
This benefits you in more ways than one. For example, ERP automation enables you to sell on sites like Jet.com and Walmart.com, which require orders to be processed within 15 minutes.
Reducing Human Error
Human-driven data entry is a standard in many businesses but it is time consuming, frustrating, and often full of errors. In cases where data entry must be performed by management (such as payment processing and inventory management) it’s also extremely costly. Automation tools like Skubana remove the need for data entry, which in turn, greatly reduces human error. People forget to check stock levels, accidentally type the wrong digit, and make many other mistakes. Computer-driven data entry is much more accurate, and only requires minimal attention for a manual review of the results.
Hiring online typically means either sourcing highly skilled workers or choosing low-skilled workers and investing time and money to onboard them. A tool like Skubana expedites this by simplifying processes and work involved. For example, Skubana automates processes such as calculating reorder points, creating purchase orders, and even processing orders to create shipping labels – so that most of them are almost as simple as clicking a button and following through. This shifts the need of ensuring that workers understand complex processes to ensuring that they understand the interface.
Decreasing the Load on Management
Managers and senior management are typically the largest cost to small businesses. However, they often use their time to handle tasks including data aggregation (such as checking analytics across sales channels), inventory counts and calculations, and paperwork. Skubana automates these tasks, moving all analytics and data to one place, automating inventory and paperwork, and simplifying the fulfilment and supply chain management. This frees up management time, enabling them (or you) to work on higher-value tasks.
Skubana is a full-service operations platform and it can reduce time investment and human error by automating tasks, labor becomes more scalable, enabling you to more easily keep up with changing sales. And, while it doesn’t replace workers, it does make the ones you have more efficient, saving you time and money, while improving the quality of your results.
Chad Rubin (Ecommerce Renegade) builds e-commerce businesses. Fresh out of college and Wall Street, he took his family vacuum business online and built the direct-to-consumer e-commerce business called Crucial Vacuum. He grew it from 0 a $20 million dollar valuation in just 7 years. He happens to be a top 250 Amazon seller. He co-founded Skubana with DJ Kunovac and built one of e-commerce’s hottest operational softwares.