How Oz Naturals Built Scalable, Efficient, and Resilient Operations with Automation – Register

How Oz Naturals Built Scalable, Efficient, and Resilient Operations with Automation – Register2020-09-17T18:13:02+00:00
ON DEMAND WEBINAR

How Oz Naturals Built Scalable, Efficient, and Resilient Operations with Automation

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Mike Small Mike Small Chief Financial Officer
OZ NATURALS
Ebru Saglam Ebru Saglam Sr. Product Marketing Manager
CELIGO

With today’s changing landscape in supply chain and commerce, businesses realized one more time, the need to plan ahead and put the right processes and systems in place for streamlined operations.

In this on-demand webinar, Mike Small from Oz Naturals, a manufacturer of natural skin care products with B2B and DTC sales channels, managing multiple warehouse and fulfillment operations, will share his experience on how they built resilient, scalable, and efficient operations from the ground up.

Watch to learn how this allowed them to quickly respond to sudden changes in demand, supply, and third party ecommerce marketplace policies while being able to support growth with at-hand resources and eliminate redundant tasks.

Topics include:

  • Challenges of running supply chain operations
  • How to plan for scalability, efficiency and resiliency
  • How automation helped Oz Naturals to tackle obstacles and grow

Watch now!

Full Webinar Transcript
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, everyone. Welcome to the first supply chain and e-commerce virtual summit brought to you by Celigo, RF-SMART, Pacejet, and Avalara. Our goal today was to bring subject matter experts in everything related to supply chain logistics, e-commerce, and provide their experiences and sharing their best practices in what makes their companies operate efficiently, effectively, resiliency, and scalily. We are very excited to have so many peoples signed up and join us today. Before we start, a couple of housekeeping items. First off, all these sessions are being recorded, so we will be following up with a recording of what has taken place in these next two days after this event. Also, we are taking questions throughout. So if you do have questions, please use the go-to webinar control panel. There’s two areas. You can either use questions or chats, and then we will take note of those questions and then come back to them at the Q&A portion after the presentation. So we do encourage questions and interactivity at that point. Between each session, there will be a 5 to 15-minute break to reset so that we can make sure that everyone has a chance to take a break, and there’s the setup between the different speakers. And we do have special giveaways as a token of appreciation for each of the sessions as well as some larger giveaways ranging from a Roomba, drone, and espresso machine for attendees of this conference. Before we start, I want to just quickly go over the schedule calendar for these next two days. So we do have one last-second change. The first presentation this morning originally was going to be by Intelligentsia Coffee on multichannel e-commerce. And there has been a medical emergency with the speaker, so we will have to switch. And we did switch to an excellent presentation that was happening tomorrow titled How OZ Naturals Built Scalable, Efficient, Resilient operations with Automation. And it’s featuring Mike Small, the CFO who is an absolute subject matter expert for the last 30 years. So I think we’re kicking this off with a bang. At 10:00 AM Pacific, we are moving to Putting your WMS to Good Use: How Goodwill Tackled Business Expansion into New Products Portfolio with Goodwill of Southern California and RF-SMART. At 11 o’clock Pacific, we’re going to go into a presentation with Chicago Music Exchange and Pacejet for Rocking ROI out of your Shipping. At 12:00 PM Pacific, it’s a presentation with Lionel Racing and Avalara on From 1 to 50: Scaling your Business to Handle New Sales Tax Requirements. And then to finish off the day at 12:45 PM Pacific, we have a presentation by NetSuite talking about The State of Retail and Distribution Today, talking about the latest trends that they are seeing in terms of supply chain logistics, e-commerce, and beyond. And then tomorrow, first session in the morning is going to be Optimizing 3PL Management for Multi-Channel Operations with Integration featuring Chris Bidleman, the subject matter expert in this area for several decades. At 10:00 AM, it’s going to be RF-SMART presentation on Thanks 2020! Strategies for Managing your Changing Manufacturing Operations. At 11:00 AM Pacific, William Roam and Pacejet will present on How William Roam Saves Two Hours a Day with Fully Connected Shipping. And then to close out, we will have a presentation by Avalara on The Five Steps of Managing Sales Tax for Manufacturers. So with that encourage questions again and we’ll start with the presentation by OZNaturals on how OZNaturals are scalable, efficient, and resilient operations with automation. And I’d like to introduce [Ebra Sadlum?], the product marketing manager for Celigo who’s going to kick this off. Thank you, Rico. So hello everyone and thank you for joining this first session of the supply chain and e-commerce summit. So for those of you who are not familiar with Celigo, we are an iPaaS, integration Platform-as-a-Service company and on our platform, businesses can connect applications with each other to automate and streamline key business processes. And for NetSuite users on Celigo’s integration platform, anything from e-commerce marketplaces, storefronts, 3PLs, point of sale systems, payment gateways such as PayPal, Scribe, or marketing automation platforms can be connected with NetSuite. And coming back to today’s presentation, so this year, with everything going on in the world, we all witnessed a big change in supply chain. Many things happened. So factories had to temporarily shut down their operations. Some ports were closed. Companies experienced delays in manufacturing, delays in receiving raw materials, wholesale orders. And then on the consumer side, a sudden increase of online shopping behavior and then demand for [inaudible] products slowed down fulfillment and shipping corporations. And even so Amazon suspending its FBA for non-essential products for a limited time resulting in lost revenue for many sellers. But the impact was not just from a logistics perspective. Also, many businesses had to suddenly deal with processing larger volumes of orders every day. Some reported they are now seeing Black Friday level of e-commerce orders. And so the businesses who had the right processes and systems already in place with automation were able to scale and quickly respond to these sudden changes in the landscape. And one of our customers, OZNaturals, is one of those businesses. So yeah. I’m excited to kick off this event with Mike Small, CFO at OZNaturals. And today, Mike will talk about how OZNaturals built scalable, efficient, and resilient operations with automation. And Mike has over 30 years of operational experience at wholesale, retail, and e-commerce. As part of Baker & Taylor, he was Amazon’s first vendor and he’s also an experienced leader in areas such as customer satisfaction, process efficiency, cost control, systems import management, sales, financial and strategic planning, project management, and process improvements. And now, I will hand it off to Mike. Thank you. Can everyone hear me okay? Well, you can’t answer that. Never mind. My name is Mike Small. As Ebra mentioned, I’m the CFO and also the COO for OZNaturals and we’re going to talk a little bit about supply chain and automation today. Talking about supply chain, one of the things to remember is that it has a great number of transactions and moving parts. And the goal always for supply chain is to ensure you have the right product in the right place at the right time. That’s kind of always been my mantra and the mantra of the supply chain because of the large number of repetitive tasks that we’re dealing with, it makes it an ideal target for automation. When you have a lot of the same transactions happening over and over again, it just makes sense to automate wherever you can. It allows you to use the right tools to allow you to focus on managing the business instead of letting the business run you, and that’s important. When you’re talking about running your supply chain, if you spend all your time doing data entry and having to touch every transaction, it’s very easy for things to slip by you. Another reason to do automation is to make yourself more nimble. In today’s economy and with the diversity in channels, you have to be able to sell your products and meet the customer’s high expectations. Nowadays if people hit the submit button on their order, they expect the doorbell ringing and the product to be there. We have to be able to be responsive to these challenges, and we have to make sure we have a team that’s set up and focusing on managing the process and fixing issues as soon as they come up. So a little bit about OZNaturals and the history about the company. The company was founded in 2013 by Angela Irish and Craig Romero. Craig had a great amount of experience in digital marketing, and she was [inaudible] licensed esthetician. And they had a nice vision for a product, they wanted to bring clean natural effective products to the marketplace at an affordable price. The way we did this when they first started was they did this as a white-label product, and they launched it as an Amazon-only brand, which was a nice, easy way to start. Amazon by itself is another tough supplier train to manage, but it’s something we still to focus on. But what happened was the product quality and the reception for the product was really fast and really quick to receive notoriety. We quickly became one of the number one brands on Amazon, and as a result of that, we saw the opportunity to expand and grow the business model past where we were looking. We realized that, if we were going to do this, we had to be able to manage our business and measure it. As an Amazon-only business, we will meet these needs very easily. But, as we started growing, we knew that we were going to have some additional overall challenges. So, talking about this, as we started developing new products, we went away from white-label. With white-label, it’s pretty easy, you buy a product that’s already completed, and you put a label on it, and we sell it. That did not meet the needs of the ownership, the company. So we started sourcing labs, producing our own products, and we ended up with contract manufacturing. When we went with contract manufacturing, we realized that we had to start sourcing components, and our supply chains started expanding. Not only did we have to buy a product from one vendor, we had to buy components that went along with that. We had to manage the delivery of those products into that manufacturer to produce them and make sure we had all the [inaudible] product at the right time. We also realized that we could start selling in other channels, and when we started doing that, we started building our own website. We started having international customers and realized that an Amazon-model only where we didn’t have our own warehouse wasn’t going to cut it. So now we had to add a warehouse to our supply chain as well. So what you started seeing is, now we had to source products that supported the growth. We didn’t want to tie up a lot of capital, so we wanted to be smart about this. We didn’t want to buy too much, and we also had to make sure we didn’t buy too little. Backorders are a bad thing as we all know, but excessive inventory is equally bad. And throughout all this, we had to ensure timely delivery with a really small team. To give you a perspective, right now, our company total employees is six people, and we operate the business and we use contract manufacturers, and manage all this with a very small team. Automation helps us. Now if you look at our supply chain when you look at it now, so we went from being an Amazon only brand where it was just as naturals, one vendor in Amazon to an environment where now we have the consumer, a multitude of Amazon warehouses in several different countries. We have distributors in several countries. We have two or three PLs. We have all the carriers we’re dealing with for both freight forwarding internationally, and as well as bringing product to and from our warehouses. We have our contract manufacturing. We have a component manufacture– component vendors, so our supply chain expanded quite a bit. And again we only had a limited team, so we had to find a way to do this the right way. So if we look at it there’s– what I call them New Shore. Next slide, Eva. Eva, can you go the next slide, please. Thanks. Sorry about that. So the supply chain required that we– that we really focus on managing this well like I said you have a high number of transactions when you’re dealing with Amazon in the economy. Today’s seminar was supposed to be on multi-channel marketing and managing e-commerce. Well, that’s part of what [inaudible]. So in a way, we’re talking about that as well because we are managing at this point tens of thousands of transactions from Amazon, and from our e-commerce platforms. Hundreds if not thousands of transactions from retailers and from distributors, and we’re trying to do this with a small team. And now we have multiple partners, multiple systems when you have a three-PL. Now we have to start looking at making sure that all the orders get to that warehouse and the right warehouse for that matter in a timely manner, and that we fill the orders and then we go back to Amazon and make sure we update their records in the websites to make sure the consumer knows they’re getting their product. When you don’t do this you look– you open yourself up to huge amounts of customer service problems and then keeping the inventory in sync. When you have multiple channels and multiple warehouses you’re sharing inventory. You’re not creating a virtual inventory in all cases for each specific channel. So channels are now sharing inventory, so you have to have a system that lets you keep near real-time inventory for everyone. Otherwise, you could run into a situation either a, you’re not selling product you have available or b, you’re selling product you don’t have. Either way, it’s a bad thing. So what happens is you spent too much time without automation, you end up spending all your time doing manual transactions. You’re touching every transaction and I call it, letting the business run you. You have to understand there’s going to be in supply chain there’s no supply chain that’s perfect. [inaudible] even [inaudible] I’ve got over 30 years experience, and I can tell you in all that time you know we’ve always maintained 99 plus percent accuracy and quality, but we still have 1%. And so the 1% that gets the [air?], it’s 100% of their experience. So you have to react quickly on that and make sure that they understand that they’re important to you and that you’re responsive. If you have a problem with supply chain and you address it quickly everyone’s forgiven, if it festers and it just keeps on happening over and over again that’s where you run into problems. And right now you’re delivering– if you’re an e-commerce you’re depending on the USPS. You’re depending on U.P.S. FedEx, whoever it might be to deliver your promise as well. We have to make sure we able to monitor that as well and manage that. It’s very easy to get lost in the minutia if you only use automation systems. So going back to our specific challenge, Eva, so. [inaudible] I guess so. There’s a delay, so. Sorry. I apologize, everyone. So for our company, what happens now is that you’re an Amazon brand only. When you’re an Amazon brand, a lot of times you start launching, you use the Amazon SKU when you set up your– and/or you have different platforms that have different item numbers. Whether you’re selling on a Walmart, whether you’re selling on an eBay, you might use different SKUs. But in reality, it’s all the same product. So now, we had multiple SKUs really marrying to the same parent SKU. And we didn’t want to have to have 20 different SKUs representing the same product. So we had to sell for that. We had to be able to move quickly between fulfillment models. [Eva?] brought up earlier, the fact that you’re in COVID, Amazon stopped allowing fulfillment by Amazon for certain products. And if you don’t have the ability to respond to that, you could be out of business. We have to pull the orders from multiple channels. Pulling orders from Walmart, Amazon, ECommerce, whatever it might be. You’re pulling all the units, you have to make sure to get into the system on a timely basis. And we have to make sure they process. We had to make sure that we showed all the inventory available as I said earlier. We had to meet the service level requirements. With Amazon and with other customers, even if you ship everything right, if you don’t pass that data back, and communicate that it’s shipped, you haven’t succeeded. And if you do that too often, a customer, a marketplace like Amazon, is likely to take away your selling abilities. So you really need to focus on managing the business the right way. And you have to be able to respond in a very quick manner. So let’s talk a little bit about more why to integrate. So as you’re going through this, you have to make a decision when you integrate. Whether you’re going to build, buy, or hire the integration. And by that, I mean to [follow?]. You can either buy software and manage it yourself. You could build it internally, and try to do something from scratch. Because you want to make sure it meets your new unique needs, or you could hire a service. Celigo is an example as someone we hire. Because they manage all the middleware for us, but we use their systems. So when you’re making that decision, what I look at first, is whether or not this is something that’s a core competency or a way that creates a competitive advantage for a company. If it’s something that you’re going to create a competitive advantage with, automating yourself and controlling it and having a way that serves you better than someone else, or it’s a core competency. I would tend to one that buyer build. If it’s something that’s just a building block of business, where you want to make sure you’re doing it right all the time, you want to make sure that you’ve got all the right tools in place. But you don’t have a team in place and you don’t have the core competency to build it. I believe in buying or hiring in that situation. The way we built our model [inaudible] to allow us to scale, is we’re completely virtual. Everything we do from our ERP, to our phone system, to our file storage, other than our physical office, we’re a virtual business. So if something happens when we move offices, we could literally plug and play just by having the internet. If I’m out of town, I have access to my full systems without having to worry about it, because we’re all browser-based. So that was something we’ve looked at, and that was a nice thing to be able to see. So going back to why to integrate. So one of the things you have to talk about, is your system has got to be the system of record. We’ve got to maintain the integrity of your inventory by ensuring that there’s timely communication of all the transactions that’s happened. We’ve got to eliminate the dependency on the manual data entry. Like I said if you’re dealing with Amazon– and I’ll tell you a story. When I first got to a division of Reader’s Digest, we were getting orders from 1,000 reps every week. Those orders were being faxed into a team. This is before automation. Faxed into a team where they keyed those orders into our system then faxed the order over to the warehouse system. We had 20 warehouses, then the warehouse had to enter it in their system. And then they had to then come back to us after they entered in their system and shipped sending us a shipping report which had to be manually input into our system and, ultimately, a communication or fax back to a customer. If you think about how many touches that is and try to do that in the e-commerce world, you would drown. There’s no way to survive if you were to do that. So you’ve got to eliminate as much manual entry and get rid of as many redundant tasks that you can if you really want to focus on your business. The other reason to look at automation in my mind is you ensure consistent treatment. When an order comes through automated process, it’s always going to be handled the same way. There will be exceptions, and you could focus on that. But for the most part, 99% of the transactions will come through. You won’t have to touch them. They’ll process into the system. They’ll go to the warehouse. The warehouse will pick them. The warehouse will ship them. The information will flow back to the customer, and everyone’s happy. And you don’t have to worry about focusing on those. The reason that you want to do that is you want to allow yourself to focus on managing the business. If you’re spending all your time dealing with the detail, you can’t run a business. You end up letting the business run you, and you’re going to spend countless hours. And you’re just going to be very frustrated. So let’s talk about how we did this and how we meet the challenge with what I call exception management. Again, what I was talking about is focusing on what’s critical to the business. We looked at our core expertise which was really understanding what makes a good product and how to market it. We could have built our own warehouse. I have enough experience to do that. But if I built my own warehouse, I would have had to bring in a whole team, invest all that capital, and run a warehouse and not be able to scale as easily. With a third-party warehouse– one of the reasons I like third-party warehousing is I’m able to scale very easily. Also, I have a dependency on marketplaces and common carriers. When I’m dealing with that, if I don’t look at how they’re going to be taken care of on a timely basis, if I have to spend all my time looking at them, I’m not focusing on developing new products. I’m not focusing on building new channels. Amazon’s a great channel. If you do it right, it could actually be a great revenue source for you. But it could also take you down because it takes a lot of time to manage it if you’re not doing it right. So what we do is we ensure all the basics are done, and we really do focus on the exceptions. And we could do that with a lot of our systems. We use saved searches through NetSuite look for exceptions, and we use dashboards to help us look for it. And as we’re finding the problems, we look for the patterns. And if you see something happen a lot, we develop saved searches. We develop ways to automate the fix for that where we look at what’s going wrong with the automation. And we fix that quickly, so we don’t let it take too much of our time. Those patterns help you really get control of your business. And the other thing you want to do is you have to make sure you have reliable systems. You want to integrate with partners that really know the solutions, that they automate it, they are maintaining it, they know what’s needed to do it. So we’re not having to have all the learning curve that they have. We’re able to focus on what we do best. So going from that, we talked about what’s the digital transformation. So the digital transformation we talked about that we went to NetSuite, NetSuite’s the center of everything. That’s the system of record for us. We actually have two Shopify stores, three at one point, that we’re operating. We have two different 3PLs in three different locations. We have an international tool that helps us meet something that Shopify couldn’t do by itself which just lets us feed inventory from different locations into Shopify so that based on the country we could say whether something’s in stock or not. And finally, we have seven different Amazons we’re dealing with. That’s a lot of transactions and a lot activity. What we’ve done is we’ve partnered with Celergo to become the foundation of the communication between Oracle NetSuite in all of our systems. And like I said, NetSuite’s our system of record. So that means, what’s important to me, I’m not tying you out to my third-party warehouse’s inventory. They’re tying up to mine. I know a lot of people like to just take their third-party warehouse’s inventory and upload it in the system. I personally think that’s a mistake because when you do that, you’re hiding the inefficiencies and possible shrinkage. If you don’t [sink?] to your own system and your own system of record, which has all the transactions, it’s very easy to lose track of transactions. And at the end of the year, you’re going to find that you had a huge inventory write-off, and you’re not going to know where it happened. Use Oracle as your system of record. Make sure all the transactions are happening. With Shopify, all the orders are processed through. All the fulfillments went back. With the 3PLs, same thing. All the POs, all the orders, went through the system, and all the receipts and confirmations came back. And with Amazon, very important, all the orders that are merchant fulfilled have come through the system and were fulfilled in a timely basis. FBA orders, you want those documented as well, but you’re documenting from an Amazon inventory, not your own. So within NetSuite, you’re creating multiple location inventories as well. So it took a lot, but that helped us get to the right place when we were selecting a– in the selection criteria. We already decided on NetSuite. We looked at other systems. We looked at QuickBooks. I didn’t want to do QuickBooks because any business with inventory, my personal opinion, if you have inventory and you’re using QuickBooks, you’re probably putting yourself at risk because it doesn’t manage inventory well. Oracle and SAP, the full-blown versions are really good, but they’re a little bit more horsepower than we needed and a little bit more money. NetSuite, when we got into it, was a really nice solution, and it’s grown with us nicely. And the nice thing about it, as we’ve grown and gone to different levels of meeting BOMs and manufacturing modules, it’s easy enough to add them on and just keep them plain. So that was important to us. We wanted someone who was going to do that. When I was picking the right integrator for us to help create a middleware, we wanted to look at someone who had an established record and already had systems built. I decided I didn’t want to go the route of going with someone who is new to this space, that may not know all the idiosyncrasies of using these different platforms. With some products like the 3PL communication, unfortunately, you still have to match your specific warehouse’s communication standard. But I wanted to make sure the partner I had, had done it before and understood warehousing enough that they’d be able to help me make that transition and get that integration set up whether it was an XML, EDI or whatever format you’re working with. You want someone who understands the business as well. I also wanted something that’s not black box. One of the things that scares me is when you get a partner that does your integration, and you can’t see anything with the integration, and you have no visibility to what’s happening until someone calls you and says, “Hey, wait a minute. We haven’t seen orders in three days,” or, “I haven’t seen my order in two weeks. What happened?” The nice thing about what we were looking for is we wanted something with immediate visibility, where we could see how the integrations were working, where we could see what the mapping was, and if we needed to change it, we got to the point where we had realized it will self-manage it. That was very important for us. So the nice thing is we wanted a dashboard. Again, focus on the exceptions, and then we could just look at where the problems are and get past that. So let’s talk about an example of how we use Celergo to help us. And we’ll talk about the Amazon shipments process for inbound for those of you who sell on Amazon, you’ll probably recognize this experience. You want to ship in 500 units, 5,000 units, whatever it might be into Amazon. And when you’re doing this, you create an order in Amazon with multiple views. And for how many units you want, Amazon takes a few seconds and goes back to you and says, “Hey, yes. We want you to ship. You could ship this to us, but we want you to ship these two, three, four, or five, however many warehouses.” Amazon has 90 warehouses. They’re going to put the product where they need it best. If you’re like us, and you don’t have other people selling on the marketplace, it becomes a little cleaner. But if you sell your product where a lot of other sellers are selling their product, you never know where you’re going to end up going with Amazon. So that one shipment could end up being two shipments, five shipments, or six. And then you have to make sure you’re complying with all of Amazon’s requirements. You have the right labeling. You have the stickers on the product. You have the offense [inaudible] or whatever it might be. Then you have to approve the shipping plans. And then once it ships to Amazon, you have to keep track of the receipts because Amazon, unlike the regular warehouse, doesn’t receive your product all at once. They get the receipt. The truck delivers the product, but they don’t stow it immediately. Maybe still over a day. It may take a week for them to stow it all. So what ends up happening is you have to constantly go in there and constantly watch for the receipts to see your product get into the system. It becomes pretty labor intensive. So if you look at the example– I’ve given you a couple of diagrams on the next page, which shows you without integration. Everything on the left is a manual set that we were just talking about, and you can see there’s a lot of manual activity, and there’s some loops in there as well, like all the things we’ve talked about are being manually done by someone, and it takes time. It could literally take hours to do this. And when you’re doing this with receipts especially, you have to check frequently for your receipts especially when you’re low on inventory and you want to make sure it’s in there and your listings are live again, and you want to reconcile the listing. What we do is we worked with legal, and we created the automation. And on the right, you’ll see how we deal with automation. Now, everything in black is manual. Everything in blue is now done through automation. So now a process that took us hours, takes us minutes, which is a wonderful thing. The receipts are tracked automatically for us. It comes into our system updates, our inventory in real time or near real time I should say. We don’t have to worry about breaking up the order or doing anything like that through the connector we’ve created. It breaks up all the orders into the [inaudible] orders, make sure everything is marked properly, and it goes to the right warehouse. Then it gets all the orders process with the right instructions, and we get everything done very quickly then. So I know I’m going over this pretty quickly. I apologize for that, but I thought it would be helpful for you to see this. So you know the subject was scalable, resilient, and efficient. What we ended up growing in this business – and I thought this was important when I joined the company – is we wanted to really focus on managing the business. We didn’t want this to run us. And because of what we did when COVID-19 closed our Canadian warehouse– our Canadian warehouse was not an essential service. They closed. Luckily for us, our US-based warehouse was deemed an essential location and was able to stay open. So because of that, we were able to just simply flip a switch, change the warehouse to where it’s pointing to, and our consumers continue getting the orders. Same thing with Amazon. We’ve had situations where Amazon is taking down our listening for [inaudible]. And instead of being out of business, we simply changed from FBA to fulfill by merchant, and we keep the orders flowing. We don’t lose the revenue. So that’s what I mean by the scalable, resilient, and especially in business. The other thing I’ll tell you is as we grow this business because the way we did this, we’ll be able to double our size or probably triple our size and not add very much headcount at all. The place that will have headcount will probably be in sales, not in the supply chain or operations area. So we’re able to operate the supply chain with a really small and focused team. It makes life really easy for everyone. With that, I think I’m wrapping up and we could open up to any questions and answers anyone has. Okay. Thank you very much for the great presentation, Mike. Yeah, everyone. So if you have any questions, please, type them in the question’s window. And I see here, we already have some questions. Let me check. So first question is– can you talk about the process you used to sync inventory across multiple marketplaces– if you have real-time visibility into your inventory? So we don’t have real time. We have near real time, and the reason I cite that difference is real time into your transactions are constantly updating, and the way we’ve set up the system, certain transactions only update a few times a day. As an example, orders go to the warehouse every hour or so. We don’t need that to go in real time because the warehouse is doing waives. And then when they fulfill the orders, we don’t get fulfilments throughout the day. We get them two or three times a day, instead of doing that. So the way we’re doing the inventory sync for the multi rep, multiple channels, and multiple locations is as follows– one, we look for a clean cut-off date. You can’t do this midweek, and you can’t do this in the middle of the day. You really have to do it when all the orders are cut off and ready and clean. So generally, our warehouses sometimes ships on Saturdays, but for the most part don’t do Sundays. So what we do is we get our inventory snapshots on Sundays for all those warehouses and for NetSuite, and we do the sync from that perspective. And what we do is we bring in the inventory files whether they be CSB or text files, whatever they might be– we bring them into the database we’ve created, and we download the NetSuite inventory into a format and we [inaudible] the two against each other and we look for the variances. And again, the nice thing about this is because we’re doing all the transactions, and they’re in near real time when we go to do this, and we have a clean cut off all the shipment confirmations have been processed. So all the [inaudible] receipts have been processed. All the orders have been fulfilled and shipped, and all the inventory receipts have already been processed in both systems when we do the cut off. So for the most part, we get a really nice clean marking and there’s very few variances. There’s occasional variances where someone forgot to record a receipt or someone did a receiving error, and those pop out at us. But for the most part, the system works pretty nicely. You do have to be a little bit comfortable with using Access or Excel to do this. You can’t do it alone in NetSuite or Celigo that I’ve seen yet, but it isn’t a hard process if you do clean cutoffs. Clean cutoffs is critical to that though. I hope that answered– Thank you. So we have another question. You mentioned the importance of finding a good and experienced integration partner. Who did you use, and what was your experience like? Okay. So the integration partner for me was a little different. We’ll talk about it from a couple of different perspectives. For NetSuite, the first time I did this was about 10 years ago. And the first integration I did with NetSuite, I used a company called ERP Group. I originally started with NetSuite. This was early on before they had a really good team, and we went with a third party instead. And since then, I’ve actually been able to do the implement integrations myself. And a couple teams because I understand NetSuite well enough to do it without bringing in an expert. For the Celigo type integration, the way I got [inaudible]– I talked about the selection criteria earlier where I looked for partners that understood the systems and understood business. One of the things that’s important when you do integration is you need to understand your business and what you want to do as well. Make sure that you’re integrating partner really understands that as well and they’re not just parroting you but they really do understand what you’re saying about how your business operates and how you want it to flow in your system. If you do that and you do enough test transactions, then the integration process is pretty clean. If you don’t have someone on your side that’s a subject matter expert that really understands the transactions and/or you have an integrator that understands technology but not business, you could have a failing. And I’m biased because I’ve used Celigo now in two companies, actually three now. I’ve found that, since the beginning, they’ve done a really good job for me. I’ve used other companies and built it myself before with my own teams, and I did not have as good experience, so. And again, this is not a commercial for Celigo. I’m candid. If I didn’t like Celigo, I’d probably say that or I wouldn’t be on the call. I hope that answered the question. Yes. Thank you, Mike. And another question we have is, are you able to get visibility on your product performance across all channels? How did you sync different SKUs for any given product across different sales channels? Okay. So I’ll take the second part first about how we made it so they matched. Within our NetSuite system and within Celigo’s infrastructure, what we did is we created an item alias structure. Think of it as a cross-reference. So what it does is it recognizes that when SKU X comes in, it’s really SKU Y. So, as an example, for our vitamin C serum, early on, we used Amazon SKUs which had– the Amazon SKU numbers are really interesting. They’re like these random numbers and random letters in the system. And for us, we use a smart number that’s our brand, the product type, the number. So we actually mapped it so that the mapping just literally says whenever you see this number coming in, it’s really this number. So apply it to the correct SKU. So [inaudible]– repeat the first part again for me because I’ve lost track. I apologize. Sure. The first part was are you able to get visibility on product performance across all channels? Yeah. So yes. The answer to that is yes because the way we do things on NetSuite and because we use a single SKU, when we look at that SKU, we’re able to see the sales. And within NetSuite, we use the class function within classes to monitor the channels. So we use the brand for the department. And then with the channels in the class, we’ll say it’s Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, OZNaturals online, OZNaturals pro, wholesale, whatever it is. But those are all married to the same SKU. So we’re able to see on each one of those SKUs, the sales, the activity for everything plus all the inventory in one SKU. So it does make it very easy to manage the business. Great. Thank you. And another question is can you speak to any automations in your reverse logistics and any specific differences or challenges there? Okay. So at this company, our reverse logistics– I want to go back to another company first. With this company, reverse logistics, it’s pretty straightforward for us because happily for our B2B customers don’t have returns. We sell one-way, and we have a really nice model with limited distribution. And the B2C world, we use the return metric on Shopify. And it just creates the return label in, and we actually have them all shipped here because, happily, there’s not that many returns. Because we’re a skincare product, we don’t put it back into inventory. We destroy all returns. So for us, it’s straightforward. In terms of other companies where I’ve had to deal with reverse logistics, this is one that’s a little tougher. Reverse logistics, to me, is one of the more difficult areas of supply chain just because you’re not controlling the transaction as well, right? With reverse logistics, the nice thing about a B2C legit type shipment, you can at least give them a return label, and you can do that with B2B as well, and that helps you at least give some visibility. But if you have someone shipping back to via truck or other methods and you have to warehouse, and then you have to have all that accountability, I’ve not had great experience with automating the reverse logistics and the B2B side in that site. The best we could get to is tracking the shipments and really understanding it by controlling the call tags and things like that. But overall, it’s one of the more difficult areas I’ve seen to automate. Okay. Thanks. And another question is, who do you use for your AP automation? For our accounts payable automation? Yes. Just NetSuite. We use NetSuite as a full-fledged ERP. Happily for us, like I said, we’re a smaller company, and we could manage it through like one person doing part-time AP for us and managing the process, but we use NetSuite for it. So we don’t have– the number of our transactions at this company is not great enough. When I was at Reader’s Digest, I’m trying to remember who we used. I think we had CSC set something up for our system. That was on our own. We did not have any AP managers. I don’t think I’ve ever used an outside company for AP. Okay. Another question is, how much of the integrations were out of the box, and how much required additional development? So– and you’ll make fun of me if you want. I don’t believe in what some people [inaudible] call terminal uniqueness. We try to be as close to out of the box as we can, with some modifications, obviously, for how you want to record the transaction and the few things that you might have that are unique to your business. But for the most part, we are probably 95% out of the box. And what I mean by terminal uniqueness, a lot of people suffer from the concept that their business is so unique that they have to build something their own or they have to really do a lot of modifications. If you look at the way the systems like NetSuite and Senegal and all these companies like this are built, they’re really built for configuration more than customization. And if you follow that model, you don’t have to change how you’re doing business. You just have to know how you’re doing business when you set it up so that it records all your transactions properly. And in NetSuite, we probably added maybe 30 or 40 custom fields. And the reason we’re doing that is we’re adding custom fields to NetSuite to reflect on the channels. When we added Shopify, we had fields for that. When we added Amazon, we had a custom fields for that. We added custom fields to help us manage the wholesale business more. But those are easy fixes. I wouldn’t even call those real customizations because all you’re really doing is adding a field. So, I’d say, we’re 95% to 97% out of the box. Okay. Great. Another question is, what processes did you automate between 3PL at NetSuite. What did you integrate and automate? Okay. So 3PL integration, I often tell people there is like five transactions you need or five types of transactions to get a good integration [inaudible]. One, is your order count, order request. You’ve got a sale so you tell the warehouse what to ship. Shipment confirmation tell you that the product is shipped and they documents your inventory, [PL?] return authorization the warehouse telling them to expect product to come in, the receiving report and an inventory adjustment of plus or minus inventory adjustment. A lot of people do the inventory sink transaction as well. As I said earlier, I don’t like that but with those five transactions or if you split up returns and [PLs?] into two separate ones seven transactions, I feel that you have a really nice integration between your warehouse and your 3PL. And I will tell you I’ve been using that same mantra for about 20 years in several different companies, not just in small companies but at companies where I had 25 warehouses, different 3PLs and two million SKUs on the roof and it works. So that kind of mantra, that kind of transactional view really does help you control your business. Okay. Great. Thank you. Let’s see are there any more questions. So let’s wait and see. I guess those are all the questions we have for today. So yeah. Thank you very much, everyone. Thanks again for attending. So if you have any questions later on for Mike or for Celigo, you can email us at [email protected] And yeah, this brings us to the end of the session. Thank you Mike. Thank you, everyone. Yeah. So I also would like to mention that we have a giveaway. So attendees of this session are automatically entered into a drawing to win gift boxes from [All Natures?] products. And now let me play a video for you. How does your company automate its business processes. When your company was young, you had few processes. Most of which could be managed in ad hoc ways. But as your company mature, new systems, applications, and departments were added, each with their own unique operational needs. At some point, manual processes break down slowing your company with costly errors and delays. You need integration to automate and keep growing. But how do you keep up? After all, coding your own API integrations is slow and expensive. Native or direct integrations have limited configuration options beyond most common use cases and typical integration platforms are heavy and require a lot of technical resources to build and maintain. There is a better way. Introducing Celigo, the complete integration platform built for both IT and business users that automates your business processes across applications. With Celigo’s guided visual interface, building powerful integrations is a breeze. Our platform offers advanced orchestrations, transformations and customizations. But there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You can leverage hundreds of pre-built connectors, templates, and even integration apps to automate key business processes across popular applications. Because they are built on Celigo IPaaS, these integrations are fully configurable and expandable for your company’s needs. Best of all, because the platform is designed for technical and business users. You can even choose to hand off certain integrations to be managed by less technical users leaving your team to focus on more strategic initiatives that drive the bottom line. The result, an agile company set for growth. Companies of all sizes need integration to scale. Celigo. Integration starts here. Visit celigo.com to get started