Best Value Vacs
When I first arrived at the carpark of Best Value Vacs in Chicago, the thing that caught my attention the most, was the SNOW! For me, it was such a strange experience getting out to see a client at minus eight (-8) in January. For all us Ozzies, January is typically the hottest part of the year, and this year was no different back in Sydney. While I was freezing in Chicago, Sydney was scorching at forty-seven (47) degrees Celsius. My poor vegetable garden was toasted by the time I came back from the frigid cold of Chicago.
Best Value Vacs (BVV) is a family run business which started in the owner’s garage and has grown to have more than 80 employees, selling commercial equipment across different industries. What started out as a small operation, is now growing so rapidly they are running out of space in their large warehouse factory, and have multiple spill-over facilities.
As with any rapid growth, systems start becoming critical and need to be put in place to have a clear understanding of where you came from, and where you are heading as a business.
BVV trades over multiple channels, utilising traditional sales channels, driven by sales representatives building wholesale client relationships. As well as more modern sales channels such as Magento (e-commerce), eBay and Amazon.
As a team, it was decided that they would utilise an industry-leading solution called Cin7. Cin7 is well-known industry-wide as the “connected solution”. One of Cin7’s standout features is its ability to connect to so many different solutions and be able to manage your inventory from multiple locations, multiple sales channels all in the one place.
BVV has a lot of internal staff that are very savvy with e-commerce platforms, and have a high understanding of warehouse management. The one area they were a little short was in accounting expertise. They decided that they would implement the system internally, working alongside Cin7’s onboarding team.
This process which typically takes about 6-10 weeks, ended up dragging on for over 8 months!
BVV gets a large number of orders online, the connection in 8 months still did not work properly, it did not pull down any orders, and did not update the online store with available stock. As a result, orders were printed from the e-commerce solution and then adjusted out of Cin7 to “account” for dispatched items. As a result, no sales data was recorded for millions in sales. Just the cost. Inventory control was pretty much out the door.
Staff were extremely frustrated, and just did the best they could to make the most of a bad situation. To say the system had problems was an understatement. Most of the issues were over the staff heads, and Cin7 staff struggled to connect the dots remotely from New Zealand. The disconnect was both literally online and between individuals.
The team at Cin7 contacted us as they knew we were doing another job in Chicago, and I assisted BVV whilst my partner in crime (my wife!) finished off the other Cin7 client.
Within two days, I had fixed the bulk of all their connection problems, orders were now downloading from Magento, eBay and Amazon. Within a month stock was updating across all platforms. We also integrated Shipstation to improve efficiency in dispatching items from multiple online sales platforms.
Fine tuning and automating each connection also added further efficiencies and saved a lot of time for BVV staff. Further to this, we updated all their products so that they could have meaningful reports and more insights into sales, ordering and stock. We also trained BVV staff on how to use the system and how to have better stock control. Finally, we are now completing their accounting connection to Quickbooks online.