In May 2014, sales in the Stupid Cancer Store reached the point where our small team was unable to continue fulfilling orders and warehouse the expanding line of products in our small New York City office space.
One weekend in particular, we held a sale that yielded 315 orders by Sunday morning. When the dust had settled and all the orders were shipped, it was clear that it was time to outsource fulfillment.
The search for a third-party fulfillment company (3PL) was a straightforward process. We identified a warehouse solution, two hours away from our NYC-based headquarters in Pennsylvania that would serve our needs perfectly.
Taking the fulfillment piece off of our plate was a tremendous milestone. We suddenly found ourselves with more hours in our workday to get other things done.
One of the unanticipated consequences of the warehouse was the fact that I literally lost touch with our inventory. In the past, I would see first-hand what was selling because I was handling it on a daily basis. Now I had to adjust to my new “out of sight/out of mind” reality. Keeping an eye on items that were moving fast or sitting on the shelf was now much more difficult and required the use of detailed reporting.
Around this time, I stumbled upon Inventory Planner in the Bigcommerce App Store. As a huge fan of apps, I immediately connected it to my Bigcommerce store and gave myself a self-guided tour of the product. Suddenly, I could see my inventory again. The insights and reports let me take a new approach to stock replenishment beyond the Bigcommerce low stock alerts.
As my familiarity with Inventory Planner grew, I found that it began influencing my pricing and sales strategy. The “Overstock” view lets me see my poorest performing items and by leveraging my own shop’s analytics, it tells me things like unrealized revenue and months until it will sell out at its current price.
Over the past two years, Inventory Planner has become a critical part of running my online business. It allows me to create myriad reports for different audiences. Whether I’m talking to my Board of Directors or different vendors, I have all of my store’s inventory data right at my fingertips.
With Inventory Planner in my app arsenal, it doesn’t really matter where my physical goods are located. Whether you’re using in-house fulfillment or have a warehouse solution, you should see how much time and money Inventory Planner could save you.