Are you the type to sign up for third-party software programs and use only the features exactly as advertised? If you answered “yes,” then you are at a great disadvantage, especially when it comes to using RestockPro.
Let me explain.
Most Merchants Use Basic Software Functions
Throughout our consulting engagements, we’ve observed that most sellers are straight as an arrow. This means that most will use only the basic functions of a software program, which are usually the features that were primarily advertised on a company’s sales and features page.
RestockPro Can be Used in Multiple Areas of Business
Let’s take RestockPro, an Amazon FBA inventory management software, as a direct example. Although eComEngine does a great of job highlighting the power of RestockPro, some sellers who are either considering it or are already using it may not know that certain features can be “repurposed.” This means that data available from within RestockPro can and should be used in different areas of an Amazon seller’s FBA business.
Five Specific Ways to Use RestockPro
I’m now going share with you five specific examples of how you can use the data housed within RestockPro. Most of these you can implement immediately after reading this article! Note that anything I am about to recommend below is already an included feature or functionality within the software, no matter which RestockPro plan you signed up for.
- You might be using RestockPro to store your product costs, along with keeping them updated if and when prices change. Did you know that you could export all of your products’ costs and use them elsewhere? For example, you can import all of your costs into your Amazon repricing software. Or if you are a multi-channel merchant, you may have inventory management software that also needs to be fed product costs. There are also many analytics software programs that can only function if product costs are entered and can only be as accurate as the data you give it. So why not use RestockPro as your primary place to store and keep costs up to date? You can then use the export feature to generate a file that you can modify a bit to work into other software that you already use in your business. All you have to do is go to “Products” and then “Download All.” Then, edit the file itself to suit the software you’ll be importing the data in. No need to keep track of product costs separately!
- Check your “% In-Stock” rate under “Reports” and then choose “SKU Monthly Sales Analysis” from the dropdown. On the far right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see a table with one of the columns labeled “% In-Stock” rate. Now enter your top five to ten SKUs in the search box and view your in-stock percentage rates for each. For any of them that are below 100% for any given month, that is where you need to divert all of your resources! Assuming your suppliers are not backordered, then you are just leaving money (and profits) on the table for every day (or month) that you are not at 100%.
- Regarding purchase orders you generate within RestockPro – are you using the emailed purchase orders for other purposes besides just submitting them to your suppliers? For example, why not send the same PO to a virtual assistant alerting them that you just placed a new order with a supplier? They can then take the next steps such as notifying your preparation center of incoming inventory, verifying your MIN and MAX prices in your repricer in case product costs have changed, ensuring that you receive a receipt or invoice following the purchase for auditing purposes and more. There’s no reason to recreate all of that information from scratch in an email or instant message. Simply click on the “forward” command in your email program with a quick note on what they need to do next. You could also forward a copy of all of your purchase orders to a secondary cloud storage site like Box.com, Google Drive or Dropbox. If you are really advanced, you can automate the entire process by using Zapier or IFTT!
- If you find yourself frequently facing a cash flow crunch in your Amazon FBA business, here is one tip to help alleviate the pressure by using RestockPro data. First, in the “Restock Suggestions” screen, click on a supplier you want to view, then look for the columns titled “Sales.” You should see under it 2D, 7D, 30D, 60D, 90D and/or 180D. Those numbers indicate sales in the indicated time period, so 2D represents sales in the last two days, for example. Click on any of those time frames (i.e., click on 2D). Then, RestockPro will arrange all the products in the order of the lowest number of units sold to the greatest according to the time frame you clicked on. This will be subjective based on the products you carry, but you should be sourcing products that sell consistently. For us, we expect to sell at least one unit of any given product at least every two days. So in our case, we would click and sort by 2D and would scan for that statistic to show at least a “one” or greater number. If it shows a “zero,” then we know that we need to make an adjustment of some type in order to meet our goal of at least one sale every two days.
- In relation to cash flow again, here is another tip you should consider. Besides taking into account your in-stock percentages under “Reports,” you should also be considering which one of your products is the most profitable. Just because a product is profitable doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always be stocking it solely for that reason. Go back into the “Restock Suggestions” screen after you have chosen a supplier. Next, arrange your products by either EM, EM % or Markup % – whichever statistic you favor the most out of the three. Either way, you’ll need to click on the one that you choose twice so that you are arranging your view of products from the most profitable to the least profitable. Now, focus the majority of your financial resources by investing in those products that have the most impressive margins along with decent sales velocities. Bonus points if any of these same products’ prices have remained steady or are protected by a strict MAP policy. This strategy alone will help focus your capital towards good product investments. Through this process, you will be managing fewer SKUs as you pause purchasing the products that are less desirable from a profit margin standpoint. The lesser the SKU count, the less work for you and your team too!
Optimize the Value of RestockPro
And that’s how you squeeze more value out of what you already have and are paying for! I encourage you to redefine and repurpose what you see in RestockPro each time you log in to use it. Data is only as useful as how you interpret and apply it. Don’t be lazy and just glance at the numbers. They are there for a reason, and you can leverage power of data every day in your business by pushing yourself to be more inquisitive.
Good luck and happy data mining!
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.