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5 Steps to Automate Amazon Vendor + Free Resources

Christopher Khoo
14 May 2020 12:00

Fed up with Amazon Vendor? Here are 5 Steps to convince your company that Automating Amazon Vendor will save them time and money.

One of the first questions I ask people is "How is Amazon Vendor going?". Often I get a sound of exasperation with the verbal equivalent of an eye-roll. Anyone who works closely with even a moderately sized Amazon account will tell you that it is slow to manage - from the POs coming in, to the label creation, there can be an enormous paperwork burden and time delays. 

Often the channel grows organically and before you know it, every Sunday evening is filled with a grey sense of dread about the awaiting paperwork mountain. Perhaps you inherited a vendor account, or got given charge over it told you would be the marketing and content manager - only to find that now half of your role is consumed doing tasks that really aren't much to do with anything on the content creation. 

If you'd like to get back to spending time on what you signed up to do, then you should look at automation. Here are 5 steps that you can go through to help make the business case to your wider team.

Step1: Examine your process

If you'd like to download a copy of these resources please see here.

This interactive Gantt chart lets you plot out the time taken on each activity and map your process. 

 

Step 2: Calculate Cost to the business

This isn't as simple as Cost = (Total Hours) X (£/Hour) - although that is partly true. 

You also want to consider the wider business impact. If orders take 4 hours to process on a Monday morning, that may also delay your pick/pack procedure until Tuesday, and collection therefore is on Wednesday. If Order processing was nearly instantaneous, you may be able to schedule collection for Tuesday or even Monday. These kind of gains can have huge impact on your delivery windows, timings, compliance and chargebacks. 

This is equally true if you have other steps, such as liaising with a 3P warehouse or requesting couriers. In any multi-stage process, minimising one can have a greater knock-on benefit down the road. 

Usually businesses find an administrative burden of 15-20 hours a week, with an estimated cost of £1500-2000/month, and an acknowledged impact on collection times and logistics downstream.

 

Step 3: Have a discussion 

This is arguably the most important to making anything happen internally. Amazon Vendor involves a lot of different people, but typically you will want:

  • Operations Manager
  • eCommerce Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Customer Service lead (/administrative lead)
  • Finance Manager
  • Overseeing Manager (if Applicable)

 

If you are one of these people (or maybe you span a number of roles), you will want to make sure everyone is on the same page with understanding what the problem is. Next, you'll want to explore options:

Step 4: Explore Options

Find your greatest problems and try and find a solution(s) that fits. If your greatest issue is with downloading and electronically transferring orders, you'll want to look at EDI. If its with pack/pick/receive, you should look at warehouse, 3P options, robotisation. If in order processing, you'll want to look at an ERP like KhooCommerce. 

At the time of writing many people are furloughed and/or working from home, so now is a natural time to hop on a Zoom call and check out which systems suit your needs the best. 

Step 5: Trial Solutions

Get a demo, run a trial and see if the companies you have at your disposal will suit your needs. Here are some questions you may find helpful in choosing a system:

  • Large, Medium or Small company
  • Off the Shelf vs Tailored, Bespoke
  • Unsupported vs Supported 
  • Undeveloped vs Developed 
  • Simple Connectivity vs Full Service 
  • Large Corporate vs Personal Partnership

 

And Finally...

We recently featured on a webinar where we discussed automation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTIzV15hI2c 

If you have further questions about working with us, please give us a call or book a demo.