In this interview, Sharol Puran, Partner Manager of Cin 7, takes us into what omni channel sales is all about, how to get ahead of the Amazon wave, and how to keep an inventory implementation on track.
Introduce yourself, your role and your company
Dean Pearson and I are partner managers at Cin7 – helping to grow our SaaS company and get the word out there about Cin7. I have been with the company for the last 5 years and seen the company really take off. We are a fully connected Inventory, POS, B2B Solution.
What does Cin7 do?
Cin7 is a fully integrated Inventory & POS Solution, with a built in B2B portal. Giving you the opportunity to dream big and sell to as many channels as you can. We are the most connected Inventory solution out there with the ability to connect with EDI trading partners and 3PL (3rd party logistics) providers. Ultimately Cin7 is your end to end supply chain solution all in one!
What are the benefits of Cin7 to the customer?
There are many benefits of using Cin7. A key benefit is that you can streamline your business processes to have one point of truth which is Cin7!
Cin7 gives you the ability to expand across multiple channels and provide maximum reach to your customers and suppliers, in effect giving your customer/suppliers a better customer experience through the process of buying and selling.
Why should accountants and bookkeepers be getting their clients to look at selling across multiple channels?
Slashing manual data entry of course! Bookkeepers and accountants love the idea of automation, especially when it works seamlessly. And that the data set they are looking at is actually true and accurate!
Of course, the end goal is to make your product available across multiple channels, to give the product more visibility which will end in more sales, making the client happier. Providing the customer with a better customer experience will result in loyalty to your product, thus increasing the bottom line!
It also creates more brand awareness and make products easier to access for customers.
How does Cin7 help with selling across multiple channels?
Cin7 has an omni channel function in that all channels that you sell across are connected to Cin7. Making this one central point of truth.
This is what Cin7 has been made for – it can integrate into many different marketplaces and e-commerce solutions (sales channels).
It helps because you have one place for your inventory, providing visibility on inventory availability within all of those channels which then gives you the ability to pull down orders back into Cin7. Which will ultimately update your stock across all those sales channels allowing you to sell more and make more money, eliminating uncertainty of how much stock you have and providing timely service back to your customers.
Cin7 has enhanced its offering of selling in multiple channels by giving flexibility in the way you fulfill those orders and get it to your customers door step! Cin7 does this by connecting to 3PL (3rd Party Logistics Solutions).
Now you are no longer limited to sell in one country, in fact, you’re able to have your product sitting in any country ready to be dispatched to your customer directly. Again reinforcing the potential reach to your customers and reducing time in shipping.
How does Cin7 interact with the accounting system?
Cin7 and Xero has a smooth integration process – sales orders, purchase order, cogs, and adjustments are passed to Xero as draft transactions, but can also be set as pre-approved.
This is a one way connection which someone needs to click a button to push it across.
You can update transactions in Cin7 which will then update the transaction in Xero on next push.
We have made a conscious decision to do it this way to provide the accountant/bookkeeper greater control of the information that is sent across both systems.
Who should avoid your addon?
Asset management companies – diamonds, cars, real estate is not a fit for Cin7
Hospitality – cafes/restaurants/bars
Recycled goods – one off items are not the best to work with
Detailed manufacturers with more than 3 levels of bill of materials
How do customers get started with your addon?
We have a few options on how a customer may want to onboard and we do not recommend onboarding themselves.
Cin7 is a monthly based subscription, we have a one off onboarding fee ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 if Cin7 performs the onboarding.
We do have local partners that can onboard our customers and they will charge their own fees and services – if this is the case then Cin7 will waive our onboarding fee and the only cost from Cin7 to the customer will be the monthly subscription.
What is the most important thing your company does for a customer?
We support them incredibly well. We disrupt the market giving our customers competitive advantage of how they sell to their own customers.
What is the main environmental factor you see affecting your customers at the moment?
Not being connected enough.
How do customers succeed with Cin7?
We have a setup onboarding process that we work through, the biggest thing is to get the data set right.
Everything else relates to workflow and training. Then, quite simply, the end user needs to use the application.
How/Why did your company get started?
Cin7 was born on February 2012 and emerged from the concept of needing to manage stock on the back of eCommerce platforms. Our founder, Danny Ing, really focussed hard on this concept and developed a robust inventory solution that would give you the ability to future proof your business.
How do you ensure customer data is secure?
Cin7 has a disaster recovery plan, on demand data recovery processes and a web server farm plus load balancing. We have a return to operation plan and recovery point objectives.
How do customers get started with your company?
Cin7 is direct to market, but our growth has happened mostly organically. The biggest voice is our customers and they refer each other. Our partners can refer Cin7 too!
How do you help customers succeed during an implementation?
Making sure they are on track with their target go live date, ensure data is correct, and test processes within the system to ensure things are working to the customers satisfaction. We provide training and billable support ongoing as an option is available.
What are the main causes of failure for an implementation?
Inaccurate data, inaccurate data setup, no one to man the setup from the company side that is implementing.
As a New Zealand company selling into Australia, what are some of the differences you come across in the partners you work with?
Australia has previously been our largest market for customer acquisition. Recently, over 50% of our customers have come from the US.
What we have found is that by working with our partners we have expanded the reach to different groups of customers that are struggling with existing inventory systems or coming onto a system from no system at all.
The support from our partners has been great. We initially started off working with accounting/bookkeeping partners, now there is an evolution of these accounting/bookkeeping partners to add an advisory component to their business, which is more readily embraced in Australia compared to anywhere else, with providing greater customer experience to the end client being the end goal.
What tool/tools do you use internally that you couldn’t live without?
Salesforce CRM, Service Cloud (Salesforce ticketing), Ring Central (unified communications as a service), Evernote!
Why should a customer use a cloud integrator?
A customer should use a cloud integrator to ensure that the workflow is realistic and that the setup is right. If data is not setup correctly in the beginning then the use of the solution will fail and fall apart on it’s own.
How do you think Amazon will affect the market in Australia/NZ?
Amazon will give companies a platform they didn’t have before to launch their products in front of the eyes of tens of thousands of potential customers.
Small to medium businesses will now have a place to move product at a fast pace under a very trusted name.
Amazon will be positive to the market but it is best to have your clients ready for the Amazon rush so they are first on and can build up their ratings first.
The way Amazon works is based on reviews, so if a product is doing well on the customer’s website currently it will be the best item to test on Amazon!
If it is a generic item like a GoPro, which many people can sell rather than a product which is uniquely branded to that customer, they need to get their products on at the beginning because of needing to build their review base.
What sort of retailers do you think should be looking to take advantage of Amazon?
The best way to determine if you’re the right for Amazon is to look at the USA Amazon site. There are two approaches to this:
– If you see a lot of people selling volume of your product eg; candles, it means there is a lot of people searching and buying this item.
Meaning you have a good chance to sell a lot of the product on Amazon.
– If you don’t see your product or only a few people selling that product it can also mean you’re onto something good and should test it out on Amazon.
You could be onto a money making product that know one has thought yet to sell on Amazon and you won’t have to compete with many people on selling this product.
So to answer your question a retailer would be a good fit if they sell fast moving product already selling well on Amazon USA or if they have products that are branded uniquely.
Anything that is light to post is also a good idea as it’s about the customer testing different products.
You only need one product to do well to start making good money on Amazon.
A table which is heavy isn’t the best to put on Amazon as it is very heavy to post but something light like candles, perfume and anything that can fit in a small box would be great.
Where can we keep up with Cin7?
We write lots of great blog posts or you can contact us, visit our website and of course Twitter and LinkedIn. We have a free trial that people can use to come in and have a look at how the system operates and start to get some ideas on how it can work in their business.
[Thanks Sharol! You can also find Cin7 in the Addon Directory – Liam]