Kyozou is an advanced and easy-to-use inventory management system that integrates with online marketplaces, payment systems, shipping carriers, and other services to help sellers get products sold, paid for, and shipped promptly and efficiently.
Keeping track of your inventory is a key point when it comes to managing a business. Once you get started with a business you quickly learn that knowing what inventory you currently have and what inventory you’ll need in the not-so-distant future is vital to your success. While you may be running around handling a lot of different things at the same time, especially when you’re first getting started, inventory management must be kept as one of your top priorities.
You’ll need to invest in a user-friendly management system to keep track of your inventory. You’ll need to work with a software that offers important features such as the ability to import and update your inventory from an interface using a barcode scanner or file. As well, any updates made to your inventory should be seen across all of your sales channels.
The goal with an inventory management software is to provide the buyer with a positive buying experience. This turns customers into repeat customers that talk about your business in a positive way and are willing to tell their friends about your products. Word-of-mouth advertising has always been the best form of advertising for any business and it has definitely reached new levels now that social media has become an outlet for customers to speak their minds.
A simple guide to inventory management and the key features to look for in a software include:
The ability to update and import inventory from files
Keep track of inventory history
Show inventory located in multiple warehouses and storage locations
Manage individual items along with kits and bundles
The correct inventory management software system will allow you to simplify a vital aspect of your business so that you have more time to concentrate on the most important aspects like selling. Learn more about Kyozou software and how it can help you grow your business by scheduling some time with us today at www.kyozou.com.
Warehouse inventory management goes beyond just keeping tabs on where your inventory is located around your warehouse. It’s your lifeblood. Proper warehouse inventory management means utilizing what you have to keep your business operating at its peak efficiency; saving time, and money.
Labeling, barcode scanning, and proper and efficient product placement are all key concepts you should understand if you want top performance. It’s not an absolute requirement to have a software to help manage your warehouse, though it does provide substantial help, especially if you have multiple warehouses.
Regardless, this article should provide you with some info whether you’re using a software or not to manage your online or offline business.
1 | Know Your Fast Selling Products
This is easily one of the simplest (not easiest) things you can do to make your warehouse management system extremely efficient. If you’re tracking your orders (made much easier with an order management software), you should have a good idea of which of your products are the top sellers, and which particular customers buy the most if you’re in the repeat business, at least we’d hope.
With this information, you can strategically place your products in your warehouse in a way that allows you to get to them the fastest, and have them shipped out equally as quick. It’s a good idea to map out your warehouses floor plan on the basis of product importance, with the top selling products being the most easily accessible.
Using a reporting module to pull up aggregated data can easily give you the info you need to make informed decisions regarding high volume sellers. An inventory management software can also allow you to “map out” your warehouse so you know where every product is located both in your system and physically on the floor.
Question to ask yourself:
When was the last time we did a profit/loss report for individual products?
Has my product offering changed in the last year?
Do my best sellers have seasonal trends?
Are my best sellers located in the best position in the warehouse?
2 | Evaluate Your Design
Having your warehouse(s) clean and organized is essential. No one wants a cramped and disorganized warehouse, least of all your employees who have to rummage through it and grab products/stock. A disorganized warehouse isn’t only an eyesore, but it can also increase the risk of human error in stock counts, as well as increases the potential risk of injury. You always want to look to the future when designing your layout.
Question to ask yourself:
If our sales increased by 20% in the next month, would we have room for the new inventory?
Where would we put it?
If this were to happen, what’s the best way to organize the warehouse in such a way that makes it efficient to handle this new increase in sales?
You want your warehouse to help you, not hinder you. Everything you can do to make your warehouse more organized means you can save time. Sure, organizing it now might be a pain, but just think of the time savings it’ll bring you in the future.
If you are using a software, then it’s beneficial to map out your floor plan with it to keep it organized.
3 | Barcode Labels (and Scanners!)
How can you ensure items aren’t lost, misplaced, or accidentally sold?
With barcode labels!
Your warehouse management should involve you tracking each item in your warehouse by assigning specific barcode labels to them. This ensures you know where it’s located in your warehouse, as well as allowing you to scan these products in and out of your system.
As your business (and inventory) grows, it’s essential that you know exactly what’s entering and leaving your warehouse, as well as where everything is located. An effective warehouse inventory management solution should have the capability to create barcodes and should integrate with scanners to control the flow of your inventory.
Is every piece of inventory in our warehouse appropriately labelled?
4 | Authorized Personnel
While you should know who has access to your warehouse physically, you also want to ensure that the appropriate staff have access to your digital warehouse if you’re using a warehouse management solution.
An effective warehouse management solution should have different logins for different users with the ability to set restrictions to their respective accounts to limit access to their specific roles. For example, only people who stock/pull items from your warehouse should be able to access the warehouse management portion of your software.
Questions to ask yourself:
(If applicable) Which employees have the ability to access our warehouse management software?
If we have terminated any employees, have we made sure to delete their accounts so they can’t access the system any more?
Picture this: You hired a new part-time employee, Mark, your nephew, who just finished Grade 11 and was looking for a job to keep himself occupied over the summer. You hired Mark because you needed someone to pull customer orders from the shelves and package them up to get ready to be received and shipped out by your shipping/receiving personnel.
On his second week of the job, a customer order comes through that tells him he needs to go to the back of your warehouse to pull the iPad from the second shelf. Mark goes to the back and checks the second shelf and sees two iPads. He grabs the one on the right because they’re in identical boxes and he figures they’re the same and packages it up and it gets shipped out the same day.
What Mark doesn’t know is that he just packaged up the brand new iPad instead of the refurbished one that the customer had actually purchased. Maybe Mark didn’t see the “refurbished” in the order slip, but all the same, you’re now out $300.
What could have prevented this? Besides slowing down and actually reading the orders, having a failsale measure can save you from simple human errors like this.
Let’s revisit this scenario assuming this warehouse has proper failsafe measures in place.
Mark goes to the second shelf and sees the two identical looking iPad boxes. He scans the one on the right (we just talked about having barcode scanners and labels in place, right?), and the scanner beeps and gives him an error because this product is not associated with this order. Ah, right, that’s the brand new one. Now he scans the one on the left and it registers all clear and it’s ready to be packaged and shipped.
What fail safe mechanisms do you have in place currently?
What can a warehouse management software do for you?
If your business is growing to the point where you find it difficult to manage your warehouse and the inventory in it, it’s probably time to utilize a warehouse management software. Managing your warehouse can become increasingly complex as your orders/inventory increase, and multiple warehouses increases the complexities of this greatly.
If you’re at this point with your business, this is a good problem to have. But, you want to deal with this problem while it’s still manageable to keep your customers happy.
What you should look for in a warehouse management system:
Ability to manage multiple warehouses and sync inventory
Create custom storage locations
Ability to assign inventory to locations in your warehouse for easy order management
Ability to utilize barcode scanners and print labels
User access restrictions
Wrapping It Up
Worrying about your warehouse should not be a priority in your business. Of course, you want to make sure it’s handled, but you need to be focusing on growing your business and selling first and foremost.
Making sure you have an effective warehouse management solution in place before you scale your business ensures that you and your team can keep up with the demand for more orders and inventory. Don’t wait until the last moment when it’s already too late. Get started now rather than later and you’ll be thanking yourself.
As you may know, eBay removed durations on listings, and made all listings Good Till Cancelled (GTC) last month.
Kyozou had built some useful tools to take advantage of these durations including our re-lister tool, which allowed your to re-list your products every X amount of days.
However, the update that removed durations essentially removed the usefulness of the re-listing tool in Kyozou.
Kyozou brings back the functionality many asked for – The ability to list your products and end them after X amount of days if not sold.
Now you can continue to take advantage of Kyozou’s powerful automation tools to decide how to proceed forward with unsold products – re-list with a lower price? Liquidate off eBay? The choice is yours!
With integrations to Shopify, Magento, eBay, Amazon and more, VIPparcel allows you to buy and print USPS shipping labels at discounted prices with no monthly fees.
VIPparcel is happy to be partnered with Kyozou, offering one of the best shipping and order management solutions on the market.
Kyozou will allow you to print postage with VIPparcel rates while having everything integrated in a single solution.
You get to keep the same great discounts that you’re used to for all international and domestic shipments making it a great stamps.com alternative.
VIPparcel is the leading online postage service to buy and print discounted USPS labels – domestic and international – from the comfort of your desk.
We guarantee that VIP will save you time and money by making your shipping process easy, affordable and efficient. Combined with Kyozou it makes for you perfect shipping solution.
Kyozou has helped thousands of mid and large size online retail businesses thrive and grow in the eBay and Amazon marketplace.
VIPparcel is efficiently integrated with Kyozou so you don’t have to perform any extra steps. Just manage your business and inventory, fulfill orders, print your labels and start shipping – all in a single solution.
Kyozou has a ton of great order and shipping management features for the online seller. As your inventory sells, all of your orders feed into the same Kyozou account. Create invoices and manage refunds, print shipping labels and get discounted shipping rates all from one solution. Kyozou has direct integration with the most popular shipping couriers: USPS, Fedex, UPS, and Canada Post.
With Kyozou you can calculate rates from the most popular couriers, incorporate and see your own shipping discounts and print labels. Using VIPparcel as your Stamps.com alternative and combining it with Kyozou can help you automate your entire shipping process and get you focused on the most important thing – making sales and growing your business.
The Voice of the Customer dashboard is a hub where you can use feedback from customers to optimize your products and listings. From this dashboard, you can review the Customer Experience (CX) Health of your offers, read customer comments, identify product and listing issues, and act to resolve problems.
To read more about this new feature, check out Amazon’s guide for it here.
eBay has released a limited update on February 26, 2019, alongside their regular planned update to be released later in April.
As expected, the update is designed to enhance your selling experience on eBay by providing you with direct access to features such as:
Listing duration for all fixed price listings will be Good ‘Til Cancelled: You can take advantage of the out-of-stock feature.
Automatic updates of “New other” condition listings: “New other” listings will soon be updated to “Open Box” for items in the Electronics, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, and Musical Instruments categories. Likewise they will be updated to “Used – Like New” in the Business & Industrial category.
State sales tax requirement update: Due to new specific state laws, eBay will now calculate, collect, and remit the sales tax on your behalf at checkout so you do not need to take any action.
You can read more over at eBay’s direct article regarding these updates here. Questions about how this will affect your eBay store or business? Get in touch with your CSM today and we’ll update you.
In this article you will learn how to use, and just how effective the consignment feature is within Kyozou.
What is Consignment?
· The act of giving custody or care of material goods to a person/agency, while retaining legal ownership of the merchandise until they are sold.
· Purpose of consigning could be for shipping, auctions, online or in a brick and mortar store sales.
· Possession of goods transferred is agreed upon by two parties: consignor and consignee.
Consignor – The original owner of merchandise
Consignee – The agent or person who takes possession of goods until goods are officially delivered to the ultimate receiver or buyer.
How To Start A Consignment Store With Kyozou: Step 1
Enable the Consignment feature on your account
You will need to contact your Kyozou CSM to have the Consignment feature switched on.
Once the Consignment feature has been enabled, you’ll see a new Tab in Kyozou called “Consignment” with 4 sub-menus.
· Where you would be creating consignment plans as agreed upon by both consignor and consignee.
· Where you can also view all consignment plans created for updating, editing and deletion.
· Where you would be creating consignors with their full contact details, with an option to attach a specific consignment plan, based on individual agreements.
View Consigned Products
· Where you can view all products attached to consignment plans.
· It has a good overview of which products belong to which consignors, as well as the statuses of each consigned product, from available to listed with pricing.
· You can access product details through consigned product titles here as well.
· You can generate an acceptance form for the consignor
Settlements and Invoices
· Successfully sold products are found here.
· This is the place where you can generate invoices.
· This is the section where you can settle with Paypal.
· You can also print a check for your consignors.
Setup Consignment Plan
Hover over the Consignment tab and navigate to Manage Plans/Packages
Click on the “Click here to create a new consignment plan” link and a popup will appear.
In this popup you’ll be able to customize a plan for your consignors.
Consignment plan title: This field is where you designate a name for this Plan.
Type: Select the plan structure (See below for a detailed explanation)
Sliding scale commission: Charge a variable rate to the consignor (example: Charge 20% if sale price between $0 and $200, Charge 15% if sale price between $200.01 and $500) can only be used with Variable plan type.
Initial fee type: You can charge an initial fee to the consignor and you can set it to a fixed amount or Variable amount.
Initial Fee: You can choose to charge your consignor an initial fee(Each time they consign a product, you can charge an initial flat fee)
Minimum Charge: This is the minimum listing fee you would like to collect when listing an item.
Maximum Charge: This is the maximum listing fee you would like to collect when listing an item.
Additional daily fee: This is an additional option fee that you can collect based on the listing duration (in days) Example :Charge $0.10 per day, which would yield $1 of commission on a 10 day auction.
Other Fee: This is an additional optional fee that you can collect.
Consignor Pays Listing Fee: Specify if the consignor should cover the listing fee.
Consignor Pays Final Value Fee: Specify if the consignor should cover the FVF.
Consignor Pays Publish Shipping Rate: Specify if the consignor should cover the shipping costs.
Consignor Pays Shipping Amount Collected From The Buyer: Specify if the consignor should cover the shipping costs that buyer paid for.
Consignor Pays Merchant Fees: Specify if the consignor should cover the Payment Fees (PayPal, Authorize.net etc)
Consignor Pays Amazon Fees: Specify if Consignor should cover the Amazon Fees
Charge Fee: This is where you set the values based on the “Type” you selected above. (See below for a detailed explanation)
Add Consignment Plan Fee: Add the fee amount entered in the Charge Fee field to the Plan (You will need to add multiple Plan Fees if using Variable plan type)
Update Consignment Plan Fee: Update any existing Plan Fees
Delete Consignment Plan Fee: Delete any Plan Fee of your choosing.
Add Consignment Plan: Click this button once you’re read to Create your Consignment Plan or Save any changes to an existing Consignment Plan.
Delete Consignment Plan: Click this button if you want to remove this plan entirely.
Close Window: This will close the window and won’t save any changes.
1. Percentage Plan
Instead of specified dollar value, the consignee takes a percentage of the product’s sold price value. This is based upon overall value. Works well on Fixed Price Format items.
2. Fixed Plan
Agreed upon rate paid, regardless of how much the final value of product has been sold for. Works well on Fixed Price format items.
3. Variable Plan
Lots of room for rate customization. You are able to charge a percentage fee based on capped dollar values. Great for auctions since final dollar value is yet to be determined.
Hover over the Consignment tab and navigate to Manage Consignors
Click on the “Click here to create new Consignor” link and a popup will appear.
Full Name: Enter Consignors full names.
Company Name: Enter Consignors Company Name
E–mail Address: Enter Consignors email address (This is used for the consignor login)
Password: Enter Consignors Login password.
Confirm Password: Re-enter password that you entered above.
PayPal Account: Add Consignors PayPal account if you choose to pay out this consignor via PayPal.
Consignment Plan: Choose a Plan you’d like to designate to this Consignor.
Internal Note: Add any internal notes for this specific Consignor.
Consignor Inactive: Enable if Consignor is no longer consigning items with you.
Address: Fill in Consignors address.
Invoices: This is where the consignor’s settlement invoices will appear.
Line Items: You can add Line items to a Consignor’s invoice for one-time use. This is used if a Consignor owes you money or if you owe the Consignor money.
Add Consignor: Click this button once you’re done creating the consignor or saving any changes.
Close Window: Close the window and cancel any changes.
Assign Consignor to Product
To add a Consignor to a Product you will need to assign the Consignor within the Product Details page when creating or editing an item.
Select the Consignor from the dropdown list.
You can override the Consignment plan the Consignor has set up on his account for specific items. (Example: If you’re running a promotion for a reduced rate, you can manually assign a plan per product) Leave this dropdown set to -=Use Consignment Plan=- if you want to use the default plan.
View Consigned Products
Hover over the Consignment tab and navigate to View Consigned Products
Here you can view all your Consignment items at a glance and track their status.
Displays the available quantity (Quantity that’s in inventory but not listed on any venue)
Displays the quantity sold for this product. (You can click on the value to get a detailed view of the product that sold)
Displays the quantity that’s currently listed (You can click on the value to get a detailed view of the product that’s currently listed)
Displays the quantity that’s currently in Unsold listings.
Displays the quantity that’s currently in an Order that’s not closed out yet.
Displays the Initial quantity that was added for this Product.
Displays the most recent sale price of the product.
Displays the current Bid or Price of the product.
Print Acceptance Form
From the View Consigned Products page, you can print an acceptance form for your consignors. It can be used as a binding agreement between Consignee and Consignor each time a consignor brings in items to sell.
Hover over Consignment and click on View Consigned Products
Filter by Consignor ID or Name (You can change the search filter within the Search Column dropdown)
Select all the items you would like to print an acceptance form for.
In the “Choose and action” dropdown, select “Print Consigned Product Acceptance Form”
Press Ctrl+P on your keyboard to print this page for you and your consignor to sign.
Configuring Acceptance Form verbiage
Hover over the Administration tab and click on Control Panel.
Click on “13) Customer Invoice and Checkout Settings”
Scroll down to the “CUSTOMIZE YOUR CONSIGNMENT SETTINGS” section.
In the field “Consignment Disclaimer” You can add or edit the verbiage for the Acceptance Form.
Settlement and Invoices
Hover over Consignment and click on Settlement & Invoices
Unsettled – This will filter any Consignor Item that has not been settled out yet.
Settled – This will filter any Consignor Item that been previously settled out.
Product – This will only display records for Items that were sold and are in a closed order. Items will appear here the next morning after the order is closed.
Listing – This will only display records for listings. This type is only used if you’re charging the Consignor for Listing Fees. Each time you list a product, a listing record gets created in the Settlements page.
For selected items(s):
Generate invoice for the selected product(s) – This will generate invoices for all the unsettled items selected. If consignors have multiple items they will be grouped into one single invoice.
Generate print form for selected paid product(s) – This will generate invoices with the Status “Settled” (This is used if you want to re-print a settled invoice for your consignor.
Print check(s) for selected paid product(s) – This will create checks for items that have been settled out (Settled Status)
Settle with PayPal – You can choose to pay your consignors with PayPal. You will be asked to login and it will send the money to the PayPal account you entered for the Consignor.
Settle and Generate Invoice for Consignor
In the Settlements and Invoices page, set the Status to “Unsettled” and type to “Product” (If you are charging your consignor for listings fees, set type to Any)
Select all the products you would like to settle out (Some Kyozou users like to filter items before a certain sold date and print out all the settlements that appear based on that filter)
In the “Choose One” dropdown menu, select “Generate Invoices for selected paid product(s)”
A popup will appear with a preview of the invoices. Scroll to the bottom of the preview and click “Print Invoices and mark product(s) as Paid. This will settle out the product and will get it ready for paying out the Consignor via PayPal or Check.
Configure Check Settings
In the settlements and Invoices page, you’ll be able to customize and configure how your checks print.
Click on the “Configure Check Settings” link.
On this page you can configure the size and settings of the check:
# of Checks per Page: Select how many checks will print on one page.
# of pages to print: Select how many pages you’d like to print.
Gap Between Checks: If printing more than one check on a page, pick the size of the gap between each check.
Select Check Area: Selecting each option in this dropdown will allow you to select the placement of each item on the check.
Check – Controls the dimensions of the full check. You can select Height, width and if you’d like to have a border.
AmountCents – Controls the cent amount on the check. You can measure out the location on the check and fill in the settings. You can add a border and underline it. You can also remove it from the check by selecting the “Invisible” checkbox. This is true for all the options below.
AmountInNumbers: Controls the total amount being paid out to the consignor.
AmountWrittenOut: Controls the amount written out in words on the check.
Company: Controls the placement of your Company Name on the check.
Consignor: Controls the placement of your Consignors Name on the check.
ConsignorAddress: Controls the placement of your Consignor’s address on the check.
Date: This controls the placement of the Date for when the check was printed.
eBayAuctionNumber: Controls the placement of the auction number on the check. If consignor has more than one auction number it won’t display this text. Best to keep this invisible.
Signature: Controls the placement of the Signature text on the check.
Save Settings – Click this button once you’re finished configuring your check layout.
Printing Checks for Settled Products
Hover over Consignment and click on Settlements & Invoices.
Filter the Status dropdown by “Settled”
You may also filter by the date the products were settled to make it easier to find all the products you need to print out a check for.
Select all the items you’d like to print out a check for (If a consignor has more than one item, Kyozou will group them into one check)
Once all the items are selected click on the “Choose One” dropdown and select “Print check(s) for selected paid product(s)”
You will receive a popup asking you to enter a number for the first check. This is used for numbering and tracking checks. If you don’t need to keep track of the number you may enter a random number.
Click OK and a new tab will open with the checks that need to be printed. Once you have your Check paper in your printer, you can press Ctrl+P to print out the checks.
Settle with PayPal
Hover over Consignment and click on Settlements & Invoices.
Filter the Status dropdown by “Settled”
You may also filter by the date the products were settled to make it easier to find all the products you need to print out a check for.
Select all the items you’d like to pay out with PayPal.
In the “Choose One” dropdown select “Settle with PayPal”
A new tab will open with the settlement invoice. You’ll see a button at the bottom that says “Pay with PayPal”
As many of you know, eBay is transitioning to non-PayPal form payments. They have plans to have everyone moved over to this new payment system by 2021. One of the first forms of this new payment system to be offered is Apple Pay, which will be offered to limited users starting Fall 2018.
Steve Fisher, eBay’s SVP of Payments, said in a statement:
“Apple Pay is one of the most ubiquitous forms of payments and provides users with an easy, fast and secure way to pay. Offering Apple Pay as a form of payment on eBay is the first step in providing more choice and flexibility in payment options to our tens of millions of buyers.”
As eBay expands it’s new payment system from 2019 onward to 2021, Apple Pay will become available for a wider array of users in more geographical areas.
PayPal currently reigns as the default payment form in eBay. However, as part of eBay’s process to distance itself, it’s new payment initiative will offer a wider variety of options for customers to choose from. The first of this, Apple Pay, will allow buyers to purchase products in iOS and Safari in order to check out on both eBay’s app and the mobile web.
On adding later forms of payment in the future, Steve Fisher also said:
“Managing the end-to-end payments experience on eBay’s Marketplace is a key initiative for the company. As we expand our new payments experience over the coming months, we look forward to offering our global customers many other forms of payments on our platform.”
Along the same lines, eBay has also announced a new partnership with company Square Capital. Square Capital will offer US sellers financing to help grow their businesses. These sellers will be able to apply for $500 up to $100,000 of financing for various business needs, including inventory, marketing, or equipment. eBay’s ideas for this came from a ci
ted survey that 70% of small businesses didn’t receive the funding they wanted or needed. You can see our article related to some more traditional ways that eBay sellers can finance their businesses here.
If you’re an Amazon seller, you probably know about Fulfillment By Amazon or FBA. FBA in its description is simple. For a fee each month, Amazon will take care of the packing, shipping and customer service side of your orders. Instead of sending your inventory to customers, you send it over to Amazon first who does that for you. They’ll use their own warehouse to store your goods until sold. The benefit here is their 24/7 multi-language customer support that you may not be able to offer.
On the revenue side of things, FBA can certainly help with increasing your sales and also give your products Amazon Prime capabilities. A large percentage of buyers on Amazon will filter their choices by products that qualify for Prime. On your individual products page, you’ll notice sellers that are using FBA may have something that says: “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com”. This can definitely also increase buyer confidence in your listings.
FBA can also remove the need for a large warehouse, or even eliminate the need for a warehouse completely if you’re doing all your sales through FBA. Because you’ll now be shipping products from Amazon’s own warehouse, it can also provide you with better and more competitive shipping rates (free if under Amazon Prime), as well as faster shipping times depending on where your sellers are located.
Kyozou + FBA
With Kyozou’s support of FBA, you can fulfill all sales that occur through Amazon, and track them along with all your other marketplace transactions through the Kyozou platform itself by using Kyozou as an amazon listing service.
By using FBA with Kyozou, you’ll get Amazon to take care of the packing, shipping and customer service regarding your product orders for you.
When a customer purchases your product on Amazon that’s listed as FBA, Amazon will take care of the order for you and these orders will appear in your Kyozou order feed along with other orders that have occurred on your other marketplaces. Now with Kyozou, you can easily list and manage your inventory simultaneously between Amazon (FBA), eBay, Newegg, Reverb and your own webstore. Kyozou is amazon multi channel fulfillment at its best, and as an effective all-in-one online solution. it can help eliminate some of the common Amazon selling problems many sellers face.