‘Adapt or Die: Your Survival Guide to Modern Warehouse Automation’ aka increase your backend ROI (episode 347)

Jeremy Bodenhamer is the author of Amazon bestseller “Adapt or Die: Your Survival Guide to Modern Warehouse Automation” and the CEO of ShipHawk.

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Jeremy’s Backstory

In college, Jeremy worked for a small executive services firm. He helped the owner grow the business while he was there and upon graduating from college, he began to look out for small businesses to run himself.

He eventually bought a pack and ship store that was failing, where his first customer brought in a life-sized wooden rocking horse for shipping. Soon after that, many other shipping orders followed, and the business became profitable by catering to both retail customers and business owners.

Jeremy, later on, sold the business and co-founded a shipping software company called ShipHawk, which aims to help eCommerce companies reduce their costs and increase throughput.

Adapt Or Die: Your Survival Guide To Modern Warehouse Automation

At ShipHawk, Jeremy found that the biggest barrier to the success of eCommerce businesses was education. Many of their clients and prospective customers didn’t have any idea about competitive threats, or had no supply chain goals or operational metrics to run their businesses by.

Writing this book and getting it out there was for Jeremy, a way to educate companies on how to keep up with the changing times and continue to scale their businesses.

The Crisis Happening In eCommerce

In the book, Jeremy talks about the 5 APIs of the Apocalypse: Amazon, Walmart, JD.com, Alibaba, and Shopify.

He speaks of a possible future without independent merchants and where these five companies are in control of the whole eCommerce space. If these independent retailers want to stay in business and continue to scale, Jeremy says there has to be an intelligent approach to doing operations, which includes packing, shipping, and labor.

Setting Expectations With Shipping

With the way the 5 giant companies have handled automations, they’ve created the mindset that shipping should be fast and free. They’ve also reduced the cost of delivery far lower than what a regular business can do.

Jeremy says there are things that can be improved on to make the smaller brands more competitive such as their processes, the software they’re using, and even the partners they work with.

Instead of relying on people to manually decide which courier will be used for shipping, using software can help businesses ensure they are getting the best rates while meeting their delivery commitment to the customer.

Improving 2 More Backend Elements

Packaging is another area businesses should look to improve. Getting the size and materials of your packaging right can help save on cost in the long run.

Labor is one more important factor merchants have to pay attention to. Invest in your workers by training them and giving them a great experience in the warehouse. Treat them right and give them reasons to stay with your company for the long haul and in the end, you might actually get an ROI on that labor.

Where Do We Start Putting Focus Before The Year Ends?

Select fundamental things in your business to start measuring.

Knowing how you were doing before and understanding where you are now can help you set targets that you and your team can achieve.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Jeremy is a big fan of cold calls because it means knowing who your target buyer is and knocking on their door to prove the value of what you’re selling

Tool Top Tip

Growth Top Tip

  • Keep it simple – Don’t try to do everything at once and don’t go overboard. Master one thing at a time and move on to the next.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • 340: Turning Shipping into a Competitive Advantage with Dhruv Saxena
  • 291: Coping with a supplier-side meltdown with Neil Fitzpatrick from Pet Drugs Online
  • 298: How Swag.com grew their B2B eCommerce sales 1,999% in 3 years with Jeremy Parker

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