Army Navy Outdoors provides tactical, survival, and camping gear through their multiple brick and mortar locations as well as their website armynavyoutdoors.com. Army Navy has seen an increase in online sales in recent years and has been investing in the online channel as a growing revenue stream and strong competitive advantage.
With a growing audience on their website Army Navy saw the opportunity to significantly increase revenue by adding more products available for sale online. They also realized the website was a great channel to test new products and help determine which products they choose to purchase wholesale for their brick and mortar locations.
With the need to add hundreds of products from multiple dropship vendors to their website and route orders back to these vendors, Army Navy was starting to feel the logistical and data management issues many online retailers face. Manually entering orders and updating shipment tracking across multiple vendors began to really slow down their online operation.
Typical of many of our projects, we broke out the project into two efforts. One was to improve their inventory sync and product data upload process. The other was to automate the updating of ordering & shipment tracking. In order to determine our first steps we started by evaluating how Army Navy was communicating with their dropship vendors and what data was provided to determine how to automate these processes.
For inventory syncing they had legacy software setup and for new product uploads this was a manual entry or spreadsheet import process. Some suppliers provided full product data and others only inventory quantities and cost. For those that have full product data we integrated in all the data possible to be able to make the new product upload process seamless allowing products to be automatically loaded to their Big Commerce store, slightly tweaked for SEO purposes and pushed live. Along with the full product data integrations, suppliers only providing inventory and cost data were also integrated and with our optimized sync to ensure the most accurate inventory and cost data possible.
For order routing Army Navy was using Ordoro to easily print, pack, and ship their orders to their internal warehouse and send email purchase orders to their dropshippers. In order to streamline the dropshipping process, we integrated with Ordoro to pull the POs that were to be sent to the dropship suppliers we had integrated. For some suppliers, we were able to save Army Navy on per order fees by placing the order directly over the supplier’s API and avoid a manual entered email by the supplier. Side note… orrders placed over API/FTP/EDI can eliminate order entry errors and increase turn around time and therefore many suppliers offer incentives to place orders in this way.
The big win for Army Navy in the order loop was the shipment tracking. After an order had been placed to a dropship supplier, we monitored either the supplier’s API or the UPS account where they used to ship the order (depending on which supplier). We would pull the shipment tracking from one of these systems, and then automatically route it back to Ordoro marking it as “shipped” and pushing this update to their sales channels.
Implementing our Full Automation Service, Army Navy was able to streamline their new product upload process and automate their shipment tracking updates.
“What used to take 15 minutes to add a new vendor product now takes 30 seconds. Now we are able to add more products at a much greater rate and have added 25-50 percent more products than we could have previously. We can now do much more order processing with less people. We went from two people to one person managing orders while over the same period of time our orders were doubling.”
-Peter Litsky | Army Navy Outdoors