Discover how Fresh Water Systems went from $600k in yearly revenue to averaging that same amount, monthly with SellerActive.
Fresh Water Systems has been delivering clean water to the public for over 30 years, and in 2017 they began offering their filtration products for purchase on Amazon’s marketplace. It wasn’t long before they recognized a growing need for a more efficient way to manage all of their listings, and increase profit.
The Start for Fresh Water Systems
In 1989 Fresh Water Systems got its start installing and servicing commercial water coolers in Southern California. The business began to grow as they began working directly with pharmacies. From there, FWS expanded their operations, adding staff and inventory to accommodate those with home and business water filtration needs. By 2020, the company had 85 employees and two distribution centers — one on the East Coast, and one on the West.
On a daily basis, their full-service team works with several thousand pharmacies across the United States, while the wholesale department offers a wide variety of water filtration products for homes and businesses.
FWS Grows on Amazon
Director of Operations Jon Wilson began working at FWS in January 2019, his initial role was to improve selling through Amazon. In 2018 FWS employed just one part-time staff member to handle all Amazon orders. This resulted in around $600,000 in total sales from the marketplace that year.
Wilson soon discovered the process of fully managing the 240 product listings on Amazon required close to a 13-hour time commitment each day — including reviewing product listings, updating all inventory quantities, and ensuring all pricing was correct. Not only was this time consuming, but the team had to turn around and do it again the next day.
He knew they needed a better system to manage Amazon listings, change prices at a mass scale, and increase profit in the process, particularly to justify his salary.
In February Wilson began working with SkuVault and ShipStation, which allowed FWS to add more products for sale online because the integrations would handle all inventory updates. That spring he “stumbled across a joint webinar with SkuVault and SellerActive”, which introduced him to the solution he’d been looking for all along.
“On a whim I was like, ‘Well, I'm just gonna sign up for SellerActive. I don't know if there's anything here, but I do want to hear what they have to say.’ Coming out of that, I reached out for a trial right away, because it was going to fix a lot of the stuff that we were having issues with.”
A Successful Transition
Wilson said one of the greatest things about beginning to work with SellerActive was that it natively integrated with ShipStation, SkuVault, Amazon, and Walmart, who FWS had also begun selling through. This meant they wouldn’t have to ask for a big lift from their IT team to “write a bunch of custom code, because it was natively done, already”.
He also thoroughly enjoyed the onboarding process, and working with SellerActive Customer Success Manager Daniel Day.
“I'm a tinkerer by trade, so the onboarding was fun because I don't like reading through books. They were also kind enough to assign Daniel to my account, so when I would hit a brick road or a brick wall, he was willing to come in and say, ‘Oh, no, you should have done this. And here's why.’
Now that FWS is additionally selling on Shopify and eBay, working with SellerActive and its integrations with SkuVault and ShipStation has helped them build out their marketplace portfolios, and easily maintain product pricing on all of the platforms.
“So that first month was great because we were able to tinker, try, start small, learn a bunch of stuff on how we could actually internalize what the tool was doing. And with Daniel there the entire time, if we had any troubles he would walk us through how to fix it. And because we started small, we didn't have to worry about breaking anything big, or getting hurt because we did the wrong thing. We were able to just start slowly and make it all happen.”
But FWS has also seen an incredible increase in online sales through their work with SellerActive, as it has jumped from $600k in all of 2018 to now averaging that same number, monthly. FWS used to ship around 8,000 packages each month, and now it’s over 18,000 a month. These increases have internally created two and a half more full-time jobs, just to handle the online marketplaces.
Benefits of Working with SellerActive
All of these improvements have left Wilson very happy with his initial decision to give SellerActive a try. He points to the following factors that he favors the most.
Custom strategies that fit different business needs
“We now have the ability to quickly change strategy. If the strategy is to make a ton of margin, we can slow down sales instantly, and grow margin. If it's to move a ton of product, we can do that almost instantly, and without SellerActive we couldn't do that. Fresh Water Systems has well over 2,600 items listed on just Amazon. The amount of time it would take to go in and manually manipulate all those . . . I mean, it's just not possible. We wouldn't be able to run as many marketplaces as we do, with our two and a half employees. We just wouldn't be able to do it.”
Opportunities for the future
“SellerActive is always in development, and constantly trying to make the platform better, and we get to benefit from all the changes that come in. It’s also very budget conscious for the size of our business. There are so many others that are our size, compared to the Grainger’s of the world, and your pricing just gives a smaller company an opportunity to compete in a big way.”
Wilson also compliments the seamless integrations SellerActive has with SkuVault and ShipStation, and when a business has everything configured properly, they can see margin immediately, and quickly ascertain whether they’re making money or not.
“The beautiful thing about all those integrations is that it enables you to keep all your metrics up to speed. And make sure that you're in compliance with all the rules that you need to be in compliance with, because you have visibility into what's going on. When you have a smaller team like we do, and are generating $7 million of business that’s run by two and a half people, you have to have high visibility into what's going on or else you're gonna get shut off. And every time we get shut off, it's between $30-$60k in lost sales.”
He continues by saying he recommends SellerActive to everyone, even FWS competitors.
“If everyone does things smartly and knows how to use the tools SellerActive has to offer, any business, no matter their size, can be successful. Because when you're talking about integrating with Shopify, Walmart, Amazon, eBay, there are opportunities for a small business to have a level playing field with the big guys. And when using SellerActive, you have the tools to be able to compete with the big guys.”
Grow Your Business with SellerActive
If you’re looking to better manage your e-commerce inventory and expand your business to new online channels, a multichannel management tool like SellerActive can help. We offer comprehensive inventory management software with dedicated support at a competitive price, try our 14-day free trial.
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