Detailed Image

Regaining Control of Technology-Related “Emergencies”

About two months ago I reached a breaking point. Since the pandemic had begun, the frequency of technology-related problems that required my immediate attention had increased from the “occasional issue” to a near-daily occurrence. Being on call, more or less, for the past 12 years (since we migrated to Liquid Web) was only sustainable because I had set up good notification systems and because the issues were rare. I’d get a wave related to a particular problem, and then have several months with nothing. This… Continue reading

10/1/20

PageSpeed vs reCAPTCHA and YouTube: Will Google Ever Get on the Same Page?

With the Core Web Vitals Report now in Google Search Console, and an impending algorithm update coming, I decided it was time to revisit Detailed Image to see if there were some relatively easy “wins” when it came to improving our Google PageSpeed. With about 10 days of tweaks and changes, I was able to get most of our important pages to score 90 or above on mobile. Most of those pages were in the 20 – 70 range to start. A simple page like… Continue reading

9/2/20

PHP Localbox – an easy way to test email on WampServer or XAMPP

A few weeks ago we automated a portion of our inventory management system involving kits that contain several individual items. For example, one of the things that now happens is that when a product goes out of stock, all of the kits that contain that item now also go out of stock. Previously we managed this manually. Sometimes we’d mark the kit out of stock, sometimes we’d substitute a different product in, other times we’d ship a portion of the kit to customers and then… Continue reading

7/14/20

Our Warehouse Package Cutoff System Wasn’t Designed For This, But It Is Saving Us Right Now

Every once in a while you win one by accident. About a year and a half ago I wrote a post A New Tool for Managing Busy Warehouse Days where I described a system that we built for handling volume spikes in our warehouse, both planned and unplanned. From that post: On our back-end we’re able to set a package cutoff for any upcoming shipping day. We use historical data along with staffing information to aid us in picking the number. Once our shipping queue… Continue reading

5/28/20

One Surprising Thing I Didn’t Anticipate When This Pandemic Began

Over the years we’ve built strong relationships with the manufacturers of the products that we carry. We work with a lot of great companies. So I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that many of them pivoted to manufacturing PPE, or that as one of their better customers we’d be on the short list of companies to get first access to these products. The end result has been that we’ve been able to have a steady stock of gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and… Continue reading

5/22/20

Our Weekly Coronavirus Report

One thing was clear pretty early on during this Coronavirus crisis: our business, and every other business, was going to look different throughout the crisis and be different after it’s over. The challenge for us was to come up with a way to regularly review the data that would give us clues as to how things were changing. We wanted to be able to react as quickly as possible. Our current automated reports were good for normal times as a business that has had slow-and-steady… Continue reading

4/9/20

How We’re Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

There’s no playbook for dealing with the challenges that the past week has brought upon everyone. I think with any crisis, the smart thing to do is to identify your biggest threats and prioritize a plan of attack based upon the most critical thing(s) in front of you. We sat down on Monday to do just that for our business (virtually on Skype, of course). That feels like a comically long time ago as I’m writing this on Friday afternoon. But for the most part… Continue reading

3/20/20

A Video Overview of Our Pick & Pack Process

My business partner Greg was recently interviewed by The Rag Company at our newly renovated warehouse about our pick and pack process. One of the main components covered is our packing slip route optimization that I wrote about in-depth recently. I wasn’t in the office that day to meet them, but we were very grateful to have the opportunity to host The Rag Company. Their crew did an A+ job with this video and a few other ones. As you can read in the video… Continue reading

7/1/19

Packing Slip Routing Optimization: How Our Expanded Warehouse Made Our Packing Slips Obsolete & How We Improved Them

We recently completed our warehouse renovation just in time for Memorial Day. I snapped a quick photo of the new space, which you can see we’re already utilizing: The big advantage of this new space is that we have almost 6,000 sq-ft more to dedicate to products. That means we can space products out better and reduce the usage of separate overstock areas. It also keeps the aisles and shelves more organized. Deciding on the new shelving layout and product flow was pretty easy. We… Continue reading

5/30/19

Programming Debt Paid

I’ve been working tirelessly the first half of 2019 because I saw a major goal in sight: for the first time since we launched the Detailed Image shopping cart in 2007, I could be caught up on all of my programming projects. Early in the year I set a goal to accomplish this by Memorial Day, giving me the summer to dial back and relax a bit. This morning I pushed out the code for my last project and hit my goal 10 days early!… Continue reading

5/17/19