Detailed Image

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

A New Tool for Managing Busy Warehouse Days

Typically our busiest shipping day of the week is Monday. This is pretty intuitive, given that we’re shipping out orders from Friday afternoon through our 1 PM same-day cutoff on Monday afternoon. Three-day weekends during our peak season, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and (sometimes) July 4th, when we’re also typically running a big sale, are even busier. And as we’ve grown over the years, those peaks have become even greater proportionally. Essentially, it’s easier to find growth during a big sale in peak… Continue reading

1/24/19

In-Depth: Overhauling Our Dropship System

Like most online retailers, we don’t stock everything that we sell. Some items, like pressure washers, extractors, and paint thickness gauges are too bulky and/or too pricey for us to stock and ship. In these cases we “dropship” the item, meaning that when the customer orders it we then place an order with the manufacturer to have it shipped direct to the customer. While these orders are a small minority, they’ve been steadily increasing over the years. Our previous system mentioned to customers during checkout… Continue reading

8/27/18