1000 times more powerful!

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Users who have been managing thousands of products using CyberStockroom probably noticed something huge over the past couple of weeks. Usually searching through a large number of products can be slow and sluggish. It’s often hard to find the exact products you’re looking for and very large inventories can slow down the software’s performance.

These are now problems of the past. Over the holidays, we rolled out an important update that allows our users to easily manage and search through MILLIONS of products without any performance decrease.

How did we manage to do this? It all has to do with the API that we will be releasing in the next few months. We built our API to be so fast and efficient that we decided to use it to run part of our website. The change in performance was dramatic and we decided to run most of the intensive inventory functions through the API as well.

Meet the Map!

Today I am proud to announce a tool that will be of tremendous help to small business owners everywhere:

1 min Explainer Video

For years, at CyberStockroom, we’ve known that inventory management is a pain in the neck. So much so that we’ve often given people who have to count inventory the chance to vent.

But since we can’t do away without inventory management, we’ve developed the next best thing! By creating a map of your business, CyberStockroom empowers you to manipulate your inventory products in ways that have never been possible before.

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You can now transfer products between locations just by dragging and dropping directly from the map. You can also see the products in any of the locations and navigate quickly from place to place.

The best part is that the map is fully customizable! Each business is unique and it’s up to you to build your map to reflect that.

I’m very excited to see the New CyberStockroom in action with our clients old and new and to hear your comments and suggestions about how we can continue to serve the small business community for years to come.

Emad Hanna
CEO, CyberStockroom

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Why Our Company Twitter Account is Full of Profanities (Part 2)

Part 1   Part 2

So it’s been over a month since we put our finger on the pulse of enraged inventory-counting employees all over the world.  Let me remind you what we did. We sell inventory software (cyberstockroom.com) and over time it became more and more clear to us that people really HATE to count inventory and generally avoid it like the plague. Well this naturally peaked our curiosity and we started working on solutions to make counting easier. But at the same time we wanted to have some fun with the sheer volume of anger and hate that we found online so we created a Twitter account (@InventoryRAGE) and we started to ReTweet as many angry inventory-counting Tweets as we could.

It turns out that there are WAY more tweets than we could handle and we didn’t really want to spend the entire day ReTweeting. So far, our incomplete list includes almost 1000 very angry tweets that we have often found to be witty, profane and sometimes very creative. Here are my personal top 5 favorites tweets:

So what are we to do with all this juicy hatered? Well, we had some ideas. First We created some word clouds which we shared with you on Part 1 of this post. We also created a collage of some of the tweets – I really think that every stockroom should put up one of these to cheer up the employees:

Inventory Sucks Poster for a Happier Work Environment.

After that we just wanted to keep going. We thought it would be a good idea to give these brave warriors a uniform so we made some t-shirts (Availble Here)

Inventory Sucks - Classy Apparel
Inventory Sucks – Classy Apparel

But Something was still missing. Were we ready to tap this raw vein of vitriol and come out to the world and admit that these people were correct? That even though we are an inventory management company we agree that inventory does, in fact, really really suck? Yes. So we turned our marketing on its head. Our new Slogan is now “Inventory Sucks“. We’ve changed our homepage (our professional face to the business world) to reflect more accurately what we are about. Here it is:

Our New Homepage (cyberstockroom.com)
Our New Homepage (cyberstockroom.com)

How Inventory Management Can Make or Break a Small Business

Oftentimes, small business owners tend to focus on generating revenue, hard-to-please customers, personnel issues and raising financing. Unfortunately, many overlook one of the most important aspects of keeping a small business organized: inventory management. Your inventory strategy directly affects your business’ profit margin. When you have inventory that’s not being sold, your profit margin decreases, and vice versa. Using an inventory management system can help you keep track and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Why do I need Inventory Management?

 

Out of stock items lead to loss of sales and revenue

If an item is out of stock, you may not realize it if you’re not keeping track of your inventory with system that allows you to update your product information as you make sales. Waiting until after a purchase to notify a customer that his or her item of interest is out of stock is not a good business practice, and it often leads to unhappy customers who will be unwilling to return to your business in the future.

 

Overstocked items lead to wasted money

In order to run a successful business, one must learn how to order merchandise according to demand. If you are housing an excessive amount of a product that isn’t selling, you’re wasting storage space as well as money.

 

Identify issues before they become insurmountable

If it takes you months to recognize that there is a problem with your inventory, what may have been a small problem in the beginning has likely snowballed into a much larger issue. This means that your company may lose a substantial amount of money due to mistakes that may have been preventable if caught in a timely manner. For example, if one of your employees makes a mistake on a sales order, it is very important that you find out sooner rather than later.

 

Customer service

If you’ve been in business for very long, you’ve likely already received calls from customers complaining that they received the wrong product or the wrong amount of a certain product. It happens to the best of us, but if you are tracking your inventory, this mistake will be much simpler to fix. Accurate and timely communication with customers is of great importance in any successful business. Happy customers lead to increased sales, and increased sales lead to increased revenue.

 

Minimize theft

No matter how trustworthy you believe your employees to be, they will be much less likely to try anything sneaky when times get tough if they know that you are keeping a close watch on your merchandise. If you leave room for error, you leave room for theft.

 

When searching for an inventory management system that fits your business’ needs, be sure to pay close attention to the areas of most importance, which include: SKU recognition services, purchase orders, user friendly importing features, online POS services, visualization, customization abilities and website integration. Check out www.cyberstockroom.com to learn more about an inventory management system that includes these features and more!

4 Documentaries that Every Entrepreneur Should Watch

If you’re a small business owner looking to grow your company, you’ve undoubtedly perused your fair share of how-to books and articles. But, let’s be honest, we all get tired of the countless hours of instruction-reading. So, it may be a nice change for you to watch a few documentaries instead! Here is a list of the top videos for entrepreneurs trying to grow their business.

  1. Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos (2006)

This film centers on the New York Cosmos, a successful the team from North American Soccer League owned by Steve Ross and Ahmet Ertegun. This documentary highlights the importance of attracting talented individuals to your company, a point that is proven by recounting the events of 1975 when the Cosmos signed a $5 million contract for a top athlete in order to help their struggling team. A mere two years later, the New York Cosmos won the NASL championship game.

 

  1. The Call of the Entrepreneur (2007)

This documentary focuses on three driven entrepreneurs: a dairy farmer, a merchant banker and a refugee from communist China. “The Call of the Entrepreneur” shows how each of these hardworking individuals was able to overcome adversity and reminds us that society depends on entrepreneurial ideas to grow and thrive.

 

  1. Beer Wars (2009)

“Beer Wars” is somewhat of a play on the Biblical story of David and Goliath in that it shows the adventures of small American brewers battling the market giants such as Anheuser-Busch. This film especially applies to those small business owners who are attempting to grow businesses in an already-established market. The take-home message is that the importance of educating your customers on the superiority of your product cannot be underestimated. To quote Same Adam’s founder, Jim Koch, “Almost all our beer knowledge comes from Budweiser, Miller and Coors. It’s as if all we knew about food we learned from McDonalds.”

 

  1. Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2012)

Specifically focused on the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs: One Last Thing” highlights the highs and lows of Jobs’ career from the perspective of his closest peers. Jobs’ story should serve to motivate any entrepreneur as it proves that the ideas of one man are enough to change the way the world works.

The Right Time of Day to Send an Email.

Tired of your calls being ignored, your emails going unanswered and your meeting requests being rejected? You may just be timing it wrong. Studies have shown that there is actually an optimal time of day to do each of these things. Here is a simple layout of the tasks you should (and shouldn’t) do throughout the day.

 6:00 – 8:00AM – Send Out Emails

Though multiple studies have suggested that checking your emails first thing in the morning is a bad idea as it will distract you from more important tasks, people continue to check their Outlook as soon as they get in the office door. As all of your partners and customers are sifting through emails while sipping on their morning coffee, go ahead and send out your communications when they’re most likely to be seen immediately.

 Around 8:00AM – Make Ethical Decisions

Experiments carried out by researchers from both Harvard University and the University of Utah discovered a phenomenon called the “morning morality effect.” In essence, computer-based experiments on undergraduate students as well as working adults showed that people were more likely to have stronger moral character in the morning than in the afternoon. When given the opportunity to cheat or lie to earn more money, participants were significantly more likely to take the opportunity during the afternoon. As Harvard researcher, Maryam Kouchaki explains, “Self-control is like a muscle. It’s restored when we rest and eat. Basically, we have a limited amount of self-regulatory resources available to us at one time.

 9:00AM – Avoid Meetings

One huge issue with scheduling meetings is finding a time that fits everyone’s calendar. It is much more likely that more people will schedule themselves to appear “busy” in the mornings to avoid these types of meetings, so avoid the morning times altogether if at all possible.

 1:00-2:00PM – Don’t Make Calls

This is especially true on Friday afternoons. 1-2pm is normally when everyone is getting back from their lunch breaks (or may still be out), and the last thing they want to do is come back to the office and sit in on a call. They’re most likely still distracted and will be browsing the Internet for Facebook and sports updates while you try to carry on an important discussion. Studies have shown that making calls in the morning rather than in the early afternoon has about a 164% higher success rate.

 3:00PM – Make Meetings

This is especially applicable to Tuesday afternoons. No one wants to sit in on a meeting first thing Monday morning, and Tuesday is still early enough in the day that your employees or customers shouldn’t be burned out and anxiously awaiting Friday night.

How to Renegotiate Your Lease

You might think that, because you signed that 5-year or 10-year lease, you’re doomed to be paying the same outrageously expensive rent until your contract ends. The problem is, during times of economic downturn, paying the same occupancy rate for your building just isn’t possible for most small businesses. Not to worry, even the most binding contracts are negotiable. Some landlords are relatively inflexible and tend to give rate reductions of approximately 5%, but Matthew Bordwin, managing director of Real Estate Services Team at KPMG Corporate Finance states that it is not uncommon for a tenant to receive a rate reduction of up to 30%.

The principle behind these high reductions is this: Would your tenant rather accept the money that he or she will earn from a 30% rate reduction or earn a $0 income due to the loss of a tenant who is unable to pay the bills? If your office isn’t situated in a 100% occupied building with business owners lined up to take your spot, your landlord will likely offer you a reduction.

To convince your landlord to reduce your payments, you’re going to have to prove that it’s a necessity for keeping your business alive. Be prepared to divulge your current earning information to make your case. Also, be sure that your landlord is aware of any currently open spaces in nearby office buildings. If you’re likely to move to another space, he’s likely to cut your rates. If you’ve been a loyal tenant for years, make your landlord aware of your longtime commitment. If you’ve always paid your bills on-time, make that sure that he or she remembers. Just as much as tenants appreciate good landlords, landlords appreciate good tenants.

One final option is to consider offering to sign up for a lease extension. If your tenant knows that he or she will be able to keep you (and your money) around for the long-term, he’s likely to give you a reduction.

As you can see, there are many ways to negotiate what may seem to be a non-negotiable contract. As the chief executive of RCS Real Estate Advisors in Manhattan states, “Occupancy costs have become a controllable expense.”