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Outlines the steps required in order to successfully implement CartonCloud into your warehouse, and suggested methods for completing each step

Congratulations on making the leap,

Going from paper to paperless is extremely rewarding from both an operational standpoint and a costs standpoint. After making the switch to CartonCloud, you’ll excel operationally by knowing exactly what is going on with particular incoming and outgoing stocks, increase profits by cutting overhead administration costs, increase cash flow by billing faster and more accurately and save a whole ton of time.

The CartonCloud Implementation can be broken into the following steps:

  1. Creating your CartonCloud Account
  2. Advising customers on the coming changes, and asking them for required information
  3. Gathering information internally and loading into CartonCloud
  4. Staff Training on System Use.
  5. Complete Stock Take
  6. Go Live
  7. Ensuring everyone adheres to the new processes, including customers.

  1. Accessing your CartonCloud Account.

The first thing we do is create your ‘Organisation’ account within CartonCloud. Once this is done, we will send Invitations to yourself, and other key members of your staff providing access so you can get in and begin using the system.

At this stage, we will begin system training.
Training will be ongoing throughout the implementation of the system.

  1. Advising customers on the coming changes, and asking them for required information.

We recommend this step occurring as early as possible in the implementation process because having your customers gather the required data for you can often take a few weeks. By contacting them early they can start working on that process while you focus on the internal changes.

Before you can begin a stock take to load initial stock levels into CartonCloud, you need to have a list of all product names and product codes from your customers so that information can be imported.

To make this process easier, we have put together an example email template which we recommend sending to your customers advising them of what is coming, and what they need to do.

Like implementing any operational changes, your customers need to feel that the effort required to provide you with information (such as a Product List) is worth the reward, so we begin our template email by explaining some of the major benefits your customers will experience once CartonCloud is up and running.

Everyone is busy, so we recommend sending out the email to customers as early as possible so they are aware of what they need to do. You may then need to follow that email up with a reminder a week or so later so they actually go about the process of gathering the information you require.

  1. Gathering information internally and loading into CartonCloud

In this step you need to gather all of the information to be loaded into CartonCloud such as Customer Names, email addresses, rates and other configuration information.

This data will then be entered into CartonCloud and we will assist with this data entry. There are numerous options within each customer account that affect things like charging, automated emails etc so we will explain these in detail as the accounts are setup.

Once this has been done, we will send access invitations to remaining members of staff within your organisation.

In this step we will also send access invitations to key customers so they can login to their own account within CartonCloud.

If Warehouse Locations and Labels do not already exist in the warehouse, this will need to be done in this step as well. CartonCloud is able to print warehouse location labels if required.

  1. Staff Training on System Use

Majority of the training will take place in this step, in which your staff will be taught how to perform their specific functions within CartonCloud. Normally in this step we will provide training using demo data as your own organisation will only have limited data to work with.

This is intended to give staff a base level of understanding of how their work can be performed within the system, and also introduce them to any new concepts or processes which are being implemented.

As your customers will be the biggest users of CartonCloud, we also train your staff on how to train your customers to use the system, both to find things they’re looking for and also to enter Sales Orders and Purchase Orders for you.

It is not expected that staff will become experts or remember everything they are taught, that will be part of the ongoing training provided once the system has gone live.

  1. Complete Stock Take

In order to go live with the system, a complete stock take must be performed in order to load in the initial stock balances. Like a regular stock take, during this period stock should not be moved in or out.

If the rollout is being staggered by specific customers then only a stock take for the customers who are about to go live will be required.
We recommend simply recording the stock take on paper so it can then be keyed into the system in one go by a trained operator. We will assist in performing this.

  1. Go Live

With stock figures loaded, customer accounts created and users setup with access and training you’re now ready to go live.

Here, we switch completely from the old method of processing orders (email, fax, phone) to having everything run through the system. Initially, if customers are struggling to enter their Sales Order and Purchase Orders online, we recommend getting in touch with the customer right away and providing them with an on-the-phone walkthrough of exactly how to add their orders online.

From our experience, if you instead decide to enter Sale and Purchase Orders into the system on the customers behalf, while giving them all the benefits of being able to track their orders, view stock counts etc, then trying to convince them later to perform the data entry step for you can be very difficult, because it no longer provides any benefit to them.

The key time to train your customers to follow the new procedure is when the system first goes live.

Your Staff:
It is imperative that your staff follow the Sales Order and Purchase Order procedures defined by the system and do not let any stock go in or out of the warehouse without it being tracked through the system.

The #1 cause of discrepancies between the system and physical stock is staff moving stock without following procedures. In many cases they might find this difficult at first because they are used to simply ‘knowing where things are’, and having to make sure every movement is recorded in the system may appear as an additional burden.

The truth however, is that the small amount of extra time spent making sure everything is done through the system saves an enormous amount of time later. By keeping track of everything in CartonCloud, your storage charges are calculated automatically, charges for incoming and outgoing stock is automated and above all else, stock levels are accurate.

Plus if key staff members are away sick or on holiday, other people (who are not familiar with the products at all) are able to cover for them because all knowledge about where products are, or even which product is which, is no longer stored only in the brain of the staff member on leave. It is stored in CartonCloud and can be followed as a standard process by anybody within your company.

Never, under any circumstance allow stock to be moved in or out of the warehouse unless it is tracked through CartonCloud. If customers need urgent orders shipped immediately, it can be very tempting to simply grab stock off the shelf and think “I’ll patch that up later”. Do not allow this to happen. Before taking anything out make sure the sales order is in the system. It’ll take an extra 2 minutes now, but it’ll literally save you hours down the track when you’re trying to reconcile stock and find items are missing.
Always remember,
If it’s not recorded in CartonCloud, it won’t get billed.

  1. Ensuring everyone adheres to the new processes, including customers.

The first 2 months of system use are the critical time to ensure that staff, and customers, are correctly following the new procedures.

Don’t let staff members revert back to the old ways of doing things.

In addition to keeping track of how staff members are interacting with the system (and ensuring they’re not moving stock without it being recorded in CartonCloud), during this period, we recommend holding weekly 1 hour meetings with each department to encourage discussions about any issues they may be facing, or directly raising questions they have about how to do specific things within the system, or how to automate particular processes.
From our experience, often some of the best ideas about how to better use CartonCloud come from front-line staff during these meetings. It also helps staff to understand how their part of the process ties into other aspects of the company, and other peoples jobs. Once they understand that by following the new procedures of their task, they have just made everyone else’s jobs far easier, the temptation to shortcut using the system loses it’s appeal immensely.

Likewise with your customers, encourage use of the system as much as possible.
If a customer calls to ask a question about something they could find themselves online, such as checking stock of a particular product, or whether an order has been picked, spend an extra few minutes on the phone with them and run them through how they can find this information themselves online. By doing this, you’ve just saved your business hundreds of hours over the coming months and years  as they won’t even have to contact you to find these things out, freeing up your staff to work on more important things.

CartonCloud support staff will be available to assist with such queries via phone and email. We can also perform screen-shares to give a demonstration of how to perform particular processes or actions where necessary.

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