January WSO Office Report
Click here for the December “Sales Per Product” with comparisons from the past six months. Also attached is the Quick Shopping Cart “raw data” for “SalesPerItem” from which I manually pull the numbers for my sales compilation.
Sales: For the second month, sales of Workbooks- still in our Commemorative Edition- were greater than Fellowship Text Hardcover sales.
Other critical business:
> UPS WorldShip Launch–
Phase One for “Domestic” Shipping- Beta Test & “Soft” Launch: The first week of December we launched the first phase of a multi-tiered pricing structure with UPS. Phase One of the Pilot Program with UPS took our Quick Shopping Cart UPS Domestic Retail Rates down to a set of tiered negotiated rates. The levels of discounts with UPS were designed for the specifics & idiosyncrasies of our order distribution. Specifically, the bulk of our orders are onesie-twosie combinations – and it is these small orders that the first level of the Pilot Program addressed. In the first stage of launch, Fellowship members no longer saw UPS Retail rates – rather, they saw our “negotiated rate structure” under Shipping Options, & 2) at this stage, the visual hierarchy had UPS options listed ahead of USPS options for Shipping. Impact: At this stage, Fellowship members could still select US Postal Service options- either Media Mail or Priority- or choose UPS. With all full UPS & full USPS Shipping options listed at this stage, 30-40% of our Fellowship members online chose UPS even though rates were slightly higher. For example- Domestic for a one-Text &/or one-Workbook order, Shipping USPS Media Mail runs $4-5.50 … for UPS Ground the rate range at retail is $12-14, yet our new negotiated rate range is $9.50-11.50. BUT, it gets better- if a member or group orders 2-6 Texts &/or 3-6 Workbooks, this rate drops to the $7-8.50 range- only a slight margin above USPS yet having UPS trackability and package pick-up service! Yes- under this tiered structure, it costs less in Shipping to order “a few” Texts/Workbooks than ordering only one of either. UPS structured our pricing in this way in order to give the highest level of discounts to us where we had the greatest level of activity in shipping.
Phase Two for “Domestic” shipping: Will occur over the next 30-60 days, as UPS gets the platform in place for this Pilot Program such that Shopping Cart will actually reflect the next full level of Shipping Discounts. At this time office Staff are able to select a lower price tier for Shipping on certain Domestic orders (dependent upon the Zone or shipping address to which the order is going) – yet the Fellowship member does not see this discount YET. When the platform is in place on the Go Daddy Quick Shopping Cart for this new Pilot Program, most small one-package Domestic orders will see an additional drop in UPS rates of $1-2.
Phase One for “International” shipping, late-December: This involved getting our negotiated rate structure set up in UPS Worldship for International orders. These rates are currently visible in UPS Worldship to all Staff, however they are not yet visible to Fellowship members over the Go Daddy Quick Shopping Cart. Consequently, USPS Priority International is still listed as a Shipping option in Shopping Cart such that a Fellowship member or group can still choose the option & pricing with which they are familiar. At this time, we are able to work with individual groups & some of our high-level repeat International customers to ship at the lower UPS International rates- even though those price tiers are not yet visible to them.
Phase Two for “International” shipping, late-January: Similar to Phase Two for Domestic, this involves getting the International discount platform set up for the Go Daddy Quick Shopping Cart such that our Fellowship member sees and is able to select a UPS service that shows a greatly reduced rate rather than a rate which is currently close to UPS Retail.
Cutting Costs and Expenses:
> Labor- Volunteer Pool: In August and into September, our Volunteer group dropped away one-by-one- with school, relocation, attrition in general. We felt the resulting impact to Labor in the loss of trained Volunteers- especially a hit to our numbers in September/October. After actively recruiting again in meetings around the local area, we are once again staffed with three Volunteer Service Workers who have been dependable, showing up consistently over the past 3-5 weeks. The impact to overall labor in November and again for December is apx 16-18 hours worked by Volunteers during the month (4 or so hours per week) meant paid staff hours were able to be reduced proportionately.
> Largest Area of Labor Savings, December: Came with the initial launch phases of UPS. Multiple “touches” and redundancy required under our old USPS Media Mail process became streamlined as we were at last able to launch with UPS Worldship/THub- AND- through dropping USPS Domestic Media Mail service in favor of UPS Ground, we no longer have to Load, Travel, Unload at the USPS Bulk Mail Center multiple times per week. UPS picks up all of our packages at our door- no carrying, lifting in/out or use of employee personal vehicles to get WSO orders out. The labor savings overall per day – even during our training phase- is running around 1-2 hours per day (depending upon the day of the week/volume), or 8-12 hours per WEEK savings thus far coming from the shift to UPS. How this has translated to Scheduling & Labor Hours at the Staff level is one member of Warehouse Staff has moved from 30 hours per week in November to 25 hours in December to 20 hours per week in January, and another Staff member has moved from 30-32 hours down to 24-26. Thus far all necessary reductions in overall Labor Hours have been accomplished through schedule changes with personnel who were open to or needed to redesign their schedules.
> Inventory– We took a Full Physical on Wednesday January 2nd for December close-of-business; results were sent to Patricia.
Thank you, DiAnne – and Vivian, Danielle, Kristina, Taylor, Trudy, Kim & Gloria too