Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

Make Seller Fulfilled Prime Work Harder For You


Manish ChowdharyManish Chowdhary is the Founder and CEO of Cahoot, a peer-to-peer order fulfillment network of ecommerce merchants working together to expedite shipping at a lower cost. He is also the Founder and CEO of Pulse Commerce, the leading enterprise cloud platform for order and inventory management.

Manish is an innovator, thought leader, and highly sought-after speaker for all facets of ecommerce, business methods innovation, and omnichannel supply chain and logistics optimization. Insights Success magazine recognized him as one of the 30 Most Innovative Business Leaders and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Internet Retailer, and other leading publications.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [01:50] Manish Chowdhary shares his professional background
  • [02:31] The genesis stories of Cahoot and Pulse Commerce and their offerings
  • [05:34] How Cahoot streamlines order fulfillment for ecommerce brands
  • [08:37] Manish talks about Cahoot’s business model
  • [11:40] How Cahoot differentiates itself from the traditional 3PL
  • [14:46] Cahoot’s ideal clients
  • [19:59] Manish discusses the Seller Fulfilled Prime program and how it’s different from the Amazon FBA
  • [23:47] The benefits of leveraging the Seller Fulfilled Prime at Cahoot as an ecommerce brand
  • [30:47] Cahoot’s data security measures and operational efficiency for ecommerce businesses
  • [34:43] Manish’s advice for ecommerce brands selling on Amazon

In this episode…

Distributing products to customers quickly is one of the rudimentary factors for success as an ecommerce business. It helps you satisfy your customers, retain them, and acquire more as they receive their orders as promised. Where can you find the most cost-efficient method to successfully and consistently deliver customer orders?

Ecommerce expert Manish Chowdhary says Seller Fulfilled Prime could be a game-changer for your ecommerce brand. The program allows you to deliver directly to domestic Prime customers from your warehouse, committing to fulfill orders with one-day and two-day delivery. He shares how Cahoot is helping brands leverage the Seller Fulfilled Prime program to grow.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Manish Chowdhary, Founder and CEO of Cahoot, to discuss how ecommerce brands can thrive through the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. Manish talks about Cahoot and Pulse Commerce, how Cahoot streamlines order fulfillment for ecommerce brands, the Seller Fulfilled Prime program, its benefits, and the ways it differs from Amazon FBA.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hey folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Pat Yates  0:32

Hello, and welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast. I’m Pat Yates. Today we have another conversation we’ve had him on before but he’s so dynamic does such a great job announcing what his business does we have Manish Chowdhry with He is such a knowledgeable guy and how to order manage he has a company called Pulse Commerce. He has a company called is what we’re talking about mainly, but he is really tied in to the distribution network hundreds of warehouses across the country that you can utilize your products in and be able to distribute them out. Seller Fulfilled Prime it really helps people that have that kind of program to be able to have this spread across the whole country. So how he’s trying to approach businesses taking warehousing, distribution, label creation and everything and putting it in one bucket so you have an easier opportunity to be able to run your business. He is so great at this and every time I send to find out new things about distribution. So I’m excited to talk to Manish again, let’s get right to it. Manish it’s great to have you in the Quiet Light Podcast today. How are you doing?

Manish Chowdhary  1:32

I’m doing great, Pat, thank you again, for having me.

Pat Yates  1:35

It’s always great to have you. I know you’re such a knowledgeable guy. We talk a lot about distribution, and your company I’m sure the listeners out here may have heard of you before talk to you. But tell us all about where you’re from, and maybe a little bit of your background.

Manish Chowdhary  1:48

Yeah, awesome. So my name is Manish Chowdhary. I’m the founder and CEO of Cahoot. I also run a ecommerce platform and order inventory management platform called Pulse Commerce. So I’ve been involved in ecommerce since the early, early days. So I’ve seen it all. Having worked with SMBs for a very long time. So I’m excited to be here. Happy to chat about logistics, ecommerce, just everything that’s happening in the online world.

Pat Yates  2:20

I know we talked about a bunch of things we’re going to talk about, you really want to talk a lot about Seller Fulfilled Prime, because it’s a great thing. But tell us a little bit about the inventory management, the other company as well. I’d love to hear more about that.

Manish Chowdhary  2:31

Yeah, certainly. So we started originally, we built one of the first ecommerce platform, before the word ecommerce platform was really invented. This is late 90s, early 2000, when we used to call them shopping cart software, the turnkey shopping cart software. And, Pat, I know you were involved in a business that was a client of ours for a long time company feed. So Cahoot go, go way back. And so having worked with we start with the ecommerce platform, and then we quickly realized about a few years later that sellers, brands and retailers are struggling with making their back office efficient, meaning there would be stuff like they would end up selling items that did not exist in stock because the back office wasn’t talking to the front end. And I know all this sounds archaic today, perhaps in the Shopify awards. However, in those days, there was a real challenge into keeping the back office and front office. So for example, you took an order on the front end, how do you refund the customer? This a lot of those things. So we built Pulse Commerce to close that gap so that the customers have the same identical visibility into when the inventory is arriving? When can you take back orders when you’re not going to have to wait excessive periods of time? How do you communicate the status, alpha live inventory, on the storefront, all of those things were a real big challenge. And that’s what Pulse Commerce was solving for. And we took it all the way to creating fulfillment WMS warehouse management system. And what Cahoot what Pulse Commerce did not have is the order fulfillment services or a shipping software. And that is where Cahoot comes in. Who takes over where Pulse Commerce leads which is you create your factory, get your packing list. And now how do I efficiently ship the goods to the end customer and in many, many cases within one or two days without losing your shirt and do it profitably. So the two solutions and products are very symbiotic in nature, and they help complete the stack for an online seller. So that is why I’m so excited about even the integration that exists between those two tools that an SMB can compete with the likes of somebody who is much larger and has far more resources. But it’s all the power of tools and technology.

Pat Yates  5:03

It’s really incredible. I think in these days when people are trying to get product to people faster, some of these services are really needed. But it’s an interesting pivot because in the past a lot of people would have their own 3PL and maybe have Amazon shipped stuff all over the United States. But it seems to me like both businesses allow you to sort of have that Amazon Prime feel no matter what, what channel you’re in, is that kind of correct how the system sort of work together to where you can get things all over the country and manage warehouse and inventory fulfillment? Is that the idea?

Manish Chowdhary  5:33

That’s exactly it. And Cahoot is super flexible. So we wildly provide the cutting edge, the most modern shipping software, which eliminates the need for human to do rate shopping, say hey, should I ship this USPS Priority Mail should I ship it UPS ground? What services to use? Am I picking the right service. And so it will help you within your warehouse. But also, if you have a warehouse, let’s say which is not geographically close to your customers, you’re paying more in shipping costs because you may be shipping zone seven zone eight shipments which costs a lot more. And also they take a long time to have them delivered. So you’re losing on both sides, the customers are not super happy, because your products are taking much longer to be received. And that creates a window for the customer to cancel, they will go to somebody else who can offer foster delivery, free shipping. So this is a way for the brand, the retailer to also reduce the shipping span the shipping costs, in addition to delighting the customer. And our technology is so open and flexible that if you have a 3PL that you really liked, that you enjoy working with Cahoot will not impede that, Cahoot will simply enable them through the technology solution. And you can choose to augment additional locations in the Cahoot network. But we’re not looking to disrupt great relationships that are brand that our clients already have.

Pat Yates  7:04

Well, that’s really interesting. That’s a lot of flexibility. So if someone out there already has a 3PL they like and they’re selling, say an Amazon and Walmart, Amazon Prime and things like that, the system and Cahoot can just tie into their systems and you can still manage the same things without the warehouse change. Is that correct? That what you’re saying?

Manish Chowdhary  7:22

That is exactly right, we invite the other 3PL or the partner to come basically plug into the Cahoot network and they can start fulfilling orders without and then the brand the seller if they need an additional location and many cases, some brands some sellers that we speak with are winding down operations is very expensive to manage and maintain a warehouse leases, everything is quite expensive. So it is really whatever strategy our client wishes to execute insource or outsource or any combination thereof, can be achieved using our intelligent software stack.

Pat Yates  8:02

That’s really incredible. See the thing about it is now so what you’re saying is let’s talk about that base you can tie into their 3PL or you can be the 3PL and then they have the software that ties in to be able to manage it after that is the step to look at where across the United States inside your 3PL network they can start putting products so is it basically that’s where you start rolling it out across the country and your best areas maybe that you’re like if you’re cold weather oriented, the northeast, you got warehouse if your warm weather, maybe it’s in the west coast in California, is that kind of the next step for people to work with you.

Manish Chowdhary  8:37

Yeah, the way we like to go about recommending outlines should be solving for this is start with the business goals in mind. What are you trying to achieve? You know, is your goal trying to reduce cost? Or are you trying to improve transit time or speed of delivery? Or both possibly? And also looking at your sales data? How many orders are you receiving, and going granular by the SKU level, so there is, if you’re going to widely distribute your same inventory and you maintain very low or just in time inventory, so you have to take those things into account as well. Because how many days of inventory do you have? Do you have an FBA strategy? Are these standard sized items, these oversized items? So there’s a lot of depth of these. And we highly recommend brands and retailers to really work with somebody who understands this at the data level, not just gut feel and gut reaction because you could win the battle and lose the war. I see this all the time where a brand that might be looking for a 3PL for some reason, maybe certain brands certain folks are more comfortable having a 3PL located in their backyard, but the customers are located out across the country. So you could win the battle meeting you, you could go visit that warehouse. However, every one of those shipments or 60% of your shipments are going zone eight, zone seven. So it does not really solve the real problem. Meaning your customers are waiting. So it is a very, very data driven approach. And the folks that make our best customers believe in that they’re open, they’re transparent. And then you make your final decision based on all that. So we look at the data, we look at where the customers are located, what SKUs are shipping to what zones, and then we make a recommendation, which leads to a better total cost of ownership. And that’s it’s all about the total cost of ownership, just follow the same thread that you know, because your containers coming into California doesn’t mean that that’s where you should be storing all your inventory if your customers are located in New York. So it just requires you to analyze all the legs and all the cost centers, not just one individual piece.

Pat Yates  11:02

It’s really incredible, because you’re right. I mean, it used to be that people could piece a lot of different software together and other things like I have an inventory management system, and I use an external shipping system, I really should talk to you in my econ business about using Cahoot and your system. But I noticed on there, you talked about shipping and how labels could come out quicker and in bulk. And then you had some ability, I think a lot of people go out looking for separate shipping systems. But this one’s integrated. So tell us how this might be different than some of the national brands people would tie into their Shopify store, whatever it is, I’m not going to mention them. Because I’m not going to tell about your competitors. But how is this different? How better?

Manish Chowdhary  11:40

Yeah, that’s a great question. So we have migrated sellers, customers from nearly all the popular shipping software out there. Most of these tools, if not all of these tools were designed and built at least a decade ago, decade ago, Amazon Prime had just been introduced, there wasn’t that fierce expectation from the consumer for two day delivery. There wasn’t the amount of carrier even the carrier GRI general rate increases that have just happened at a very ferocious pace, about 5.96% is the headline compounded and inflation all of these things have really taken a toll on sellers and brands because they need to cut out every possible cost. These tools were built when hiring warehouse labor was easy and cheap. And none of that is true anymore. It is very difficult to find warehouse workers and experienced warehouse workers, the minimum wage has gone up, which means you could in the past just an order comes in, you would not put that on a scale, the person at the packing station, the user would simply use his imagination or her imagination, eyeballing the item to figure out what packaging to use, you’ll weigh the item, and then you will click on the UPS filter or you will look at the UPS rate, memorize that in your head. And then from the drop down, you will not select USPS. And you will choose okay, which one is cheaper, and you have no idea what the expectation is from the consumer meaning when should this order be delivered, that is not even available in the shopping and in the shipping software. So you’ll just make a best guess that I’m going to pick the cheapest label. And in the middle if your flow got disturbed, you know God help you and that’s the way how these labels are being generated one at a time being weighed one at a time. And Maverick decision making on packaging, were now the deadweight, you can tell. Now, when you look at the box dimension, either you’re entering the box dimension by hand or you’re picking the box. And if that puts a under one pound item to over one pound item, you’ve just already paid a lot more even though you pick the cheapest label, but you’ve picked the wrong cheapest label. But this is an example of what happens every single day Pat. And we have eliminated all of that in Cahoot.

Pat Yates  14:18

It’s really kind of incredible, because there’s a lot of money that can leak out that way. It’s like if you’re really not paying attention, so you get busy one day and you don’t compare those rates, you can easily lose 50-100 a couple hundred bucks a day. And that money starts to add up if people aren’t doing their distribution, right. What’s interesting about this, is there a client that is a certain, do you need a certain size of client? How big does a business need to be to be able to work with these systems? I mean, do you need a ton of SKUs are small or what is it?

Manish Chowdhary  14:46

I don’t think anyone who is doing at least I would say just 30, 40 orders a day could benefit from this because there is no obviously the more number of orders, the more the greater the value you’re gonna get because automation begins to really kick in, like, for example, it is a known common fact that Mondays are busy orders from the weekend accumulates on Mondays. So you need to get those orders out the same day, if you don’t get them out the same day, you’ve lost one day of shipping. So imagine if it’s a five day transit time, and you don’t ship the order out on Monday, the customer won’t receive it till the following Monday, as opposed to getting it on Friday. And that makes a world of difference and the consumers had that, is this shipper is this seller taking a long time to have these orders delivered. So you need the technology in case of Cahoot you come in. And when you log into our shipping software, all the labels already ready. It in fact even tells you what boxes to use or what mailers to use for each of them, that decision has already been made. And you can just simply focus on going picking the right item putting it in the box and putting the label and then our system starts tracking the transit or the delivery of the order. And if there is any mismatch between when we expect that shipment to be delivered versus when it’s actually got delivered. So if there was a problem, if there was weather related delays, I know we expecting a storm tomorrow and the Northeast, so you can get ahead of the problems and informing your customers that, hey, because of this weather related issues, your order may be delayed, but it’s not our fault. It’s because of UPS or the carrier. And the customers are very understanding. Whereas if you look at the legacy solution, or the traditional software, you’re just waiting for the customers to complain. And that’s just not the right way to build a long term relationship, especially if you’re trying to compete against the bigger, more established competitors.

Pat Yates  16:47

It’s really, really interesting. I mean, I think that you get such complex answers from a lot of places in warehousing. And sometimes people just get nervous, like, I have a business has a lot of SKUs. So for me to spread it around to a lot of warehouses, not top sellers, it’s difficult plus, I’m seasonal, do you need someone that’s kind of flat throughout the year, the amount of sales they’re doing are to seasonal businesses work well in this because it’s harder to predict the inventory, the ordering cycle, and some of it becomes a little bit more difficult is that a perfect kind of client too?

Manish Chowdhary  17:16

So there are two parts, we have the shipping software that people use fulfillment execution software that our clients use within their own warehouse. And then the second part is outsourcing. You can choose either one with Cahoot, or you can choose to do both. So just imagine that home and garden season is spring, those folks are not doing those many hours in Cyber Monday Black Friday, because that’s winter, so Cahoot because of its very large network, we have warehouses that have different peak cycles. So if you can identify your top moving SKUs, and this was the conversation I was having, just before we got on the Zoom call that, this is particular is an apparel brand, they have lots of SKUs. So it’s generally an 80/40 rule, you would take your top sellers and move them to another location, they go bicoastal or three locations, and then you can reduce your shipping spend that way. So the network is quite flexible. And the way to think of it is not either or it’s really taking smartly about what’s used make sense. And are your customers would you have a distinct advantage and conversion or customer satisfaction or ratings or reviews or sales rank as a result of faster shipping as a result of reducing your shipping span? And if it’s shipping span is that meaningful for you to get involved in and outsourcing relationships? So it really depends on, most of the time the answer is yes, I think the sellers may have been conditioned because of their past experience. If FBA, FBA distributes your inventory quite widely, so technically, it is feasible, you just need to do it in a smarter fashion.

Pat Yates  19:16

That’s incredible. So I know the main thing that you wanted to talk about you have an amazing network like I was astounded to look and say you have 100-plus warehouses that you utilize. A lot of that is really interesting, but sometimes overwhelming for infrastructure were people to think about. Seller Fulfilled Prime is what you really wanted to talk a lot about which I’m really super interested in because I’m a prime seller. There’s a lot of things that maybe I would put into Seller Fulfilled Prime, but it’s hard to get it to people you might have to air it if you don’t have that warehouse distribution all over the country. So tell us a little bit about when you talk to your clients, how you maybe have them pivot from so much FBA into maybe Seller Fulfilled Prime, maybe it’s both but how do you approach that as a company?

Manish Chowdhary  19:58

It’s a great question Pat, we have this conversations here at Cahoot with sellers every day about how do you strategically choose between SFP, which is Seller Fulfilled Prime, and FBA, it’s no surprise that FBA fees have continued to go up consistently. I was looking at some data back in November, that Amazon used to capture somewhat on 27% and please don’t quote me on these numbers. But directionally speaking, Amazon used to take with all its fees about 27% 10 years ago. And now that number is nearly 55% 54% of every, so 54 cents on the dollar of the GMV goes to Amazon, which is comprised of your listing fee, your sales commission, or the bonus, the Commission on the sale, then you’ve got the advertising, which is now in order to sell on Amazon, you have to do a lot of advertising, then you’ve got all these other fees, which are storage fees, and FBA, and are very recently introduced, which will be going into effect on March one, the inbound placement fee. And then not to mention that Amazon has now introduced a new fee, if you don’t maintain 30 days of inventory, at these regional warehouses, they’re going to start charging you even more. So that has not even been baked in. So the short version is Amazon is taking almost 54 to 55 cents of every dollar of the GMV. And it only really benefits Amazon for the most part. So if you are a multi-channel seller, you’re selling on other on your Shopify website on eBay, Walmart and other places, how do you take advantage of all that inventory? Now you’re between a rock and a hard place, if you send too much inventory to Amazon, you get hit by the long term storage fees. If you send too little inventory to Amazon, you will now get hit by the low inventory fees, then you have no control over the listing. So that means you have no predictability on how much sales you’re gonna get. And for whatever reason, if your listing gets temporarily suspended, or what have you, there is no recourse. So, which is why Amazon has this was a major point of dissatisfaction for a lot of sellers worldwide, including in the UK, the Amazon reopened Seller Fulfilled Prime Program, back in October last year, October of 2023. Because Amazon had a settlement in the European Union, where in Europe, Amazon has, in order to avoid some very excessive fines, Amazon has allowed sellers to still get the prime badge without requiring the inventory to be an FBA, which is the Seller Fulfilled Prime program. I can go into detail, but I’ll take a pause here in case you have a question.

Pat Yates  20:38

No, it’s unbelievable information. It’s really good. I think, sellers out there, they’re selling on Amazon on their own site, I can tell you that I know that sometimes your site feels like it’s got a disadvantage to Amazon because of their infrastructure. What you’re doing is providing that infrastructure for everything outside of Amazon, which is incredible. So let’s say there’s a listener out there thinking about buying an Amazon business or doing this, they don’t really know the numbers, you gave an overview. Is there a practical example of what you say, hey, if you’re selling something for 50 bucks, we know that if your cost is 10 bucks on that item, you probably have $20 or $25 in Amazon expense, how much can Seller Fulfill Prime raise your margin in those kinds of situations? Do you have any idea of that? I mean, a rough idea.

Manish Chowdhary  23:47

Yeah, so Amazon, so if this particular seller were to come to Cahoot, the process that we would follow is, we would look at all the Amazon fees, we would look at each of the Amazon SKU, and we would classify them just the way Amazon does into standard oversize, large extra-large, and then compute, what would it cost to have this item shipped through merchant fulfilled warehouses or to the Cahoot network, and then we can do a very detailed comparison into what’s key is more profitable to be outside of FBA. And still, so you literally do a SKU by SKU comparison. And then you account for other things like the placement fee, which Amazon has just introduced the storage fees, or there are certain SKUs, certain products like hazmat, so these are dangerous goods that Amazon does not even accept in their warehouse, then you also must look into other costs when I say that’s why I keep referring going back to the store total cost. And that’s super hard to compute because most people are just looking at top line, your rate of return. We routinely hear that damages and returns are significantly higher in FBA, also, Amazon FBA heard from several sellers that they tend to lose a lot more inventory. And so the seller ends up absorbing all of that cost. So when you look at all of those and do a SKU level analysis, we got a pretty good picture as to, you know, what would be more profitable and the savings could be as much as 30% or more, especially on the larger scale items. FBA to be fair, FBA is very competitive and the small, what we call smaller and lighter items, because that’s what FBA really wants. But on the large or oversized items, the savings can be very significant and very meaningful.

Pat Yates  25:49

That’s amazing, my wife started a small Amazon brand. And has one item that’s really big, it’s kind of an interesting opportunity. So tell me a little bit about when people come in to work with Cahoot, you have over 100 warehouses, I would have thought just in my mind would have been a lot less because if two day connects to two day connects, the two day connects the two day, it seems it’d be less, how do you decide where someone’s product is positioned? You actually look at where they sell into where their best states are, where their best times based on seasonality? How do you figure that network out? Because I figure at the end of the day, if you do Seller Fulfilled Prime at Cahoot, you’re gonna have these connections all over the country where everything is going to get there in two days, right?

Manish Chowdhary  26:30

Yeah, yeah. So we have a very large network, and that number has grown and continues to grow quite significantly, there are warehouses that specialize in larger, bulkier products, right. I mean, if you have products that are over 50 pounds, they are handled differently than if you had cell phone cases, then you also have products that require certain temperature control. So for example, anything that has alcohol in it, like perfumes and colognes, and health and beauty products, vitamins, nutraceutical, those products, in order to store them safely, the warehouse has to meet certain conditions, or if it is a food item, we may need FDA certification. So there are many, many attributes and specialties off these warehouses. That is why we have such a large network so that when a seller comes to us, and they have need for hey, I need to so batteries that dangerous goods, obviously, we will not store food next to batteries because they can cause potential contamination. So all of that is taken into account so that Cahoot can service the needs of the myriads of clients that have a unique needs. And then, as far as geographic distribution is concerned, we look at where your customers are, you know, if you’re doing wholesale in a b2b as well as retail. And also, where’s your inventory coming from? If your inventory is coming from China, it’s cheaper and faster to ship it to the West Coast of the US, as opposed to bringing that container to the east coast or even going to Texas. So it is a complex undertaking. I wish there was a simple answer Pat, we obviously make it super easy and simple for our clients. So Cahoot is like, think of it Cahoot as many FBA many Amazon. But without all the hassles, you have a human to talk to, you know, there’s some great folks in our network that provide outstanding service, we operate six days a week, Monday through Saturday, unlike the traditional 3PL that does Monday through Friday, lay cut-offs, and amazing software that gives you the visibility that you need, so that you could be operating in a different time zone, you could be operating at a different time and still be fully functional and be operational. So that’s generally been our approach.

Pat Yates  28:58

That’s really incredible. So let’s say there’s someone out there that’s had a business for 10 years, they’ve had the same 3PL for 10 years, and their regimen into what they do. But they want to take advantage of your ability to do Seller Fulfilled Prime, you already mentioned you can bring your 3PL and do that. Is that the process for someone? Is it that simple. And then they start distributing it out and they keep their one main hub and then you operate all the stuff that would be all over the country for SFP. Is that correct?

Manish Chowdhary  29:22

Yeah, that is definitely an option, that is an option. What we would typically do is we would request some data, because again, we want to make decisions, if there are savings to be had, we would love to, for all parties should know that upfront rather than guessing it, changing 3PL changing fulfillment and shipping is disruptive. Nobody wants to make that change, without knowing what the upside is going to be. So Cahoot takes away all that mystery. And, frankly, when we come across clients that are simply just saying, hey, give me a rate card, give me a rate card, that’s the way our traditional 3PL operates because they’re simply operating on rates as opposed to solving the real, providing a real solution, what is the right solution, and that requires a bit of collaboration that requires going under the hood, looking at the data, and making the right choices.

Pat Yates  30:24

Looking on your site, you state that there’s a 30% less costs with it, which is kind of amazing, because that’s a significant number for a lot of people’s business. The other thing that I found really, really interesting, so that’s a great thing. But you also talk about data security, which a lot of people are really sensitive to anymore, tell me how Cahoot is trying to address that, and making customers feel more comfortable.

Manish Chowdhary  30:47

So we already talked about distributed fulfillment, meaning an order comes in and then let’s say the same inventory is available at three warehouses, three locations. Right now, if the seller is using whatever tool or technology that they might be using, and they decide that this order should we fulfill, let’s say, buy a 3PL, they literally transfer all the content of that order to that 3PL, which includes the customer name, their personal information, there’s a lot of maybe they’re not sending them email and telephone number, but still, that other third party, all they need to do is they need to pick the right item, and apply the right shipping label, which is what Cahoot enables them to do. So they don’t even get access to a lot of the data that generally is available and by any other means. So we redact that information, so that the 3PL or the fulfillment company or the partner, even if that is powered by Cahoot, they only have just the right amount of information that’s absolutely necessary for data fulfillment. The best way to secure the data Pat is not to share it, if you don’t share, there’s nothing that will leak. And if I share it, and I tell you keep it a secret, that doesn’t work, once the information just leaves your enterprise and goes into some other third party systems then that system is exposed, and that system was vulnerable. So we take all of that and tightly control that because the data belongs to the seller, and we have a responsibility to secure that.

Pat Yates  32:32

Everything you talk about is such a value add in most ways, not only does it make you more efficient, if it saves you money, it’s even better. What’s interesting about what you do, I think a lot of people when they’re sitting there running their ecomm business, let’s talk about a solopreneur, for example, they’re always concentrating, how can I raise my sales dollars? How can I do this? How can I invest in marketing, the interesting thing is something like this becomes a value add to the customer makes your company look better, which is organically going to grow your sales, even overtop of the savings is that something you think goes on, because they see such a great customer satisfaction jumping in those things?

Manish Chowdhary  33:10

100%. Anybody you mentioned somebody who may be using a traditional 3PL or using one of the legacy or traditional shipping software in their warehouse, I think they owe it to themselves to come in at least speak with Cahoot as to what the upside is. And that is obviously situational. It depends on somebody, some folks have operations pretty tight. But without a doubt, Cahoot can either create efficiency in their own warehouse, or help them reduce their shipping span by better allocation or other better smarter placement of inventory, or simply through the operational excellence. So I believe that everyone should be at least exploring annually. I would say even if you have a great relationship with 3PL, it is important to do this annual check to make sure that you’re still on the cutting edge. And more often than not, and if we cannot find you hard savings, which is in terms of dollars and cents, and you’re not fully satisfied with the operational efficiency game that might be that’s at least something to keep in the back of your mind. But eight out of 10 times nine out of 10 times there are hard savings in addition to a great room for operational excellence that Cahoot can bring.

Pat Yates  34:30

That’s incredible. We covered so many great topics. You’re so knowledgeable in this space. Are there things either with Pulse Commerce or that we haven’t discussed today that you think would be important for the listeners to know.

Manish Chowdhary  34:43

I think the one piece that we may have covered in our last podcast Pat that if there are brands or merchants that do their own fulfillment, and they have a warehouse that they are running efficiently and they’ve got good practices in place and they have excess capacity, I invite them to apply to join the Cahoot network. So you can make money from your existing warehouse. If you’ve got spare 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 square feet, that’s just sitting idle, because your rent doesn’t change your utilities are the same, then you have an opportunity to apply to join the Cahoot network and make money that way. So that is one thing that I would cover this one of the pieces just Seller Fulfilled Prime, for anyone who is an experienced Amazon seller, or, you know, especially if you’re doing the larger, bulkier heavier items, come to Cahoot, let us do an analysis for you. It won’t cost you anything, it’s a no obligation. So at least you know that is this an avenue, because Amazon has opened up this program, I would encourage every seller, every Amazon seller to get that SSP status approved. It’s a process, you just don’t get it by clicking a button, you have to demonstrate to Amazon that you are SSP-capable, and you need to apply if you don’t have that status already, because you never know what may happen with the Amazon, this program was close for a very long time, it was just recently reopened. And during that time, I cannot tell you Pat, I must have spoken with hundreds of sellers who said I wish I had applied. I wish I had gotten this badge. Because when Amazon was running into inventory receiving issues, and they didn’t have enough space, only those people that had the SSP badge could actually continue operating, even with the Amazon constraints. So it basically requires them to apply for the Prime Trial. But in order to do that, you will need to fulfill at least 100 orders in the first 30 days as if they were prime. So you need an infrastructure in place. So even if you don’t have long term plans to utilize the SSP status, take advantage of it while you have it. And then, as part of this exercise, you may discover that yes, it makes sense to go prime on certain SKUs, maybe all SKUs. And if that can help you put an additional 10-15% on your pocket, that is money gained. And so I would highly encourage any Amazon seller who has at least decent volume to explore these options that are available to them now.

Pat Yates  37:32

It’s really incredible because anyone out there listening that says okay, maybe I have a problem, my inventory management system, or a lot of people that I talk to at Quiet Light that don’t even have one, they could come in and really learn how to be able to do that and tie it into your distribution network. There’s nothing but upside, at least having the conversation like we say at Quiet Light, we judge ourselves by the quality and number of conversations. It’s not about necessarily closings or listings, it’s helping entrepreneurs understand. And I think you’re well aligned in that, that if people come in, they could get an analysis of their entire supply chain and how to make it better. I think that’s really an amazing thing, because you can take from start to finish from that entire fulfillment process. So let’s say someone wanted to reach out to you and Cahoot and get a demo, how do they get in touch with you?

Manish Chowdhary  38:13

It’s super easy, just hop over to our website and fill out the contact us form super easy. And a member of my team will get in touch and we will work with you. Again, we believe in data driven decision making. So if we don’t see savings, and if that’s your primary objective, or if you’re looking to upgrade the quality of service, whatever your business objectives are, Cahoot is perhaps the most flexible solution, in addition to being most cost effective out there. So I would highly encourage any seller, whether they are shipping from their own warehouse to check out the latest technology what they can that can do for you and your warehouse. Or if you have a 3PL, just do an annual assessment to make sure you’re still competitive. Or if you would like to explore other programs like Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime or even adding a second location without trying what that can do to your top and bottom line. I think it is worth the exercise. It won’t cost you anything.

Pat Yates  39:27

That’s really amazing. And I think people easily can go there and sign up for that free demo and I’m sure they can find you on LinkedIn, correct. You have LinkedIn page in case some wants to reach out to you.

Manish Chowdhary  39:39

100%. I’m very active on LinkedIn. Please look me up Manish Chowdhary Cahoot. Yeah, please. I published a lot of information, a lot of content, deep content. So left anyone who was interested, welcome, please connect.

Pat Yates  39:57

It’s always amazing to talk to you Manish, and everyone out there, I would encourage you to reach out this is a really cool system. And the more that distribution continues to evolve, this is something that’s going to get bigger and bigger Manish, I really appreciate you coming on the Quiet Light Podcast again today. It’s always fun having you.

Manish Chowdhary  40:13

Pat, thanks again for having me.

Outro  40:17

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast, subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

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