Getting started with Skublox - Sellercloud’s Put-to-light system
Thank you everyone for joining the webinar. August is a difficult time to schedule a webinar but we want to give everyone enough time to take advantage of these features before the busy season starts.
I always wanted to dabble with hardware, a little bit. And we had a number of clients who asked for put-to-light or pick-to-light systems, which we never really got involved with. Every time one of our customers needed it, it was only something that was accessible to the biggest of our clients, something that typically costs over $50,000 to implement. Typically, someone has to come in and engineer specific shelves and put these lighting things in and each piece costs a lot of money. There's a big upfront expense. Very often it costs over $100,000 to implement.
Practically speaking, a couple of our clients did implement systems and not only did they have to spend a lot of money on the hardware setup, but they also had to spend quite a bit of money on the actual integration with Sellercloud, very often used a lot of our time. And each time it was something that had to be done from scratch. So what I wanted to do, pretty much Sellercloud in general, is a system that we're trying to give million-dollar functionality to our clients at an affordable price. So that way we can service our typical client, which is an internet retailer who's doing millions of dollars in sales, but not necessarily $100 million in sales to start justifying a million-dollar implementation.
We tried to make things accessible, affordable, and try a unique approach to things. The idea here with Skublox is that if we can manufacture something very affordably and utilize more modern technology, as opposed to the average pick-to-light system using technology that's been around for decades. Sort of like what we did with Skustack, where we took another approach to WMS systems using a native mobile app, taking advantage of Wi-Fi, taking advantage of the fact that we already have all the customers’ orders as inventory and now we can take things a step further.
For anyone who's dealing with a lot of orders, especially orders that are multi-item orders, there's a big task involved in sorting the items. Now, back when I started Sellercloud, I used to see people print packing slips, basically print a piece of paper for every order, in some cases, and walk around the warehouse with these papers. And especially when you're dealing with a big warehouse, you have people going in circles. They can only carry so many things and it's an extremely inefficient process when you're trying to pick orders by the order because one item of the order might be on one side of the warehouse, one might be on the other side of the warehouse. The common understanding is the most efficient way of picking things is to pick the products, have different people go to different sections of the warehouse, and take everything that you need from that part of the warehouse to bring it forward. But then you end up with a mess that you have to almost pick the items again, you have all the stuff gathered now in close proximity, but you still have to pick and choose items to assemble the orders. So the idea of Skublox is to simplify that, to dummy-proof it and save our customers a tremendous amount of time and improve accuracy. By having them use the mobile devices, the same type of devices, they use for Skustack to actually scan the item and it'll light up a box like the one you see over here. It will light up a color, and it'll indicate where they should put it. Then when the order is ready to ship, another light turns on and the guy can scan that.
We're going to explain a little bit how that works. Why did it take two years to develop this? There was a lot of experimentation, a lot of different versions. But we also had a lot of revisions as far as how do we make this thing scalable? How do we make it something that isn't delicate, something that's easy to implement? We wanted to make it affordable, easy for people like a do-it-yourself type of thing where they could configure it themselves. They shouldn't need to have to hire any professional expert in this subject to set this up for them, they could have the regular IT guy do it.
Over here, you have the lights, they could turn on different colors. Why do you need all these different colors? The idea is that you can have multiple people working with the system at the same time. So each user could be assigned a different color. And as you'll see, in a few moments, I'll play this short video, you could have up to six people using it at the same time. And that way, they pick up the item, they don't have to finish a particular order. Each person is just picking up items, in some cases, they're even working on the same orders, just trying to speed things up as much as possible. Right now it's primarily for put-to-light meaning telling you where to put the items. But in later stages, we could also use it for pick-to-light, which we'll get into a little bit later.
The light lights up and it tells you where to put the item. Once the order is full, then it will turn green. There are pairs of boxes. The idea is that you have people working on different sides of the shelf. Let me play the video through here. You see over here, the guy scans the item and it lights up his color and then he scans again. Over here we have it with the customer who has around 100 of the blocks set up. And there are two people using it. There are six different colors that could light up if there were six people. Each box has a QR code on it. After he scans the item, he scans the box to verify that it went to the right place. They sell flip flops or slides as they call them. They're all different styles and colors. A lot of them look very similar to each other. So there's a high chance of someone getting mixed up and shipping the wrong item to someone. So over here, instead of having to do Scan and ship and sort the items, once they've scanned the item and it told them where to put it, there's no reason to scan the products anymore, it's all been verified. And we know which product to ship out to the customer.
This is an illustration of how it works. People take the goods from the wall, and then they're going to be told where to put it by scanning the product and verifying by clicking the Skublox light on the shipping side of it. On the other side of the wall, there's also another Skublox, what we call the Shipper Skublox. When you scan that, it opens up the order to ship on Shipbridge. And we're actually setting it up for that particular client that we were demoing before - it's just a single scan and immediately prints the shipping label because they have a Shipbridge plugin that tells them which method to use. There's no real decision-making to make. All those weights are in for those products. The guy just scans Skublox on the shipper side and it prints the shipping label. It's as simple as that. It's pretty much a dummy-proof system. It's utilizing in this particular case Skustack picks the items, they are using Shipbridge to ship out the items and Skublox sits in the middle.
When they're actually scanning the items, they're using the Skublox mobile app, which over here you can see some screenshots of it. Unlike Skustack, it's not a native app, it works with both iOS, Android, you don't necessarily need to have a special device or an onboard scanner. These guys in the video did have one, but you could use just a mobile phone with a ring scanner or a separate Bluetooth scanner. So you could use your iPhone or whatever.
You choose the wall, which is a series of slots, which one you're working on. And then as you scan the items, the image on the right where it shows a pair of shoes. That's an example of what it looks like when you scan the item. So it tells you which slot it goes into what the item is, and you confirm the item. It's really straightforward, really dummy-proof. It fits straight into the Sellercloud workflow. For someone who wants to implement Skublox who's using Sellercloud, it's like a slam dunk. The actual first time we went down to the customer to even set it up within an hour or two we didn't just have the Skublox set up on the wall, but we had the guy actually doing the full cycle test. And that was the first time we did it. It's extremely straightforward and very easy to implement.
We're trying to make it very affordable. Similar to Sellercloud where it's a subscription service, and we're charging a monthly fee for the actual Skublox. Let's say someone has 50 Skublox, it would cost them $500 a month, which makes it very accessible. For people who, you know, it's hard for them to imagine spending $50,000, or $100,000 and then working with someone for a number of weeks, in order to implement the typical put-to-light system.
I wanted to just zero in on a few of the detailed features of the app. We added the ability to sort by picklist, which gives you the ability to prioritize which orders are going to be looked up to sort when you scan an item. So this gives you the ability to specifically sort multi-item orders by having picklists specific for that or rush orders. Also, it gives you the ability to have the person actually doing the picking, once they pick that picklist immediately go and sort it. We also added the ability to click this little lightning bolt, and get suggestions of which items should be sorted next. If you have orders that are already in process, and you want to finish those up, you can see which items to prioritize, to free up some of the slots, you can also have the option to type in an SKU in the event that a barcode is not readable.
Thanks again for joining the webinar. And we'll be in touch with new updates as they come out.
Shlomo Fried: Thank you, Jeremy. We will now start taking questions, feel free to put your questions into the Q&A section, and we will answer them soon.
Question: What is the cost of Skublox?
Jeremy Greenberg: Right now we are basically giving the hardware away for free. We're just charging based on how many lights you're using. There's no other monthly fee - start with a small number, try it out without making a major investment. If the clients wanted to scale it and increase the number later, that's also an option. Aside from the actual lights themselves, there are a couple of other parts, there's a hub that connects between the computer and the first light couple of pieces. What we're doing is we're just charging a monthly fee.
Question: How big can a Skublox wall get?
Jeremy Greenberg: It's actually using Power over Ethernet. It's a very safe, low voltage type way to uses a There's enough power from connecting the hub that it can power, the first 20 lights. If you want to go beyond 20 to let's say 40 there's another piece like a power injector that goes between and then you can add another line. So if someone wanted to, let's say have 60 lights or whatever they'd have, the hub and two power injectors and just a bunch of lights. Now the lights themselves are very easy to connect. They mentioned how simple it is. But I can literally have a child do it. All the connections are using just Ethernet ports. So it's just like a network cable that connects one thing to the next.
Question: How simple is the Skublox setup?
Jeremy Greenberg: We're setting things to do it yourself. It's very easy. As I said, any company might want to have the wall configured differently based on the type of products that they have. For example, one of our clients that's using it, not the one in the video here, but another one sells shoes that are in shoe boxes. So they built the shelves to fit a certain number of shoeboxes depending on whether you have small stuff, big stuff. So we want to keep it very do it yourself. And if we would actually go down to every customer it would drive the cost down.
Question: Does Skublox support label printing?
Jeremy Greenberg: Yes. When you scan the shipper Skublox can immediately print the shipping label or if someone's doing confirmation labels we could print a license plate label for that order. Someone could take the products and put them with that and then only after they actually box the item, they would scan that license plate and print the shipping label at a later stage. So you have both options.
Question: Do I need Skustack to use Skublox?
Jeremy Greenberg: Originally, we intended that everyone would be using Skustack. Currently, the customers that are beta testing it thus far has also been people who use Skustack. But theoretically, someone could use it without Skustack, it's definitely an option. I think, to really get the full benefit, you would want to get the whole workflow working smoother. I would recommend people use Skustack to actually pick the orders in bulk, product-based picking, that would be the most efficient way of doing it. One of the advantages to using Skustack with Skublox is that if you have Skustack enabled, then when you scan a product, and it looks up an order, it'll specifically look up an order that's been picked already. Because as you're picking with Skustack, picking items from the warehouse, it'll actually flag those orders related to that, pick that picklist as picked. So that just helps make sure that the items that are in front of you are the ones that are being sorted. If you're not using Skustack, you would just look up an order for this product and it wouldn't necessarily match the pile of products that are in front of you.
Question: Does Skublox support iOS?
Jeremy Greenberg: The mobile app works on any device.
Question: How can I order Skublox?
Jeremy Greenberg: We have limited quantities. As we get orders in we order more parts use, there's probably a maximum of a month waiting list. If you are interested, let us know so that we can prioritize it. We're definitely prioritizing our existing accounts. That's why we're having this webinar internally without any public announcements. We're trying to make sure we're taking care of our existing customers.
Question: Are Skublox workflows flexible?
Jeremy Greenberg: Yeah, so there are different ways of setting it up. In some cases, you'll have people who connect the Skublocks to the actual shelf itself, and not the cases. You could actually connect it to a basket. I think in the video, you saw it connected to a basket. I think it's really based on the nature of the products that they had. But the actual lights, the Skublox lights, are stationary. And it's not meant to be moved around. As you take stuff out on the shipper side after you scan it, the green light stays on until the actual label prints. And then the light turns off. At that point, it's an empty slot and it's available for other people to put stuff in.
Question: Does Skublox avoid user overlap?
Jeremy Greenberg: We have some AI algorithms here that try to choose items for the same user that are near each other. So that way, it keeps different users on different sides of the wall, to stop them from getting in each other's way. Similarly, if someone scans a product, and there's already a slot that needs it, it'll always prioritize the ones that are in the process over adding a new slot. So that way, it clears out the slots and you don't need as many slots as you have orders, necessarily.
Question: Can you filter by picked orders?
Jeremy Greenberg: If you have Skustack enabled on your account, then it'll automatically filter all the orders picked. You wouldn't even have to think about that. Like I showed earlier, you could filter it by picklist, which is probably the recommended way to do it. So that way, the stuff that was immediately picked for that picklist is usually near each other. And you could just sort all that stuff first.
Question: Does Skublox support multiple warehouses?
Jeremy Greenberg: As you log into the mobile app, it actually has you choose which wall you're working with. You could have multiple walls set up in the same warehouse or in multiple warehouses. They're all associated with the client. Once you log in with the team name, you'll see an option of which one to be working on.
Shlomo Fried: Thank you, everyone. Q&A is now over. There were some unanswered questions. You can feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will get to all of them. Again I would like to thank everyone for attending. Thank you and have a great day, everyone.