3 years of fulfilling orders on his own
2018: Launched Shave Manila
80% of the time previously spent on fulfillment
Founded in 2018, Shave Manila started off by selling only one product—the Feather Razor Popular.
When entrepreneur Francis Ramos was browsing the web in search of a sustainable product that he could distribute in the Philippines, he came across this leading Japanese razor brand Feather with a product that had over 7,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. The Feather Razor Popular - a double edge safety razor - sparked his curiosity which led him to e-mail the Japanese headquarters with the hopes of partnering with them for distribution. “At the time, I could afford the [minimum order quantity] of the products needed for reselling then I asked them for the exclusive distributorship of the Philippines,” Francis shared.
After a promising conversation with them, Francis and his family had a timely leisure trip to Osaka planned where he grabbed the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the headquarter team. Since then, he has been the Philippines’ sole distributor of Feather products. “Having hold of that brand, I had the confidence and reputation to go to other brands and apply to become a distributor.”
Today, Shave Manila is now a local and popular personal care brand based in the Philippines that is widely known for selling over 40 premium shaving products from international brands including Mühle, Merkur, Feather, Giesen Forsthoff, NOM Brushes, among others.
Struggling with the physical and mental toll of picking, packing, and shipping boxes daily
As a one-man show, Francis was self-fulfilling tens and hundreds of orders in his home by himself. For every customer that places an order, he not only had to carefully pick, pack, and prepare a package, but he also had to drive to the nearest parcel drop-off point at a gas station to send it out for shipping.
For 3 years, he had to do that every day on his own. And given the delicate and fragile nature of his products, packing was a tedious process. “With the Feather Razor Popular bundle, I had to wrap each item individually in bubble wrap. I’d cut off from a large roll of bubble wrap and tape every single thing on my own,” Francis said.
Photo courtesy of Shave Manila
While flash sale events served as an exciting opportunity for sales and revenue, it also meant that Francis had to spend hours packing orders. “There was a flash sale two years ago, and I got 50 orders in one day from a sale. So I was packing the whole day - literally the whole day,” he shared.
And on some days, the risk of fulfilling an order outweighs the benefit. “There would be days that I’d only get one order - which is worth PHP240 - and I’d have to drive to a nearby drop-off station myself. The [revenue] I earned from that single order is already spent with the transportation going there,” Francis explained. The toll of self-fulfilling orders daily was heightened by the pandemic. “Another concern was the exposure outside from interacting with the people behind that drop-off station,” he shared.
For Francis, his primary reason for looking for a fulfillment partner was to find more time to spend with his family. Following that is his desire to no longer spend another day tediously packing boxes at home and risking his health fulfilling orders himself.
Finding a solution fit for an online business run by a one-man show
Averaging hundreds of orders monthly, being a one-man team was not a sustainable way of life for Francis who is not a CEO running a business from home, but also a father and a husband to his wife and son.
“When I’m trying to update my inventory manually and my son would suddenly call for me, I lose my rhythm,” he explained. “And then that inventory runs for a week and I would receive a customer concern asking ‘Why is this item out of stock on one channel but available on the other?’ That was another challenge.”
“Sometimes, you get so lost in fulfillment and packing that you don’t know what’s not moving,” said Francis. With his business selling over 40 products, he explained that it was challenging to accurately track and discover which items are fast-moving, slow-moving, and running out of stock.
“Another thing I really like about Locad is the Control Tower. It’s so seamless and I get to see all the numbers I need to see," he said.
Once Francis enlisted the help of LOCAD’s fulfillment services, he not only got access to distributed warehousing that could store all his products, but he also became equipped with the integrated technology that allowed him to manage a unified inventory pool for all his channels. “When I was handling fulfillment on my own, I had to look at different inventory pools to be able to keep track of my business,” Francis shared. “With the integration of Locad, all my channels are synced, all the products I have are uniform, and I’m looking at only one inventory pool.”
Striking a work-life balance with reliable fulfillment
Start date with Locad: 7/3/2021
With his upcoming classes for his MBA in Marketing and the strong desire to spend more time on what matters to him the most, Francis - an all-around CEO-father-husband - was determined to get his life back and spend less of it on packing orders. Since he left the fulfillment part of his business to Locad, he was able to achieve his goal.
“Locad helped me a lot. It made 80% of the business easier to manage - which is a big thing. The main outcome I really wanted from outsourcing [fulfillment] is the extra time for myself and for my family and with Locad, I was able to get that time back,” said Francis.
It’s been a month of working with Locad and Francis is happy to share that he now has more time to spend with his son and wife at home as well as more energy to manage the other operations of his business.
“[Locad] was definitely a cost-effective choice. With the extra time that you get for yourself from outsourcing fulfillment, you get to focus on your marketing, and replying to customer questions and feedback,” he said.
CEO Francis Ramos of Shave Manila
More than the convenience of hands-off fulfillment, Francis is grateful to be able to prioritize his health and run his entire business from the safety of his home. His full trust in the reliable end-to-end fulfillment of Locad saves him the risk of exposing himself outside. With a fulfillment partner ensuring his orders are delivered to his customers on time, he can stay focused on himself, his family, and his customers.
“[Locad] saves a lot of time, energy, and risk of exposure outside to the virus,” he said.
Francis also shares that he and his family have future plans of moving to the land down under. And with the new challenges of running a business from a totally different country, he made sure to find a logistics and fulfillment partner that could help him overcome them. “We’re actually in the process of migrating to Australia [and] that’s why Locad [is] very helpful [for] my business when we move,” he shared.
Want to take your eCommerce business to the next level? Experience hassle-free eCommerce fulfillment with LOCAD!
LOCAD is a logistics, warehousing, and fulfillment company that aims to empower brands and retailers of all sizes by providing an easy and affordable way to manage your products from picking, packing, and shipping your orders to planning the future of your business. We also provide safe and efficient fulfillment centers to organize your stock, manage your inventory, and ship these at affordable and preferential courier rates. And no, that’s not the best part, you are also able to easily keep track of your products all in the palm of your hand on the LOCAD Control Tower—our exclusive cloud-based software.
LOCAD is here to help take care of your fulfillment for you. Being an integrated solution for your business needs, we make sure you’re ready to take the next step to grow your business online. Learn more about us at www.golocad.com or get in touch with our team to discover the best logistics and fulfillment solutions for you at email@example.com.