With the impact of COVID and a 60% reduction in staff, business efficiency was top of Shoe Depot’s priority list. Manually managing complex finance and import/export workflow was proving impossible.
By integrating forms & workflow, they have evolved their processes and increased productivity across their remote working teams. This has given them the confidence they can execute on their growth recovery plan.
Matthew Cole is the Chief Financial Officer and one of the founders of Eunison Co. Ltd t/a Shoe Depot, the largest shoe retailer in the Bahamas, with two stores and a warehouse on the island of Nassau.
Hi Matthew, can you give us some background?
We’re the largest shoe retailer in the Bahamas, with a workforce quite spread out geographically, including in the US.
Covid impacted us, but we’re still here and we’re looking to expand. We’re doing a lot more with less personnel, and some of our processes require a lot of steps from a number of roles.
In particular when we’re bringing goods in and we’re shipping from China, the States, South America…
It involves the buying, putting purchase orders together, customs entries, receiving the goods – and the data entry of all those things.
Managing all of that manually is impossible.
Why did you need to improve task management?
As we’re in different locations, we’re not often physically together.
We also have a lot of repetitive tasks and have to make sure these things are happening on time by certain deadlines – with the visibility we could look back and check they were getting done.
It’s one thing for someone to say they’ve done it, but when we do have the chance to follow up and see that it’s not done, then it becomes a problem.
So we were looking for something that would provide accountability, something that was simple and something that would meet our budget requirements.
What task management software did you look at?
We spent hundreds of hours to looking for something that would fit us.
It became very evident that the big packages came with bells and whistles that were unnecessary and very complicated.
Certain needed features weren’t actually available even in some of the larger services out there.
Things like forms, it seemed like there was a divergence. You’d have task management services and then you would have forms.
When I was doing the beSlick demonstration I could see it had real potential.
beSlick forms are a really powerful tool, otherwise we’d be looking for two separate options and that’s extra to manage.
Some of our colleagues are not the most tech savvy and so we were looking for simplicity and I think we found the right balance with beSlick.
How are you using beSlick?
As mentioned, we use it for our goods in (import and export) workflow.
We also use it for finance and financial reporting to government.
Many of these things happen on, a quarterly or annual basis, and they happen sequentially.
So you’ve got to have certain things done before you submit this, before you then submit something else.
We’ve been using it for our quarterly VAT submissions, year end business license preparation and other things like duty exemptions.
What have the benefits been for you?
Where beSlick is on steroids is where workflow passes between multiple roles, such as when we are receiving goods.
There are many, many steps and my fellow founder Egan has said he doesn’t know how he would manage with all the data entry in multiple areas in our point of sale.
With beSlick you’re also able to embed so much other information.
It’s not just the checkoffs… it’s how do I do this portion of the task that’s required of me?
So when you look at a transition in your personnel, having something that’s already built with the information for the steps that they would then be responsible for overseeing or completing is tremendous.
It will also make you more efficient in what you’re doing. It helps make you more productive and a more effective manager, which can help overcome any resistence.
For example, our buyer, I don’t know if she would be able to function without beSlick now, making sure that all the steps that she has to do get done properly.
In beSlick I know exactly what to do.
It’s there because it’s been laid out perfectly and it’s evolved and it’s been perfected. And each step that’s required of me is described.
So it enables us to kind of shift if we need to or introduce new personnel a lot more quickly.
Would you recommend beSlick?
beSlick is definitely a powerful tool to hack our way to efficiency.
We’re accomplishing a whole lot more, it has transformed our business.