Updated: Aug 24
Setting up your online business, the warehouse-to-store procedure, and processing your orders all require completely different skill sets than a standard relationship between a vendor and a brick and mortar operation. Many vendors don’t have these skill sets already in house, so they must add to their existing staff or evaluate what existing skill sets can be replaced by staff with e-commerce and fulfillment operations expertise as well. To assist with this, it’s important to understand what resources and skill sets are important to setting up your e-commerce operation for success.
At Peak Velocity, we reviewed the resources and support we have provided to our past clients and analyzed which continually had the largest immediate impact. We then took this data and identified a handful of key roles that are important to consider when establishing your E-Commerce business.
Your specific needs will vary depending on factors including the industry you’re in, the experience of existing staff, whether you will be running your own fulfillment warehouse or contracting with a 3PL, the list goes on. However, the recommended organization structure below is a useful general baseline to consider when establishing your needs.
IT Support Specialist with ERP/EDI expertise
It is imperative that you have a resource who is qualified to maintain and repair order processing functionality. EDI is notoriously unstable and ERP systems can be time consuming to maintain, plus they require lots of custom coding and script writing for the system to properly execute your order processing workflow without manual intervention. Both require a more targeted technical skillset that has become increasingly more common as e-commerce has continued to grow. In addition, this same resource can also
perform hardware and software upgrades
make recommendations for the successful scaling of your network
monitor security and user administration
provide daily technical equipment support.
The actual role and skill set of this resource depends on your decision to utilize a 3PL or operate your own fulfillment and warehousing operation. If you are planning on setting up your own operation, the warehouse operator should be able to help design the order processing workflow, which will then determine the operational layout of your facility. Once the operation is up and running, their responsibilities transfer to supervisory and operational efficiency evaluation and improvement.
Most vendors will have a Merchant or a Sales Rep already in place. However, those skillsets are largely related to category development of brick & mortar shelf space and its associated marketing strategies. Both of these are significantly different for e-commerce and few have the skillset to be an Omni-Channel Merchant. The Merchandising Assistant fills this gap and assumes responsibility of e-commerce accounts. The Assistant is also focused on:
increasing cart size and maximizing impulse purchase opportunities
developing creative content on landing and product pages
creating bundles and collections
identifying additional merchandising opportunities to grow the business.
Digital Asset Coordinator
Convincing a customer to make a purchase without the ability to physically touch and evaluate the product is a significant challenge that E-Commerce operations need to overcome. One key factor in accomplishing this is through the artwork and photography utilized in your web-based content. The Digital Asset Coordinator takes on this challenge and is responsible for:
establishing dot com specific guidelines for photography and artwork.
Maintaining those standards by optimizing images for dot com
ensuring quality and consistency across retail sites
maintain a repository for all product artwork, photography, product attributes, and merchandising data.
For larger operations, the Digital Asset Coordinator’s responsibilities can be supported through the use of a Product Information Management System, or PIMS for short.
Sales & Account Analyst
Knowing your numbers is rule number one in successfully running your E-Commerce business. This is the responsibility of the Sales & Account Analyst. They will:
develop and execute Daily, Weekly, and Monthly reporting efforts on e-commerce retail partner performance
track SKU performance,
assist with Pay Per Click advertising targeting and tracking
contribute to the strategic business initiatives related to forecasting, pricing, profitability, and retail partner engagement.
Peak Velocity is well-versed in helping our clients determine what roles suit their needs the most and we are uniquely qualified to provide temporary support in each of these areas as you work to launch your e-commerce and fulfillment operation. Call us today and let Peak Velocity start “Shipping Your Business Forward.”