BANGALORE, India: Saffron Marigold (http://www.saffronmarigold.com) is a small home dÃ©cor e-tailer based in Petaluma, California. It is a typical SOHO that is striving to delight its customers and gain relevance in the crowded e-commerce industry. An exotic and unique collection of handcrafted, India-inspired Bed-and-Linens that is ethically sourced and helps traditional artisans does mark them apart from the crowd. But come holiday season, they face some serious business challenges with last minute holiday shopping and the mad rush to deliver shipments on time. A customer is either happy or lost forever, come this season. For Thanksgiving this year, orders placed after US business hours on Tuesday were processed overnight and shipped the next day to reach clients on Thursday. Not only that the firm was able to handle 80% more shipments with no increase in staffing during such times.
So how does Saffron Marigold scale up its operations to meet holiday season demand without increasing its costs or flexibility? It smartly outsources a large part of its processes and operations to an offshore team at GetFriday Ace (http://www.getfridayace.com).
GetFridayAce, the small business specialist arm of GetFriday (http://www.getfriday.com) the world's leading virtual assistant service has been working with Saffron Marigold for over five years now. It started as an experiment in Nov.2009 outsourcing small processes like inventory updates on Amazon and creating shipping labels thus taking advantage of the time difference, flexi-teams and offshore costs. Buoyed by success and sensing an opportunity, the founders soon started outsourcing more complex, larger processes.
The core function of order-to-cash cycle was outsourced to the GetFridayAce team in India. This ensured that orders are processed overnight, while customers are asleep. The short response time improved customer delight, while creating a platform for positive experiences. The many heartfelt testimonials, Saffron Marigold receives from its clientele stands testimony to the good work.
Whether it is the holiday season which requires on-time delivery and impeccable quality standards or the discount-sale season that needs flexi-scaling to handle the sudden surge in orders, the GetFridayAce team has been a constant factor. "It requires a solid demonstration of capability for a small business to be able to trust and outsource things that would make an indelible impression on its clients and their loyalty. We are happy to be delivering just that." says Sunder P, Managing Director, GetFridayAce.
It also takes immense effort and time for small businesses like Saffron Marigold to handle product catalog management and new product launches. The offshoring team was key to its recent launch "Orange Blossoms" home dÃ©cor line of products that was well appreciated by customers. The GetFridayAce team has been trained on all key functions including order processing, shipping updates, invoicing, inventory management, website-content review etc. In the recent past, it has also been involved in sales and inventory analysis providing useful insights to the onsite team. The offshoring team interacts with Saffron Marigold's in-house staff on a regular basis to ensure close coordination in a virtual environment.
Sandip Sarwate, co-founder Saffron Marigold says "I look at GetFriday as a trusted business partner and consider their employees an extension of our team. Over the years my effort has been to build repeatable processes around critical business functions and then hand them off. Thanks to the quality of the team that works with me, I have a high degree of confidence in them."
Today, GetFridayAce is a trusted outsourcing partner for all kinds of small business outsourcing needs. "While platforms like elance work well for tech projects or single tasks, being able to find someone with a wide range of skills to support your small business is certainly a challenge" says Parasuram Prabhu, Director, GetFridayAce. Prabhu adds "It requires much more than mere skill; it requires patience and a willingness to learn the way you do business."
GetFridayAce now partners with more than 150 small business clients across the globe providing them with business support on a 24/7 basis. Apart from handling small-business process support for startups, small businesses and even non-profits, it also has specialist teams that handle web and print design, web development, book-keeping, business analytics, SEO and Internet marketing services for its clientele. The team has the experience of building more than 500 websites for small businesses and online entrepreneurs from different industries.