Recoup, Reinvest, Repeat: Taking Charge Of Your Amazon Deductions

Apr 20, 2022 12:00 pm1:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways

Would you like to get to the next level with your Amazon strategy and better understand the financial impact it has on your business? How do you pull the levers from a financial and operational standpoint to drive profitability for your venture? 

To reach those new heights, there’s a harsh truth that needs to be resolved: Amazon’s accounting process needs a higher level of transparency. Businesses need to know the different types of deductions Amazon has, why and where those deductions happen, and the strategies for tackling them. So, how can vendors have a better chance of success with the platform?

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Rohan Thambrahalli, the Founder of DimeTyd, Tim LeBeau, the President and CEO of Pilot Inc., and Rick Farone, Advisor at DimeTyd, to discuss the ways Amazon vendors can avoid chargebacks, deductions, and overbilling from Amazon. They discuss the hidden deductions or profit leakages from the platform, the different types of deductions that can happen, and how to solve and stay ahead of chargebacks, shortages, and overbilling.

 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

 

  • What are some of the financial issues on Amazon’s platform that vendors often miss?
  • The hidden deductions and profit leakages that can happen and why
  • How many different types of deductions does Amazon have? 
  • DimeTyd’s auditing process for discovering profit leaks and recouping funds
  • Does DimeTyd deal with chargebacks, shortages, and overbilling directly with the Amazon team?
  • Tips for staying ahead of chargebacks, shortages, and overbilling as a vendor
  • What are the benefits of using the DimeTyd process as an Amazon vendor? 
  • Rohan Thambrahalli, Tim LeBeau, and Rick Farone share their key takeaways for Amazon vendors
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Event Partners

Guest Speakers

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Rick Farone

Advisor at DimeTyd

Rick Farone is an Advisor at DimeTyd. He is an eCommerce veteran with more than 30 years of expertise in consumer products, online business development, and market planning. Rick is the Owner of Guardian Technologies, which creates innovative home environmental products. He also received the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Rohan Thambrahalli

Rohan Thambrahalli

Founder of DimeTyd

Rohan Thambrahalli is the Founder of DimeTyd, a fully automated financial operations (FinOps) platform that helps vendors recover from fees and profit leakage based on Amazon accounting errors. Rohan founded DimeTyd with the goal of developing a culture that delivers best-in-class value to customers and partners. He is also an Amazon vendor with Kawach, a line of rechargeable headlamps.

Tim LeBeau

President & CEO of Pilot Inc

Tim LeBeau is the President and CEO of Pilot, a leading automotive parts and distribution business. He has led global teams, developed new products and brands, and opened new markets. Tim has over 20 years of experience building successful businesses in the consumer, automotive, and B2B industries. His efforts have been acknowledged with several design patents and awards, including Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New”, Red Dot, and CES Innovation awards.

Event Moderator

Aaron Conant

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Rick Farone

Advisor at DimeTyd

Rick Farone is an Advisor at DimeTyd. He is an eCommerce veteran with more than 30 years of expertise in consumer products, online business development, and market planning. Rick is the Owner of Guardian Technologies, which creates innovative home environmental products. He also received the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Rohan Thambrahalli

Rohan Thambrahalli

Founder of DimeTyd

Rohan Thambrahalli is the Founder of DimeTyd, a fully automated financial operations (FinOps) platform that helps vendors recover from fees and profit leakage based on Amazon accounting errors. Rohan founded DimeTyd with the goal of developing a culture that delivers best-in-class value to customers and partners. He is also an Amazon vendor with Kawach, a line of rechargeable headlamps.

Tim LeBeau

President & CEO of Pilot Inc

Tim LeBeau is the President and CEO of Pilot, a leading automotive parts and distribution business. He has led global teams, developed new products and brands, and opened new markets. Tim has over 20 years of experience building successful businesses in the consumer, automotive, and B2B industries. His efforts have been acknowledged with several design patents and awards, including Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New”, Red Dot, and CES Innovation awards.

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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18 

Happy Wednesday, everybody. My name is Aaron Conant. I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect. We're a networking and knowledge-sharing group of thousands of brands who do exactly that. We network and knowledge share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it might be, that's shaping digital today. I spend the majority of my time just advising brands, I talk with 25 to 30 a week, to stay on top of the different trends that are out there. When the same topics come up over and over again, we host an event like this. So just a quick note, if anybody ever wants to have a conversation on anything from Amazon, to direct consumer, to drop shipping, to performance marketing, more than happy to spend some time with you on that. It's favorite part of my job. Also, if you need any help with partner selection, any of those areas, I'm asking everybody that I talked with, hey, who's working for you and who's not. So we've got a shortlist for pretty much everybody that's out there, every different vertical. As we get started today, a couple of housekeeping items. Number one is we want this to be as educational and informational as possible. So at any point in time, if you have a question, drop it in the chat, drop it in the q&a, or you can always email me aaron@bwgconnect.com. And we can feel the questions, what's ever easiest for you. The other thing is, maybe it's a question that pops up an hour after the call tomorrow, next week, never hesitate to reach out, more than happy to set aside some time and answer as many questions as we can. The last thing is you can see we're starting this at three to four minutes after the hour, just so you know, we're going to wrap up with at least five minutes left in the hour as well. We're going to give you plenty of time to get on to your next meeting without being late and possibly grab a cup of coffee along the way. So that being said, I'm going to kick off the conversation. Because as Amazon has grown to be a bigger and bigger piece of a lot of companies, p&l as a whole. It's also one of those more margin diluted avenues as well. And so it's kind of evident is in the area of fines and chargebacks, it almost seems to be like a profit center. And it's incredibly complicated to get it back. And I just had a lot of brands ask for help in this area is they tried to make Amazon less margin diluted. And so a team that came highly recommended from a bunch of brands, the network in this area is Rohan and the team at DimeTyd. They come up quite a bit. It's just experts in the space and just helping a lot of people out. So they agreed to kind of jump on the line today, kind of give us an overview of what's going on, but also answers many questions that we can throw at them. So, Rohan, I'll kick it over to you, if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and DimeTyd, that'd be awesome. We go around the horn with Tim and Rick as well. And then we'll kind of jump into the conversation. Sound good.

Rohan Thambrahalli  3:17 

Thanks, Aaron. Thanks for having me today. Appreciate the invite. Yeah, I'm the founder of DimeTyd. DimeTyd is is a fully automated platform, tech platform that allows Amazon 1P vendors to manage the finance side of the business, finance operations side of the business. When we sort of started down this journey about two years ago, we realized that accounting and reconciliation and operations were coming up a big pain point for Amazon vendors, and there wasn't a single platform solution that offered end to end solution for vendors and that's what we sort of our vision is to be that for Amazon 1P vendors. So for us. When we think about finance, we think about shortages, we think about operational chargebacks. We think about overbilling, we think about accounting and reconciliation, and we think about invoicing and cash application. So all of this is sort of on our platform and that is ultimately what delivers higher level of profitability, help vendors reduce operational cost and streamline their finance on a go-forward basis.

Aaron Conant  5:00 

Awesome. And I want to jump around to Tim and Rick. But I think that's a cool thing that I want to pick apart as we get into the call here is, a lot of times, we just hear chargebacks, chargebacks, chargebacks, chargebacks, chargebacks. And I think what's fundamentally different here is a platform for going after everything, and actually getting a true-up of Amazon, which is what people are looking for. Right? I don't think people, they nobody likes to pay the freight allowance, or the damage allowance or the co-op allowance. And nobody realizes you're actually late. And there is a fine, a lot of retailers have that. But it's the fact that I want it to be true. And I wanted to have apples to apples comparison. And it's outside of just chargebacks. Right, it's so many different levels. And I want to dive into that here. But also, we can jump around to Tim, if you want to jump in and then Rick as well just, brief background, introduce yourself, and then we'll jump into the conversation.

Tim LeBeau  6:00 

Sure, my name is Tim LeBeau. I'm the president CEO of Pilot, which is a pretty massive automotive, both OEM and aftermarket business that I've been working with Rohan for a long time. And how I kind of got involved in DimeTyd is the beginning of Rohan started DimeTyd, all the open issues that I have running my business associated with Amazon. When you add them all up, they're pretty big. But individually, they're almost too small to do anything about. So, for example, the chargebacks, this that, the other thing I would have to hire as many people to focus on the chargebacks, as I'd probably the costs of hiring the people was similar to how much money I'd get back. So that solution didn't really work very well. And then just I think one of the biggest ones is cash application is a map was a massive issue for our business. But in general, I kind of took a 10,000 foot approach to it. And I said, hey, why do I go from such a high margin business on Amazon from gross to net being such a low margin business. And I think that's kind of the thing that is really interesting about Amazon and you start to realize all the thing Rohan calls profit leakage, which is it leaves out of all these tiny little holes in the boat, it's impossible to plug them manually. So the solution that DimeTyd has come up with is a couple of things that we're always going to talk about, but for sure, it plugs a lot of those polls. But the thing that I'm really finding a lot of use it with now is using the software, the data to really run my business profitably. And that's what I really love about it.

Aaron Conant  7:55 

Awesome. Rick, you want to jump in?

Rick Farone  7:58 

Sure. Yeah, my name is Rick Farone. I've been in the industry now for 35 plus years, actually started off at a company called Royal Clients which made Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners. And we were always focused on big box retail. And then in 05, another gentlemen and myself left there and started a new company called Guardian Technologies. With our main product lines being like residential consumer room, air purifiers, and humidifiers and products like that. We got into Amazon relatively early because it was easier for us to go that way than to get into all the big box retailers. So we got in early grew with Amazon had great success as Amazon grew. But we were doing everything organically within Amazon, managing everything and trying to learn eventually became too much. And that's when we met Rohan and his team. They came in and they really their primary focus was to help us on the AMS and the advertising content and all those critical aspects of doing business with Amazon. But through that relationship, Rohan and I started having conversations about profitability, and his belief that there was opportunities for recoveries with our business within Amazon. Of course, when I would talk to our accounting teams, they were like no, we're all buttoned up. We're not missing anything. We got it all covered. I'm like okay, well, let's just try this was basically the conclusion and back then when Rohan and I partnered, they had to do everything pretty much manually. And long story short, our business we were doing roughly about 50 million annually with Amazon. When Rohan and their team did their analysis they were able to recover well over a million dollars. And that's million dollars bottom line, right? That's not sales and as an owner of a small and midsize company, picking up a million dollars is significant. And frankly, it's exciting and fun. But the other interesting point I just want to share with the group is one of the concerns we had is okay, how's this gonna play out with the Amazon buying team? We found all these discrepancies there documented. Are they going to push back and give us a hard time? And actually, it was the opposite. I would say the Amazon buying team was very supportive. Because frankly, I think they know, they know this is going on. And to use a term you use there about true-up, I think there's a motivation within the buying team to keep everything trued up, right. And that was the goal. And to cut this short, everything worked out, well, we got our money. And now we have systems in place to help make sure we're maximizing our profitability going forward.

Aaron Conant  10:53 

Yeah, I mean, I agree. I mean, even prior to this, when I was on the brand side, it had a mid-eight figure Amazon business as well. From the vendor manager side, I would just go in there apples to apples. Like, don't give me a 3% damage allowance, if it's only 1%. But if it's higher, let me know, right? If it's freight allowance this way, actually look at the freight, let's do it, that I know you have a margin to hit. But let's get apples to apples first, let's get damages aligned with damages freight align with freight. And then we can take a look at everything else. But at least I noticed, in every case, the vendor managers like yeah, it makes sense. They don't argue common sense in a lot of cases. I guess a few times they did, but paid media AMG was another thing. Right? Just halo effect. Dunbar and you'll sell more. But what are the number one? So Rohan, I don't know if you had a brief, few slides, you wanted to go through? If you did, if you want to throw them up, that'd be fine. But what are the number one thing that's over missed or overlooked by brands, like when you step in, because my finance team hated was how Amazon paid back. Over the course of 18 months later over the course of 10 other invoices, they would slowly credit us back. And it was a pain. But anyways, I'd love to hear a little bit here. You've got some slides, we can jump through these. And again, as people have any questions across the board, like drop into the q&a, or drop them in the chat.

Tim LeBeau  10:53 

Looks like Ryan's got his hands up. I think that's what it says in the chatbox.

Aaron Conant  11:41 

Ryan, can you drop them into the chat or the q&a and we'll just handle them that way. If that works, that'd be awesome.

Rohan Thambrahalli  12:53 

Yeah, So Aaron, with DimeTyd, I guess we have a bit of a Robin Hood complex if you will. We really want to build a responsible transparent accounting platform for Amazon vendors, right? The sheer complexity of Amazon causes a lot of these issues that vendors are facing today. But also, Amazon has a very unique Accounts Payable methodology deduct from pay. So Aaron, to your point, what Amazon does is they say, okay, well, this vendor has all of these different back-end accruals. But before we pay them, we're going to deduct what we think we ought to deduct from this vendor. And then it is the vendors' responsibility to be able to true up those deductions, which are, frankly, speaking, practically impossible to do manually. And if you're a vendor that has a business, like let's say, Guardian Technologies, that's millions and millions of line items vendors have to true up if you will. So for us, when we think about DimeTyd, we again, thinking about how do we automate that entire process, but beyond just automation, I think what we want, we're bringing transparency into this process where there might be over billing happening, right? And it's not so much that vendors don't have a good handle on it. It's just the sheer volume of these things. And that Tim mentioned, a might be a cent here or $1 there, but when you add it all up across millions and millions of line items, it becomes meaningful money. So for us, our focus is sort of recoup, allowed the brands to reinvest these funds that are out there that are in factually their money. Maybe they invest back into advertising or what have you, and continue to repeat this process. So we maintain a higher level of transparency in this whole accounting process that Amazon has as it relates to vendors. So really, kind of what we started there, and is, though, sort of morphed into a full finance and operation fin ops platform. So Aaron, what are the things that Amazon has and many accounts receivable folks dislike this term is called provisions of receivables, right. So Amazon, again, will put provisions on vendors, accounts payable, but those receivables extend the amount that Amazon owes you. So your accounts payable now, let's say sometimes in our research, what we found is because of provisions, if you have a 2%, net 30, with Amazon, due to the provisions that put on your accounts, the payment term gets extended from 30 days to in some cases, 65 days. But they still take that 2% quick pay discount. Right. And again, going back to the level of transparency, we think that's important for vendors to know, right? We think it's important that vendors know that because of provisions, their payment terms of being extended from 30 to 62, in some cases, even 80. And Amazon still taking 2% QuickPay discount. So all of these things, again, are not visible. And we've tried to bring transparency into these steps, right? Vendors generally very aware of the operational chargebacks. But 90% of the deductions that are happening are hidden. So you can't really dispute what you can't see. And we are enabling to bring transparency to those things, right.

Aaron Conant  17:53 

No, I agree. I mean, from the standpoint, and I'm talking to 25, 30 brands a week. And it's always been well, what about chargebacks? What about chargebacks? What about chargebacks? But it's only recently, since we've started having conversations that you're like, no, it's so much deeper than that. Right? Like Tim, like shaking your head like is that like, what did you see in this way that beyond chargeback?

Tim LeBeau  18:17 

I think the interesting one on the screen is the visibility about how many deductions and profit leakages there are and when you're running the business, you don't really you're not aware of them. But like Rohan said, sometimes it's a dime, sometimes it's a penny, the joke that Rohan and I have is, if you're running 100-mile race and you run by a penny every second, you wouldn't stop and pick them up. But if you had a way of picking up along the way, at the end of the race, you'd have a million dollars in your pocket. It's that mentality that, it's just a penny, it's just a write-off. It's just this, it's just that, and I think Amazon does that on purpose, they know where your tolerances have just make a correction in the ledger and move on. But if you look at how it adds up, it's, as Rick said, it's super impactful and significant to a business.

Aaron Conant  19:15 

I'd have the finance team view it because I despise people that join in or I'll have a conversation with them and they'll love it then sometimes it is brought from outside the finance department. They're like wait, we're doing everything we can and it's kind of like no we've got it all covered do like I believe you have the chargeback piece like 90% covered but what about this holistically?

Tim LeBeau  19:39 

Well, when you're running a company it's funny because sales guys and commercial people are always out looking for extra money, but the way that accounting team should be as they always want to be, at the end of the day they have to be squared away and the left side the right side is equal each other right. And then if it doesn't, it's a big issue. So they just take the profit leakage. And they put out an item in the accounting books and they write it off and move on. So it's kind of swept under the carpet, if you will.

Rick Farone  20:17 

Yeah. And I'll just add, I mean, this activity has been common with retailers for as long as I can remember. But it's different back, when like a Walmart or back in the day Kmart or whatever did these type of deductions are accounting group had a certain way of dealing with them, and you were dealing with these chargebacks, or these deductions that were, there was a limited number of them, so you could tactically go through it and try to figure out what was going on? And then as a business, you decide, okay, are we really going to fight this one or not fight this one. The difference Amazon is there's just millions and millions and millions of these little transactions. So they're too small to be even notice by your standard accounting processes. And that's what makes it so unique. And that's why you're going to get pushback from your accounting group, because you're gonna say, no, we're doing it, and we're on it. But they're doing it under their traditional kind of brick-and-mortar way of doing it. Not this new world of Amazon, and that's why it's just unknown to them.

Tim LeBeau  21:19 

Right? There's one point and Rohan answer this, but a fact check me on this, but we're on how many different types of deductions does Amazon have?

Rohan Thambrahalli  21:30 

Yeah, so we've identified over 107 different instances, and these are all outside of your operational chargebacks. So again, I want to emphasize that, yes, operational chargebacks, high level of visibility across many organizations. And honestly, what we're finding in our data is that, in some cases, 50 60% of the operational chargebacks are valid, right? Hey, you're truly not shipping on time. So you receive no chargebacks. No customer wants to hear. But outside of chargeback, there's 107 different instances that we've identified where they are, being overbuilt.  In fact, is that there's really no ERP system that currently in existence that has the capabilities to identify and reconcile those things. So it becomes a very manual process. And again, one customer, we just onboarding, and we do a five-year look back. Right, so we're doing five-year look back, there are 4 million POs, right, have 4 million POs. And if you take 10 line items per PO, which is low, that's 40 million line items. It would take them an army of forensic accountants, and it will take them probably two to five years to go through to what we're able to do in a matter of days. So the bandwidth, the visibility and technicality and the bandwidth are kind of really the core challenges here.

Aaron Conant  23:20 

What does that look like? Like from the standpoint, do they just do their slides too, but just to help people? Do you just do an audit? Do they just get access? Like, how long does this take because, out of the call more than happy to connect anybody on the call today with Tim, Rick, and Rohan for sure. But is it just like an audit and it just, report back like, hey, here's how much we founded five years? That's Is that like the max that you can go back that Amazon will let you? What kind of what is that timeframe look like? Just a people just shoot you an email, say, hey, here you go. Like, tell me what you find? Is it a day? Is it a week? How long before you get back with them? It seems like something is pretty simple if it's like a free like audit.

Rohan Thambrahalli  24:11 

Yeah, great question Aaron. And so it's quite simple. We only need access to their vendor central account, we don't need an access to their accounting or ERP or warehouse management system, just their vendor central account. From the time we receive access, take five to seven business days depending on sort of the size of the business but no more than seven business days to perform and run our logics on their vendor central account, and share our findings. And then once they share findings and they want us to go recoup those funds, and we'll do that as well. Again, fully automated so there is no work required from the customer side, they'll have access to the platform. And they can go in anytime and check the progress that we're making.

Aaron Conant  25:13 

The next question that comes in is do you overlay? So it says, I currently have a company helping out with chargebacks? Do you overlay on top of them and find additional fees and fines?

Rohan Thambrahalli  25:27 

Yes, there have been many instances where we've had customers that are currently using another firm. And we've just most recently, I think we uncovered close to $2 million for a vendor, they're currently using another firm.

Aaron Conant  25:51 

Just because it's looking for additional things. Okay. It makes complete sense. Yeah. Awesome. Just others, you have questions, just a reminder, you keep emailing them to me, aaron@bwgconnect.com, or drop into the chat or the q&a? Awesome.

Rohan Thambrahalli  26:06 

Yeah. So Aaron, just to your previous question, what we've really focused on with DimeTyd is building a fully automated tech platform solution. Because of all the things we just talked about the volume of data, the complexity, when we're building the solution, we want to make sure that we're just not throwing bodies at it, because frankly speaking, the vendors can do that themselves. Right. So our solution is not a people-based solution, we written hundreds of algos to go do what we think we need to do on behalf of vendors to again, bring transparency first, show them where the profit leakages are happening, help them plug those profitably could use and the ones that can be plugged in, because they're Amazon driven, there's an ongoing cadence on it. And again, fully automated, seamless, it will happen in the background, right. But this whole historical look back is the key because that gives us the data to understand, okay, well, what are the things that are causing these profit leakages? So, for example, like was we talked about overbilling, we can go five years, and Aaron, the time limit is really related to the amount of data is available and vendor central. We're finding that for overbilling and remittances, there's only about five year worth of data. And then for shortages, there's three years’ worth of data. Now Amazon is doing post-started claims right, to vendors, they're going back eight years. So they're coming going back eight years and saying, hey, eight years ago, we didn't bail you out correctly on such and such a cruel, because it's deduct from pay, we're just going to deduct hundreds of 1000s dollars. And in a sense, we're doing a post-audit claim on behalf of these vendors to Amazon. So, again, the big point here is there's no resources required from the vendor side. And then on a go-forward basis, they can leverage platform to do all of these things and other fin ops functions. And our thesis is purely performance-based.

Aaron Conant  26:07 

It's so a question come in. It says as we work through chargeback shortages provisions, we've learned that a human interaction is oftentimes necessary as most automated disputes get denied. Do you offer that analysis negotiation presentation directly with the Amazon team?

Rohan Thambrahalli  29:36 

So let's just kind of break it down. So operational chargebacks. There is some interaction required, shortages, there's some interaction required with the Amazon team, and generally, it's when the amount we're disputing is large, million-plus dollar. And then for over billings, there's really no interaction required, there's no human interaction required. Because this is truly money that has been taken that shouldn't have been taken in the first place. So, that's a very streamline process that we've established. And also in shortages, especially when we do a three year look back, what we're finding is that the way we're disputing shortages, it's very different than what actually historically vendors have been doing. So there's about 5% of the time that those have been sort of elevated to the vendor manager. But at that point, we kind of hand that off to the vendor to do the interaction, simply because our dealings, 90% of the time our deal is with Amazon. So an fin ops team.

Rick Farone  31:27 

I'll just say add on that, though, I thought one of the big advantages of working with the DimeTyd team was the documentation that they put together. So you could challenge the type chargeback, right. It's one thing to identify how much you believe you can recover. And then the other thing is actually recovering it. And so their systems and their platform, made it a lot easier to have all the proper documentation submitting all the proper documentation to support your argument and then actually recover.

Aaron Conant  31:58 

And then, coast like recovery, enabling the finance team on a go-forward basis. I mean, that's a key part of it as well. Right. Like, once you've done the ketchup, how do you stay caught up? Right, is the question, right? How do I make sure I don't get behind again?

Rohan Thambrahalli  32:25 

Absolutely. I mean, again, I'll kind of bring up the whole transparency thing. Aaron, one thing that I like to point out is that there needs to be transparency, not just with Amazon, but also internally with vendors. So one example I'll use is when there's shortage claim, the first inclination is to blame Amazon, but oftentimes, we're finding is that shortage claims are just being generated, because vendors are not correctly applying cash. So when Amazon sends remittances, vendors are incorrectly applying cash, which is one of the root cause to create shortage plan. So on a go-forward basis, right, we have a cash application module on the platform. So, today, an activity that is being done manually by someone in AR, we can run that cash application module automatically on a weekly basis, or whatever the sequence is. And all they would need to do is export the cash application report and do a bulk upload it in their system. But the point here is that, the platform is driving transparency into not just what Amazon may not be doing correctly, but also the vendors that are doing things incorrectly.

Aaron Conant  34:22 

I think but kind of to your point is I think people they just want to know if they owe it they owe it but they want to have feel confident they owe it but the waters are so muddy, they don't really know at any point in time. Did I really owe that or not? And therefore they immediately obviously, like you're saying there's assume well, Amazon just takes everything.

Tim LeBeau  34:48 

I would add one other thing,  what this also does is it gives you data of what your business is doing right and what your business is doing wrong. And you can take this data, turn it into a Six Sigma project have someone go at it and actually improve your own operational performance internally and use the data to drive that.

Aaron Conant  35:10 

It's interesting, you said Six Sigma, because, we've had people come up now over and over again, that are using Six Sigma in internally, over and over again, in the eCommerce space, which hasn't been done a ton before. So like, full-blown like courses, bring in consultants and teach the entire process. And then part of that, it's really interesting, because sometimes they don't want to touch the traditional business, they want to try something new and fun. And they're throwing it at eCom and different things.

Tim LeBeau  35:44 

While what you got here is the data and you get the you could quantify the savings.

Aaron Conant  35:50 

Yeah. Awesome. Just to remind others, if you have questions drop into the chat or the q&a or keep emailing them to me, aaron@bwgconnect.com. I'll kick this over to Rick, are there other things that popped up when you started using this where you're like, I didn't even know it would do this, or because people aren't looking to take they're looking to get Amazon profitable. They're looking for transparency. They're also looking to solve problems nonstop? And are the things that came top of mind for you like, wow, I didn't even know that it would solve this issue as well.

Rick Farone  36:32 

Well, I don't my initial thoughts that jumped in my head is we did realize, though, by going through this process, that we were doing some things wrong operationally, for example, some labeling, stuff like that, that was contributing to a significant amount of deductions that at the end of the day, were easy fixes. But how long had we been doing? And how long would we have continued to do them if we didn't know what was really causing the problem. It's not like, it's always spelled out to you by Amazon. This is why we're deducting you, they're just deducting it. So. So I thought one of the big benefits was the fact that we were able to peel back the onion and really find out what we're doing wrong to fix things. So going forward, we've least mitigate or eliminate those type of chargebacks or deductions. And then the other benefit we found was not we haven't touched on it much in this call is, is the ability to maximize your profitability on a go-forward basis. But we were also able to take some of that recovered money and reinvest it into advertising to drive our business, that then gives you a longer-term benefit, right. So if you could change your ranking from an item and number 10, ranking number two ranking on page one, those sales benefits just keep continuing right, as you stay up there. And it was nice to have some money, some extra money to give it a shot in the arm from an advertising standpoint, and promotional standpoint to drive the business that benefitted us as well too.

Aaron Conant  38:05 

Question comes in around the dashboard that you showed, is that an ongoing dashboard that the brand uses? Is that a SaaS-based platform?

Rohan Thambrahalli  38:17 

Yeah, it's a SaaS-based platform. vendors have access to it. All the work that we're doing so for example, whatever disputes that we're raising all the details, say on the platform.

Aaron Conant  38:36 

So if I walk through it really quick, then so you guys step in, it's the audit, right? You do the five-year look back, you're like, this is how much is available, you go tackle it, get that chunk back, but then going forward, you're empowering the brands with this SAS base product, so they can stay on top of it on their own. And you don't have the continual basically, you're teaching the brands to fish. Right?

Rohan Thambrahalli  39:03 

Yeah. And, again, we can sort of on a go-forward basis, and that's why we kind of do a look back because we don't want to be able to just sell different modules on the platform that may not be relevant, right. So, once we do look back, we're able to really look into data and say, hey, you know what, Aaron for your business, you should really use our invoicing solution. Just recently, there's an automotive vendor 100 plus million dollar vendor. We noticed that  there are some major issues with the way they were invoice Amazon. Okay. We asked him to use our invoicing solution, which is kind of on a go-forward basis more of a subscription model, but they use the invoicing solution. And in 60 days of using the invoicing solution, there shortages declined by over 90%. Right. So, on a go-forward basis, it's a combination of things that we're able to provide that are on the platform, again, that are automated, that should significantly decrease all of these deductions and chargebacks the vendors are experiencing. And one of the most powerful thing on the platform that I'll touch on is the financial scorecard. So what we've done is we build out a true running, p&l off your Amazon business, because today, vendors don't necessarily have a good idea of what their true p&l Is because different deductions set in different p&l and different buckets. And not very often they bring it all together and say, okay, well, my gross margin is 50%. But after we take in all of these deductions, my net margin is probably 15. Right. So the financial scorecard is quite powerful, because you can see a true financial health of your Amazon business at a vendor level, but also an asin level. So what we heard a lot from the vendors that are using the platform is like, hey, Rohan right now, I'm may not be so focused on generating top line because of inventory constraint, I'm really focused on bottom line, and I know that there's some products that I shouldn't I should sell, suppress, because they're not profitable, but I don't have asin level of profitability information, which again, from a transparency standpoint, we think is super powerful, because we think that the vendor should have the empowerment to look at asin level of profitability, and maybe only accept POS on those asins that are most profitable to them.

Aaron Conant  39:19 

Awesome. Just reminder, those you have questions, you drop in the chat the q&a, or keep emailing them to me. And we'll keep telling them, are there any new things that are that are popping up on your side that you think have just been incredibly painful? Tim, I'll kick it over to you, when you look at Amazon as a whole, we'd love to hear your thoughts, as we kind of wrap up to the key takeaway section here.

Tim LeBeau  42:49 

I mean, things are popping up. Yeah, Rohan really touched on something a minute ago, but the software also helped us realize what SKU levels were profitable versus nonprofit ones. So you had a net profit, I'm talking about just gross profit. So the other thing that I'm noticing that the software also helps you do is we would just kind of blanket or peanut butter over, AdWord buys or AMS amount of money. And what this also helped me do to drive profitability is to be a lot more of a sniper with that money than a shotgun shooter with that money. And I think that's a really important issue as well. It's kind of like the old statement that only 30% of marketing works, but I don't know what 30% works, so I had to do 100% of it, right? Is kind of that joke that I always think of from 30 years ago, so with this kind of helps me do is okay, now I'm up to 70% of marketing works, which has a lot better return for me, and then I think Rick brought up also, the money that you get back on the audit, you could use strategically use part of that money to leverage up some of your most profitable skews and use really targeted marketing to drive. And I think we led to some skews and some products that the more marketing we spent on it, the less profitable the SKU became. And that was really hard to get my head around and then, but that's kind of what this software helps you navigate.

Aaron Conant  45:00 

Yeah, Rick, kind of key takeaways there.

Rick Farone  45:02 

I don't think the other thing I'll just add as a general statement with Amazon is, it's become way more competitive on Amazon. We have more and more vendors and suppliers coming after the same piece of pie basically. And so this just gives you another tool to help do battle. If you can make your business more profitable than your competitor in the long run, you've learned chances out surviving and then growing, too. So it's critical to be as efficient as you can with everything you're doing within Amazon. And then the other thing I always just a general philosophy is this, when you sell brick and mortar, you'd sell them, and you worked really hard to get a buyer to bring in your product. And then once you did that, you kind of just threw it over the wall, right? And then it was Walmart job to sell it. In this world, it's your job, right. And it's also a 24/7 job. So there's no taking time off, you have to live it every day, you have to breathe it, you have to stay on top of it. And to help assist you, you just want to have the best tools available. And if your tools can be better than the competition, it'll give you a better chance to win.

Aaron Conant  46:11 

Yeah, I agree. We're at a point now, it's digital 2.0. Like, the game has got to be up. Right. And two years ago, when it was a smaller portion of your overall budget at some point in time the pennies are fewer and farther between. But at this point in time, I think everybody has been asked to get Amazon more profitable. So everybody wants to really feel good about how the finances work and have a holistic, true view of what's going on with the platform. Because that's a lot of the argument from the other teams that were out there on the Walmart or the target teams are like, oh, Amazon's and all this money, we don't really know where it's going or how it's being spent or what's profitable. And to your point, Tim, which products are really moving? Is it the money really worth it? You need something in place. And I think that's just why you guys have been coming up so often, Rohan is that you guys feel a need right now that people, I would encourage anybody, have them do the audit, it's 100% worth it, to have it, take a look at it. And even if you have some of those other people that you're using right now, I'd be like we've had on it as well. They're great people. This is just a next level of understanding overall Amazon, what is the financial impact on your business good, bad, and then recouping as much as you can from them. So Rohan kind of key takeaways here as we wrap up, we're more than happy to connect anybody with him after the call as well make sure you have his email address and you have a connection. Aiming it's as simple as seven days from now, if you've got tons of money going back.

Tim LeBeau  47:51 

Aaron, I'm going to throw one more thing out, there is just a holistic point of my business, in the last two years, my brick and mortar business is down 12%. And my Amazon business and.com business is up more than 3x. So I've had my customer base that I had this really great relationship with the brick and mortar side. And that's just what we've known for 25 years, suddenly, all moved to digital. Right? And that's a super scary thing as a CEO, or a sales leader of a company is like, hey, suddenly, all my customers are in a different field. How do I set up shop over there? And I've been so traditionally set up over here. So a lot of people just run to that and try to do it, and it's sloppy, and let's just get things up and running. Let's just put it online, as they say, right. But you got to know how to do it right and profitable. And I think a lot of people are waking up on this side of the pandemic saying, what are we doing?

Aaron Conant  47:51 

I just hosted another webinar on that earlier today is what does that look like? Is everybody did the digital checklists for the past two years. Hoping every one of those things was the silver bullet. It's not the only silver bullet it's hard work, getting as much information as you possibly can to make the best decisions possible.

Tim LeBeau  49:12 

It's really important to have you know, someone like Rohan and his company in your corner to help make sure you're doing it profitably. The days of stalking how you watch a fly are gone. So know that line.

Rohan Thambrahalli  49:26 

Yeah, Aaron, for us again, we think that it's really important for the brands to be empowered to pull the levers from a finance and operations side to drive profitability. So that's one thing. Second thing is we think it is extremely important for brands to have transparency into where these deductions are happening and why they're happening and have a solution to kind of stop them from happening, if not limit them from happening. And then third, lastly, I think, for so long it's the brands have historically sort of been at a disadvantage from a profitability data standpoint, right? Whether it's a category load, profitability, asin level profitability and we want to change that, right. We want to empower these brands to have a very meaningful conversations where they have key data's around the categories and their catalog and the profitability that they're driving not just within the business, but also within the category to Amazon. So, those are kind of the three big things that we're trying to accomplish with DimeTyd. And I think it's about time that all of this is available to as many people as possible.

Aaron Conant  51:29 

Yeah, I agree. And I see we're right here at time. Again, Tim, Rick Rohan, thanks so much for your time today. Thanks for letting us throw a bunch of questions at you. Again, encourage anybody have a follow-up conversation with Rohan and the team at  DimeTyd, they're crushing in this space is worth doing that audit, look for a follow-up email from us. I'd love to have a conversation with you as well. Love to learn the pain points that you have. It's how we get the topics for these calls. And also, if you ever need any help with any service providers across the board, anything in the digital space, just feel free to reach out. That's what I spend the majority of my time doing is helping people in that space. Pick the right service providers that come recommended from brands in the network. With that we're going to wrap it up. Hope everybody has a fantastic Wednesday. Have a great rest of the week. Everybody take care. Stay safe. I look forward to having you at a future event. Thanks again, Tim. Thanks Rick. Thanks Rohan. That was awesome. All right. Thanks, guys.

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