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Teikametrics New COO on Realizing the Potential of Amazon FBA

Teikametrics has named Jim Speltz, former Brookstone CEO, its new Chief Operating Officer. Teikametrics works with Amazon sellers of all sizes, with a focus on those using Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA).

The company’s software dynamically optimizes pricing, operations, and inventory performance, helping Amazon merchants become more efficient and profitable. For instance, how do you know exactly how much inventory you should send to Amazon warehouses – it can be a difficult balance weighing the cost of storage versus missed sales from running out of stock.

Speltz told EcommerceBytes he found the opportunity to work with a company that is focused on leveraging the world’s most influential commerce site extremely compelling.

“Teikametrics’ mission is to help sellers on the Amazon marketplace platform to scale their businesses profitably,” he said. “I have been in multi-channel retailing for 17-plus years, and have been a part of the seismic shifts in consumer shopping behavior. With each passing year, the keys to success online have changed, and no force has been more powerful in facilitating that change than Amazon.”

We asked Speltz to share some thoughts for online merchants and what changes he had planned for Teikametrics.

What’s a common mistake merchants make when selling through Amazon FBA?

Jim Speltz: The most common mistake merchants make on Amazon is not using a formal forecasting process for shipping goods into the Amazon fulfillment centers. We see companies that under replenish goods, which costs them sales. We also see companies that over ship. They have unrealistic sell-thru assumptions and tie up too much capital in unproductive goods. These forecasting mistakes are closely related to the need to instrument and accurately measure FBA performance.

Inventory management isn’t the most exciting thing for most business owners; this is why Teikametrics offers proactive inventory monitoring and formalizes the workflow for managing replenishment.

We also find many merchants lack visibility into profitability across their investments in FBA; the tools provided by Amazon are extremely limited in this regard. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

We help FBA retailers envision a path to profitability – critically important in this dynamic marketplace.

Are there rules of thumb when it comes to deciding to list an item on Amazon FBA?

Jim Speltz: The FBA program offers so many advantages to sellers, including participating in the Prime program and alleviating the headaches of order fulfillment and servicing. The program is great for resellers and brands alike. The reseller community has to be conscious of the competitive landscape for their respective category of goods, while brands and private label sellers have to evaluate their ability to be discovered via search and navigation.

For either type of seller, the number one rule of thumb is understanding your profitability at an item level. Teikametrics’ Insite software is built around managing margin rates that are adjusted to account for the actual fees incurred by Amazon.

How is Teikametrics helping merchants, and do you have any plans for changes going forward?

Jim Speltz: Teikametrics helps retailers in a number of ways. We are unique in that our offering applies to both the front-end customer experience to drive revenue, and the back-end operations to manage expense. Our automated repricer helps resellers win the buy box. Our consulting services group creates optimal page content, ensures searchability, and manages advertising campaigns on the Amazon platform. We also work to preserve liquidity for our customers and manage their individual product profit margins.

As we look ahead, Teikametrics will continue to expand its feature set for the software platform, as well as its programs to aid in participation on the international FBA programs.

Speltz held many roles over the course of his 17-year career with Brookstone and left the company after facilitating its sale to private investors in late 2014.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.