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Automating Pricing and Handling Time Estimates for A Million eCommerce SKUs

Modernizing Poultry Farms with Internet Connected Feed Level Monitoring

Little Bird Systems approached Lofty Labs to create a customer facing application to allow users to monitor data generated by their innovative audio-based sensors for feed bins in the poultry industry. The team had deployed sensors on multiple farms and were storing data in a database, but had no user interface for analytics, reporting, or even internal oversight. The team also anticipated large scaling challenges with their architecture in the short term future as they prepared a large go-to-market strategy for their IoT (Internet of Things) enabled sensors.

Little Bird Systems team during a discovery workshop at Lofty Labs Lofty Labs worked with the team at Little Bird Systems to re-architect the pipeline of their sensor data using a standardized API (Application Programming Interface) over the internet, allowing their devices to passively push data into the cloud. The API became the standard interface for retrieving data as well, and Lofty developed an interactive reporting interface to surface insights to Little Bird System’s customers. The API and analytics application support an ACL model that allows for flexible governance of data access where Little Bird's employees and customers can access only the data they are granted, without compromising the confidential data of other customers. LBS On ScreenLittle Bird's IoT infrastructure is now poised for massive scaling and sensors are being rolled out to multiple commercial farms. The API powered dashboard is in use by LBS employees, farm employees, and integration partners to efficiently monitor and replenish feed levels. Native mobile applications are now in development, taking advantage of the API at the architecture's core to provide consistent experience across devices. These applications can be developed at a substantially reduced cost as they leverage a pre-existing cloud architecture and data access. Little Bird Systems is now confidently approaching some of the largest poultry integrators in the world with the knowledge that their automated systems can scale to meet demands of any size

The Client
Lofty was approached by an eCommerce platform which manages over a million SKUs on Amazon and eBay. Their business model is uniquely successful due to a high emphasis in process management and automation.

The Problem
Managing a high volume of SKUs is extremely cumbersome and error prone. Prices must be re-evaluated constantly to maintain a consistent margin. Factors include upstream changes in the supply chain, shipping cost fluctuations, inventory constraints, and more. Delays in communicating these pricing updates to the channel can result in net losses over costs of goods sold, lost sales, and penalties by the eCommerce channel or supplier. Maintaining the pricing of such a large catalog proved to be massively inefficient when done by hand and using spreadsheets.

Lofty developed a centralized pricing platform which is able to calculate the instantaneous ideal price of any SKU in the client's inventory based on user-managed formulas. Using this information, the platform is able to monitor prices on the eCommerce channel and update them immediately if the price is incorrect. This immediate price verification allows prices to be set formulaically, and the platform automates the process of setting new prices when underlying costs and shipping rates shift in the supply chain. All without human intervention! As a side effect, the client noticed an immediate reduction in pricing discrepancies caused by human error.