SKDA: Australian success story SKDA, who save two hours a day with StarShipIT
We talked to founder Sam, about how he got started with SKDA (a fast-growing moto graphics and accessories brand) and how automation software has significantly reduced their fulfilment challenges.
So how did it all get started?
Initially, it was just something that I was doing for myself, for my own bike. Then a few friends asked me to design for them and it became it a hobby. I launched the business in 2010 and it’s gone from strength to strength ever since.
What were some of the failures you encountered on your journey or some of the key challenges when you first started out?
Finding the right suppliers, the right equipment, obtaining capital to get started and legal issues to get around. It could have been too hard for someone else, but he pushed through with an
“I just had the mindset that there was nothing I couldn’t get around. I took a cash loan from my grandparents which taught me the importance of spending wisely. Every dollar needed to count and unfortunately, that investment made no difference to the business and I still had to pay it back. I learned quickly how to save and make money.”
Sam is the overall manager and is one in a team of 6. Sam is the original design creator, the artwork is all his. When the item is sold, it is then passed through the team for production. Sam has always had a passion for design and through his passion for the sport, he has realised his creative potential. Today, he is one in a team of six.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
Everyone used to look to One Industry – they were at the helm. They were biggest and best, but they closed in 2014, after being bought out by a monopoly. We are now working towards taking their place as the biggest supplier in the sector.
What was life like before StarShipIT?
We were still using the fulfilment systems provided by the carrier which was eParcel and DHL’s fulfilment systems. They were very manual. Now with StarShipIT and Eric in dispatch, we save around 2 hours every day. That’s massive, saving staff hours like that as it enables them to focus on other areas of the business and gives them the chance to do more challenging and interesting work as well which is great for them and me as the business owner.
What were the key factors you considered when selecting your shipping technology solution?
We were looking at expanding into new international markets. Our DHL account manager recommended SSI as a tool to automate the international shipping paperwork. I signed up for a trial but got stuck at the integration stage. Then the staff at SSI sent a few emails, chased me up and called me. The integration side of it was the blocker and so the onboarding team used Team viewer and set it all up for me. Without that phone call, team viewer, I would never have gotten past the trial. That amazing customer service and support is what made the difference and makes it worthwhile to work with SSI.
What is life like now using StarShipIT? (looking for key benefits/results)
The biggest difference is the time saving, saving 2 hours a day is massive. Beyond that, human error has been reduced. Correcting the address is automatic, the right consignment options are selected e.g. US – with the programme automating that it is massive timesaver. Branded tracking page is fantastic – our tracking now looks way more professional with a cleaner layout, which is a massive improvement for customers.
What’s in the future for SKDA next 12 months?
We have set some goals for growth. Specifically targeting growth in Europe. Originally, Europe made up around 10% of the business but now it is around 50%. We want to continue this momentum and focus on growing our international as well as domestic presence.
What’s your long-term vision for the brand?
To be the leaders in the market, to be at the helm. To be the Motor-cross graphics brand.
What advice or tips would you give to other entrepreneurs who would love to follow in your footsteps and start an online business?
There is a famous quote by Eric Thomas; “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”
Keen to try StarShipIT for yourself, so you can focus on growing your business? Sign up for a FREE 30 day trial and get your shipping sorted.