Company Name: Craft Closet and Emergency Zone
Products: Emergency kits and repair items, laser-safe materials for the laser craft community
Time with Connex: Since 2015
Can data entry automation and integration help drive scalability for an emergency kits supplier as well as a store for the laser craft community? Dr. Kurt Mayberry saw this thought materialize with Connex.
Dr. Kurt Mayberry, an emergency medicine physician, established Emergency Zone in 2007 to aid people in an increasingly uncertain world. What started as a small family-and-friend-driven business in a garage in the quiet neighborhoods of Idaho soon became one of the most prominent names in emergency preparedness kits.
Emergency Zone sells all-in-one emergency kits, emergency food, water solutions, products for shelter and warmth, cooking, light and communication, sanitation and hygiene, emergency tools, and first aid.
Run on a complete customer-first approach, Emergency Zone proudly claims on their website, “We listen to your ideas. You tell us what you want, and we make it a reality.” They provide constant support and assistance via email, calls, and agents available on their website chat. In addition, they’re also known for consultations to help customers make customized plans for their homes, workplaces, or schools.
The same year, he established another company with like-minded people selling laser-safe materials for the laser craft community. Named Craft Closet, the brand offers over 200 specialty acrylics, 29 different wood species, shell veneer, and more.
Craft Closet’s Laser and Craft Cutter catalogs include melamine, stones, gems, mirror acrylic, COLORboard expressions and effects, and paint and supplies. To add to their impressive range of products, they have a compilation of resources like recommended settings, troubleshooting, tutorials, designers customers can get in touch with, materials, and videos to guide the community. Another nod to their customer experience is their Craft Closet Club, which offers gifts, coupons, exclusive deals, and rewards.
As both the businesses - Emergency Zone and Craft Closet grew, the operations became increasingly complex to handle manually. Emergency Zone had expanded its online shopping options from its website to retail giants like Amazon and Walmart. Craft Closet supplies were available on its website and Etsy.
But customer demands were at an all-time high, and the digital commerce arena took a lot of work to ace. Ensuring innovation with sustained conversion was another task. With the number of orders and their sources increasing, entering them all into QuickBooks posed a significant challenge - and a highly time-consuming one at that. Operational challenges began growing, and the need for automation was paramount.
That’s when Kurt came across Connex. He recalls, “We got Connex as soon as we needed to automate data entry.” Further, he added with a sense of relief, “It [Connex] just runs in the background. If we had to do all this data entry manually, it would be way too much work.”
After eight years of growing and expanding his businesses across multiple avenues, Kurt found Connex to be a considerable help in the journey ahead.
Connex provided comprehensive QuickBooks automation, efficiently processing large sales volumes without manual data entry. The advanced bookkeeping functionalities and friendly interface were easy for the entire team to learn.
Kurt utilized the convenience, automation, and increased productivity Connex offered for Emergency Zone as well as Craft Closet. It helped him establish integration between QuickBooks Enterprise and Amazon, Shopify, and ShipStation.
And the best part? It drastically reduced the manual intervention, letting his team focus on other crucial aspects and future pursuits instead of putting much of their precious time into data entry.
Did it take too long to migrate from his earlier processes to Connex? Not at all. “The setup was very easy; we just did it in one afternoon. We haven’t had any issues along the way,” said Kurt appreciatively.
Emergency Zone and Craft Closet soon saw an upward growth trend, backed by Connex’s automation and the resultant operational efficiency and productivity.
Kurt finds Connex to be an instrumental force in his future expansion plans for the businesses. “Connex makes it really easy for us to grow and expand to new channels because it allows us to consolidate multiple selling channels through ShipStation and sync all the sales to QuickBooks,” he said.
In addition to ShipStation, he now has the flexibility to integrate QuickBooks Online as well as QuickBooks Desktop editions with the most popular marketplaces in the future, including Amazon - US and International, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Square, and Stripe.
Connex also helps Kurt save on payroll costs and automate two-way inventory sync and deposit matching for Shopify, Amazon, Square, and Stripe. It can forecast inventory needs and reduce oversells and overstock, maximize profits from best-selling products and marketplaces, increase tax deductions and reduce tax, and optimize overall operations with a simplified order workflow.
Moreover, it can help Kurt make two different product offerings profitable and stay that way. The simple and intuitive automation tool makes bookkeeping and inventory forecasting convenient, propelling the eCommerce growth of both his businesses.
Supporting Emergency Zone and Craft Closet at every stage, Connex can assist the scaling by eliminating headaches from spreadsheets for inventory management, enabling quicker order processing and shipping, and freeing up resources for a loyal customer base.
When asked what he feels could be better in Connex, and if he has any suggestions, he said, “Connex works great; I can’t even think of anything to improve.”