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How an eCommerce Business Saves 40 Hours Every Week with Automation

By Joey Blanco · October 9, 2017
automate-sales-invoices primary img

Thanks to smartphones, navigation systems live in your pocket with your handheld computer, instant messenger, camera, and phone. No more bulky GPS devices wired into your car's lighter and windshield mounts. Between Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps, you'll find your way wherever you're headed.

But with so many cities and states banning handheld device use while driving, grabbing your phone to take a peek at the next turn means you're breaking the law and worse, driving distracted.

That's not even mentioning the drain on your phone's battery from navigation apps. If only there was a way to keep your phone charged and mount it so you could drive hands-free…

Smartphone accessory company FuseChicken is your solution.

Created in 2012 by Jon Fawcett, FuseChicken launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012 to create a more durable charging cable—the Une Bobine—that could withstand the rigors of day-to-day use AND have the strength to hold up a smartphone. Use it as a GPS dock, camera tripod, or even a second screen next to your computer.

Asking to raise $9,800, FuseChicken's first Kickstarter campaign brought in over $210,000.

Drive hands-free with FuseChicken

With an incredible product launch behind them, FuseChicken saw immense growth in their first few years. But since Jon and his team handle the entire process, from designing the cables to manufacturing and selling them online, FuseChicken was run across multiple different systems. Throw in the rapid growth, and, as Jon puts it, "We very quickly outpace a lot of systems. It comes to a point where what works today from a software standpoint might not work a month from now."

Jon needed a platform that would consolidate all his systems, cut down on errors and manual work, save time, and increase productivity. Namely, FuseChicken needed to eliminate recreating information and invoices in secondary systems.

Jon found Airtable, the spreadsheet and database and more application, and hasn't looked back since. "From the ground up, we built an entire sales ops system using Airtable," Jon explains. "It literally runs everything of our company's, except for accounting."

Beyond a charging cable, FuseChicken

Through Airtable, Jon discovered app automation tool Zapier, which allowed him to connect Airtable to FuseChicken's preferred accounting software, Zoho. Once he saw the potential with Zapier, he built several Zaps—bridges between two or more apps—so his different systems could talk to other seamlessly.

"We really started using Zapier as one of the main drivers for shifting our entire sales ops process," Jon says.

Zapier is not only saving us probably 40 hours a week, but if you factor in the mistakes that have been eliminated, Zapier is kind of like the old Visa commercial: Priceless.

Jon Fawcett, founder and CEO, FuseChicken

Behind the sales process is a multi-step Zap: When a record in Airtable is moved to a specific view, Zapier triggers several different actions. First, Jon utilizes Code by Zapier to split order information within Airtable into separate pieces: SKU, quantity, price, etc..

Those separated pieces of the order are used to build the invoice in Zoho automatically. Once Zapier creates the invoice in Zoho, the Zap sends a message to a channel in Slack, notifying Jon and his team.

We've broken down FuseChicken's sales ops Zap into a few key components that you can integrate and customize as needed. We even have one including Code by Zapier but just a heads up—that Zap will require a bit of coding knowledge:

Create sales invoices in Zoho Books when new records appear in Airtable views

Create sales invoices in Zoho Books when new records appear in Airtable views
  • Airtable logo
  • Zoho Books logo
Airtable + Zoho Books

Post notifications about new Airtable records in a view to Slack

Post notifications about new Airtable records in a view to Slack
  • Airtable logo
  • Slack logo
Airtable + Slack

Create sales invoices in Zoho Books and post Slack notifications from new Airtable records in a view

Create sales invoices in Zoho Books and post Slack notifications from new Airtable records in a view
  • Airtable logo
  • Zoho Books logo
  • Slack logo
Airtable + Zoho Books + Slack

With this Zap, and a few others, Jon and the FuseChicken team have a more efficient, error-free sales process. All they have to do is monitor it while Zapier does all the heavy lifting. As FuseChicken continues to grow, Jon doesn't have to worry about whether or not new and old systems play well together.

"You're no longer modifying your company workflow and processes to match your software," Jon says. "You're now able to pick the best software for your uses, even if it's 10 different pieces of software. Zapier allows you to stop forcing your business into something that doesn't quite suit how you need to work."

All images courtesy of FuseChicken.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'