I hope you are doing well! Thank you for being a part of our family.
I am Raghav and I work for Perfora Special Ops (a.ka. Operations).
As per our Sunday ritual, wherein one of the team members writes a newsletter sharing their thoughts, learnings, challenges, the wins, etc., and hence, today, I wanted to share something with you.
Today, I want to talk about a feature which actually makes Perfora Ops special - “Personalisation of Perfora Electric Truthbrush”, that is getting the names printed as per the request of our customers on the Electric Toothbrush.
To be very candid, personalisation is the most exciting part of Perfora Operations because it is something unusual from the typical operations of a consumer brand and also it really makes us apply our brains to make the entire execution of personalised orders as smooth as the non-personalised ones. However, it is also the most intimidating part and specially when there is a surge in order volumes.
We have really come a long way in devising our personalisation process from our past learnings but yet we are very far away from perfection. This made me think about how it all started, what was the process in the initial days, how has it evolved, the mistakes and learnings in the journey, etc, etc. And I, therefore, want to share most things related to personalisation.
It all began in August 2021, just 3 days before the launch of our website, when the founders came up with the idea of personalising the Electric Toothbrush to create an exceptional experience. It was initially meant only for those early adopters who would be pre-ordering the truthbrush on our website.
However, this was such a special offering that from day 1, we knew that it won’t be limited to pre-orders and there will be a huge demand for it and that is what exactly happened. Additionally, since at that time the Smart Truthbrush was available only in a single color, a brush with someone’s name written on it was a big, big differentiator for a customer who bought more than one toothbrush from us.
The first step in executing this wonderful thought was to figure out which technique would be used for personalising India’s sleekest Electric Toothbrush. There are various techniques available like UV Printing, Laser Engraving, Pad Printing, Screen Printing,, etc.
We wanted such a method which would offer various color options for printing the text and also which is scalable as we knew that we will have a different name to print with every other order. And thus, we narrowed down upon UV Printing and found out a workshop in Delhi who agreed to help us out with this madness.
The funny part is that we could not have imagined what all could our customers ask us to print. Some would get their pet names printed, some would get the name of their favorite TV character printed, and some would get a quote printed, etc, etc and it was a real fun to go through the new personalisation requests every day. Below are some of the pictures:-
The real challenge begins after the fun. And the challenge is two fold – firstly, to ensure that a non-personalised toothbrush does not get sent in a personalised order and secondly, the personalised toothbrush gets packed in the right order or a Rahul would receive an Anjali’s toothbrush and an Anjali would receive a Pooja’s toothbrush and it would be a situation of “Ye Kya Mil Gaya” instead of “Koi Mil Gaya”.
So, the entire process of dispatching a personalised order involves to and fro of toothbrush between Delhi and Gurgaon for the printing and thereafter numbering of the toothhbrush with their unique order ids to avoid the above situation. Initially, the entire numbering part was done by us at the office, since we did not have proper processes in place, and this further delayed the dispatches. In those days, we dispatched a personalised order in 3-4 days.
With time the process evolved as we kept learning to how make it better, and we found a new workshop in Gurgaon, where it was located much nearer to our office and the warehouse, and we even shifted the numbering part to the warehouse. This reduced the dispatch time and it took us maximum 2 days to complete all the dispatches while most of them was done the next day itself.
The life was much simpler in those days because we just had a single-color toothbrush and we were printing around 8-10 toothbrushes in a day, compared to at-least 100 multi-color toothbrushes a day a few months ago and that too before the airing of shark tank.
About 6 months ago, we faced the first major load of personalised toothbrush orders in August 2022, when we had our very first birthday sale on the website. There were an unexpected 1000+ personalisation requests within 24 hours.
The real problem was not in printing 1000 toothbrushes in a day but in getting them properly processed by the warehouse. It was a huge learning that in order to handle such a huge load, the processing has to be done in small batches rather than following the usual process of getting all the brushes printed and dumping them in the warehouse for numbering and processing.
Processing a personalised order involves too many manual steps. Numbering of brushes, arranging them in a certain chronological order and then finding the brush of a particular order in that huge stack, etc. These manual steps drastically reduce the efficiency of order processing. To give an idea, a processing table can process close to 3000 non personalised orders in a day while this number reduces to less than 1000 orders in case of personalised ones. This leads to piling up of backlogs.
To meet these challenges, we are targeting to make the steps as tech-enabled as we can and are also looking forward to setup an in-house personalisation which will help us male the process more efficient.
We are completely aware that we have lagged a lot in dispatching the orders timely and have not performed up to the mark in the grand finale (shark tank airing) even after having played a lot of trial matches. But trust us, we are working day in and out to make things fall in place.
Apologies for all the delay in shipping out your orders but believe me, you are our priority.
All said and done, I believe we have come a long way in this journey and I consider myself very fortunate to have witnessed and played an important role in the execution of this process.
I am very proud to say it out loud that Perfora is India’s first and the only brand that offers Personalised Electric Toothbrush and that too, at scale. I’m sure a few other brands will imitate this offfering and will try to replicate and that is absolutely fine. We are a team of innovators and we will continue to innovate to create an exceptional customer experience.
If you have any feedback for me, please feel free to reply to this email and I’ll respond.
Until Next Time,