How to Make Everything Just Work – Automation

Some people call it procrastination…..I’ve decided to resort to a public commitment to create accountability and motivate me to take action.  Social pressure is a very powerful motivator.  I figure, if I announce my goals to the world, I really need to accomplish them, or risk public embarrassment and judgement.  By doing this, it will force me to get things done, that I would have otherwise let slip.


For the past year I’ve been working on building the business After Flats.  As the business grew I found myself struggling to keep up with all the things I need to get done.  So I followed the advice of Tim Ferris and hired an amazing virtual assistant from the Philippines.  She has helped a lot with handling the day to day administrative and customer service issues as well as with SEO. 


The main goal of outsourcing is to hire out repeatable tasks.  I have been dealing with a very, very annoying repeatable task:  packing and shipping orders.  Packing boxes while juggling negotiations with manufacturers, and executing marketing strategies, while photoshopping banners and product photos gets a little overwhelming.

business automation


So I have decided that I must automate the repeatable processes in 90 days.  My goal is to have After Flats running on its own so that I can step away for weeks at a time without intervening.  This is the only way I can focus on the bigger picture goals of growing the company and expanding the product lines and distribution channels.


business automation

Step 1:

The first thing I will focus on is automating the shipping process.  I have been in contact with several order fulfillment companies.  My top picks are Prolog and Fulfillrite.  The reason I liked Prolog was because of their excellent customer service and attention to every last detail.  I visited their facility and they gave me a whole walk through their entire fulfillment process and proved to me they would provide the utmost excellence in service.  Fulfillrite is on the East Coast thousands of miles away from San Diego so I was not able to visit them but they demonstrated similar attention to customer service.  In the end, I’ve decided to move forward with Fulfillrite because they intergrate seamlessly with my ecommerce platform Shopify.  

I am very excited to set up a fulfillment center because this will take the stress and neusance of picking, packing, boxing, labelling shipments.


shippingorder fulfillment


  • Kevin

    May 2, 2012

    Djamel, just read through your blog – feel like we’re clones in a lot of ways…we have to meet up outside of Toastmasters sometime and chat about this stuff!

  • Jon

    May 28, 2012

    Dude solid!

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