My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Project Management

The Simple Solution That Made This Company's Shipping Delays Disappear

Yes, you need project management.
The Simple Solution That Made This Company's Shipping Delays Disappear
Image credit: Adam Wells
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the January 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

“It’s a beautiful thing when a thousand pieces arrive at a factory and they get assembled into one product that gets shipped to a customer,” says Andy Cochrane, director of marketing for the San Francisco-based Oru Kayak, which makes light, foldable kayaks. But two years ago, that beautiful thing was routinely derailed by missing, late or incorrect components -- meaning months-long delays and many irritated customers.

Related: The Service That Helped an Ecommerce Site Fix Its Shipping Woes

The Fix

Cochrane started at Oru in early 2015 and got involved in the company’s manufacturing side. Why the constant errors? The 10 people on the team were always traveling and not coordinating with one another. They had adopted the cloud-based project management software Asana -- which allows teams to see what tasks need to be accomplished when, and by whom -- but weren’t using it. Cochrane strongly encouraged people to use it.

The Results

Oru’s manufacturing or shipping delays nearly disappeared. “Asana helped us track and communicate component lead times, changes in product development schedules and complex assemblies,” says Cochrane. (According to Asana cofounder Justin Rosenstein, the average customer reports that the software makes them 45 percent more efficient.) And it cost Oru nothing: Asana is free for teams of up to 15 people. Larger groups pay $8.33 a month per user.

Related: The Simple Way This Super-Efficient Florist Saved Itself Even More Time

A Second Opinion

Asana has many competitors, including Trello, Wrike and Zoho. Rachel Burger, project management specialist at Capterra, an Arlington, Va.-based company that matches users with software, recommends any of them for small or medium-size businesses. She suggests trying out no more than three, so as not to get overwhelmed, before picking one. Among the things to look for: Does it integrate with other apps you use, like Dropbox and Slack? And does it offer the free storage space you’ll need? 

More from Entrepreneur

Corene Summers helps clients advancing their health, careers and lives overall through reducing stress, tension and optimizing sleep.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Starting, buying, or growing your small business shouldn’t be hard. Guidant Financial works to make financing easy for current and aspiring small business owners by providing custom funding solutions, financing education, and more.

Latest on Entrepreneur