Terran case study: Making e-commerce better
How Michael Jackness used Hubstaff to transform his e-commerce world
Terran is an eCommerce holding company that owns several brands and content websites. We own and operate all of our own sites, which we have either started from the ground up, or acquired.
Joining the e-commerce space
When Michael Jackness, CEO at Terran, first started Treadmill.com back in 2012, he had no idea what was in store. Up until that point, he'd been running an affiliate marketing business. However, after a decade of sameness, he knew it was time for something new. "We wanted to sell things directly to customers and provide more value for our audience," Jackness says.
After many years, Jackness knew he wanted to double down on his new passion. They sold Treadmill.com in 2015 and Terran was born.
Terran is just a bunch of e-commerce nerds
In the e-commerce category, Terran aims to be a market leader. They build and grow numerous e-commerce websites — names including ColorIt.com, Tactical.com, and WildBaby.com.
Jackness and his team have a deep passion for what they do and have found much success in the e-commerce space. To better provide their customers with the highest quality products and services, they drastically grew their staff and opened a remote facility in the Philippines to facilitate all the work.
Growing fast and trying to keep up
As Terran grew, so did their workload. Which meant more paperwork, both, for Jackness and his manager over in the Philippines, Mia Pamisa. "We used to do everything manually," Jackness says. "So, we had a lot of spreadsheets and documents, and it involved a lot of work, especially when it came to attendance monitoring and salary."
As time went on, it became harder for Jackness and Pamisa to keep up with everything. They needed a simple solution that would give them back much-needed work hours so they could focus again on growth instead of admin.
There also wasn't a set system in place when it came to the tasks and projects we worked on. Tasks would just be given at random, and we would immediately have to work on it. We didn't have a set schedule on what we were supposed to do in a week or month.
Needing a more natural way to run their team
After months of tracking time manually, paying out team member's invoices individually, and missing payroll a couple of times as a result, Jackness and Pamisa knew something needed to change. They were spending so much time going back and forth with each other and filling in spreadsheets it was eating into the time they needed to do their jobs. Additionally, Pamisa needed a more systematic method of managing projects and her team in the Philippines.
So, she began to research an alternative method, and it wasn't long until she found their solution: Hubstaff.
Uncomplicating the complicated with Hubstaff
Once Pamisa showed Jackness Hubstaff, they both knew they'd found their solution. Hubstaff solved a number of their problems — time tracking, project management, activity monitoring, and integrations — all within one lightweight app.
Simple payroll with all the necessary integrations
The main draw towards Hubstaff for Terran was the payroll features. Hubstaff makes it easy to track your team's hours and log timesheets across desktop, web, and mobile. What's more, Hubstaff allows you to automatically set up payroll for everyone on your team based on preset pay rates.
Moreover, because of Hubstaff's many integrations, Terran didn't have to switch to a new platform. They could continue paying their employees with PayPal — all they had to do was plug in their team's payment info. This helped make sure everyone on the team got their paycheck on time. Additionally, because Jackness travels a lot, this was the perfect failsafe that ensured everyone would get paid on time, regardless of where he was in the world.
Intuitive activity monitoring
As employees track their time in the week, Hubstaff automatically tracks the websites they visit, the apps they use, keyboard and mouse activity rates, and can even take optional screenshots for each team member. At the end of each day, managers will receive an email, breaking down everyone's activity rates for that day. While Pamisa isn't a micromanager, this feature gave her peace of mind, knowing that she could make sure everyone on her team was pulling their weight.
Terran has a strict attendance policy, and being able to make sure everyone is arriving at work on time is extremely important to Pamisa. Being able to see when everyone starts working through Hubstaff gave her a birds-eye view of everyone in the office. She no longer had to remind everyone to arrive on time, she could simply talk to people individually as needed.
Balancing numerous brands in one app
Because Terran has several brands to consider, they needed a way to make sure the work that's being done is charged to the right accounts. Hubstaff allows you to set up separate tasks and jobs that your team members can track time towards. This means that Jackness could do all his budgeting and accounting work without worrying that any of the information he had from the team was inaccurate.
Sharing what they've learned
Terran has since sold a few of their domains and acquired others. After migrating over to Hubstaff, Michael Jackness and a few of his colleagues started a secondary business named EcomCrew, where they're looking to educate the world about e-commerce through their own unique experiences. On their podcast and blog, they discuss all they've learned while working in the e-commerce business. They discuss ideas, trends, successes, and failures while interviewing interesting people across different industries.
The real mission
Whether it's with EcomCrew or Terran, Jackness has a singular purpose in mind: They want to care for people. "The secret to our success is the most important core value that we abide by at all times: We put people first," Jackness says.
Jackness and his team want to use their e-commerce knowledge to better the people around them — employees and customers alike — and being able to simplify their payroll, project management, and employee monitoring with Hubstaff has made their mission that much easier.
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