Client Interview by Rishi Talwar
Scientists believe that what sets humans apart from other mammals is tool-making. Our ability to use tools to make other, more complex tools significantly contributed to the advancement and evolution of our society to the farthest reaches of our imagination. The tools allowed us humans to accomplish things collectively we never could otherwise. Fast forward to today…we use tools like a hammer, wrench, or screwdriver to fix a pair of old glasses or a rickety chair, which has its basis in our necessity to build tools for hunting. That’s pretty interesting and super impressive, if you ask me.
I’m excited to share that one of InsightLeap’s customers, General Tools, contributes to the history of tools and the advancement of Homo sapiens by manufacturing and designing precision specialty tools today. I spoke with Greg Bonsib, VP of Marketing at General Tools, about the history of the company, his role, and his perspective on their Amazon channel strategy.
I’m the Vice President Marketing for General Tools and have been at the company for 4 years now. General Tools is a supplier of specialty precision and digital tools to the marketplace but they’re used not just by professional audiences but also DIY’ers who are going to tackle a project in their home. These products include tiny precision screwdrivers to fix your eyeglasses as well as infrared thermometers. You can find us at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, ACE, and True Value.
General Tools was founded in 1920 by Abe and Lillian Rosenberg in Lower Manhattan which was then called the “Hardware District” of the city. In the beginning General Tools was actually a hardware store and in 1922, the very first item that they introduced to the public was the egg slicer. After introducing their first product, Abe developed other items and by 1930s General Tools had an entire catalog of speciality products. The family owned the business until 2014 when it sold out to a private equity firm as the third generation was getting ready to retire.
All of marketing which includes eCommerce, new product development, commercialization, and the brand side of the business. General Tools wanted to invest in eCommerce because it had previously been an underutilized channel. One of the reasons I was brought into the company was because of my eCommerce background.
I spent 10 years at Owens Corning, a building materials company and at Newell Rubbermaid working with their closet and garage business unit. I held various roles throughout the years in Director-level marketing or sales roles. Most recently, prior to this role at General Tools, I was the Director of Channel Marketing at Zenith Home Corp, a home goods product manufacturing company where I was responsible for their eCommerce channel.
In the beginning, our team was focused on growing our Amazon channel so we did the obvious things which were to launch new products and try to improve the content of our current products. At the time, we had a mindset of set it and forget it because we had almost a thousand products on Amazon that we couldn’t monitor and adjust all of them.
The reason why InsightLeap was so compelling was that now we can monitor our products daily and receive alerts that identify any product content changes. In hindsight, the most significant area that we didn’t realize at the time was monitoring the lost buybox for our products because now we can immediately pivot and take action on winning it back.
Using InsightLeap to monitor the buybox has been the single most important thing for us in the everyday management of our Amazon business.
We’re spending less time manually monitoring our products in an ad hoc way where now we have a scalable approach that provides us with key information about what’s happening with our products daily. It’s saved our team a couple of hours a day which if you do the math adds up fast when you’ve got a small team internally. The time saved has gone to more activity like creating new products and other strategic work to help increase our growth on Amazon.
Another real benefit is that now we know when we’ve lost sales where before we wouldn’t know unless we stumbled across it. The same goes for our product copy which affects sales when it’s changed. Overall, our time as a team is much better spent because now we’re able to take steps to recapture lost revenue before it starts to accrue.
A statistic that is important to mention more than how much time saved is our sales on Amazon are up 31% and accelerating. InsightLeap is not solely responsible for that but it’s a critical part because we’re spending our time differently.
What we’ll often do now is when we have a question about an item that we assume is not performing well, we can go to InsightLeap to see data about a product over time to identify what’s going on and prioritize our work. This is where the one source of truth about a product comes in because with a few clicks, we can quickly determine if an item hasn’t sold at all and needs massive rethinking to increase sell-through or if this is just something that the lost buybox is causing the loss in sales.
If they have the requirement to either monitor their product catalog or to have access to the data of their catalog without having to deal with the complexities of Amazon Vendor Central (ARA) InsightLeap dramatically simplifies it. Also, the value that InsightLeap provides is extraordinary compared to the cost when it means that you’re able to grow your business.
Absolutely. If they’re on Amazon, InsightLeap is invaluable if you’re trying to free up time or gain insights into your business.
Yes, you forgot something important that I’d like to add about your team. The team on your end has been wonderfully supportive. From the very beginning, you made it clear that you have a very easy to use tool and gave us a great experience when trying out your software. Your willingness to listen to the areas of improvement that we believe would be valuable to our business and acting on them is amazing.
Greg Bonsib is the VP of Marketing at General Tools. He has years of experience in executive sales and marketing roles at Newell Rubbermaid to Owens Corning. General Tools is a manufacturing company that develops and designs specialty precision tools. Their products can be found on Amazon, Home Depot, True Value, Lowe’s, and others.