Are you buying more online these days? If so, you are not alone. According to Statista, US consumers purchased 13% more online last year ($504 billion) and are projected to buy 11% more this year ($561 billion). This trend is fueling new challenges all across the supply chain – and big opportunities for companies like Productiv who are committed to creating value for customers.
In the past few years, Productiv has made major investments in its ecommerce fulfillment infrastructure to meet growth demands. Unlike many 3PL companies who offer ‘one-size fits all’ solutions, Productiv’s fulfillment solutions are all custom-engineered programs designed to maximize customer value either through shortened lead times, more cost-efficient processes or specialized kitting services. This added value has resulted in huge benefits for our ecommerce fulfillment customers who have doubled their volume with us during the last year.
3 keys to successfully managing ecommerce fulfillment growth
To manage this explosive growth, our team focuses on several key areas:
Fulfillment veteran, Zach Gladbach, leads Productiv’s operations team in Dallas, TX where ecommerce fulfillment is growing especially fast. To successfully lead teams during intense growth, Zach relies heavily on effective communications:
- Meeting with customers to understand specifications precisely
- Communicating with customers constantly throughout the day and project
- Training teams on those specifications
- Explaining the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ for complete understanding
- Giving constant feedback and ongoing coaching
“I’m straight up and honest with customers and employees,” Zach says. “I probably over-communicate with customers to make sure they are always in the loop. And I treat employees with respect and give them the training and coaching they need to be successful. My team does the same thing. We’re committed to servant leadership, it’s part of the The Productiv Way.”
A laser focus on quality
Attention to specifications and detail has earned the team a consistent 99.99% accurate inventory and shipping score. This rating makes the team especially proud since some customers have strict requirements around clean environments, handling and labeling. To reach this platinum rating, the team uses continuous improvement and lean methods such as:
- Photographic storyboards of process and finished products during the training process
- Lean-engineered processes that facilitate quality checks inline, at the end of every line, and while running
- Double verification of shipped items to ensure our records match shipper records and end customers receive exactly what was ordered
A few years ago, Productiv implemented a cloud-based fully-featured Order Management and Warehouse Management System called Veracore. This new system integrates seamlessly to many customer systems and major shippers for real-time data tracking of every component, package and order.
Our IT team works directly with customers on their specific integration and fulfillment requirements such as track and trace, rack labeling, scanning protocols and reports. “Once running, our system allows us to tweak, improve and look for opportunities to create repeatable processes so we can wring out slivers of waste which, on a large scale, means passing cost and time savings on to customers,” says Zach.
Ecommerce value-add extends beyond order fulfillment
Beyond standard pick/pack/fulfill operations, Productiv offers unique kitting, hand assembly, personalization, finishing and secondary packaging services. With finely honed and engineered processes as part of the company’s DNA, the team provides custom value-add services that are becoming a true differentiator in the ecommerce order fulfillment business.
Many companies selling products online will continue to see double-digit volume growth for the next several years, and many fulfillment companies will be at the ready to partner with them. It’s important for ecommerce companies to choose a fulfillment partner who brings the most value for their project or program – value that is sure to extend to the customer experience.
Looking for more value from your ecommerce fulfillment partner? Give Brendon McGann a call at (804) 441-3915. Brendon is Productiv’s SVP Supply Chain and has worked with many companies to design custom value-add order fulfillment solutions.