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In his interview with CIO Applications, Eric McCollom, president of Red Stag Fulfillment shares his insights on the history of their company, their value proposition, and the industry-leading fulfillment services that the company brings to the table.
Can you give us an overview of the history of your company?
Our sister companies that had historically operated in the e-commerce industry relied on different order fulfillment companies for the housing, picking, packing, and shipping functions for their businesses. However, after working with various service providers and doing a thorough research on the industry, they determined that there is an opportunity to grow their existing businesses by improving the fulfillment operations. To cater to this need, we began with the mission to provide our sister companies with error-free and fast order fulfillment services and then gradually enter the market to offer these services if we could figure out a way to do so profitably.
In 2012, we put together the initial parts of a fulfillment company and started the early phase of developing Red Stag Fulfillment, discerning the perfect software that could meet our needs. After surveying the warehouse and order management landscape in depth, we developed our own software package for managing the fulfillment operation in early 2013. We began with taking orders from our sister companies in Knoxville, Tennessee. Over a period of several months we developed the necessary warehouse management and fulfillment functionalities, testing those with the products of our sister companies. By the middle of 2014, we started approaching companies looking to outsource their order fulfillment processes. Having started a single operation in Knoxville, the company went on to set up another operation in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2017.
We want to provide nationwide delivery services with a focus on completing a ground service in two days or less. About 97 percent of the packages that we ship reach their destination in less than two days.
The majority of our business encompasses e-commerce and most of our clients leverage different web-based platforms, anything from Magento, Shopify, to BigCommerce for generating and collecting orders. Our job is to get those orders out of those systems into a system that allows us to organize the orders, pick, and pack them efficiently and accurately, which most fulfillment service providers failed to provide. We are laser-focused on two areas—error-proof service to ensure that we don’t send out the wrong product or cause a delay and speed to offer same day shipping for orders that are placed as late as 5 p.m. Hence, we developed a system that can take in orders and organize them in a way that enables packers and pickers to perform their job meticulously and get the packages onto the right truck with the correct labels on them. Ours is a complete fulfillment, order, and warehouse management system that helps to track inventory, scrutinize the receiving process, and scan every product to make sure it is received accurately.
What really places RED STAG FULFILLMENT a CUT ABOVE other competitors is the FACT that WE DEVELOPED our software internally around THE PROCESSES that we follow and NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND like is so often done
The front end, on the other hand, focuses more on pickers, packers, and the receiving teams and endorses a step-by-step approach to streamline warehouse operations with an intuitive user interface. For instance, a receiver can log into the system and follow the required processes, as mentioned on the receiving screen, sequentially and interactively. What really places Red Stag Fulfillment a cut above other competitors is the fact that we developed our software internally around the processes that we follow and not the other way around like is so often done. We have also included video cameras throughout our warehouses, which play an important role in determining where exactly in a cycle a particular error has occurred so that improvements can be made quickly and reoccurrences avoided.
Could you share a client success story?
One of our sister companies was challenged with inventory loss worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars. While some of the inventory stock was probably stolen or broken, the main reason for such immense loss was their fulfillment provider’s inability to follow a proper procedure when receiving the products. The provider would receive the incorrect products without scanning and then report the inventory inaccurately. Eventually, this led to poor customer satisfaction for the end customer as the products that they had placed orders for were often out of stock.
Red Stag Fulfillment is able to capture the inbound shipping errors that were not captured by the previous providers and by following a systematic approach in receiving products, tracking the inventory accurately, not mistaking and over shipping products we cut down the inventory loss from several thousand dollars to nominal amounts. Additionally, our service guarantees ensure that Red Stag pays for any inventory losses, driving our clients’ financial losses down to zero dollars—a guarantee which we continue for every company that we serve today.
What does the future hold for your organization?
In terms of geographic expansion, we strategically chose Salt Lake City, which is the best complement to Knoxville for a two-day outbound shipping radius. We are evaluating further US expansion with the goals to deliver 100 percent of our packages in two days or less, to improve one-day services to high-population areas, and to improve our presence near inbound ports. Our long-term plans also include evaluating international expansion opportunities.