Captain D’s is a national chain of fast casual restaurants specializing in seafood and fish and chips. The company has over 500 corporately-owned and franchised locations.
Captain D’s runs on average seven promotions per year. Their marketing materials include register toppers, table tents, menu board overlays, counter mats, window clings, coupons, and other promotional items that are geared to drive traffic to company and franchise locations. After the promotional materials arrive at the stores, the materials are placed into inventory and made available for stores to order through a web portal or by calling a toll free customer service line.
Captain D’s fulfillment service provider was providing inferior customer service to Captain D’s support center, corporate store managers, field service representatives, and franchisees. The lack of responsiveness from the service provider created a frustrating and disruptive atmosphere that was unacceptable to Captain D’s.
In addition to customer service issues, the fulfillment service provider had inventory management problems that ranged from inventory counts, tidiness, and version control. There was a great deal of frustration with store operators receiving marketing materials in subpar condition and receiving versions that had been previously discontinued. These issues created confusion and compliance problems with Captain D’s branding guidelines. Inventory issues were compounded by the inaccuracies in inventory reporting; primarily the simplest inventory report of all…on-hand quantity.
All Points was chosen as the new service provider for fulfillment, the creation of a world class web ordering portal, and selective printing by Captain D’s marketing team. As part of the setup of the new program, a dedicated account executive (AE) was assigned to the account. This is the first step in the onboarding of any new account coming into All Points.
The AE’s initial responsibility was to develop the transition timeline and action item checklist. Working closely with Captain D’s marketing and operational teams on the details of the transition plan, allowed the AE to become intimately familiar with all aspects of the program and the stake holders.
Once the program was “transitioned,” meaning the inventory was moved and the online ordering site created, there was a tremendous amount of ongoing detail to be managed. For this reason, at All Points, the AE remains as the primary contact on the account. Coordination of the custom kit distributions and the pick and pack aspects of program, training of new users, updates to the online site, reporting, inventory management and acting as the customer liaison are a few of the AE responsibilities. In addition to the AE, a backup AE was assigned and thoroughly educated on the program specifics.
As part of the onboarding process and the transfer of marketing materials to All Points, each item was counted and checked for obsolescence. The items then were placed in an organized and clean warehouse location. The physical inventory locations were uploaded into the warehouse management system for picking reference and inventory quantities were uploaded to create beginning balances.
As new product arrives at the warehouse and is received in physically, it is also received into the system and available in real time. As product is ordered by store operators, the product is picked, packed and shipped the same day. Receipts and shipments of product automatically adjust inventory quantities within the warehouse management system. Numerous reports are available to designated Captain D’s personnel including item activity reports, usage by store, inventory levels, and the like.
Captain D’s now has a full-service fulfillment vendor, All Points, that provides an on-line ordering tool for its network of users in the field, responsive customer service, clean product delivered in a timely manner, accurate inventory information, and useful inventory and activity reports in real-time.