E-Commerce and Fulfillment Program
When the owner of the fulfillment company charged with managing HBO’s sales support program retired, he decided to close the company. This left the company in a precarious position. They had 90 days to find a new fulfillment partner and move a program that had 1,500 pallets, 5,000 unique products, and supported 150 sales executives.
With 8 days left before the warehouse closed, All Points was awarded the business. 75 truckloads of product from Chicago had to be moved to Atlanta in an 8-day period that overlapped the Thanksgiving holiday. To minimize business disruption, an online order site had to be built within two weeks so the sales executives could place their orders. Clearly, this was no small task.
All Points leased a 35,000 sq ft warehouse as the logistics hub. Working with the fulfillment operation in Chicago, one truck was loaded per hour for 8 hours a day over 8 days. Back in Atlanta, All Points received these truckloads hourly, unloading them in the logistics hub. A dedicated team then sorted, counted, and received the inventory into our automated inventory management system. From there, the inventory was placed in our warehouse.
At the same time, our IT department went to work, creating a stopgap order site in 10 days. Remarkably, this temporary site provided even better service than the previous order system.
As soon as the interim order site was up and running, we began working on the permanent site. A key element was our ability to handle virtual allocations for 150 sales people and 5,000 unique products. In addition, we needed to organize product across both campaign and series categories. We built the site so that each salesperson could see only their allocations and their order history, while the program managers could see everything. We created ‘Just In’ and ‘About to Expire’ categories that automatically populated, saving users significant search time and reducing old on-hand inventory. We also designed the site, photographed over 1,500 items, and created custom reports for HBO’s specific business needs.
With better access to inventory information, and an online order site for the sales team, HBO has:
- Realized a 25% reduction in inventory, equating to lower storage charges and more product being used for sales instead of sitting in the warehouse
- An efficient ordering process for the national sales force
- The ability to track product movement vs. increased sales rates
- Access to real-time business information
- Begun capturing product usage from one campaign to the next, allowing them to adjust ordering quantities based on actual usage
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