Systemwide Order and Fulfillment System

HBO is America’s most successful premium television company, delivering two 24-hour pay television services – HBO and Cinemax – to over 40 million U.S. subscribers. HBO and Cinemax offer the most popular subscription video on demand products as well as HBO on Broadband, HD feeds and multiplex channels. Internationally, HBO programming is sold in over 150 countries worldwide.

The challenge

When the owner of the fulfillment company that managed HBO’s sales support program retired, he decided to close the company. That left HBO 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 8 days, including 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. No small task.

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The solution

All Points leased a 35,000 sq ft warehouse as the logistics hub. Working with the fulfillment operation in Chicago, 1 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, then moved it into place in our warehouse.

At the same time, our IT department went to work, creating a stop-gap 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. Our ability to handle virtual allocations for 150 salespeople and over 5,000 unique products was key. In addition, we needed to organize products across both campaign and series categories. We built the site so that each salesperson sees only their allocations and their order history, while the program managers can see everything. We created ‘Just In’ and ‘About to Expire’ categories that are 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.

The result

With better access to inventory information and an online order site for the sales team, HBO has:

Realized a 25% reduction in inventory, which equates to lower storage charges and more product being used for sales instead of sitting in the warehouse

The ability to track product movement vs. increased sales rates

An efficient ordering process for the national sales force

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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