A number of our fulfillment clients are based in Lexington, and they find it advantageous that their fulfillment company is close by. One of the best examples is The Beaufort Bonnet Company, a Lexington-based maker of high-end classic clothing for babies and children that truly appreciates having their warehouse, inventory and shipping partner close by.
Like most of our fulfillment clients, The Beaufort Bonnet Company toured our warehouse before committing to work with us. Bert Hutchinson, whose wife Markey founded the company, handles the business side of things at Beaufort Bonnet. He came out and I showed him around. We believe a tour is essential for several reasons. For one, we’re proud of our operation and we get to show clients firsthand all that we can do for them. Clients get to meet our staff and see our facility. They can size up everything from cleanliness to security. That’s so important, especially when your merchandise is high-end and must be handled with care, as is the case with Beaufort Bonnet’s clothing. After seeing our warehouse, Bert was assured that the company’s merchandise would be safe and secure.
Bert wanted to work with a fulfillment partner who wouldn’t mind him coming in from time to time to check on how things were going. Beaufort Bonnet’s product line is evolving, and new products sometimes require our employees to be schooled in how bows must be tied or items must be folded before they are carefully packaged and shipped.
Like a lot of young companies that try to handle their own shipping, Beaufort Bonnet was struggling to keep up. With Bluegrass handling fulfillment, Beaufort Bonnet staff who had been pitching in to get packages shipped could focus on their real jobs. At the same time, we could evaluate Beaufort Bonnet’s fulfillment, from start to finish, and make some recommendations to improve its operations. The first thing my staff and I did was help establish SKUs (stock keeping units, also known as product numbers) for those products that had none. There are many ways we can help clients improve shipping and inventory. For example, we’ve found suppliers who offer sturdier or cheaper boxes, recommended packing changes that save money and better protect products and negotiated cheaper shipping costs through one of our shipping partners.
Beaufort Bonnet was growing so fast that it couldn’t keep up with its inventory, so our sophisticated, computerized inventory management system has been a godsend. All the company had to do was sit down with me and answer questions about inventory needs and process. We took it from there. The advantages of the inventory management system are multiple and grow over time. Beaufort Bonnet’s customer service reps use it to monitor shipments. Purchasing agents can track inventory in real time. For Bert and others looking at long-term goals and planning, the system provides tons of sales data. Instead of inventory being a burden, it becomes a resource and a tool for planning and projecting the future.
If your company is looking for a fulfillment company to assist with your warehousing, inventory and shipping, give me a call.
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