A successful eCommerce company depends on a high-quality fulfillment operation or partner. Without that, you’re constantly at risk of losing inventory, making mistakes, and hurting customer relationships. Our founders, unfortunately, learned that the hard way when they started an eCommerce business in the late 2000s. It was a challenging journey, but one that ultimately led them to create Red Stag Fulfillment and start offering world-class eCommerce fulfillment for companies like yours.
Here’s their story and our beginning. Take a look, and you’ll see why Red Stag has a robust commitment to being Reliable, Secure, and Fast every day and for every order. That foundation is essential to our service and growth, including our new Knoxville development and potential expansion to both coasts.
Born from eCommerce, for eCommerce
For entrepreneurs and eCommerce business owners, the beginning of our story may resonate all too well. In 2009, a small eCommerce startup launched and began the exhausting effort of developing a user-friendly website and navigating the tangled world of Google Analytics and SEO while developing key relationships with suppliers and supporting a growing customer base, all from a two-car garage.
Dedicated perseverance and hard work allowed that company to expand as the business grew, creating a need for additional office space while causing a lack of room due to a growing inventory line. It chose to outsource warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping to a small family-run fulfillment company. That shift would allow personnel to focus on the eCommerce business’s core functions: web development, sales, marketing, customer support, and procurement.
Refocusing on those core aspects meant that business grew and grew rapidly. The small family-run fulfillment company was outgrown in a matter of months, which led to two subsequent moves to larger fulfillment providers over the next two years. Yet, in 2012, the growing pains started to catch up. Despite the eCommerce team having reliable internal technical personnel, a creative marketing team, strong relationships with suppliers, and a well-developed customer service unit, growth stagnated.
They soon realized that the stagnation’s source wasn’t them, but their crucial 3PL partner’s poor service and performance. The pain created by the sub-par fulfillment company resulted from three crucial issues: a lack of reliability, an absence of security, and an inability to foster fast growth.
It is often because of adversity and pain that we learn the most. This experience led those same eCommerce entrepreneurs to create Red Stag Fulfillment with three core guarantees: Reliable, Secure, and Fast.
The general reliability of the contracted fulfillment partner was unacceptable. It took three to 10 days to stock inventory after they received inbound pallets. Inconsistent receiving basics caused significant delays in getting goods posted for sale. Not only did it cost sales, but would-be customers turned to competitors to meet their needs. The partner also measured accuracy rates as a “success” when loading parcels onto a trailer without any other criteria. By itself, the picking and packing accuracy was unacceptable. Unfortunately, the fulfillment partner failed to realize the larger picture: accuracy rates must cover reaching the customer successfully, not just a FedEx or UPS trailer.
Today, Red Stag Fulfillment responds by offering you a 100% guaranteed order accuracy rate. We beat industry standards with a less than 0.02% error rate, about 1 out of every 5,000 orders. When we make a mistake, we’ll fix it, and instead of paying for the shipment, we’ll pay you for the inconvenience.
Sadly, the partner viewed security as an insignificant issue, both in terms of software and personnel. The lack of horsepower and the inventory management system’s inability to keep up with a growing product range meant hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of products were “lost” during a 20-month period. Goods arrived at a warehouse, but then entire pallets couldn’t be located by software or searches within the physical facility. Mix in a lackadaisical workforce, and that partner couldn’t tell if missing items were stolen or just unaccounted for goods somewhere in an unorganized pile.
Red Stag promises 100% accurate inventory counts, guaranteed. And if we ever damage or misplace your products in our facility, we’ll pay you the wholesale cost of that item.
The fulfillment company’s lack of desire to quickly enhance its operations to foster growth was the most frustrating realization. From receiving inventory and processing orders to updating software and general client support, they handled every operation with a lethargic sense of enthusiasm and care. They shipped orders late or sent incorrect products, increasing customer support demands and harming the marketing team’s work. Inadequate fulfillment impacted the eCommerce brand’s value. The exhausting “two steps forward, one step back” growth trend continued. That is until the eCommerce company hit a limit on the total outbound parcels shipped per month.
This critical business partner had directly limited the tenacious eCommerce startup team’s ability to continue growing its company, creating an unfathomable and incredibly sad business reality.
Red Stag Fulfillment is one of the few fulfillment service providers you’ll find that promises 100% of your orders shipped according to your chosen service level. We want to make it easier for you to delight customers.
Growing to meet customer needs
Red Stag Fulfillment’s commitment to these three pillars is the cornerstone for our success. By offering reliable service and treating every customer as a growth partner, we’ve been able to succeed together. As they’ve expanded their product lines and customer bases, we’ve increased our service offerings and warehouse space.
After opening with a single facility in Knoxville, Red Stag quickly expanded that ground and then added a Salt Lake City location in 2017. In 2019, we announced plans to add 313,000 square feet to our Knoxville location with a new fulfillment center, with the first phase opening in 2020. This year, Red Stag announced a planned campus in Sweetwater, Tennessee, plus an additional Salt Lake City facility in the works. Currently, we’re researching potential expansions in California and Pennsylvania to address increased eCommerce fulfillment needs across the U.S.
A clear vision and dedicated team have enabled us to grow continually, supporting customers as they scale and being a reliable partner for the communities where we work and live.
Delivering fulfillment every eCommerce company deserves
It is often because of adversity and pain that we learn the most. These three challenging experiences led those same eCommerce entrepreneurs to found Red Stag Fulfillment.
Our founders built Red Stag to offer world-class fulfillment services and become the Reliable, Secure, and Fast operation we couldn’t get from anyone else. We believe that striving for perfection is not an inaccessible goal because fulfillment partners are a critical artery of support for every eCommerce company’s health and ability to grow in the long term.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, our business growth depends on fostering the capabilities our eCommerce partners need and allowing them to deliver optimal levels of satisfaction to their customers. Give us a call today to discuss what sets Red Stag Fulfillment apart from the rest of the pack: 1-800-815-STAG (7824).
Editor’s note: We updated this article on March 15, 2021, to reflect Red Stag Fulfillment’s growth, guarantees, and current accuracy rates.