Today’s consumers are checking their mail boxes for subscription orders in record numbers. They’re finding everything from beauty products to food items to vinyl records. Online traffic to top subscription service sites has increased a whopping 3,000 percent over the past three years, according to a 2016 Hitwise consumer insights report.
To keep up with demand, many subscription box companies seek out external fulfillment expertise. The latest issue of Inbound Logistics magazine explores the subscription box explosion and how third-party providers are helping these companies to deliver. Jeff Jones, Saddle Creek’s vice president of omnichannel fulfillment, and Matt Fiedler, CEO of Saddle Creek customer Vinyl Me Please, share their insights on overcoming common subscription fulfillment challenges.
Following is an excerpt from the article. . .
Subscription Box Logistics: Build-a-Box
Many subscription box services are happy to outsource inventory management and fulfillment to a specialist, especially after they’ve gone the do-it-yourself route for several months. That was the case with Vinyl Me Please, a record-of-the-month service. Each box has three pieces: an album that has been pressed exclusively for that month’s subscribers, an art print and a cocktail recipe. The company filled orders in-house until it reached about 5,000 monthly subscribers.
“Fulfillment took more time than was justifiable and was probably costing more money than if we outsourced,” says Matt Fiedler, co-founder and CEO of the Denver company.
After an unsatisfactory experience with a local 3PL, Fiedler partnered with Saddle Creek. “They process millions of units every month with thousands of different permutations, so they have the technology, systems and capabilities to take our fulfillment and scale it,” he says.
Read the full article in the latest issue of Inbound Logistics for more from Fiedler and Jones, including discussion of common subscription box challenges such as forecasting, staffing, adding ecommerce options and more.