Why did you decide to outsource your order fulfillment?
Before Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL), we fulfilled all our orders in-house. This was fine when Sleepypod was smaller, but at a certain stage of growth it became unwieldy. Orders began coming in faster and faster, and it got out of hand. This was complicated by the fact that we had no automated system, and everything had to be done manually, resulting in far too many mistakes. The cost of hiring a professional fulfillment team for our internal operations was prohibitively expensive, so we decided to see if a third party fulfillment provider could meet our needs.
What attracted you to RSL as opposed to other fulfillment providers?
We looked at a number of top fulfillment providers before we made our decision, but the deal closer with RSL was the comprehensive shopping cart integration they have. Other fulfillment companies didn’t have existing integrations and would have required custom APIs to be built, but RSL had complete integration with our Magento shopping cart ready to go the moment we started. Rakuten Super Logistics (RSL) provided us with a robust technology solution that was head and shoulders above the competition.
What is the added value in bringing RSL into your business operations?
The RSL SmartFillTM system gives us a great deal of control over our fulfillment. The fact that our orders are automatically uploaded and processed is a huge point for us, and the ability to access our order data with the system is unparalleled. RSL provides the resources and expertise in fulfillment that in-house fulfillment simply can’t match. Their fulfillment network stretches across the United States, and enables us to reach our customers quickly and with guaranteed accuracy. RSL also gives us the ability to expand our operations without worrying about space or labor. Sleepypod has many international customers, and so having a fulfillment partner who is moving forward rapidly with global expansion is fantastic.
How important is it that you have a customer support representative on-site with your inventory that you can call, as well as a fulfillment center that you can visit?
Having an on-site support team makes a huge difference when we’re managing our operations. We have an amazing support representative in Las Vegas, and we really don’t know what we’d do without her. When we need questions answered or an order changed, we just give her a call or send a quick email and it gets done. It’s almost like having our own personnel in the warehouse. This is even more important when there is a problem or emergency, which do occur from time to time. In those circumstances, the benefit of having someone on the ground and able to quickly resolve the issue is both vital and reassuring.
It’s great to be able to visit the warehouses and see how the RSL team is managing our orders. It wasn’t until we saw the size and professionalism of the team that we were fully confident they would be able to handle any future growth on our part with ease.
What’s next for SleepyPod?
Global expansion is the next phase of Sleepypod’s growth. That means not only expanding our product line and developing new pet supplies, but also expanding to Canada, the UK, and Asia. That’s why we’re excited about the global fulfillment network that RSL is developing.
Sleepypod’s vision is to create innovative, well designed, and functional pet products to complement modern, on-the-go lifestyles. Their critically acclaimed products have earned the following awards:
Sleepypod Air: Modern Dog Staff Pick Award (Spring 2011), Cat Fancy Editors’ Choice (2010), Dog Fancy Editors’ Choice (2010), Pet Business Industry Recognition Award (2010)
Crater Dot: Cat Fancy Editors’ Choice (2010), Pet Business Editors’ Choice (2010), Pet Business Industry Recognition Award (2009)
Sleepypod Mini: Cat Fancy Editors’ Choice (2008), Metropolitan Home Design 100 (June 2008)
Sleepypod: Susie HomemakerTM Seal of Approval (2011), Doggie Aficionado Reader “Best of” (2010), Bark Buckle Up Pet Safe Choice (2009), Cat Fancy Editors’ Choice (2007), Pet Product News Editors’ Choice (2007)