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    Kelly Direct assembles, warehouses and ships merchandise and promotional products all over the world.  We have managed thousands of fulfillment projects and shipped millions of items...   More>>
  • Warehousing and Logistics
    Kelly Direct manages dozens of highly-vetted fulfillment and freight companies in the US with millions of square feet of warehouse space and excellent resources in Mexico, Canada and Europe..... More>>
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    Shipping and Supplies
    Kelly Direct's volume discounts on shipping, packaging and other materials dramatically cut costs... More>>
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    Management and Consulting
    Kelly Direct applies decades of experience to manage individual projects, ongoing fulfillment programs and corporate-wide supply chain initiatives...  More>>
Blog
Vetting Fulfillment Companies
Dear Kelly:
There is a misconception that Kelly Direct is a common brokerage firm.
Not true.
Kelly Direct has a stable of vetted fulfillment companies and we negotiate wholesale rates and easily integratewith 31 order processing environments and spin up shopping carts and manage the project from start-to-finishand provide a revenue stream by leveraging high volume vendor rates and provide extraordinary customer service.
I founded P3 Inc. - Publicity Product Promotional Fulfillment - in 1984.  After 25 years, the company expanded 11 times eventually grew to 180+ employees in 239K sq ft warehouse.
Having worked with dozens of warehouses and freight companies over the years, I know the best (and worst) fulfillment companies, how a project should run and where pricing should (really) be.
I work with only 12-15 fulfillment providers in the domestic U.S. that meet our standards.
Not all fulfillment companies are created equal.   Based on three decades of experience, we analyze, select and negotiate with the warehouse(s) best suited to your project. Our considerations:
  • Vendor specialty
  • Vendor challenges
  • Warehouse proximity to port
  • Warehouse proximity to ship destinations
  • Multiple locations for East/West distribution
  • Overhead
  • Square footage and storage capabilities
  • Industry rates and rate structure
  • Ability to leverage high volume ship rates
  • Ability to leverage high volume material rates
  • IT and integration sophistication
  • Quality reporting and visibility
  • Turn time guarantees
  • Best suited to a low or high SKU volume
  • Best suited to consumer or business distribution
  • Shipper integration expertise
  • On-site Fed Ex or UPS reps
  • Ability for rapid 100+ staff spin-up
  • Accommodation of projects during peak periods

  • Returns processing experience
  • Equipment and loading dock capabilities
  • Payment processing capabilities
  • Call center integration experience
  • On-site or outsourced IT department
  • Shopping cart development skills
  • Compliance to routing guides and EDI for retail shipments
  • Relevant industry certifications (HIPAA, FDA, etc.)
  • High-value, refrigerated or temperature controlled storage space
If your team is not doing this type of vetting, it is quite likely that you are not getting the lowest rates and highest efficiency for your pick-pack/assembly projects. And neither are your clients.
 
Industry News September 2018

PAPER OK BUT NOT MERCHANDISE?  

The USPS has proposed that all marketing mail that is sent via USPS must be printed matter and no merchandise or goods will be allowed of any type (regardless of value).   The USPS says that the change allows them to “ship the items to mail streams with better end-to-end tracking capability". The alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (ANM) challenged the move claiming the USPS doesn't have the legal authority to regulate what nonprofit companies and fundraisers can put in envelopes. The USPS, in response, basically said not to worry just yet.

UNITED PARCEL SERVICE TO BEGIN SUNDAY PACKAGE DELIVERIES

Teamster negotiators and UPS have reached a handshake deal on a new 5-year contract that would  raise pay for existing workers but also create a new category of lower-paid drivers to handle weekend deliveries  This discussions would become one of the biggest collective bargaining agreements in the US.  The hybrid-driver role would allow UPS, which now delivers on Saturdays in some markets, to start regular Sunday delivery of packages (something the USPS provides for customers such as Amazon).

WALMART AND COSTCO IN PROMO PRODUCT SPACE

Walmart and Costco are now competing with promotional products distributors by offering customizable products directly to consumers.  Walmart has been in the game for a little while now, but Costco has quietly started selling products in the same way Walmart has.  Costco announced on its site that it will now offer personalized items like writing instruments, apparel, bags, drinkware with a production turn time of seven business days.

Sources:  Wall Street Journal, USPS Federal Register, Promo Marketing Magazine

 
WHAT'S IN IT FOR MY CLIENT?
We're all in the business of over-delivering to our customers.

With large scale assembly and fulfillment programs, over-delivering is not just getting the right merchandise to the right people at the right time.
It's about being smart, responsive, customer-focused and offering pricing that, frankly, your competitors can't touch.
Here are ways Kelly Direct helps you over-deliver to your customers on projects requiring product assembly and fulfillment:
Not all fulfillment companies were created equal.  They vary greatly in areas of specialization, IT sophistication, capacity, ability for rapid staff-up, overhead, rate structure and location.  The physical location of the warehouse is of extreme importance to calculate cost and turn time.
We strategically negotiate with and manage the project in the warehouse that makes sense for your project. Due to proximity to Ports of LA, many projects will be worked in one of nine highly vetted fulfillment companies in Southern California.
We know where pricing should be.  We've worked with, competed against and/or socialized with some of our partners for decades.  We know who does what well and what they can (really) handle.  We frequently dictate pricing, not the other way around.
We add to your bottom line.  We are entrepreneurs, not brokers. We work for you. We negotiate every nickel on your project and pass along these volume discounts, providing your company with yet another source of revenue.
We allow account executives do their real job without spending time with the important yet frustrating mystery details, shipping rules and last minute changes that accompany every fulfillment program.
We make you look like an expert.  We guide you through the bid process, suggest talking points, recommend packaging, send photos of product upon arrival, jump on client conference calls and provide automated tracking for each and every shipment.  What's more, you will have a status report every morning when you arrive at the office.
Please let us know how we can help you over-deliver to your customers.

 
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