Order fulfillment for the health and wellness industry
Implement an operations system and floor layout to increase efficiency and reduce chaos
865 Fulfillment is the fulfillment arm of 310 Nutrition, a health supplement company based in California. 865 is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, with an additional fulfillment center in Las Vegas. Their facilities have a combined 84,000 square feet, with about 150 employees throughout the company.
In 2007, 865 Fulfillment was a fairly new operation that prided itself on getting orders out the door on time. But because they were new to the order fulfillment industry, they didn’t know how to design a system to streamline the work. Their inefficiencies were pushing them to their upper limits and losing the company money. That’s when they took control.
865 Fulfillment was a brand-new startup that was shipping 300 packages a day out of Fulfillment Director Tony Gates’ garage in Tennessee. But when a social media influencer posted about 310 Nutrition’s health supplements, orders jumped from 300 to 30,000 a day literally overnight
Until now, there was no need to have a system in place, but suddenly there was no time to develop one. Tony scrambled to move the operation out of the garage to 72 storage units. They had no warehouse and shipped directly out of the storage unit
“I was bringing friends and family into work, whatever we could to get the orders out,” Tony said. He was working seven days a week, up to 18 hours a day, trying to keep up with demand. “We were in a really bad spot. My wife is my business partner — it’s me and her. It became very stressful for us in our own personal lives.”
Realizing they were losing money, and tired of the insane workload, Tony knew he had to make a change. He turned to a consultant that specializes in operations and fulfillment
“That’s when F. Curtis Barry came in, and it was a game-changer for us,” Tony said.
When you bring in an external consultant, it can feel like you’re asking them to tell you that your baby is ugly. Tony wanted to learn and he knew they needed somebody to help them, but he hated the idea of someone shining a light on all the ugliness.
“Brian Barry came in and made it very comfortable,” Tony said. “He identified major issues right away, but he didn’t crush me on them. And he identified the things we had done right.”
F. Curtis Barry’s president Brian Barry did a top-to-bottom evaluation of Tony’s operation and helped 865 Fulfillment build a system that fit their unique needs. He worked with Tony to help him understand the value of data and he provided the tools to track and analyze all of the KPIs they needed to monitor.
Perhaps the most important thing Brian did for Tony: “He taught me it’s all math,” Tony said. “If you know your pickers can pick an order in 50 seconds to a minute, and you have 1,000 orders, they need to be done at 1:30. If the numbers don’t add up, your system isn’t going to work.”
F. Curtis Barry also taught 865 Fulfillment how to use that math. Working alongside Tony and his team, Brian developed a customized solution that included:
Once 856 Fulfillment moved into a warehouse, F. Curtis Barry came back and developed a racking layout and fulfillment layout for the entire building. “I didn’t know anything about layouts and making things efficient,” Tony said. “They showed us exactly what type of picking style to use.
Curtis Barry also helped 865 Fulfillment find better processes and implement automation wherever possible.
Before working with F. Curtis Barry, 865 Fulfillment was picking at 2:45 per order. They are now down to about 50 seconds, more than tripling their efficiency. Those efficiencies equal dollars.
Those 18-hour days are long gone, too. Having a proven system based on real numbers and analytics enabled Tony to work a decent schedule and recover his personal life. He no longer relies on family members to help pick up the slack, and his operation runs predictably.
“I’ve learned that I can take any of the data and I can make a game plan with that, and plan a path for our team, and we will be successful,” Tony said. “It’s not just a business story, it’s a personal success story. I don’t know if Brian understands how much he’s affected our lives.”
F. Curtis Barry & Company is a nationally recognized supply chain and distribution consultancy that provides operations and fulfillment services to:
Since 1984, we collaboratively developed actionable solutions for our clients combining proven industry best practices with the latest technology available in the industry. These solutions become part of the foundation for successful operations strategies while maintaining a high level of customer service that is second to none. Our strategies assist in improving our clients’ total profitability, boosting efficiencies and productivity, lowering operating costs and expenses.
Our Mission, Beliefs, and Values are to provide both proven and creative solutions to our clients while building long-term relationships with senior management by meeting or exceeding their expectations. We are collaborative problem solvers who present independent and objective solutions in a fair and honest manner. Always applying high moral and ethical standards enable us to deliver our projects on time and within budget.