Company spotlight: Snapfulfil

What does your company do?

Snapfulfil is a best of breed, cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) that drives highly efficient warehousing and fulfilment operations, helping our customers do more with the same or less resources.

What are your USPs?

Firstly, we offer a No Capex model in which customers pay nothing until their agreed go-live date. Everything they need to get up and running with Snapfulfil is included in a single monthly subscription with no upfront costs. In many cases, this makes Snapfulfil self-funding, since the subscription is covered by the savings the system delivers. We also provide the ability for our customers to temporarily increase the number of licences and devices they use for as long as they need them and revert back to their original agreement when activity levels return to normal. This provides a highly cost-effective and flexible warehouse management solution to support their peak trading periods.

Secondly, our rules-based configuration and rapid implementation methodology means that we can implement Snapfulfil in around 45 days, when it takes most of our competitors anything from three months to three years. As a result, we are one of just 12 companies in the world to be included in the Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems.

Finally, Snapfulfil is hosted on an enterprise-class IT infrastructure which offers unparalleled availability, capacity, security, compliance and disaster recovery. No other cloud warehouse management system offers its customers this level of performance and reliability as standard.

What new functionality does your latest version give to retailers?

We have a highly sophisticated, feature rich WMS that gives retailers full Tier 1 functionality, including single and multi-order picking, dynamic replenishment, pack stations, multi-carrier integration, rate shopping and returns management. We’re also rolling out an all-new, browser-agnostic HTML5 user interface, along with advanced management information tools to allow our customers to fully leverage the data within the WMS. And we’ve recently achieved Built for NetSuite certification.

When did the company start?

In the early 1970s, our owner, Hugh Stevens, saw the potential for technology to revolutionise warehousing and logistics. One of his first customers was Coca Cola, whostill use a version of his original warehouse management system to drive their UK warehouse operations! Hugh was also one of the first to recognise the potential of cloud technology as a platform for a best in breed warehouse management system and architected Snapfulfil for the web in 2007.

How would you describe your company’s vision?

We want to become the go-to WMS provider for fast-growing ecommerce retailers. Our principal focus is to offer cost-effective and innovative solutions which enable them to offer similar levels of service to much bigger companies. As they grow with Snapfulfil, our customers are also taking us deeper into the large enterprise space and also into new geographies. This is something we’re planning to exploit further.

What is your market position and what gap are you filling in the UK?

Snapfulfil is a best of breed, Tier 1 WMS which can be implemented in a fraction ofthe time and cost of traditional warehouse management systems. This effectively levels the playing field, allowing smaller enterprise level retailers to compete.

Who are your customers?

In the UK, we work with retailers including Bensons for Beds, Freestyle Xtreme, Harveys, Oak Furniture Land, Shop Direct Group, simplehuman, The Cotswold Company and Vision Direct. In the US, we work with a large number of super fast-growing multi-level marketing, subscription commerce and ecommerce retailers including ASEA, Dream Products, Jamberry Nails, MeUndies, Loot Crate, Winc and Younique.

What do you see as challenges in the coming year and what are you doing to meet those challenges?

I think the big challenge is ecommerce scalability and ensuring that warehousing operations can keep pace with growth. Growth is a great problem to have but it’s still a problem and many warehouses just don’t have the processes or systems in place to allow them to scale, especially when it’s only for short periods around sales promotions or a Christmas peak. With consumers continuing to demand everything faster and cheaper, delivering the required service levels while still making a profit requires a streamlined, scalable warehouse operation which, in turn, requires a professional warehouse management system like Snapfulfil.

CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Freestyle Xtreme

The challenge: Having grown by more than 100% in the last 12 months, action sports retailer Freestyle Xtreme found that the warehouse management module of its ERP system lacked both the functionality and flexibility it needed to manage its incredibly fast-moving and equally fast-growing fulfilment operation.

Freestyle Xtreme’s Customer Experience Director, Ben Richardson, says, “Our needs had grown beyond what our old system could handle and the warehouse had become a ‘black hole’ for inventory, with little visibility of stock once it was received.

“Due to the lack of process, we also relied heavily on the experience of our people to know how to work around the limitations of the old system. It was taking a good couple of months for new people to get fully up-to-speed, creating a lot of room for errors.”

The business therefore set out to find a best-of-breed WMS to provide a stable and scalable platform for continued growth, and in order to support its crucial peak trading periods.

The solution: Following a review of several WMS vendors, Freestyle Xtreme selected the Snapfulfil Cloud WMS due to its feature rich solution, No Capex business model and the immediate productivity improvements made possible by the system’s automated task management functionality.

The benefits: Compared to the same time last year, the operation is now handling 108% more volume with  three additional people, working an eight, rather than a 12 hour shift. Freestyle Xtreme has also seen a substantial reduction in sending errors, from around 0.4% to 0.06%.

Due to near-perfect inventory accuracy, overselling has also been virtually eliminated, ensuring that the company’s customers are never disappointed. In addition to accurately recording and verifying inbound goods at both receiving and put-away, Snapfulfil also drives a rolling inventory count, allowing any discrepancies to be identified in a timely manner and inventory records adjusted to maintain the highest levels of stock accuracy and integrity. This has removed the need for a manual stock take, saving five people two weeks of work.

Ben Richardson says, “We’re picking and packing much more quickly since implementing Snapfulfil and despatching the majority of orders the same day.

“Snapfulfil has all but removed human error from the operation and gives us complete visibility of every action. As a result, if we do experience a problem, we’re able to identify the exact cause and to modify our processes accordingly, driving continuous improvement.”

The future: In order to accommodate its continued strong growth, Freestyle Xtreme is embarking on a project to introduce a multi-level pick process within the warehouse, increasing the height of the racking from 2.4 to 5 metres and effectively trebling capacity within the same footprint.

Snapfulfil will drive the put-away of products in the optimal location based primarily on velocity, with faster-moving product being located in the most accessible locations. The dynamic replenishment functionality within the system will also ensure that picking locations are automatically topped up, triggering a replenishment task when a location reaches an agreed minimum level.

Ben Richardson says, “Snapfulfil has taken us to the next level of efficiency, helping us to push more volume through the existing warehouse. Even so, we’re rapidly reaching the limits of what is possible within the current set-up.

“We looked at moving but local property prices are astronomical. Thanks to the new racking and associated process changes driven by Snapfulfil, we estimate we’ll get another three years out of the current warehouse, saving us all the cost and disruption of a move.”

SNAPFULFIL IN BRIEF

Company name: Snapfulfil
Global reach: the Americas, Europe, Hong Kong
UK Launch date: 1970
Turnover: £10m
Customers: 100+
Number of employees: 80
Partners: Cisco, Honeywell, iland, Metapack, NetDespatch, NetSuite, VMware, Zebra Technologies
Contact details: for more information about the company and what it does, go to www.snapfulfil.com or see all contact channels at www.snapfulfil.com/contact-us

This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and paid for by Snapfulfil. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find interesting and informative.