A few months ago at work, my light bulb went on and thought of an idea to see how we can ship the freshest batch of product to a customer along with saving company money.
The customer requires that we ship them product with 80% shelf life on only 3 different batch codes. The product is made at our co-packer in Carol Stream, IL and we have to ship to the customers location in Monroe, NJ. The shipping process was to ship out of our warehouse in Atlanta, GA to Monroe, NJ. So, we would make the product at Carol Stream, IL, schedule a trailer to transfer the product to our shipping warehouse in Atlanta, GA then have a carrier pick up the product to have it delivered to the customers location in Monroe, NJ. To avoid the middleman in Atlanta, GA, I worked with our co-packer to see if it was possible to ship directly from Carol Stream, IL directly to the customer in Monroe, NJ. Shipping direct from co-packers to the customer is not the norm so this would be a project that I had to lead up to ensure all parties were capable on making this a success.
First, I reached out to a PM expert to coach me through the process. Sophie was a tremendous help and guided me from start to finish. She was able to step in and support me when I needed it the most. Working with different segments of the company can be tricky to ensure everyone works together and is on the same page especially when there were a lot of people involved with this. We had to work with our systems department to ensure we can change the shipping location from the normal warehouse to the co-packer since it wasn’t set up already. We worked with demand planning to ensure they would be able to make the product in time for the order to be picked up and also worked with the billing department to confirm that the invoice would still be paid since the shipping location wouldn’t say our company’s name but the co-packers name. We met once a week for 5 months and within this time expressed the risks and challenges we could face. We made sure to iron everything out before the first shipment. This all had to be seamless to the customer. The day the order was being shipped, Sophie and I went to the warehouse to ensure there were no issues with the paperwork and meet with the logistics team at the co-packer. We took pictures along with videos to share with our team back at the office to show that we accomplished our goal.
At the end of the project, we shipped the freshest product and decreased shipping time along with saving the company over $60k per year. This project was a success and now use this project has a pathway to shipping other items from the co-packer.
Have you ever had an idea and saw it come to life at work?