Here at Codestorm we are committed to hiring the right people who will bring their knowledge and experience to help our clients grow their business, improve their customers’ experience and gain visibility and control of orders and inventory.
We’re delighted to welcome Gary Coleman, our new Head of Operations, to Codestorm.
Gary has an impressive amount of knowledge and experience in the warehousing and 3pl industry. He joins us from his last role where he was Operations Manager, managing a 132,000sq ft warehouse with 120 staff. There, he was responsible for the picking and packing of multi-brand corporate, event and workwear across 57,000 SKUs.
He has taken on the day-to-day running of both e-commerce fulfilment facilities in Portsmouth and the West Midlands.
Gary will be welcoming new clients who are set to join Codestorm and will build relationships with existing clients. He will work closely with our Client Services and Warehouse Teams to improve communication and efficiencies.
Before joining Codestorm, Gary was an Operations Manager and we asked him what the most important thing he learned from his last role was.
Gary: Sometimes things go wrong and don’t go to plan. This can be something like your stock levels being incorrect or the right items not being sent out on time. Look at the process itself and how it can be changed to prevent the issue from occurring in the first place. Do this before you try and blame an individual. It’s easier to change the process your people are working with rather than trying to change their behaviour. Often making small changes to the process can have a substantial impact.
Gary: Think about how you are going to build your brand identity. Bespoke packaging is an excellent way of doing this. A high-quality, embossed or printed package arriving at your customer’s house or workplace will do wonders for their buying experience. A standard, brown cardboard box won’t have this impact unless you use bespoke tape and stickers. Be careful though, as complex, die-cut packages can take time to build and this often results in higher fulfilment costs.
We’re seeing longer lead times at the moment for cardboard packaging, so sort your packaging sooner rather than later! Here at Codestorm we know a lot about packaging so involve us early in the onboarding process to find the best possible packing solution.
You have worked for a company that sold across 57,000 SKUs. Which warehouse industry developments are likely to impact the online retail industry most, especially those selling via multiple channels including D2C and Amazon?
Gary: W.M.S – Warehouse management software. Codestorm clients love our robust platform called LINK. It allows us to fulfil customer orders and give them full visibility at all steps as it moves through our facility. This allows them to understand their stock levels, track customer orders and ensure customer service levels remain high. It’s as good as being in our warehouse!
2020 was a challenging year for online retailers and we suspect 2021 will be no different, especially until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. What challenges are Codestorm clients and others like them likely to face in 2021 and how can they be resolved?
Gary: 2020’s challenges are set to continue along with further disruptions as a result of Brexit and the new systems put in place.
Supplier delays can have a knock-on effect during busy periods when stock arrives late and there are high volumes of backorders that need fulfilling in one go. Luckily at Codestorm, we are able to call upon agency staff who can start using LINK quickly and easily as it is so intuitive.
Delays in the postage system proved a problem towards the end of 2020 too. While these issues are out of everyone’s control, our bespoke warehouse management software, LINK, came to the rescue. It gave our clients full visibility of where their customers’ orders were, what stock they had, and what was needed to fulfil orders which were on hold. They were also able to notify their customers of ongoing delays automatically via LINK itself.
At Codestorm we’re lucky to work with some great clients with exciting businesses. Which one has particularly impressed you and why?
Gary: Every client has impressed me. They have some great products and have invested a lot of time and money into making sure their customers get the best possible brand experience.
The team at Candy Kittens are particularly impressive. They are one of our high-volume clients selling gourmet sweets. We fulfill their D2C orders, Amazon FBM orders as well as warehouse orders into Amazon for FBA sales. They ran a highly successful cross-promotion campaign with VOXI, Vodafone’s network aimed at younger customers. Candy Kittens sent a selection of sweets to VOXI customers as a part of VOXI’s monthly “Drop”, a benefit of being a VOXI customer. Sweets were sent in a Candy Kittens branded box and the orders were managed using LINK. Read more here.
In your experience, what do clients worry about the most and what advice do you have for them?
Gary: Postage Costs. We have seen increases in postal rates over the past few months and this is worrying a lot of new clients we speak to.
As our sister company, ADM, sends millions of items via Royal Mail and other carriers every year, we are able to enjoy some of the lowest postal rates in the industry. These savings are passed onto our clients.
When new companies are starting out or established businesses are in a period of growth, postage costs can eat into profits so getting postage prices in check is vital.
We understand postage and work with a range of carriers. We can help you minimise your postage costs.
At Codestorm we see clients as partners and so are happy to share our knowledge and expertise with you whether you are a start-up business or large company with over 5,000 orders per week. If you would like to discuss any of these issues with Gary or any of our other industry experts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.