June 05, 2018
When you are a small “mom and pop” business you can use all the help you can get! A great way to get that help is to create partnerships with companies that will do a job for you so that you can spend more of your time working on your business instead of in it. Like a lot of small companies, we sought that kind of help for fulfilling our website and Amazon orders. Fulfillment by Amazon is a service many small companies use to help them fill orders that come into their own website, and we’ve been using it for a couple of years now. One of the several positive things we enjoyed about using Fulfillment by Amazon was the ability to pass along great shipping rates to our website customers. We’ve had some problems with how our website orders were filled and now that Norm’s Farms has grown from a one family to a three-family business, we have more time to fix those problems.
In a nutshell, our customers let us know that they hoped we could get back to fulfilling our orders in one shipment, using only recyclable and biodegradable materials in a Norm’s Farms box. Orange Enterprises, or OE, is a business partner of Norm’s Farms that uses these great materials to fill our wholesale orders. This past winter, when we were sold out of inventory in the Fulfillment by Amazon system, they stepped in to help us fill our website orders too. Many customers reached out to let us know how impressed they were with the care their order had received from OE! Once we found another way to secure great shipping rates for our customers, we decided to shift our website order fulfillment entirely to OE. OE began managing our website orders in early May, and since then, every order placed on our website is packed with recycled and biodegradable shipping materials, arrives in one delivery, and is clearly from Norm’s Farms!
The second significant change is that we located a source for recycled paper cushioning that can be used efficiently in high volume situations. We’ll soon be able to use this great material for the products we sell on Amazon! Another partner of ours, Whitebox, who helps us get our products into the Amazon system, will begin kitting all our products for sale on Amazon with this wonderful biodegradable and recyclable material. When needed, they will use biodegradable air-pillows for additional cushioning. Soon, possibly as early as August of this year, anyone who orders our products directly from Amazon will receive their order in an Amazon box, as they expect. When they open that box, they’ll find a Norm’s Farms box inside that contains our products cushioned and protected with only recyclable and biodegradable materials. I’m so grateful to everyone who took the time to let me know what was working and what wasn’t with the way we fill our orders! It feels great to be “hot on the trail” to fixing these fulfillment problems and we look forward to getting your feedback. If you are curious about how the high-volume system works with the recycled paper cushioning, you can see it in action in this video.
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