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Warehousing & Fullfillment

Red Stag Targets 99.997 Percent On-Time Delivery

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Red Stag works with online businesses that ship large, heavy products.

A terrible Christmas is not something any child wants to experience, but it’s also not something any e-commerce business wants for itself. Even so, success can come from disappointment, as evidenced by Red Stag Fulfillment.

Red Stag was established, initially, to support its sister e-commerce businesses, but has since evolved to be the high-quality third-party order fulfillment provider for e-commerce businesses shipping large or heavy products. “We really pride ourselves on the relief customers feel once they begin working with us,” says Tony Runyan, vice president of client relations. “For e-commerce, order fulfillment is a critical part of the value chain, and if customers aren’t receiving what they ordered, in the expected time frame, all the value you created on the front end is for nothing. Your customer doesn’t care who’s responsible for the order fulfillment process behind the curtain.”

Within the e-commerce ecosystem, Red Stag focuses on the niche of working with online businesses that are shipping large, heavy products, (which it classifies as anyone with an average order weight greater than 10 pounds). “The receiving, storage, picking, and packing processes that are required to fulfill a t-shirt are distinctly different than those processes required to fulfill flat pack furniture, paddleboards and large electronics,” explains Jake Rheude, vice president of marketing. “By intentionally remaining focused on serving this niche, Red Stag is able to provide maximum value where is really counts to our clients.”

The company does this from 225,000 square feet of space in Knoxville, Tenn., and Salt Lake City, and it is building another 300,000 square feet of space in Knoxville. Not only will this expansion allow Red Stag to bring in new clients, Rheude says, but it expects to add about 200 new jobs, as well.

Red Stag’s current goal is to ship goods on time and accurately more than 99.997 percent of the time. Chris Molitor, vice president of business development, explains the company wants fewer than two or three errors in every 100,000 packages shipped, and he believes Red Stag’s culture supports its ability to achieve these “exceptional accuracy goals” and continue performing for its clients.

“The way we incentivize is critical,” Molitor stresses. “We bonus employees on the floor based primarily on quality, not just quantity. Once a picker picks a certain number of orders without a single error, they get a $25 Visa gift card. So long as they continue picking without errors, the gift card amount keeps climbing by $25. We have people who are in multiple thousands of picks, packs or kits with incredible consistent accuracy that they take home gift cards for several hundred dollars at a time.”

At the same time, Red Stag’s management has its own benchmarks to meet in the form of order fulfillment guarantees. “If we do have an error – a package goes out late, or goods are damaged – we write a $50 check to the client,” Molitor says. “We pay for the shipping to correct the error and send the client a check. It not only incentivizes ourselves, but it helps us to put our money where our mouth is and build relationships with our clients with a financially backed service guarantee.”

The industry has a reputation for harsh work environments in warehouses and fulfillment centers, but Red Stag wants to be known for its quality environment and culture. “We look for people who recognize the growth of the company and are enticed by the idea that we are adding another 300,000 square feet of space,” Runyan says. “There are new opportunities for advancement in management positions developing every month, so we actively try to find people who are excited about that growth and want to be a part of it.” 

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