Apparel & Fashion
No new things – just a viral success story that created the need for a total logistics transformation!
Founded in 2018, Houston-based Goodfair is revolutionizing the way people shop with the first-ever true online thrift experience. Every preloved item is a fraction of the cost of buying new and the team hand-selects each piece into a one-of-a-kind themed bundle.
Goodfair implemented Descartes Peoplevox™ ecommerce warehouse management system (WMS) to automate, streamline, and scale its order fulfilllment processes to meet the escalating demand for its unique themed mystery bundles of secondhand clothing. By eliminating paper-based practices, the cloud-based WMS increased fulfilllment by 700% and tightened inventory control while elevating the customer experience by reducing time to ship and ensuring order accuracy.
Challenge: Manual processes create massive backlog and disgruntled customers
With its atypical procurement process, Goodfair has unique fulfilllment and inventory management challenges. The online retailer acquires large (100-150 lbs) bales of donated clothing from textile recycling centers. After unpacking the bales and sorting clothes in its 40,000-sq.ft. warehouse, pieces are transported 150 yards to a second warehouse to be folded, racked, picked, and packed into one-of a-kind bundles. After a viral social media video drove sales to unprecedented heights overnight—rising from revenues of ~$800/day to $500,000 in 24 hours—the company realized its paper-based pick-and pack process could not keep pace with accelerating volumes. Manual warehouse practices crumbled under the weight of the sheer volume of customer orders, creating a 14,000-order backlog as sales continued to pour in, leaving customers in the dark and waiting weeks for their orders.
Solution: Automate key processes, remove paper picking and ramp up capability across the team
With the aim of streamlining and accelerating its ecommerce order fulfilllment process, Goodfair deployed the cloud-based Descartes Peoplevox ecommerce WMS in March 2021, increasing efficiency, boosting picking productivity, and improving visibility into inventory to enhance the customer experience. Peoplevox, integrated into the Shopify ecommerce platform by partner Patchworks, enabled Goodfair to quickly whittle down the backlog to manageable levels by shipping product within a week of receiving an order, instead of making customers wait up to eight weeks.
Within two months of deploying Descartes Peoplevox, Goodfair increased its warehouse speed dramatically, with six pickers now able to ship 500-800 orders on average per day, up from 200 orders previously. “At our fastest, we can ship 1,600 orders out in a day, compared with our previous record without the WMS of 700 orders,” noted Merket. In addition, the inventory team uses Peoplevox on Android phones to enter items into stock, tightly controlling inventory management. “The item counts flow into Shopify, so what customers see is what we actually have on hand,” said Merket. “This seems so basic but was revolutionary for us.” Previously, employees were processing orders in the dark, guessing at which garments they thought needed priority. “With the Descartes system, we can run ‘need to be processed’ reports of priority items several times a day, synced with Shopify orders, to help get shipments out the door faster,” added Merket.
By eliminating inefficient and error-prone paper-based fulfilllment processes, Goodfair reduced an initial order backlog of 14,000 to a manageable 3,000, increased shipments from 200/day to 500-800/day, and reduced fulfilllment time from eight weeks to a single week.
Scaling for Growth
Descartes Peoplevox scales easily to handle huge surges in order volume while operating at full speed. Accelerating order fulfilllment speed by 700%, Goodfair is on track to generate $10 million in revenue in 2021—a 500%+ increase from 2019.
Greater Inventory Control
Integrated with Shopify, Peoplevox drives accurate inventory management, making sure warehouse stock and website stock are matched up in real-time. Daily reports of priority ‘need to be processed’ items ensures pick-and-pack workflows run smoothly and swiftly.
By automating its order fulfilllment process and leveraging full visibility into warehouse inventory, Goodfair improved the customer experience, increasing order accuracy and reducing the time to ship to one week from the previous eight-week wait.