In the face of increased competition from ecommerce giants, Colony Brands turned to HighJump to streamline order fulfillment and jumpstart a same-day shipping policy.
Based in Monroe, Wisconsin, Colony Brands is a mail-order company that has shipped quality food, clothing, and household goods directly to customers across the country since 1926. And for most of its history, the company has relied on the same protocol for incoming orders — processing the whole lot in a single large batch every day.
In 2017, however, Colony Brands confronted a major challenge. Despite the steady flow of orders the company was receiving throughout the day, it didn’t have the infrastructure needed for same-day order fulfillment. If a customer ordered something after 12pm, Colony Brands was simply unable to process the order for same-day shipping.
For a company fiercely dedicated to providing a positive customer experience, overnight processing simply wasn’t cutting it anymore. “We really wanted to quicken our time to market, and with it, customer satisfaction,” says Jim Bandt, Manager of Process Improvement.
Process Improvement Analyst Troy Dirks explains that Colony Brands wanted to position itself as a major competitor within the retail and distribution space. “Our goal was to lengthen the window of time in which same-day order processing could occur, versus the single batch per day that we were processing at the time,” he says.
Colony Brands began by creating a formal roadmap of its vision for faster order processing and outlined a strategy for reaching this goal. In order to meet these new benchmarks, leadership knew that the company would need to modify both its internal host system, which is responsible for downloading and organizing orders, and its HighJump warehouse management system (WMS), which it’s relied on for years.
Backed by HighJump’s flexible and responsive WMS technology, Colony Brands was able to implement auto-waving for all orders. As a result, the company was able to introduce same-day shipping for most orders — even those received after lunchtime.
“We saw immediate results,” says Dirks. Once auto-waving was implemented and wave profiles were appropriately sequenced, orders were processed automatically — “from waving all the way to printing the order.” Warehouse logistics processes had become much more efficient, and processing speeds began to quicken in kind.
The Adaptability Advantage
With the era of once-a-day batch-processing behind it, Colony Brands is charging full-force ahead, with optimized efficiency that’s making their customers happier than ever. “Now,” Dirks says, “we’re able to process orders that come in around lunchtime and actually ship those out same-day, getting products to customers much faster than before.”
According to Dirks, the extraordinary malleability of HighJump’s WMS technology has played a major role in easing the company’s transition to same-day shipping. “Because HighJump’s WMS offerings are highly adaptable, our internal technical group was able to easily implement our own creative ideas for making process improvements, without any outside help.”
Bandt couldn’t agree more. “At the end of the day,” he says, “we were able to increase our time-to-market across all of our orders by approximately half a day — and HighJump was a significant part of that implementation.”