Online Grocer Thrive Market Optimizes Supply Chain, Delivers Timely Orders

Posted by Guadalupe Pagalday on May 2, 2018 3:53:10 PM

HighJump's WMS Helps Online Grocer Thrive Market

Thrive Market’s mission: to supply Americans with wholesome products at wholesale costs. HighJump’s warehouse management system (WMS) has helped them meet this ambitious goal by optimizing temperature- and time-sensitive order processes.

Thrive Market was founded in 2015 with a simple mission: to improve access to quality foods and health and wellness products for all Americans. Taking its cue from established ecommerce giants like Amazon, it’s quickly outstripping the competition and becoming a force to be reckoned with in online grocery shopping.

Like many young companies, however, Thrive Market initially encountered some obstacles in scaling its supply chain. In particular, the rapidly growing business lacked the supply chain technology needed to stratify orders for timely delivery, a major problem for a business dealing in perishable goods. Luckily, HighJump’s adaptable WMS system has helped them build more efficient workflows and simplify the supply chain — even at peak demand.

 

Avoiding Spoilage and Delays

Within a few months of its launch, Thrive Market had quickly developed a large customer base around the country. Alongside this growth, however, the company found itself facing two challenges. The first: because Thrive Market offers many temperature-sensitive products that require special insulation or cooling measures, it needed to effectively streamline the packing and shipping processes for these goods in order to avoid spoilage.

The second challenge concerned timing releases. Thrive Market carriers often saw delays over the weekend, making it challenging to decide when to ship packages — especially those containing heat-sensitive products like chocolates or probiotics. The company needed a better system to determine when to ship products and when to hold them in facilities, all while minimizing transit times.

A New Way Forward

Thrive Market needed a supply chain software solution that could prove responsive enough to adapt to the changing demands of their growing business. That’s why it partnered with HighJump to implement a WMS platform that could grow with the company.

To address the problem of temperature control, Thrive Market created a specific stock keeping unit (SKU) for ice packs. HighJump’s WMS was configured so that it would immediately add the SKU to any order that included heat-sensitive items. Pickers on the warehouse floor and in cold rooms now know exactly when to select thermal insulation and ice packs for a shipment, eliminating the need for potentially costly judgment calls on the floor.

To eliminate inefficiencies in the scheduling of weekend shipments, Thrive Market employed a two-fold solution. First, the company utilized HighJump’s WMS backlog functionalities to stratify out all orders with ice pack SKUs. Now, operators could view normal orders and cold orders separately within the system and track any order by its place in the segmented shipping process.

Secondly, HighJump’s WMS technology enabled Thrive Market to build new dynamic wave templates to schedule orders according to their final destination and the critical pulse provided by carriers. As a result, supervisors on the warehouse floor can group orders based on their ultimate destinations and release them at the ideal time. In the process, Thrive Market can enjoy the best of both worlds, safeguarding heat-sensitive products until they’re needed while expediting the shipping process.

A Thriving Supply Chain

Thrive Market was able to overcome its initial logistical obstacles and is now enjoying rapid growth. After delivering $64 million in orders for 2016, it shipped over $110 million in orders throughout 2017. It expects total orders to reach about $200 million this year.

Matthew Terry, Thrive Market’s VP of Fulfillment, credits HighJump’s WMS as a major contributor to the company’s success.

“We were able to very clearly lay out what we needed, building and iterating as we went, and turned our testing process around in about a week,” he said. “The versatility of the HighJump software, which can be upgraded and adjusted as necessary to suit our needs, has been game-changing for us.”

 

Topics: Customers, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)