Merchandise Storage and Fulfilment
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Merchandise Storage and Fulfilment
Branded merchandise is the core of our business at Firebrand. Part of our merchandise offer is our purpose-built distribution centre (DC) which is ideally located close to major transport routes. The DC is backed up by our strategic international partnership with UPS, this allows us to deliver branded products to our clients with their carbon neutral delivery option. UPS offset the delivery onto projects that help take carbon out of the atmosphere. Our merchandise storage and fulfilment department is run by Scott and Josh. We’ve interviewed them to find out more about their job, collation projects they’ve worked on and changes we’ve made to our warehouse.
1. Hi Scott and Josh, please introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about you, your role at Firebrand and what you enjoy about working in our DC
Hi, my name is Scott. I have worked in Distribution for the last 25 years and have been a manger for 20 of those. My past experiences include dealing with the storage of a variety of products from paper to DJ equipment. My role at Firebrand is the first within the merchandise industry. At Firebrand my role is that of Warehouse Supervisor. I have always had a love for warehousing and believe that getting the right product to the right place on time, every time is a vital component of any business. Firebrand provides me with a calm, close knit working environment, which helps in the day to day running of the warehouse as the right frame of mind helps in making the right decisions.
Hi, my name is Josh. Prior to working at Firebrand, I had worked as a sales canvasser as well as taking on various other roles. I live locally to the distribution centre. I’m the Warehouse Assistant at Firebrand and have been working here for 2 years. It is my job to make sure all orders are fulfilled promptly as well as accurately. I enjoy the relaxed environment as it limits stress, resulting in a higher standard of productivity.
2. We’ve seen a lot of change recently in our distribution centre. I understand that these have been done to both tackle climate change and help improve productivity, can you tell me more about these changes?
Firebrand have recently gone through the ISO audits, and we achieved ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015. We’ve been actively involved in bringing the warehouse in line with the ISO quality standards. This has meant we have implemented various processes and procedures throughout the department.
Health and Safety plays a big part at every level of any business. We’re both now certified Fire Marshals and in addition this, one of us is a qualified First Aider. Health and safety checks are carried out on all relevant machinery on a daily / weekly basis. We also do a full check of the building and its surroundings.
We now also store all our documentation online to align with the company’s goal of paper reduction.
More recently, the lighting in the warehouse has recently been converted from the conventional fluorescent tube lighting to more up to date, energy efficient LED lighting. The lights are great as they’re all on timed motion sensors so we’re only using the energy when and where we need it.
An upcoming project we’re working on is to replace a portion of the storage racking with baskets. This will help to provide us with a more ‘easy to see’ picking location and will keep picking accuracy to a maximum.
3. You get involved with packing and distributing collation jobs, what jobs have you worked on lately?
We have managed a variety of collations job over the past 3 months. The most recent being a fulfilment of 50 boxes which each contain all the ingredients to make a nice cuppa tea!
Prior to that job, we dealt with a collation of 3000 parcels which consisted of ear pods, a drinks bottle, a notebook, and a pen. This collation was a great success. We received the items into the warehouse, collated them and sent them out within 4 days.
We enjoy working on collation jobs as it’s interesting to see the different merchandise that companies choose for their campaigns.
4. Several customers store their merchandise in our DC after ordering, how does this work?
We store multiple items for different customers in our warehouse. The merchandise is kept together by customer and each SKU is clearly marked with its product code and a picture. This helps to make picking and packing easier. In addition to this, we’re working on allocating each picking location either alphabetically or numerically, subsequently this will help us in keeping picking accuracy to a maximum.
The distribution centre is a great option for our clients because we help our customers by storing their ordered merchandise. Our customers can then call it off when they need it.
5. Do you have any tips to make packaging and deliveries have less of an impact on our planet?
The majority of stock that we receive is packaged in cardboard boxes. We have a shredder on site that we use to create packaging and sending goods out. This method of on-site recycling is a great way for us to re-purpose old boxes and stop the requirement for packing peanuts.
A couple of years ago we upgraded our forklift to a fully electric one. It requires no gas to move and unload goods as they come in which helps to improve air quality.
We can also ship using UPS and their Carbon Neutral shipping option. Ultimately, this is down to the client’s choice as price is a factor. However, we recommend utilising this option as UPS support projects that help tackle climate change.
With all of this taken into account, we believe that we offer a lower impact merchandise storage and fulfilment option.
6. Based on the merchandise that you’ve packed, are there any items that you would recommend putting into a swag box?
As many of our customers know, Firebrand promise to only promote products with sustainable attributes. Fortunately, there are many products now on the market that are practical, durable and have great end of life credentials or are part of a circular economy. One product that we would definitely add to our own swag box is a charging cable. You can never have too many cables and we rely on them every day to charge various devices. Plus, Recycle Your Electricals confirmed with our colleagues in marketing that any of our branded electrical items can be recycled by taking them to one of their locations. (You can read more about electrical recycling on our CSR page).
Secondly, I would add a drinks bottle because they’re great for exercise, as a matter of fact, I like keeping one on my desk too! The Eevo-Therm bottle is one of my favourites! We currently have capacity to take on more merchandise storage and fulfilment jobs. We’re looking forward to seeing if any customers pick a cable or a bottle!
If you would like Firebrand to store your merchandise for you to call off or for a collation job, please get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss your requirements.