Nearly a third of our lives are spent sleeping. A good mattress impacts our sleep; sleep impacts our health.
Up until a few years ago, mattresses were pretty hefty investments—some costing thousands of dollars with middleman markups from retail stores.
In 2015, Lull, an eCommerce furniture company, saw an opportunity to offer a better solution: mattresses that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Their factory-direct business enables customers to save up to 75%* compared to traditional mattress costs.
As their order volume increased, Lull needed a better solution for order fulfillment. They had previously been relying on dropshipping from their manufacturers, but that left them with little flexibility to improve their delivery promise. They turned to FLEXE.
FLEXE has enabled us to “grow faster as a business… They’ve given us the flexibility to create new partnerships with manufacturers and offer more products to our customers.” – Robert Vaughn, Director of Product Operations, Lull
By the numbers:
- 51% reduction in delivery times—from 3.5 days to 1.8 days
- 88% of orders met within two business days
- 30% reduction in FedEx costs
- 6X increase in SKUs
Get the PDF of Lull’s case study >>
Challenges to order fulfillment
- Limited Shipping: Dropshipping wasn’t designed for order fulfillment, which impacted Lull’s delivery promise, as well as everyday operations.
- Limited Options: It didn’t make sense to continue with only dropshipping, but signing a long-term contract with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) wasn’t the right fit.
- Limited Growth: Lull couldn’t expand partnerships or grow product lines unless manufacturers offered dropshipping.
Solution: FLEXE eCommerce Fulfillment
Lull turned to FLEXE because they needed an eCommerce order fulfillment solution that was easy to implement, provided operational transparency, and was designed to scale and support business growth.
With FLEXE, Lull gained a software platform to manage inbound and outbound shipments while tracking real-time inventory levels across their FLEXE network of fulfillment centers. They also gained a team of experts that helps them continually improve their fulfillment operations and strategy. Visibility and control over shipment trends and inventory levels helps the Lull team make more informed decisions on inventory allocation and management.
In January 2017, Lull moved into their first FLEXE location. When they were ready to expand into more fulfillment locations, they didn’t have to spend time sourcing new solutions. The FLEXE Supply team sourced additional warehouse providers in the FLEXE network—all of which were already running on the FLEXE software platform. What would normally take months, only took a matter of days.
Since working with FLEXE, Lull has been able to invest in and grow their product line, save on transportation costs, and reallocate resources to marketing and product development—a continual improvement cycle designed to grow their business.
Fulfilling orders faster, for less
Dropshipping meant Lull was fulfilling orders from one location. Not only was dropshipping a suboptimal process for Lull, having only one location meant shipping times were longer and costs were higher.
With four FLEXE facilities, Lull has significantly shortened the last mile. Now, with inventory strategically placed throughout North America, they reach the majority (88%) of their customers with two-day delivery and have reduced overall delivery times from 3.5 days to 1.8 days—a 51% reduction.
With FLEXE, they have also reduced shipping costs. “Not only were we able to improve our delivery promise to customers, a shorter last mile reduced our FedEx costs by 30%,” says Robert Vaughn, Director of Product Operations at Lull.
Creating room to grow
With a flexible warehousing and order fulfillment solution, Lull has been able to reinvest in their business and growth strategy. They are no longer limited to working with manufacturers that offer dropshipping and instead can store and ship inventory across a network of warehouses. This small, but significant, detail has enabled Lull to work with new manufacturers to expand their product lines, expand their fulfillment footprint to reach more customers, and to grow their business.
“FLEXE has enabled us to reinvest in our marketing, hire new employees, and grow faster as a business,” says Vaughn. “They’ve also given us the flexibility to create new partnerships with manufacturers and offer more products to our customers.”
At-your-services fulfillment experts
When Lull came to FLEXE, they were looking for a solution provider that could partner with them to manage order fulfillment and help them increase their business. Since implementing FLEXE, Lull has relied on the FLEXE teams for insights and recommendations on how to improve their operations.
“FLEXE offers way more than any one 3PL can,” said Vaughn. “They make it possible to solve traditional logistics challenges.”
Finding the right fulfillment providers
The Lull and FLEXE teams partnered to establish a logistics strategy that could address Lull’s unique business needs. By taking into consideration product specifications, demand patterns, and shipping times and costs, FLEXE helped Lull map out an ideal network for order fulfillment with the appropriate number of facilities in just the right locations.
“Originally, we were excited to work with FLEXE because of the cost savings and the unified nature of their technology platform,” said Vaughn. “We later realized FLEXE also saved us valuable time and resources. Negotiating and procuring separate 3PLs would have taken months, but with FLEXE, we were able to stand up facilities in a matter of weeks.”
Scalable, flexible eCommerce fulfillment with FLEXE
This is just one of our customers’ experiences with FLEXE. With four locations, a unified technology platform, and the FLEXE team, Lull has found a solution that aligns with their brand and meets customer expectations for fast delivery. Other use cases include:
- Fully outsourced order fulfillment: Adding 2-6 fulfillment locations to optimize shipping costs and meet next- and two-day delivery
- Pop-up fulfillment: TOMs uses FLEXE to fulfill into and replenish pop-up retail stores to move last-season items
- Retail distribution to retail stores and Amazon: Placing inventory in FLEXE facilities that are near retailers’ intake centers to reduce ship time and meet OTIF requirements
- Inventory storage during peak season: Ace Hardware uses FLEXE for short-term warehouse capacity to manage excess inventory during busier seasons