When ECR4Kids recognized the opportunity to jumpstart direct-to-consumer sales via e-commerce, they were quick to develop an enhanced company website, launch new branding, and introduce their products to various marketplaces like Amazon and Wayfair. But as a result of this transition, numerous fulfillment pain points began to surface internally. And as their high-growth continued, ECR determined they lacked the expertise and bandwidth to manage e-commerce fulfillment on their own.
ECR4Kids is a San Diego-based provider of children’s furniture and toy equipment that was founded by Lee Siegel in the early 2000s. Having witnessed firsthand the exorbitant costs that schools were paying for their supplies and furniture while his own children attended daycare, Lee saw a significant market opportunity to help these institutions lower their equipment acquisition costs. Not long after, he founded ECR4Kids and began creating furniture that was sold to daycares, schools, and wholesalers. This proved to be a very successful venture and within a few years, Lee had established a large and reputable network of customers that relied on his products. But while virtually all of these early sales were B2B, Lee and ECR extended their reach even further several years ago by launching direct-to-consumer sales via their website and through several e-commerce marketplaces. All of these channels continue to experience promising traction and growth today.
Ware2Go enabled us to seamlessly expand our sales channels to accommodate a whole new tier of e-commerce customer. Now, we’re fulfilling orders through a variety of online marketplaces in two days, and Ware2Go provides a cost-effective solution for managing the entire process on our behalf.
Lee Siegel Founder
Since their founding, ECR has prided themselves on being at the forefront of innovation and creative thinking within their industry. So when ECR began to recognize the opportunity to target a whole new tier of customer via e-commerce, they were quick to build out the necessary workflows to accommodate this shift. This included developing an enhanced company website, launching new branding, and introducing product to various e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Wayfair for broader market penetration. And in the months following their e-commerce launch, ECR’s customer base grew momentously.
But while Lee was excited with the progress his company was making, this rapid growth was beginning to create fulfillment pain points internally. For one, ECR’s internally operated distribution center was faced with a new challenge of meeting consumer expectations for 2-day delivery. This was particularly true for orders coming through Amazon, which required delivery speeds within days. And as their order volumes continued to grow, ECR determined they lacked the expertise and bandwidth to manage D2C fulfillment on their own. So, instead of scaling fulfillment internally to support growth, Lee decided to seek help from an outsourced fulfillment provider.
Key Supply Chain Improvements
Why ECR4Kids Chose W2G
As ECR began evaluating outsourced fulfillment providers, there were several major considerations driving their decision-making. To start, they recognized the need to fulfill orders in two days. Although Amazon was requiring this level of efficiency for orders through their marketplace, ECR wanted to achieve the same efficiency for orders captured across all their marketplaces. By establishing a 1-2-day delivery footprint for all these customers, ECR believed they’d gain a significant edge in differentiating themselves from their competitors. But since ECR had limited internal bandwidth, the new provider would have to support the entire warehousing and fulfillment process. And, these services would have to be provided in a cost-effective manner. Ultimately, ECR was hoping to use the cost-savings achieved by eliminating the use of their own warehouse to offset the expenses associated with outsourcing their fulfillment workflows, expediting the delivery process, and storing inventory in multiple DCs.
As they reviewed their shortlist of potential providers, ECR grew interested in the “on-demand” fulfillment structure offered by providers like Ware2Go. Chiefly, the ability to scale their use of the solution as-needed, receive complete coverage for all warehousing and fulfillment workflows, and offer guaranteed 1-2-day delivery speeds proved to be exactly what ECR was looking for. After further evaluation, ECR chose to implement the Ware2Go solution in 2018. They leverage three warehouses in the network and are receiving 2-day delivery coverage for 97% of the nation across all their e-commerce channels. And as ECR continues growing at high double-digit rates, Ware2Go has given Lee the ideal platform and network to continue supporting greater order and sales volumes in the years to come.
The W2G Value-Add
Significant Cost Savings. Through Ware2Go, ECR is saving 30% on shipping expenses and has also freed up ~$700,000 annually by exiting a warehouse they previously leased.
Effortless E-Commerce Fulfillment. Ware2Go manages the entire e-commerce warehousing and fulfillment process across all of ECR’s online channels, including marketplaces like Amazon.
Expedited Delivery. Ware2Go provides guaranteed 1-2-day delivery speeds on e-commerce orders; this has proven vital to ECR for maintaining their Amazon “Prime” status.
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