E-commerce companies must forge very unique paths to succeed in the highly competitive space of online sales. Individualized strategies are developed, custom skill sets are built, or in the case of Big Sky Fulfillment, you can take the blanket approach.
Patrick Claytor is the CEO of Big Sky Fulfillment, a third-party logistics (3PL) company located in the most scenic corner of Missoula, Montana (pictured above) and Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in e-commerce fulfillment and subscription boxes of all types.
Well, that’s not a blanket approach. Explain your clickbait title now or I’m reporting you to Reddit.
Before BSF, Patrick Claytor mastered the ins-and-outs of subscription box fulfillment through the success of his own DTC subscription box service, Quilty Box — the monthly kit that offers everything to inspire the quilter and educate the beginner… so I guess you could call it the “quilt approach”, instead. (And Claytor warns us to never call a quilt a blanket… and we trust him.)
>>”Since switching to ShipHero, it has been night and day in terms of keeping track of orders and inventory. The picking system is streamlined and has saved us time in both processing orders and also decreasing our error rate significantly.” — Patrick Claytor, CEO of Big Sky Fulfillment.
Without the right software, picking, packing and shipping subscription boxes at scale is no easy task. Once Claytor and Quilty Box mastered the art of bundling, it wasn’t long before Big Sky Fulfillment came to offer expert subscription box fulfillment services for more and more e-commerce brands. As their orders grew, that’s when BSF partnered with ShipHero to provide warehouse management software that could keep them covered.
Since Big Sky Fulfillment is a significant customer of ShipHero WMS, we had to get all bundled up with Patrick Claytor and hear his story.
Patrick Claytor, thanks for speaking with us! We’re huge fans of Quilty Box.
Patrick Claytor: “Oh, great! You’re a quilter?”
Oh, quite often I quietly query Quilty kits for quite the quality quilts. Please introduce yourself and describe your businesses!
“I’m Patrick Claytor, the founder of Big Sky Fulfillment. Big Sky Fulfillment grew out of my ownership in Quilty Box, a subscription box for quilters. I had been packing subscription orders in my house as a night and weekends thing. Then outsourced fulfillment when our order volume increased.
The fulfillment company made a lot of mistakes so, naturally, I quit my day job-
“-rented a warehouse and started fulfilling our orders again. That led to fulfilling orders for others and thus Big Sky Fulfillment was born. We specialize in food and beverage companies, subscription box companies, and companies which require kitting, wholesale, or other added services.
Quilty Box was sold in 2019 to another company in the quilting industry, and now we focus on Big Sky Fulfillment and helping other brands scale.”
What was your fulfillment model before switching to ShipHero?
“Before ShipHero, we utilized a few different shipping platforms. We had no client portal, so our clients had no visibility into their inventory or orders. We also didn’t have an inventory management system. We had a basic bin nomenclature and all employees had to be knowledgeable of all our client’s products.”
Why did you choose ShipHero?
“As we grew and brought on more clients, it became very apparent we needed a more robust system which could handle inventory, automations, client portals, and billing. We chose ShipHero because of their ability to meet all of our pain points.
We had looked at ShipHero about a year before actually needing a system. When we did a second demo, it was apparent how far along the software had come. Since then they have continued to add and improve features. We’ve been very pleased with the growth and depth of the system.”
What was the experience like integrating with ShipHero?
“ShipHero took time to walk us through all aspects of their software. Since the initial set up, we have grown and added pack stations and our second location.
Through this growth, ShipHero has been easy to modify to meet our needs. Not to mention, most of our clients have been pleased with the onboarding process. When we onboard a new client, the integration is very quick. It takes about 15-30 minutes to set up a new client portal and connect their shopping carts..
What advantages have you seen since switching to ShipHero?
“Since switching to ShipHero it has been night and day in terms of keeping track of orders and inventory. The picking system is streamlined and has saved us time in both processing orders but also decreasing our error rate significantly.”
How was your business and specifically your business’s fulfillment logistics impacted by COVID-19?
“Our business has had positive and negative impacts from COVID-19. Orders and client counts are much higher and we opened a second facility to better serve our clients. We have also experienced the need to split shifts of employees, distance the pack stations from each other, and implement a more detailed cleaning routine. At the end of the day all of these changes have served to create a more robust and resilient company.”
Follow Patrick Claytor and Big Sky Fulfillment social media and check out their websites below.
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