Aconsumer products company had a good problem: It was using direct response to sell a cell phone acces- sory — make that a highly successful
USA Today dubbed it “the coolest tech you have to see,”
and The Wall Street Journal said it was the best smartphone accessory it had ever seen.
“The company was literally exploding at the seams,” says
Miguel Ruiloba, co-founder and vice president, sales and
marketing at XB Logistics, a fulfillment company in Encino,
Calif. “E-commerce sales were increasing exponentially and
big box retailers couldn’t wait to merchandise the product on
So yes, it was a good problem — but still a problem. The
issue: omnichannel fulfillment — a fast-growing issue in the
Ruiloba says the client, which chose to remain nameless
for this story, didn’t need a simple “pick-and-pack” operation.
“Each product — which had almost 10,000 customizable con-
figurations — required printing and assembly before packag-
Within 90 days of the first meeting, the first orders were
shipping. Forty-five days later, a 24-7 operation was shipping
tens of thousands of e-commerce orders daily, along with hun-
dreds of thousands of boxes of product heading to more than
30 big-box retailers and hundreds of smaller retail shops.
By the second month, 60,000 e-commerce orders a month
were being filled — all of which were shipping within the required agreement of 24 hours, including custom printing and
assembly. Eventually the operation surpassed 250,000 orders
How are fulfillment companies pulling these proverbial
rabbits from their hats — performing the impossible? Many
pros in the industry say it often boils down to one word: technology.