With Christmas out of the way, many online businesses will be assessing how their fulfilment processes stacked up and already making plans for Christmas 2019. Where once, peak was the run up to Christmas, there are now multiple peak selling periods throughout the year with Prime Day in July, Black Friday in November and other peaks around the world such as China’s Single’s Day, also in November.
If your warehouse hit capacity, one way to ease the burdon is to move some or all of your fast selling lines into a fulfilment house. As well as the overhead of staff, this can also free up space enabling further expansion without needed to look at bigger premises. Fulfilment services can also help you flex at the busy times of year as well as often offer lower delivery rates through economies of scale and later cut off times for next day delivery.
We spoke to Phil Hall of Hallmark Consumer Services, a business built with ecommerce in mind, to find out more about the type of services on offer:
Who are you?
Established in March 1992 by CEO Chris Hall, Hallmark Consumer Services is centrally located in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. Chris spent 15 years as Senior Brands Manager at Mars UK before becoming Marketing Director at Mattel Toys. Frustrated by the poor service Mattel were receiving from various fulfilment houses, Chris founded his own – Hallmark Consumer Services.
Whilst Chris remains an integral part of the business, today it is managed by his son, Phil Hall, the second generation of the Hall family ownership.
Hallmark has grown into a successful, innovative and reliable company that works hard to keep our clients happy and deliver excellent customer service.
What do you do?
Hallmark works with a variety of clients – small and progressive businesses, growing businesses that need extra support, charities, alcoholic beverage companies and blue-chip organisations. Whatever your size or sector, our aim is always to help our clients achieve their objectives in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Our services include:
Including warehousing, order processing and distribution, both B2B and B2C
Including a dedicated contact centre that handles customer queries and complaints as well as outbound calls
Including print management, procurement, polybagging, polywrapping, enclosing, hand fulfilment and distribution
Including product and kit assembly, gift wrapping, gift hampers and sustainable packaging solutions
Including storage and distribution, stock handling and reverse logistics
What makes you different to competitors?
We work in close collaboration with our clients to fully understand their processes and objectives so that we can advise them as to which services will best help them achieve these in the most efficient and cost-effective way, whether these are bulk orders for a B2B customer or bespoke hand-enclosed packing for a B2C.
Our flexible, ‘pick and mix’ solutions can be tailored to support individual trading patterns, products and volumes, whether that’s by simply using a standalone service or a combination of services. This approach allows us to provide a true multi-channel experience, with complimentary services such as product kitting and customer services.
We are completely transparent with our clients and give them 24/7 access to our online portal where they can view orders, order status, stock levels and VAT information. We are told by many clients that the portal is one of the key reasons they chose Hallmark as their fulfilment partner. We also provide easy-to-understand, intelligent reports that help us identify trends, service efficiency and call statistics which allows us to continually monitor service levels and forecast future activity.
How do you collect orders from marketplaces?
Hallmark can efficiently process orders from various multi-channel retail platforms. We
offer bespoke and off-the-shelf platform integration options such as Square Space, Woo Commerce, Shopify and Magento, as well as CSV options for importing and exporting product, customer and order information.
We also provide cloud-based plugin options for easier web integration with Groupon, eBay, Not on the High Street and Amazon Seller Central Manual. As an Amazon Fulfilment Centre, we pick, pack and deliver products from Amazon sellers, as well as provide customer service.
What about overseas shipments?
We have various cost-effective courier and haulier options for the EU and the rest of the world with a selection of shipping times, online tracking options and proof of delivery, which are all tailored to the client’s requirements. We have a great relationship with FedEx and can secure favourable rates for our clients for world wide shipping.
Our central location and proximity to East Midlands Airport makes us ideally placed to fulfil orders swiftly and reduce delivery times.
What is your sweet spot for products and shipping volumes?
Clients that benefit the most from Hallmark’s fulfilment services are those that receive around 50 orders a day with small product profiles, from a concise and well sourced SKU range.
Whilst having 2-3 items per order increases the order value and helps to keep postage and fulfilment costs down, we are used to the demands of complex organisations and ensure that the appropriate levels of resource are allocated to each account to respond to these.
Are you recovering from the headache of Christmas?
If a quieter new year has given you time to reflect on the busy pre-Christmas shopping period and has left you with a headache at the thought of repeating the same processes this year, give Hallmark Consumer Services a call.
Our experienced client account managers can help you find a fulfilment solution that will ease the pressure and allow you to focus on growing your business.