Lead with speed | DC speed
Oral Essentials executives needed a way to manage the explosive growth in demand for the company’s products while upholding its core values: to be good stewards of the environment and provide top-notch customer service. . They found their answer in third-party logistics (3PL) provider ODW Logistics, which helped the natural oral care products company improve fulfillment processes, eliminate packaging waste and reduce costs by going from fulfilling hundreds of orders per week to over 10,000 per week over the past two years.
“We were looking to partner with an organization that could handle retail distribution and [direct-to-consumer] distribution,” says Joshua Rizack, president and chief operating officer of California-based Oral Essentials Inc., which manufactures the Lumineux Oral Essentials line of toothpastes, tooth whiteners and mouthwashes. “For us, the most important thing was the customer experience – the customer getting a package that looked good, reflected our core values and was delivered in a timely manner.”
ODW’s ability to provide a dedicated team to manage all aspects of running the business, including its direct e-commerce business and a growing number of accounts with some of the country’s largest retailers, sealed the deal. ‘OK. Today, Oral Essentials outsources its entire fulfillment process to ODW and reaps the rewards of better logistics operations and lower costs.
MEETING DEMAND, PROVIDING SOLUTIONS
Rizack joined Oral Essentials in 2019, when the company was still relatively small and filled orders from a 4,750 square foot warehouse in downtown Los Angeles. But things have changed quickly, as demand for naturally derived products has increased and the pandemic-related e-commerce boom of 2020 has reshaped the consumer shopping landscape. Oral Essentials began striking deals with major retailers such as Whole Foods, Wegmans and Walgreens, while also dealing with a booming direct-to-consumer business. His little warehouse couldn’t keep up. Company executives wanted help managing increased order volumes without increasing or adding many warehouse associates.
The company started buying 3PLs and worked with a few before developing an exclusive partnership with ODW. Key to the deal: Dedicated warehousing space and personnel at ODW’s Southern California facility, and a solutions-based approach to improving logistics. It’s been just two years since Oral Essentials moved its runtime operations to ODW installations, and Rizack says the transition has been virtually seamless.
“They worked very closely with our people on how we did things,” he says. “It was a very smooth transition. What I appreciated the most was that when there was a problem, it was dealt with immediately.
This includes finding solutions to existing logistical challenges. ODW and Oral Essentials have worked together from the start to develop programs that meet productivity, sustainability and cost reduction goals. Example: new packaging that has reduced shipping costs by 18% and improved order processing by 40%. As Rizack explains, Oral Essentials wanted to reduce the size of its packaging to eliminate waste and maximize storage space. ODW helped design a solution that used the smallest possible box for a product while minimizing the packaging material inside the box. The result was lighter packaging that takes up less space, helping the company maximize truck shipments, reduce costs and improve sustainability.
“We wanted to find solutions that [addressed] all these obstacles that we were encountering,” says Rizack. “[The new packaging] lower costs, which saves us substantial sums each month, and it’s better for the environment. As a company, we always ask ourselves how we can be better stewards of the environment. »
Providing such services is at the heart of what ODW Logistics does, adds Casey Nofziger, Business Development Manager for ODW, who works closely with the Oral Essentials team.
“We deal with things out of the building daily, so we can see how there can be better ways to wrap, wrap, or redesign things,” he says. “We provide recommendations, but at the same time we ask ‘What are your customers saying? What is their current experience? We collect feedback and make improvements.
Sporting the Lumineux brand name, the new packaging is designed for easy construction, an attribute that has freed up labor for fulfillment activities. The change reduced overtime and sped up the order fulfillment process, according to Rizack and Nofziger.
CONGRATULATING UNKNOWN HEROES
Rizack points to the profound effect a good logistics process has on an organization and says it’s something that often goes unnoticed. ODW is helping Oral Essentials develop new distribution strategies that will get products to customers faster, using less fuel and at the lowest overall cost, for example.
“You are only worth your weakest link. You can tell how great your sales team is because they got you into Whole Foods, or your packaging team because of the beautiful packaging,” says Rizack. “But the person who never gets credit is the guy who gets [the product] in the box and take it to the retailer. If that doesn’t happen, everything everyone else has been doing is a waste of time. I cannot stress enough the importance of your logistics team. They don’t get the credit they deserve.