Case Study: Herschel Supply Co.

In 2009, the Cormack brothers approached NRI for logistics help for a new brand they were starting – Herschel Supply Co.  Lyndon and Jamie Cormack were already familiar with NRI due to NRI’s fulfillment of brands which they were sales reps for in Canada.  They trusted NRI to manage this key element in the success of their new business venture.

NRI manages Herschel’s fulfillment for all channels in both the USA and Canada.  They have been with NRI since their launch as a start up with limited sophistication and volume, to now a much more significant and complex company.  NRI has had to provide serious scale for them, and adaptation as new markets have emerged.

According to Lan Nguyen, Senior VP of Operations and IT:

NRI has been a great partner for all our different lines of distribution.  The service has been consistent from the first items we shipped in the early days, to the millions of units we are doing today.  The absolute commitment to making sure that our customers are receiving the best service in the most efficient and effective manner has contributed to our continuing expansion.

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Leveraging Geography – Reduce Time and Costs

Shipping times and costs are increasing, but if managed well can also be a competitive advantage.  Given the dramatic increase in ecommerce in 2020 and into 2021, carrier congestion is a major concern and a rising cost.  At the same time, customers have become accustomed to receiving their packages almost instantly (thanks to a certain online retail giant) and often with free shipping.  It’s no surprise that they grow impatient when waiting for their delivery.  In 2016, customers expected to receive their order about 5 days after they placed their order.  By 2019, almost half of customers expect to receive their order within 2-3 days; that’s nearly 2 days sooner!  The pressure is on all parts of the supply chain, since 83% of customers are less likely to make another purchase if there are shipping delays.

The million-dollar question is what can you do to reduce shipping times and costs?  One of the benefits of NRI is we have a “4 Corners” strategy – facilities in Canada and the U.S. on both the east and west coasts of each country.  For our clients with a heavily weighted east coast business, it may make sense to place inventory in the east.  For those chasing the Pacific Coast customer base, place inventory in the west.  We are experts in inventory management and can help you place inventory in all 4 corners if you wish – allowing you to ship your customers from the nearest facility.  By placing your product in facilities on both of our coasts, in either Canada, the U.S., or both, NRI can help reduce shipping times significantly.  And since freight costs are related directly to distance travelled, placing your inventory closer to your customer base allows you to reduce your overall shipping expense.  We aim to help you in your success through geographical intelligence and have the tools to help you analyze the optimal solution.

An added benefit to using our Canadian facilities is Section 321.  Section 321 allows companies to import goods into the U.S. duty-free, so long as the retail value is below $800.  Duties can often form a large portion of your product cost, and by finding ways to eliminate it your margins improve significantly.  By placing your U.S.-destined ecommerce inventory in our Canadian facilities, you are set for even more savings!

Shipping times matter to your customers.  NRI’s scalable solutions are designed thoughtfully to help you increase business, maintain customer satisfaction, and build lasting relationships.

For more information, contact us.