Investing in Our People and Operations

NRI Distribution Employees

Investing in Our People and Operations

One of our core values at NRI is “Relationships Are Worth Investing In”. Whether it be our clients or our team members, we believe that everyone has potential to be great, and we embrace the opportunity to nurture relationships and help bring out the greatness.

NRI has familial approach to supporting our teams. We are adamant about maintaining the highest percentage of full time NRI team members on the floor as possible and have a goal of +90%.  e do not encourage the usage of temporary labor, nor do we use it as a crutch to further profitability. We invest in our staff with tangible benefits, training and development programs, and furthering education.

NRI is a learning organization and embraces continued education with a focus on leadership. We believe that we all have an opportunity to lead at any level within the organization. An outside educator has been heavily engaged at NRI for over 10 years – providing guidance on topics such as Servant Leadership and Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and how these can play a key role in the success of our individuals, our teams, and NRI overall. This individual is now a full-time senior leader at NRI, illustrating our serious commitment to helping our people grow.

Throughout all our departments, we have team members at all levels with multiple years of experience working in the company. This allows them to provide significant experiential learning to others.

Employee experience is important to NRI, and we make decisions based on our values that promote a positive experience. We actively promote from within the organization; 82% of our positions were filled by internal promotions last year! Learning opportunities for our people, such as our Leadership Development Program and LinkedIn Learnings, are essential to the successes of our team members and NRI is happy to provide these tools to develop our them.

We understand that our team members have obligations outside of NRI and are happy to accommodate. We have provided a framework of accountability that allows flexibility and freedom.  We have provided specific part-time shifts to accommodate students and shifts for parents with school-aged children. In 2020, we allowed flexibility to work remotely due to COVID-19, as well as took considerable protective measures to ensure all our warehouse team members were safe on the job.

Our goal is to be a place where people want to come to work, and an organization that our team members are proud to be a part of. As a results-based organization, we understand that meaningful rewards and recognition are a mechanism for motivating employee performance and, as such, we offer our team members a wide range of rewards and recognition programs and employee perks to both promote performance, as well as maintain a positive working environment.


To learn more about our people, see our people page.

Logistics Trends for 2021

NRI warehouse fontana

Logistics Trends for 2021

It’s hard to believe that 2020 and all its craziness is now behind us.  No one saw COVID-19 coming, nor the global impact is has had.  If there is a silver lining or opportunity in this cloud for brands and the logistics industry, it is certainly the increase of ecommerce business.  In fact, the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2020 totaled $200.7 billion, an increase of 37.0 percent (±1.2%) from the first quarter of 2020.  And with how busy the holiday peak season was, we will likely keep seeing these increases.  Nonetheless, we need to learn from 2020 and think about 2021.  Here are some of our thoughts for 2021.

Going Green

There were more ecommerce orders in 2020 than ever before.  U.S. e-commerce sales will hit a projected $709.78 billion in 2020, or an increase of 18%.  With that comes an increase in deliveries which means more delivery trucks on the road.  Climate change is here and we need to drastically improve conditions to keep our planet thriving.  By nature, the logistics industry contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and we need to better ourselves.  There are eco-friendly warehouses, whose purpose is to reduce and monitor the use of electricity, heat, water, and gas.

What’s NRI doing about this?  One of our principles is “Creating Harmony and Sustainability for All”.  We work with our clients to reduce any excess waste and offer sustainable solutions.  Some of our clients, such as United by Blue, have opted to use recycled packaging for their orders.  Other clients, such as Tentree, do not use any plastic polybags, only recycled rope to keep items tidy.

Focus on the wellbeing of the environment plays a major role at NRI.  We work internally to identify and embrace opportunities for continuous improvement in sustainability, and we also work to share suggestions with our clients on how they too can make improvements.  We’ve embraced several opportunities including:

  • Storm water runoff management
  • Motion sensor and LED lighting in warehouses
  • Recycling program for all possible materials (paper/cardboard, plastics, wood, metals)
  • Low-flow plumbing
  • Working with clients to identify and remove waste in packaging i.e. straps on cartons, excessive and/or non-recyclable fill in cartons
  • Continuous education of our team members on opportunities to reduce or remove single-use items from their lives

We’re All Partners

Things are better when we’re (working) together!  Treating suppliers and logistics companies like partners is beneficial to everyone.  Good, clear communication around sales information, time-in-shipping data, and other KPIs can help you, your suppliers, and logistics partners be prepared for any increase or decrease in sale trends.  Working together makes it easier to achieve your goals, than you going at it alone.  Using big data and analytics will help you identify any actionable insights for any sales trends, pricing strategies, and utilization of logistical resources (such as NRI).

If you speak with any of our current clients, they’ll be the first to tell you that NRI puts a major focus on preparedness.  We partner with our clients on sales data, forecasting, shipping information, returns, and anything else we need to prepare from a facilities and labor perspective.  This past year has reinforced NRI’s believe that we need to be prepared for anything, and build in contingency plans for the unexpected.

Robots are Taking Over

Not really, however, in the constant effort to improve processes and automation, many supply chains and logistics companies are looking into the use of robotics.  During the first half of 2019, North American companies spent $869 million on more than 16,400 robots.  Even outside of warehouses, companies are investing in drones and self-driving car technology to free up manpower to be better used elsewhere.

We’re embracing these technologies at NRI and constantly looking to how we can automate certain tasks so that our human warehouse employees can become more efficient and apply additional focus on our value-added services like giftwrapping, tagging, and handling fragile items.  NRI has long been a leader in technology investment and development – operating on our proprietary 3PL software suite and with robust Technology and Engineering teams focused on the mindset of continuous improvement.

Dude, What’s My Budget?

No, seriously, what’s my budget?  Just like 2020, it’s hard to predict how much to allocate towards logistics partners because this year has been abnormal, and we don’t know what 2021 will look like.  Budgeting for 2021 will need mapping existing resources with strategy and a shift from the traditional inputs and standard approaches.  The need for more incredible speed and cost control spans across all industries, therefore making it a challenging task to achieve a perfect budget for 2021.  Another suggestion is just to treat your budget as a range.  In many ways budgeting will be a guessing game, and companies need to put together a plan based on contingencies.

Because we treat all our clients as partners, we work hand-in-hand to predict, as accurately as possible, any trends and forecasts.  This helps our clients set aside a budget for their fulfillment and freight budget.

With how ecommerce trends are continuing to grow, we hope 2020 can be a learning experience for all and that we make 2021 better.  We must think about the environment more than ever, become partners through the entire supply chain process, use technology to our advantage, and crunch numbers to create a budget that won’t break the bank.

We’re here to help. Let’s talk about scalable solutions for your business. Contact us here.

Relationships Are Worth Investing In

NRI Core Value Relationships are Worth Investing in

NRI Core Value Relationships Are Worth Investing In

Relationships are worth investing in

NRI’s approach to business is one that continues to set us apart, and that approach begins with how strongly we value relationships. We believe that investing in and having fair, quality relationships with those we interact with is always the right path.

Our Purpose states that We are a Key Element in the Success of Great Ideas. It is our belief that a partnership is greater than two individuals – be those two people or two companies. NRI strives to build the strongest partnering relationships possible – with clients, vendors, and our internal teams – with each of the parties contributing to the mutual successes of the other. We believe honesty and transparency are the bedrock of relationships and it speaks to our commitment to integrity both in ourselves and in our partners.

We want to see every employee achieve their goals. Whether it be internal promotions or educational goals, we provide the resources for our employees to be successful. In investing in the relationships with our employees, we have seen many of our employees grow professionally and personally. We consider ourselves a “learning organization” – giving opportunities to all employees to learn and grow within NRI.

We cherish our client relationships. We strive to form long-term partnerships with all our clients. To this day  we are still partnered with our first ever client – they are with us 20+ years later. We want to do right by each client we have and work hard to help them achieve their goals. We carefully select our client partners as those holding like values, where we are both active parties in each other’s strategies. NRI is a company that has built a business which puts people first and carriers a strong value-based ethos in all relationships. We truly believe that relationships are worth investing in.


Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Balance of Lifestyle and Success

NRI Core Value Balance of Lifestyle and Success

NRI Core Value Balance of Lifestyle and SuccessBalance of Lifestyle and Success

We can’t be successful without having balance. Our core value, Balance of Lifestyle and Success, recognizes that work-life balance is an important element of a healthy work environment. We want to limit stress in the workplace and ensure our employees’ mental health is optimized so that we can bring our best self to work every day, and home again at the end of the day.

At NRI, we believe in a comfortable facility culture, where all are respected and celebrated.  We take turns at tuning the dial on the music in the warehouse. You’ll find dogs in the offices. While we work hard, we like to play hard, too. We strive to accommodate flexible schedules so that our team members can catch that school concert or make those important appointments easy to get to. Our teams pitch in when times are tough, and they are expected to take some time for themselves when the storm passes. NRI ensures that all employees are able to thrive in and outside of work.

NRI employees can often be found surfing before work, hiking after work, and hitting the wonderful camping spots Canada and the U.S. have to offer on the weekends. We stress the idea of recharging. We seek harmony. Every employee, every human being is unique – we expect our team to be present both personally and professionally; find their happiness and live a life free of fear.

Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Contributing to and Sharing in Prosperity

Contributing to and Sharing in Prosperity NRI Core Value

Contributing to and Sharing in Prosperity NRI Core ValueContributing to and Sharing in Prosperity

Our next core value is Contributing to and Sharing in Prosperity.  We are an organization built on transparency so that everyone has a chance to succeed, and to contribute to that success.  Our belief that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’ keeps us driving as a team so that we can meet our goals.

This year has brought a wealth of challenges, however, NRI employees have the tenacity to ensure the happiness of our clients, our community and our team members.  We have a hiring process that is values-first, ensuring we are hiring talent that wants to succeed and has the drive to do their job to their best ability every day.

We have various training and education programs to ensure we keep our employees up-to-date with the latest technology and processes – ensuring that all are provided opportunities to continuously grow personally and professionally.  We focus on ensuring that everyone understands where we are at with regards to our goals and how we are going to get there together.  We encourage differing opinions as we believe they may change processes for the better or bring about ideas that can make impactful changes to the company.

We want all of our employees to feel empowered to confidently share and contribute, and we believe strongly in investing in our people and their personal growth.  Contributing and sharing in prosperity so that we all succeed together.

Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Quality and Accountability in All Actions

Quality and Accountability in All Actions

Quality and Accountability in All ActionsQuality and Accountability in All Actions

Our third core value is “Quality and Accountability in All Actions”. NRI is known as a consultative 3PL because we want to see all brands succeed and will step outside the norm to help them in that quest.

We enjoy working with both emerging as well as established brands, and enjoy providing a level of guidance that allows these brands to succeed. We have a dedicated Accounts & Planning team that provides our clients with further insights and strategies to help them grow successfully.

We ask ourselves, “what can we do to meet all our clients needs as accurately and efficiently as possible?”. Our Client Services department works tirelessly to ensure our clients’ needs are met – often times stopping at nothing to ensure last minute requests are fulfilled. We strive to work with all of our clients on understanding their needs, as well as ensuring we provide the best quality service possible.

While things certainly looked different this year (our warehouse is full of colorful masks and face shields!), we have remained true to our values and our goal of delivering success to our clients and partners.

Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Fairness in All Relationships

NRI Core Values Fairness in All Relationships

NRI Core Value Fairness in All RelationshipsFairness in all relationships

We take our value, Fairness in All Relationships seriously. We believe we must be fair to not only our team members, but our partners, retailers, community members, suppliers, vendors, and anyone we work with.

We believe everyone plays a part in fairness. We need to be responsive when a mistake or obstacle occurs and work with the other party, understand the situation, and be a part of the solution to move forward.

At NRI, all of our team members are treated fairly, no matter their position or tenure. This year brought many additional challenges for everyone. Through working together, we developed individual plans for adjusting to the new normal. Our employees’ phsyical and mental health are extremely important to us and we’ve worked closely at all levels of the organization to ensure everyones well-being is top priority. Supporting this value, our employees have been tremendous in putting in overtime and the extra effort necessary to help our clients successfully through the peak season.

Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Disciplined and Committed Focus on Results

Disciplined and Committed Focus on Results

Disciplined and Committed Focus on Results

One of our core values is “Disciplined and Committed Focus on Results”. At NRI we work diligently with our partners to understand their needs and execute on our promises.

Our solutions-focused, client-first approach means that we are constantly in touch with our clients and partners in order to build the most effective plans. Being in the middle of the holiday season, we’re seeing the fruits of our labor. Over 6 months ago we began planning for the holiday rush. While this year was even more unpredictable with the added challenges COVID-19 brought us all, we still drove hard to build the best possible plans for operational success. We dove deep with our clients into their forecasted volumes and promotion events (like all those great Black Friday deals you got!) and created plans around space, labor, and transportation needs. We reviewed our staffing plans and hired numerous new, full-time employees to help us through the holiday season, and continue building their careers with us in the new year. Our transportation partners are a huge part of our success and we wanted to ensure they fully appreciated our clients’ volumes. They too are having significant challenges with the COVID related impacts to logistics, so we were certain to engage in even deeper planning than usual with them so they could adjust their schedules and capacity.

With the combination of peak season as well as new challenges 2020 brought, we have still managed warehouse production over 400% of our normal volume. This is not an easy feat given that, at times, 30%+ of the planned necessary workforce was unavailable to work for health and safety reasons – key concerns to us at NRI. We’re working hard to deliver scalable solutions and complex logistics, not only through the holiday, but the rest of the year.

Want to learn more about NRI’s Core Values? Click here.

Holiday Shopping Season Readiness

NRI Kamloops warehouse holiday shopping season

Are you ready for the holiday shopping season?

There have been many challenges this year, but we are determined to not let the holiday shopping season be a challenge for NRI. Months in advance of today, we began working with our clients to prepare for the biggest holiday shopping season of the year. Here are a few things we’ve done to ensure things run smoothly for us and our partners.


We’ve focused intently with our partners on a crucial part of a successful holiday shopping season: forecasting. We spoke with our partners on their initial plans to gain further detail on expectations, looked at daily and weekly through end-of-year estimates, and asked our partners to share details and identify promotions around freight services or gift with purchase programs.


We’ve scaled our hiring of full-time, in-house employees to ensure that we have quality staffing to carry our partners through the madness and into 2021. We’ve developed retention initiatives as well as diversified shift ranges. Our operations run 7-days a week and we have placed employees throughout all our warehouses where needed. We built overtime schedules to cover peak processing days and, as always, have ensured the safety of all employees due to COVID-19.

Automation and Solutions

We have invested in additional automation which will allow us to significantly increase order throughput in all facilities. We have encouraged our partners to consider suppression of packing slips and excessive packaging to consider both the environmental impact as well as speed of processing.

Carrier Constraints

Our freight partners are experiencing their own challenges this season and are a critical element of the supply chain.  We worked with carriers on developing plans to mitigate the anticipated challenges we expected during peak season. We worked with our partners to prepare and meter expectations in verbiage on their sites and with their customers. We recognized the opportunity to “flatten the curve” with promotional periods and made use of capacity within the carrier network in advance.


We understand the importance of proper planning, staffing, and expectations throughout the holiday shopping season. With our amazing partners, we are stronger together.  To learn more, please contact us at

Leading Ladies – Meet Courtney

Leading Lady, Courtney

Courtney is the Distribution Center Manager in Los Angeles. She’s been with NRI for almost 5 years – starting in Client Services and growing from within to her current leadership role. Courtney is a major asset to our Los Angeles facility – ensuring it runs smoothly and our clients are successful.

Learn more about NRI and our culture here.