September 13, 2016

NORTH BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (September 19th, 2016) – Capacity LLC, trusted leader in order fulfillment, e-commerce, and electronic data interchange (EDI), has secured the intellectual property rights to its signature tagline, “fulfillment delivered.™” The company’s trademark application was approved earlier this month, officially confirming what clients already know: Capacity is a modern order fulfillment partner in a sector that often clings to outdated practices. This comes at a time when aging industry identifiers like 3PL and logistics provider are not consistent with the core capabilities that Capacity provides clients.

The last to touch clients’ products before they are shipped, Capacity plays a critical role in maintaining brand reputation and ensuring customer satisfaction. Their wide range of value-added services – from kitting and assembly to gift sets, custom packaging, and more – provide the finishing touches that help brands stand out and keep customers delighted. To capture that quality and differentiate the company from more providers of basic warehouse and shipping services, Capacity needed a tagline which speaks to those abilities.

“Fulfillment Delivered”

“fulfillment delivered.™” zeros in on Capacity’s core mission of excellence in order fulfillment. Two simple words clearly communicate Capacity’s ability to deliver diverse, flexible order fulfillment for a digital world. “The company brand name itself needed something more to bring clarity to those services we provide: a powerful tagline was crucial,” says Marketing Director Rich Reba. Stressing the importance of a great tagline he adds “Taglines are extremely important for they encapsulate what a company does in a memorable way. ‘fulfillment delivered.™’ communicates with crystal clarity what the Capacity brand is all about – delivering superior order fulfillment services.” With the approved trademark, Capacity now owns the rights to the phrase to strengthen their company’s brand identity.

For more information about Capacity, visit our website. Anyone interested in discussing outsourcing order fulfillment can also contact Capacity’s fulfillment experts online at via our contact page,, or call (732) 745-7770 and select option 3.

About Capacity LLC:
Since 1999, Capacity LLC has been offering expert order fulfillment services, warehousing, value-added services, assembly services, and technology solutions to businesses globally. Capacity LLC provides a bicoastal fulfillment solution, from four facilities in North Brunswick, NJ, and a fifth in City of Industry, CA. These strategic locations on both coasts allow for reduced transit times, cost-effective shipping, and more flexible transportation solutions. All five facilities are close to the major ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and Newark/New York.

Capacity LLC employs cGMP methods, operates FDA registered facilities, and is NJ & CA State Board of Health approved food grade. Capacity LLC provides domestic and international distribution to companies of all sizes, from startups to household name brands who ship around the world.
Contact:
Rich Reba, Marketing Director
info@capacityllc.com
732-745-7770 x 224

April 13, 2016

Peak season is an annual challenge for most of the stakeholders in our industry. Capacity CSO and co-founder Thom Campbell spoke to Inside Logistics on this issue and how to handle the test of surge warehousing in a dynamic supply chain environment.

Managing peak period shipment volume is a structural challenge in the U.S. economy. Those preoccupied with executing order fulfillment services spend much of the year thinking about and planning for it. The surge is a three- to four-month peak in first inbound, and then outbound shipments, with overlap. Shipments to retailers come first, followed by a huge spike in shipments directly to consumers. Industries such as toys can see as much as 80 percent or more of their sales in a very short timeframe.

This is primarily an issue for consumer products, because other verticals do not have such spikes in volume during peak season; demand for baby products and medical devices, for example, tends to be relatively flat throughout the year while demand for gift items spikes strongly toward year-end.

This sudden demand puts a strain on everyone involved, suppliers, clients, and colleagues alike, making it all the more important to manage surge warehousing in an organized and proactive manner.

HOW TO HANDLE SURGE WAREHOUSING

Warehouses can use a number of techniques to maintain service level agreements (SLAs) – the ”guaranteed” turnaround time for an order to go out) – during peak demand periods. These techniques include:

1. Manage laborers carefully: From Labor Day to Christmas Eve, ask employees to avoid vacation time, except in areas such as sales and finance. Make additional use of temporary labor, but rely more on additional shifts of previously trained workers. Feather in additional day shifts and night shifts as needed. Start well before peak season, in order to be ready when it comes. Shake out any issues with training or attendance before crunch time. Cross train supervisors and other employees on different tasks, facilities and shifts. Add flexibility and scalability wherever possible, but always at the lowest possible cost.

2. Incentivize staff: When smaller, rely on a core team. If needed, use overtime to help address the challenges of volume spikes, which routinely are between five and 10 times the norm and require additional hands on deck. Hourly workers are incented by the prospect of overtime pay, but the cost curve goes up more steeply than the productivity curve. The latter goes down as steeply, if not more so. Good service is highly correlated to happy, well-rested workers, and vice versa. Provide a career path for all workers, whatever level they start at, and offer benefits and pay for performance along that path.

3. Set expectations: Surge warehousing occurs suddenly, but it is an annual event and should not be unexpected. Plan with clients who have significant historical volume spikes, and be realistic about the ability to maintain SLAs during peak. That may mean running an extra day shift right after Black Friday, working the weekend, whatever it takes. Work Sunday afternoon shifts to address the weekly spike and accumulated volume of the extra online shopping days over the weekend. Get ready to attack the larger seasonal volume spikes, and even the smaller ones – it’s like training for the really big ones.

“Managing peak period shipment volume is a structural challenge in the U.S. economy”

4. Watch out for carrier issues: Ultimately, all supply chain systems are physical, and subject to physical constraints. The idea that parcel carriers can infinitely multiply their human and hard assets for 22 days of the year is not realistic; there will be a cap to the extra drivers, equipment and sorting capabilities. This is experienced most acutely in ground service delays during those absolute peak days. Carriers can also get hurt if they over-staff and prepare for more volume than they get, as they learned in 2014 when they tooled up in response to shortfalls in 2013. All carriers are more incented to not over-staff and over-equip for the volumes because that negatively impacts profits.

5. Technology improves throughput: There is no denying that the move toward ever more sophisticated IT solutions can increase productivity dramatically. But that is impossible without disciplined, expert implementation. Many software implementations fail. Hardware is fickle. Be prepared and expert at troubleshooting, duct tape, spit and vinegar.

The opportunity to manage a highly complex problem requires expert deployment of people, places and things to lead through challenging and demanding times. It is not for everyone, but for those who are up for and excited by the challenge, there is nothing better. Every iteration of the improvement cycle looks different, depending on the unique needs of the organization and how quickly it can be expanded to other areas of the business. That process runs a lot more smoothly when there is a clear mission statement for a peak demand improvement program and a focused plan to roll it out.

Peak season fulfillment is a challenge at any level of our industry. Take time to set out your strategy in advance and bypass many of the avoidable costs associated with surge warehousing.

August 13, 2014

CAPACITY FOR SERVICE
Capacity LLC has grown into a leading mid-sized provider of warehousing and third-party order fulfillment services for domestic and international clients.

Long gone are the days when warehousing and third-party order fulfillment companies could rely solely on labor, square footage and transportation to meet their clients’ needs. Capacity LLC continues to adapt as its clients have, and today the company offers a suite of services that help its customers grow in a rapidly changing marketplace.

“The focus of our niche is technology and adding value to the product, so we’re helping free our clients to focus on product development, marketing and executing business goals,” says Thom Campbell, chief strategy officer for Capacity LLC. “We have worked with companies that were fairly small at inception and provided them the kind of expertise they didn’t have internally or never really wanted to cultivate.”

Campbell joined forces with father and son engineers Jeff and Allen Kaiden and CFO Arlen Fish in the 1999 to form Capacity LLC. The startup company landed Netgrocer.com – an online grocery store – as its first client, managing the customer’s warehouse in North Brunswick, N.J.

Capacity LLC’s management team realized from inception that Netgrocer.com had more space than it needed, so Capacity LLC offered to rent out the warehouse for its own business, sharing profits on new clients. By 2003, the company was fully operational and assumed the lease for its first warehouse in New Brunswick.

Today, Capacity LLC’s New Jersey campus consists of three facilities – two are 130,000 square feet apiece and a third is 165,000 square feet. The company also has a location in City of Industry, Calif., which is 25 miles east of Los Angeles, and a sales office in New York City.

Capacity’s services include EDI and e-commerce order fulfillment, pick, pack and ship, client services, B2B fulfillment, B2C fulfillment, 3PL solutions, international fulfillment, kitting and assembly, returns management, and reduced shipping costs.

RAPID RESPONSE
In today’s logistics industry, clients and vendors alike must be increasingly flexible to keep the bottom line improving. In order to stay on top of the latest needs for its clients, Capacity LLC meets regularly with them to determine the next facet of their partnership way before it is needed. Campbell says these meetings occur at least quarterly.

“We listen very carefully to what’s important to them and what they need to do in order to succeed,” Campbell says.

 

“If we forget we’re a service provider in a customer service industry, we will lose sight of how we do what we do well.”

This is particularly important for a medium-sized player in an industry with stiff and large competition. Therefore, Capacity LLC pays close attention to the larger concerns clients have with their supply chain. For example, CEO Jeff Kaiden spent three days at the Foundation for Strategic Sourcing conference in Lexington, Ky.

“Participating in groups like that, you get to hear from larger, more robustly provisioned companies 10 times or larger than our size,” Campbell says. “Also, there are areas where they are not as nimble as us, and areas where we can be more responsive. Understanding how to differentiate yourself within your niche is a key to growth in a highly fragmented industry like ours.”

Capacity LLC doesn’t limit its active listening to its clients and peers in the industry. Campbell says the company will listen to truckers, packaging providers and any of its vendors who can help Capacity LLC gain any edge possible.

“By being very active students of everything that is happening in the industry, you can learn a great deal,” Campbell says.

One such partner is Corporate Resource Services, a recruiting a staffing provider that Capacity LLC has relied upon for over 10 years.

“For more than a decade CRS has been a key partner to Capacity in the areas of HR, training and flexible labor,î Campbell says. “On a corporate and on a relationship level, they are a tried-and- true partner, having remained with us through numerous corporate actions driving their impressive growth.

“They have helped us enhance safety, and worked on site daily to help elevate our floor teams’ performance and integration into the company,” Campbell adds. “They have helped us to create and perpetuate a corporate culture that is truly can-do, passionate about our work on behalf of our clients, and deeply resourceful.”

STEPPING UP
Capacity LLC learned a great deal from one of its largest clients in a short amount of time to keep up with some rigid quality standards. About five years ago, Johnson & Johnson acquired Greek health and beauty manufacturer Korres Natural Products. The initial concern was Johnson & Johnson would end the relationship with Capacity LLC, but after the health product giant saw Capacity’s expertise in shipping to the beauty industry firsthand, it instead brought Capacity up to speed with its own standards required to be one of its providers.

According to Campbell, becoming a Johnson & Johnson provider includes obtaining certifications, registrations and submitting facilities to a number of quality audits. This includes becoming certified in current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, providing detailed standard operating procedures and other areas of quality control.

Campbell says Capacity LLC already had plenty of quality control measures in place along these lines before Johnson & Johnson became its client, but the higher bar Johnson & Johnson sets for its providers took Capacity to a new level that now benefits its other clients.

“You can’t just implement cGMP SOPs for one client – it must be company- wide,” Campbell says. “Therefore, our HSN assembly process for Korres was an immediate benefit to Tarte Cosmetics, Weleda and all our other clients looking to Capacity for value-added services.

“It forced us to raise the levels of our game and allowed us to keep the business,” Campbell adds. “When you learn from a company like Johnson & Johnson, there are benefits accrued across the business.”

July 13, 2014

IT’S NICE TO SPEAK WITH YOU TODAY, THOM, AND TODAY I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR VIEWS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT PASSION AND HAVING A PASSION FOR YOUR CLIENTS’ BUSINESS, ESPECIALLY IN THE SERVICE INDUSTRY. CAN YOU START BY PROVIDING A BACKGROUND AND MAYBE A SHORT STORY ABOUT YOURSELF?

Sure. Thanks, very much, Dustin, and thanks for the opportunity to speak with you. My background prior to going into supply chain and logistics in the past 15 years was in finance. I worked for Morgan Stanley for about 10 years, and I worked on both the investment-banking side and the sales-and-marketing aspect of the business, as well as corporate governance. I had a university classmate, Jeff Keaton, who is a civil engineer, and he and his father have designed warehouses—in his father’s case, since the mid-’60s. Jeff went to business school with our CFO and third partner, and they came up with the idea to start a third-party logistics business, which we did, and it’s called Capacity; it’s at CapacityLLC.com. We offer third-party warehousing and order-fulfillment services, shipping orders to e-commerce consumers, EDI retailers, and anybody else the brands we work with wishes to ship to. We work with beauty, apparel, corporate clients ranging from ADP to Berkshire Hathaway, to tarte cosmetics, Korres Natural Products, Weleda, and some other brands in various categories and verticals.

Can you talk about why you believe it’s important to have a passion for your clients’ business in the industry?

Well, we tried very hard to create a best-of-breed offering. The things we focused on, naturally, over time are fairly predictable. They’re technology, the people, the structure, and SOPs that you create around a supply chain process and service-oriented business. One of the things we think really does distinguish a great provider from a good provider is that passion for a client’s business, for creating excellence in everything you do, and really, truly caring about your clients’ business, because the amount of control you have over their success, or lack thereof, is unlink almost any other industry.

You are literally touching every product before it gets to their customer, whether it’s a retailer or a consumer, so you’re enormously aligned with them. Those brands that we get excited about are extremely passionate about their business. I have worked with George Korres from Korres natural Products for almost 10 years. George is an admirable ambassador for his brand; he just loves the family and the Greek history of pharmacology that he comes out of.

The products that they create are truly innovative and truly interesting to their consumers and their retailers. We want to mirror that passion, because if we’re not aligned on the level of an intense commitment to delivering something that’s really excellent and really different, we’re not going to be easy to distinguish from our competitors. There are a lot of people in our space doing what we do, and it’s a very fragmented industry and it’s difficult to distinguish yourself, because a lot of people really compete on price, they compete by having a lot of square feet, a lot of people, a lot of assets. That isn’t our business model. We’re really interested in a non-asset-based value-added offering in which we can touch product at whatever level of detail after the manufacturing stage to rework it for new channels, to repurpose it for anything from HSN to QVC to create gift presentations, to create sets, to create assortments, to do anything you need to do to your product once it’s in your warehouse so that you can help your business succeed.

HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR PASSION?

It was a little bit inadvertent to be honest with you. I was not passionate about the capital markets. I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed my time in finance very much and I learned a great deal, but I’ve learned a lot more owning and operating a business. One of the reasons that I was attracted to supply chain is that I had been in what I like to call the method business of finance; you’re operating at a fairly abstract level. I found that the things that I liked about finance the most were the relationships; either the relationships with really sophisticated institutional buyers like Yale University or Harvard, or individuals who had come up in the Louisiana oil fields and made their fortune or had sold a waste-carting business on Staten Island and made their fortune that way. I really like the people. I thought that aspect of finance was the most compelling to me, and the stories behind those people’s success are really what excited me.

In supply chain, I saw a way to get closer to some of those stories and to actually become part of the story. I think that it’s very difficult to get passionate about something that’s abstract; maybe if you’re a high-end mathematician or physicist, you can do that, but I am not such a professional. I’m much more engaged by and with people, so finding people who had product that they wanted to get to market or to their companies is something that has really created that passion over time. It’s not something that you just spontaneously combust, and all of a sudden, you’re afire with passion; it’s more something that you have to learn about yourself over time.

What I came away from my career in finance thinking was, as long as I can engage with people whom I genuinely want to work with and with whom I share a set of values, I can do just about anything and enjoy it. I don’t think that supply chain is just about anything; I think it appeals to a very data-focused, kinda geeky subset. But once you figure out it’s you, it is a very compelling platform for exploring relationships with people.

“But once you figure out it’s you, it is a very compelling platform for
exploring relationships with people….”

DO YOU HAVE ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?

Do you mean recommendations for other professionals trying to find the proverbial passion?

Yes, maybe specifically within the supply chain, supply chain professionals.

Sure. If you already know that you’re in that unique subset of professionals that is supply chain-focused, I think you’re well on your way. Most of the supply chain professionals I know are really passionate. I used to have employees at Morgan who would move to other firms for what I considered relatively small incremental financial benefit. I have seen people in supply chain who stick with a company they really believe in for 10, 15 years.

There’s an incredible dedication to it. If you have already got that you’re on your way. If you are interested in figuring out what your passion is, I think you need to get exposure to as many different areas of supply chain as possible. There are a lot of high-value-added opportunities, and there are a lot of fields that are viewed as more commodity offering.

For example, freight forwarding is viewed as a bit of a commodity offering, but, in fact, it’s incredibly value-added. If you cannot develop really strong relationships with your customers and your carriers and, most importantly, execute, you’re going to have a very hard time differentiating yourself. Discovering your niche in any industry is really critical. If you’re looking for a niche in supply chain, I think you want to look at the broadest possible range of activities from X works or postmanufacturing all the way to the point of delivery to the customer, and think carefully about what aspect of all of that appeals to you most.

For example, I used the example earlier in finance. One of the things I really liked in finance was working with private clients or smaller institutions because they had a little bit more personality. Some people I knew really enjoyed working with the large institutions; they liked the big numbers, they liked the big deals; that are what got them up in the morning and fed their passion. I think it’s just important to get the exposure to the different sides of the business and the different legs of transportation for manufacturing to customer so that you can figure out where your passion lies.

THANKS, THOM, FOR SHARING YOUR VIEWS TODAY ON BOTH SUPPLY CHAIN PROFESSIONALS, HOW THEY CAN FIND AND DEVELOP THEIR PASSIONS, AND ALSO, YOUR STORY, YOUR PASSION FOR YOUR CLIENTS’ BUSINESSES.

Thank you very much, Dustin, I really appreciate the opportunity.

March 13, 2011

BUSINESS INFLUX STRENGTHENS ECONOMY IN NORTH BRUNSWICK
With the relocation of Church & Dwight Co. out of state, and the closing of Pathmark and A.J. Wright due to corporate reasons, there are quite a few vacant buildings and “for lease” signs throughout town. However, Michael Hritz, director of the North Brunswick Department of Community Development, said that in many cases, those landlords are still collecting rent from the previous owner, which he said maintains tax ratables until a new tenant can be secured.

“We are certainly not immune to today’s economic challenges and can’t control the commercial real estate environment. Everyone is disappointed when a store like Pathmark closes, but you understand itís part of a larger issue and not unique to its North Brunswick location. But we are competing and fairing very well with our neighbors. All of this recent activity demonstrates that North Brunswick remains a great and successful place to do business,” he said.

Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack believes that North Brunswick is a viable territory for businesses because of its geographic location. “I think we’ve got to try and find industries that will fit in town in a way that they fit with our expanding residential population,” Womack said. “We have to ask ourselves how development, or redevelopment, in a way, encourages the right kind of new business to move here and complements the surrounding residential neighborhoods rather than place a burden.”

And then there are businesses that have established themselves, like Capacity LLC, and continue to expand and thrive in town. Located off Jersey Avenue on Corporate Road, Capacity LLC has just expanded to three warehouse facilities, including one of the vacant Church & Dwight buildings. The warehousing and third-party order fulfillment company has been in town for over 10 years, expanding to its second building in November 2009 and its third building two months ago, totaling over 400,000 square feet.

Thomas E. Campbell, Chief Strategy Officer for Capacity, said that 200 employees are located in North Brunswick, most of whom live between Toms River and Elizabeth. “We felt this area had a combination of good personnel, good value per square foot, and a good relationship with vendors and the township,” he said.

Campbell said there has been growth from existing clients and the addition of new business, handling over 100 companies in every area including toys, beauty products, apparel, water bottles, yoga accessories and solar panels. “All you have to do is drive down Route 1. Something happens, like Pathmark closes, and the ripple effect is very chilling. We couldn’t stay here if it wasn’t a good business decision, but a lot of my clients choose to do business here because of the proximity to New York,” Campbell said.