When new retail brands like Stadium Goods begin to flirt with growth, they’re seldom ready for the demands of rapid expansion. Order volume doesn’t tend to follow agreeable curves that align with a strategic plan to scale the business.
In our continuing series of case studies spotlighting our services, suppliers and partnership, we focus today on Socket.
Socket is in the business of building brand, by providing managed back office services, operational, and finance function support for consumer brands big and small. Their expertise is applied to products and services in the personal care, spirits, beverage, baby, home, and sporting goods industries, among others, and they allow business owners and their staff to focus on managing growth, rather than more mundane admin duties.
This is how they help the our shared client interests at Capacity LLC.
“Core competencies” is perhaps an overused phrase in management, but the concept highlights one of the key challenges for any business: what tasks have to be done in-house and which can be outsourced?
For many businesses the back office functions don’t count as a core competency. They are business critical, of course – your people need to get paid and your customers need to pay you! – but not necessarily mission critical.
While you can always rcruit your own experts with the skills to manage administrative and behind-the-scenes work, this is an ongoing commitment. It comes with all the training, management, and HR requirements a new employees (or perhaps an entire team) demand. Owners of businesses of all shapes and sizes regularly decide against hiring a fully functioning team to manage these back office task, leaving them to fill a gap with third-party expertise.
The fundamental action of the Socket team and system is plugging seamlessly into our client’s team workflows to empower them, rather than disrupt.
Established over the course of serving hundreds of companies over 15 years in the business, Socket has learned exactly how to align with diverse clients and the different ways they work. Having flexible systems of work allows the company to customize solutions to the needs of individual clients, meaning there will always be a way for them to integrate what you need to be done with the solutions they have to achieve it.
At the core of Socket’s solution is the simple phrase “turnkey solution.” As the name suggests, the company acts fast to allow clients to plug into their solutions and get the back office busy work out of the door and into the hands of experienced brand builders.
The results of our clients engaging Socket’s servics are remarkably similar to those of hiring a 3PL like Capacity LLC.
We wrote earlier this year about deciding whether or not to outsource services, with the principal benefits being increased efficiency and waste reduction leading to lower costs. Consider the following results that our clients report after working with Socket:
Reduced overhead cost and operating expenses,
Improved efficiency and risk reduction,
Access to specialist knowledge, skills, and relationships that would otherwise be the realm of international companies,
Unrivaled experience leading to expert, scalable solutions.
In summary, it’s important to know what you do well, what’s fundamental to your business, and what you can afford to farm out to third parties who have their own expertise in a field that you don’t really want to manage.
Socket provides an answer in a wide variety of these fields, when your business leaders ask “should we be managing this?”
Whether it’s back office management, payroll and finance, or HR functions, the Socket answer is “no, let us!”
If that’s an answer you’d like to hear for your business, we highly recommend contacting Matt or Scott at Socket today.
With the long hard winter firmly behind us, today’s entry into the case study files takes us back to a new client implementation where the heat was on for the Capacity team… literally!
No two clients are alike, so we rely on a flexible approach and tailored solutions to our service logistics. Even when a client has been with us for just a few days, the team will pull out all the stops come rain or shine.
In this case it was a potential deep freeze that threatened the goods, however, presenting a unique and pressing challenge for the team and our transport partners.
A new client, a supplier to a major retailer, was preparing to make its first shipment to that retail customer. This was even before moving into our New Brunswick, NJ warehouse facilities, so the partnership was new to all involved.
A pressing matter arose almost immediately, in which an urgent shipment needed to be collected on a Friday, in order to meet a Monday cancel date for arrival at the retail DC (distribution center.)
The pickup was at the client’s garage and required a lift gate pickup. So far, so good, as this is par for the Capacity LLC course and one of many other “white glove” style services – i.e. those with extra attention to safety, often for sensitive or fragile products – that we regularly provide.
In this case the main concern was temperature: our client was worried about their product separating in storage, as extreme cold was predicted for the weekend and the goods were set to be held at the carrier’s outside trailer yard.
Our team was able to leverage one of many long-standing relationships, this time withYellow Roadway Consolidated (YRC) not only to ensure the pickup and delivery requirements were met, but also to provide some extra TLC for the sensitive product.
Through close communication and planning with YRC, we made sure that the client’s product was transported to a heated terminal building, inside which the goods would be far less likely to separate and be ruined. As an extra measure, the cargo for this critical shipment was covered and wrapped with blankets to provide extra insulation.
Suitably tucked in for the night, the goods made it through the weekend in their new, more temperature-controlled location. After keeping Jack Frost at bay, the team sprang back into action on Monday morning to move the goods and meet this unexpected early deadline.
The lesson for logistics professionals is to prepare for the unexpected by having excellent working relationships with other experts in the industry.
By knowing who to call and when to call them, effective partnerships formed can solve almost any client cargo emergency. Even when the heat is on… or off!