If it had to be summed up in just two words, planning and teamwork enabled TharpeRobbins, a global leader in the managed employee recognition and rewards industry, to start the year off right by setting a new shipping record of almost 17,000 pieces in one day.
“This new record beat the old record by more than 15,000 pieces,” says Joe Midkiff, director of operations for TharpeRobbins. “We normally ship about 1,200 pieces per day.”
Midkiff says the process began last August when a new customer, a southeastern grocery chain, was set up in the company’s system. Managing the project meant that the effort needed to be coordinated across three TharpeRobbins’ facilities in two states and required flawless teamwork between the marketing, costing and customer service departments who then handed it over to merchandising and purchasing.
“One of our biggest challenges was finding a place to inventory more than 15,000 pieces with a limited space to assemble and prepare items for shipping,” says Midkiff. “So, we received the product at a secondary location and prepared to prep and ship from there. We brought in temporary help to free up more experienced workers for this customer. The larger shipment was done at the same time we were doing our normal daily production so that caused some additional challenges. But, it all went off without a hitch. In fact, we completed the order a few days ahead of schedule.”
TharpeRobbins (tharperobbins.com) inventories an extensive number of reward items ranging from furniture, lawn and fitness equipment to appliances, electronics and optics. This shipment involved about 220 different products, the most common being some 2,000 alarm clocks and the most unusual being a treadmill.
The company’s ERP software enabled TharpeRobbins to segregate the product by location and create work orders by ship-to location. Inventory pick lists allowed fulfillment and preparation for shipment with a minimum of handling.
“An order this size is fantastic, especially considering the current state of the economy,” says Brett Tharpe, CEO of TharpeRobbins. “Our team did a first class job planning and shipping the order. Now that we know we can do it flawlessly, we hope to break this record very soon.”
The privately-held TharpeRobbins was created through the February 2007 merger of The Robbins Company, founded in 1892, and The Tharpe Company Inc., founded in 1981. Customized programs include products ranging from personalized jewelry to fine art, electronics, sports equipment and outdoor merchandise. The company also offers rewards through local and national services, entertainment and recreation.
The company headquarters are located on a 25-acre campus in Statesville, N.C. and include an extensive showroom and state-of-the-art distribution facility. The Attleboro, Mass., operations include creative services, software development and jewelry manufacturing. The company is ISO certified.