Happy holidays from your friends at ModCloth! With our recent features on the ModCloth Fashion Writing and Customer Care teams, perhaps you’ve been hoping to take a peek behind the scenes of our Fulfillment Center (or, ‘FC’), located in Pittsburgh, PA?
Throughout the year — but especially during the holidays — our FC is a-buzz with excitement as ModLovers the world over order those perfect presents, outfits, and accessories tailor-made for merriment. During the height of our hustle, we’d like to invite you along for an insider’s look at the life cycle of an item in the FC and those diligent folks who bridge ModCloth’s virtual and physical worlds. Whether they’re receiving hot, new items daily, nestling that ‘free gift’ in with your order, or processing that last-minute return — our dedicated FC team members are doing their very best to help your season shine.
Welcome to Receiving, where products from our eclectic array of vendors and suppliers arrive in our facility. When a new style or size of a product is introduced to our stock, a selection will be shuttled over to the land of Quality Control and Fit to ensure that the item meets ModCloth’s standards.
Products are put under the proverbial microscope as team members check each garment for proper construction, integrity, durability, and whether the actual item resembles the product expected. After the product is thoroughly poked and prodded for imperfections, our Fit Team takes a closer look at how the item… well, fits on both the dress forms and real, live human beings.
If Quality Control and Fit are unsatisfied with the samples, a larger portion of items will be pulled for further investigation. Should the items fail the test, our Vendor Relations team is brought into the loop to resolve the situation with the supplier. If an item makes the cut, the Intake department packages and stickers each item accordingly. The products are then organized into labeled bins before being sent out on the FC floor.
Once the merchandise has found its new home in the FC, our intrepid Inventory team is dispatched to take a current count of all of the items in that particular style and size.
Now that the items have been thoroughly inspected, packaged and inventoried, we reach the moment of truth: you just saw that amazing new item listed on the website, and oh my, it’s glorious. You simply have to have it right this second or imminent death might result (or maybe it just feels that way). You place your order. It will be yours!
Your order makes the jump into ModCloth’s computer system and goes straight to the shipping department. Orders are broken down into similar items, grouped by type, and “Pickers” are then sent out to specific areas of the FC to collect the desired items. Once the Picker has finished gathering all of the items, those items are dropped off to be sorted.
After all items belonging to an order have been sorted, a packing slip automatically prints. The slip informs the packer where to pull the completed order from. The packer double-checks the order for accuracy before placing it in a box with the appropriate materials for shipping. After a stop at the packing platform to make certain that the order is snug for the journey ahead, the package is weighed, labeled, and sealed before it is diverted to an area corresponding to that order’s delivery method. The orders are picked up by their respective carriers and sent out into the world to make your personal acquaintance.
…that New Year’s frock just doesn’t flatter and you need a replacement — stat. This is a job for…the Returns and Recovery Department.
At the end of the FC lies the Returns and Recovery department. Pallets of returned items and orders are opened, inspected, and cataloged at break-neck speeds to ensure the proper resolution to the dilemmas submitted to us from the ModCommunity.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the Fulfillment Center! We, at the FC, thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your holidays and wish you a safe and prosperous 2014. — By Steve, Communications and Training Specialist
What ModCloth teams are you dying to take a behind the scenes peek at? Let us know in the comments!