Apr 30, 2019
[00:20] Opening / Introduction
- I (AJ Khanijow) am the founder and CEO of Fulfyld, an
e-commerce fulfillment company that specializes in B2C shipments
and home delivery. Fulfyld is based in Huntsville, Alabama.
[01:00] Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up?
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
- I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama.
- I earned an industrial engineering degree from Auburn
University. The industrial engineering program was great because it
gave me a good background in both engineering and business.
[01:30] What was your first job?
- My first job was in the business intelligence space for a
- Shortly after, I became a quality engineer for an automotive
company. Automotive supply chains are big and complex. While
working in automotive, I was exposed to supply chain best practices
and a variety of different 3rd party logistics providers.
[02:15] When and why did you start your company?
- I started Fulfyld about five years ago in 2014
- Early on, the company was a manufacturer of packaging for the
United States military.
- We got into the fulfillment space almost by accident when a
client of ours sold some products online and didn't know how to get
them shipped to their customers.
- Today, the company's focus is on e-commerce fulfillment and
shipping directly to the consumer (home delivery).
[03:25] Take us through the process of selecting an
e-commerce fulfillment partner.
- First e-commerce companies should conduct a thorough internal
assessment of their company to determine what they want from an
e-commerce fulfillment partner. Companies should understand all the
moving parts internally and what exactly your partner is going to
be doing vs what will be managed in-house.
- Next, determine suitable locations for e-commerce fulfillment.
Fulfillment locations should be close to carrier transportation
hubs, ports, customers, and suppliers.
- Decide if you would like to fulfill externally or internally.
Figure out how your ERP and e-commerce platform will integrate with
your e-commerce fulfillment partner.
[05:00] What comes after the internal assessment when selecting
an e-commerce fulfillment partner?
- Cultural Fit: How does your business fit within the culture of
your fulfillment partner? I always look to see if I can hang out
with potential partners, that way you knows if it will be a good
- [6:30] Range of Services: Ensure they offer all the services
necessary for your supply chain to succeed. If your partner makes a
critical mistake, it could be detrimental to your business.
- [7:30] Third-Party Logistics: Will they be able to accommodate
all of your SKUs?
- [9:15] Technology Integration: Many traditional 3PLs specialize
in TL and LTL shipping so their systems may not be suitable for
managing small parcel shipments. Booking a dozen TL shipments is
very different from processing thousands of small parcel shipments.
To manage that volume of customer orders, you must have the right
systems (technology) for the job.
- [11:00] Location: Your partner needs to be in close proximity
to the carrier terminals. For instance, Huntsville is great for us
because it is close to three of the biggest hubs (terminals) for
small parcel carriers: Louisville, Memphis, and Atlanta. Make
sure you are in a state that is low cost and good for business. The
labor rate in L.A. is almost double what it is in Alabama.
- [13:20] Dedicated Customer Service: The ability to pick up the
phone and talk to someone who is dedicated to your account is
something I highly recommend. Essentially, your e-commerce
fulfillment partner is running your supply chain so communication
is critical. Problems must be identified and solved quickly, which
means you can't be directed to a call center - you need an account
manager who knows your business.
- [15:50] E-commerce Experience: Having experience in the
e-commerce business is a requirement. E-commerce companies
are usually young companies, so they need to select an e-commerce
fulfillment partner who is experienced in e-commerce fulfillment,
small parcel and B2C shipping. There are large, established 3PLs
who have great capabilities but know very little about e-commerce
- [18:25] Operational Excellence: To be successful, your
fulfillment partner must have great operations. Ask questions about
how they manage orders. Do they have defined processes? Does their
technology and order management system allow you to view things in
real time? Do they have relationships with the small parcel
- [20:20] Reputation and References: Ask your prospective partner
for references and talk to some of their current customers. Check
out their LinkedIn company page and look at LinkedIn profiles for
some of their employees. LinkedIn can tell you quite a bit about
the size and capability of a company.
- [22:10] Contract: Review their contract and determine if it is
fair. Is the contract biased and filled with unnecessary legal
jargon? Are you being charged ridiculous fees? If you are picking a
strategic partner, the contact shouldn't be transactional. Make
sure the contract is transparent and your interests are
- [24:20] Engage the Cross-functional Team: Perhaps the most
important thing you can do when selecting an e-commerce fulfillment
partner is to engage the cross-functional team (accounting, sales,
engineering, operations, etc..) in the process. An e-commerce
fulfillment partner is an extension of your company and it touches
virtually every function, so get input from each functional area.
Your e-commerce fulfillment partner is the beating heart of the
business because they are ones who convert an order into a delivery
and hopefully a satisfied customer.
[25:50] What's new at Fulfyld?
- We are launching a new program this month, where we will pay
our customers back $10-$30 for any order that is not shipped the
same day. If we receive the order by 2:00 pm, we will ship it out
that day. We have successfully piloted the program with a few of
our customers and now we are launching for all our customers.
- We know e-commerce fulfillment and this program allows us to
demonstrate both our operational expertise and our commitment to
Fulfyld website: https://www.fulfyld.com
Fulfyld LinkedIn company profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fulfyld/
Ajesh (AJ) Khanijow's LinkedIn profile:
Contact Fulfyld: https://www.fulfyld.com/contact/contact-1