Being a company involved with custom merchandising we work a lot with corporates across the country to help with their gifting requirements. Once we have their production done we only need to ensure delivery of the product from Point A to point B. This is rather simple and a procedure that we are all but familiar with.
Sometime in May last year, things changed. We were hit hard by the pandemic and of course a glaring need to do whatever, to ensure basic survival. The problem ahead was complex - Only 5% of the companies we work with had orders to give. The employees of these companies were now obviously spread across the country (In some cases across the globe). Thus, while “Point A” was a constant, now we also had an infinite number of “Point B’s”. How would we ensure a process where the end product reached thousands of customers, in a smooth and timely manner.
This will remain the biggest challenge that our company faced during its 12 year existence. While I try to put everything in simple words here, there was a lot of backstage which might be missed.
Client - Amazon India
Product - New Hire Kits for every employee that joins Amazon anywhere in India
The Problem - As of early 2020, YDS continued to supply new joinee kits to Amazon. These kits were always sent from our assembly factory in Bangalore to 4 Amazon offices across India. The new joinees would be given these kits during an orientation program specifically designed in these offices. Come March’ 2020 there’s a standstill. YDS is left with nearly 3000 kits with no customer in sight !
The Challenge - How do we leverage our ecommerce platform to provide a business interface that can be easily accessed by business employees all over the country ? Also, can we support this with strong last mile delivery ?
The Story - In early June 2020 over a regular phone call, I made a suggestion to our contact at Amazon. At that point in time, I honestly had no idea how “important” this call was. I remember a brief conversation wherein we discussed the possibility of allowing the employees to place orders via a business interface and YDS taking care of delivery with tracking. Little did I know that this call would be the beginning of a “gifting revolution” that would change the way our industry functions.
Truth be told, it was during pre covid times that we conceived the idea of developing a business portal. The idea was simple and straightforward. We had a huge market of companies offering gifts to their employees and we needed to device a virtual space which would -
The Implementation -
From conceiving a concept, we started developing the tech that would take this idea forward. Not only were we promising mini stores to multiple teams/businesses but we also wanted to make sure that each order was easily trackable and the employees would receive automated messages/emails during every stage of the production and fulfillment process.
Start Date - 07-10-2020
Total Order received - 29956
Number of rejects - 127
Largest one day shipping - 1240 Kits