A Week in My Life: Matt Simmons, partnerships manager at fulfilmentcrowd
Today it's the turn of Matt Simmons, partnerships manager at fulfilmentcrowd, to take us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in Starbucks by 7.30am for an early morning sales meeting to review last week and chat through what’s coming up and the sales priorities for the next few days. These meetings tend to take a funny turn and we’ve discussed everything from Brexit to Tinder, but what do you expect when you’ve a 7.30am start on a Monday?
Our content creator, Liz, joins us towards the end of the meeting to discuss how we’re going to elevate the brand so that we’re perceived as a major player on a national scale. Our head office operations are based in Chorley, but we’re growing a nationwide network of fulfilment partners and an international client base, and we want to capitalise on this success by making sure that people know our story and that we’ve the ambitions, but more importantly the capabilities, to take on the fulfilment giants like Amazon.
It’s a short stroll from Starbucks into the office (very handy!) and I start my day, but not before taking enough Lemsip to take down a small animal. I’m only ever ill once a year and what a week for my body to let me down?!
By 9am I’m in a meeting with our fulfilment experts to go through everyone’s clients that they’re on-boarding this week and see if they need us to give any new customers a nudge to respond or provide vital info. These guys are the cornerstone of fulfilmentcrowd and guide new clients through the process of getting their products live on our systems and their stock sent to our warehouses ready for us to store, pick, pack and dispatch.
The record for getting a client live stands at two hours, but that’s a real rarity and the whole process usually takes around a month. We’re working on making this far more efficient and cost effective, and the rollout of our new 2.0 technology later this year will revolutionise the way we on-board clients by giving them the added functionality to on-board themselves, which could literally mean their stock being live in just 15 minutes.
The rest of my day is spent firing off emails, having sales calls with prospects and giving software demos. I’m also starting to panic that I’m still in the office Bake Off competition and it’s Patisserie Week. I’ve got Briony and I’m just praying that she makes it through this week as I can’t think of anything worse than slaving over a mille-feuille or caramel éclair.
We’re down in the Midlands this morning meeting a potential new fulfilment partner who wants greater access to the SME market, which is exactly what we specialise in. Our partner network takes redundant or under-utilised warehouse space and resources, and fills it with fulfilmentcrowd stock and our own in-house technology so that retailers and 3rd party logistics providers can store, pick and pack items on behalf of us and our clients.
Not only does it give these businesses another lucrative revenue stream but it provides us with additional space without the need to purchase more costly warehouses as well as creating a nationwide infrastructure of fulfilment partners.
This meeting actually came off the back of our Venturefest North West pitch for the Innovation Showcase as these guys were sat in the audience and got straight in touch – you’ve got to love the power of PR and brand building!
Once back in the office, I camp out in the kitchen and put on some classic tunes – Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, Elton, Queen; I’m cycling through the hits! My afternoon is then spent catching up with the fulfilment experts to run through the protocols of booking in stock containers by taking them through the sales process to understand why certain processes are needed at particular stages of on-boarding.
Well, Briony went in the Bake Off. Better get Googling how to make a French Horn and break out my inner master baker!
After 2.5 hours sleep because of this worsening cold (no, it isn’t man flu) I’m up early to head to the infamous three lettered business networking group. I’m over at the one in Oswaldtwistle, but don’t think I can top the guy whose 45 second pitch who cracked out his guitar.
I leave at half 9 and head back into the office, whilst booking a van as I’m on my way to help me move house this weekend – multi tasking at its finest!
I’m not wanting to spread my germs and infect everyone in our building, so I camp out in one of our training rooms. A notification then pings up that one of my new clients, MindJournal, is on-boarded and now live on the system. These guys are an amazing business who create journals backed by scientific research specifically for men to write down their thoughts.
The contents of the book are used as a powerful tool to capture thoughts and feelings to help optimise your day, increase satisfaction and ultimately change people’s lives. It was a competitive pitch between us a few of our major competitors and was a huge triumph when they selected us as their preferred fulfilment partner, and I’m really looking forward to helping their business go to the next level.
After a quick bite to eat, my afternoon starts by listening to the A Star Is Born soundtrack whilst getting back to people over email.
I’m heading to London in a couple of weeks to watch Mary Portas, queen of shops, in her Inspiring Entrepreneurs roadshow at The British Library. I actually won the tickets along with a return train journey and a night in a hotel at a recent start-up day in Manchester. I asked Katie, one of our web designers, to come with me and take the second ticket as it would be great for her to experience this and hear from one of the country’s giants in retail.
Katie designed our new fulfilmentcrowd brand, which we launched earlier this year when dropping our old trading name, Exact Abacus. Fulfilment is now the core of what we do and we needed a brand that reflected our capabilities in this arena and positioned us to leverage the extensive growth opportunities in this market. Katie really brought the essence of who we are to life and helped us coin our slogan of ‘Join the Crowd’.
I got a call this morning saying that our EKM partner page is now live and starting to generate traffic, and jump straight online to check it out. This partnership has been months in the planning and means that EKM’s customers can now take advantage of our seamless and cost-effective checkout, stock management and order dispatch processes and technology.
Integrating our two platforms is a game-changer for both businesses, as we have access to some 70,000 online shops set up by EKM and in return, their customers receive the best fulfilment technology on the market, giving them the functionality to track orders right through to delivery, in real time.
Now that we’re live, we sit down internally as a team to chat through how we can maximise the partnership going forward, especially as we’re top of EKM’s partner page as one of the most in-demand services requested by their customers.
Ideas are thrown around about doing a Facebook Live to showcase our facilities and the platform in action, having adverts on EKM’s dashboard so we’re front of mind every time a customer logs in, as well as putting together handy guides and a blog series to answer common fulfilment questions. EKM customers generate more than £half a billion in sales every year and what an opportunity to cross sell our services. Definitely watch this space!
Friday only means one thing – Pumpkin Spice Latte! I’m a real sucker for a Starbucks PSL. Pumped by the excessive sugar content, I get a call from a well-known animal rescue and rehoming charity that’s been recommended to us for their ongoing fulfilment and arrange a meeting for next week to head over to meet the team and talk about how we can support them and their objectives going forward.
The day gets even better as I sign up a new client: minimalist fashion brand, Modest London. These guys were having a few issues previously with their ongoing fulfilment and wanted everything outsourced to a partner who could take away the stress and hassle, and just get the job done. Cue fulfilmentcrowd!
Now that we’ve the green light, they’ll be passed over to our on-boarding team and fulfilment experts to start the process of getting them live with us and their stock sent to our warehouse, ready to be dispatched as the orders roll in.
I don’t think anything can really top that so I end on this high and spend my last part of the day booking my train ticket to London for the coming weeks when I’ll be meeting with the editors of a few big industry publications to chat through fulfilmentcrowd and maximise PR opportunities to build our brand going forward.
And that’s it for me! I’m moving house this weekend so my Saturday and Sunday will be spent heavy lifting and trying to fight off this relentless cold.