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Last Update: Saturday December 7, 2019

Key Idea: Turn Bad News Into Good News

The dot-com bust left plenty of fulfillment capacity forcing prices down to help Country Supply.

Key Question:

A: 

The dot-com boom and build up created what soon became a glut of fulfillment houses because thought leaders were saying consumers were going to buy everything including toilet paper online. This means that goods would have to be stored and shipped by someplace other than the retail store. Call centers and warehouses to handle these potential orders and shipping popped up everywhere. We know the rest of the story. Most consumers still buy most of what they buy the old fashioned way. We go to a store and walk down the aisles and put what we want in a basket.

Q: 
When Scott set out to find a fulfillment house to take on the work of receiving and fulfilling orders, what did he discover?

A: 
There were so many fulfillment companies begging and bidding for his business.

Q: 
What was Scott looking for from a fulfillment house?

A:
The warm, friendly service he and Marthalee had used themselves to build the business. He found that at Starks Brothers Fulfillment in Louisiana, Missouri. It is a two-hour drive from Ottumwa to Starks Brothers and Scott finds he rarely has to make the trip. He is in constant communication with the leadership and so far is very happy to be back to just five employees working side-by-side a few hundred feet from his home.

Think about it

Where might there be opportunities for you to lower your costs?

Clip from: Country Supply

Ottumwa, Iowa: Meet Scott Mooney, the founder of Country Supply.  Scott has over 450,000 customers throughout the USA and in several countries generating over $17 million in annual sales.  Since the taping of this episode of the show, Scott sold his company to a global business.  He got that unexpected knock on the door and an offer he simply could not refuse. 

Country Supply

Scott Mooney, founder

PO Box 369
Louisiana, Missouri 63353

Visit our web site: http://www.countrysupply.com

Toll Free: 800-637-6721

Business Classification:
Distribution

Year Founded: 1984

Turn Bad News Into Good News

SCOTT: We started looking, sitting down and thinking. Martha and I would talk about it. As we looked at how we were going to solve this problem, of course, outsourcing was an option. Now we started to discover that there is a lot of capacity out there. We found out there were a lot of people who were interested in taking the Country Supply volume and shipping boxes.

HATTIE: So you had people bidding against each other.

SCOTT: We had a lot of people bidding. And we spent a lot of time looking for the right partner. And the one that we finally selected actually ended up being the one that did the best job with the customers, 'because we're customer focused. We can't change that or the company loses it soul.

EMPLOYEE #2: If you could go ahead and add 100 of them to our --

CHRIS: We picture it in blue, so that's going to be --

HATTIE: Today, there are just five people in the Ottumwa headquarters.

HATTIE: Stark Bros. Fulfillment Services in Louisiana, Missouri, handles all inbound calls and fulfills orders.

SCOTT: We spent a lot of time doing the outsource project, with the people we had, we didn't want to, you know --

HATTIE: Fire them.

SCOTT: Yes, fire them. I mean, it isn't like, `OK, you're my friend, goodbye. Get out.' You know, but we're going to move you over here, we're going to put you over here. So that was step one. And then step two was bringing in a temporary help agency to fill in the gaps that we were going to have. But we still let natural attrition take in anybody who left. We didn't hire new, we just brought in temporary.

SCOTT: I've been fortunate enough to be able to build my job now 300 feet away from my back door of my house. I used to work every day, now I'm back to playing every day.

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