As the end of 2019 nears and holiday shopping is in full swing, tens of thousands of Knoxville residents are firing up their computer or telling Siri and Alexa to order the latest and greatest. Our online habits are booming, and we often think of people and systems running them as coming from faraway places, removed from our streets and community. In many cases, however, what you buy is actually coming from just down the road and arrives thanks to local hands.
The Knoxville Faces of “Order Online”
Companies like Knoxville’s Red Stag Fulfillment are the secret sauce behind getting many purchases to your door. The 3PL (third-party logistics) fulfillment brand serves eCommerce companies from around the world who want to sell to customers all over the U.S., including right here in the county.
Many of your online purchases will have a direct impact, creating jobs for warehouse workers, customer service agents, managers, and more. They’re just like Santa and his elves, picking your orders and checking them twice before deliveries are put on a FedEx or UPS truck and sent to your door.
By managing the warehousing and shipping of products for others, eCommerce fulfillment companies make it easy for eCommerce businesses to grow. That means the success of companies all over can be a direct benefit for the local economy. And Knoxville businesses can benefit too. Red Stag Fulfillment was created when one of our own was looking for warehouse support and couldn’t find it, leading its founders to build a new company dedicated to quality service and built on Knoxville talent.
The Holiday Impact of Fulfillment Work
Our year-end holiday shopping season is a good time to think about all the behind-the-scenes activities that take place to turn our online orders into delight under the tree. This peak shipping season is also a peak shopping season, creating more demand and putting more strain on business owners.
Outsourcing the warehousing and fulfillment to 3PLs generally saves companies time and money thanks to a packing and shipping process that’s been optimized over time.
Cost savings are available to many, as it’s often cheaper to store things with a 3PL than to run your own warehouse. And, by shipping large volumes of product each day, these 3PLs can get better rates from carriers that they can pass on to customers.
Being able to reduce shipping and storage costs makes it easy for companies to expand marketing and sales opportunities, including Black Friday and year-end deals that often generate the majority of an eCommerce business’s annual revenue.
Many of the people in our community are directly responsible for those smiles on Christmas morning. At the same time, companies like Red Stag Fulfillment are investing in the local economy through hiring, partnerships, equipment purchases, and more. And the demand for its service is only increasing, thanks to the success and dedication of its local team.
Growing with the Community
Red Stag Fulfillment’s mission for the future in Knoxville is to grow and become a more significant part of the community. To that end, the company plans to invest roughly $16 million in a project to expand its warehouse capacity and fulfillment services.
Construction on a new 313,000 square-foot facility began in early October 2019, and Phase I is set for completion in August 2020. Once completed, the company expects its expansion to bring between 150 and 200 new jobs to the area, helping our already robust job market.
“We want to make sure that, as we grow our workforce, we continue our culture of excellence in fulfillment,” says Red Stag Fulfillment President Eric McCollom. “The people of Knoxville help us do just that, because they embody an entrepreneurial spirit, take pride in their work, and are committed to making every day positive and enjoyable. We couldn’t ask for a better home. ” The expansion of its Knoxville warehouse is expected to allow Red Stag Fulfillment to serve existing clients better, create new opportunities, and more firmly establish its presence here in our community.