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Zappos.com: Developing a Supply Chain to Deliver Wow! Stanford Graduate School of Business David Hoyt, 2-13-09 Presented by: Jon McDonald Business 550.

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Presentation on theme: "Zappos.com: Developing a Supply Chain to Deliver Wow! Stanford Graduate School of Business David Hoyt, 2-13-09 Presented by: Jon McDonald Business 550."— Presentation transcript:

1 Zappos.com: Developing a Supply Chain to Deliver Wow! Stanford Graduate School of Business David Hoyt, Presented by: Jon McDonald Business 550 November 23, 2010

2 Worlds Largest Online Shoe Retailer Founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn $1 billion annual gross sales (2008) 3% of U.S. population are Zappos customers Known for its high quality experience: deliver wow to customers, suppliers, and affiliates Repeat customers grew from 40% in 2004 to 75% in 2008

3 Zappos.com Strong supply chain management is an important part of the companys success 1,500 employees, half in its Nevada headquarters and call center, and half in its Kentucky fulfillment center The company culture is an influence on the supply chain

4 Wow Experience Website speed Telephone support: calls answered within 20 seconds Free returns within 365 days Free shipping Large pictures of shoes on website so customers know exactly what they are getting

5 Call Center Staffed 24/7 by 400 people in Las Vegas headquarters All new hires spend two weeks in call center 5,000 calls received a day, 5,000 chances to wow a customer

6 Free, Rapid Delivery Free shipping, often arrives next day Overnight deliveries made by UPS Work closely with UPS to increase efficiency

7 Many Stages of Growth Vendors Other products added: clothing, electronics, jewelry, houseware, luggage, sporting goods Operational model: – Delivery system – Inventory system – Web system International expansion

8 Evolution of the Operational Model The drop-ship model: – Orders placed on Zappos website – Orders forwarded to vendor – Orders filled by vendors Major problems with drop-ship model: – Information on website only 95% accurate – Zappos did not know when orders shipped – Zappos did not know of unhappy customers until it was too late

9 Evolution of the Operational Model Brought inventory in-house: – November 2000 Zappos began to stock inventory – Bought 30,000 sq foot store in Willows, CA – 100 miles north of Sacramento – Not ideal: No major airport Shipments made by UPS Ground Warehouse was a manual operation – Continued to use the drop-ship approach

10 Evolution of the Operational Model Third-Party fulfillment – Outgrew Willows distribution center – UPS approached Zappos to manage its inventory and fulfillment – Zappos continued to own the inventory, but it would be stored at a UPS facility near its hub in Louisville, Kentucky – Order fulfillment would be handled by a third party

11 Evolution of the Operational Model Advantages of third-party fulfillment: – Two-thirds of customers would receive deliveries within two days using UPS ground and at a lower cost than shipping from Willows – More efficient use of automated tools – Zappos would not have to make major capital investment

12 Evolution of the Operational Model Disadvantages of third-party fulfillment: – Zappos business involved more stock-keeping units (SKUs) than the system could handle, since each shoe style/size/color combination was a separate SKU -Zappos had 70,000 to 80,000 SKUs, and within 6 to 8 weeks the company knew they had to develop their own distribution center

13 Evolution of the Operational Model Kentucky Distribution Center – Opened their own distribution center 30 miles from the UPS hub in Louisville – Developed its own systems and procedures focused on a highly SKU-intensive business that required almost perfect inventory accuracy – Random stocking approach

14 Evolution of the Operational Model Initial 265,000 square foot facility filled to capacity in 2006, Zappos opened a new 832,000 square foot facility Automated conveyors, carousels Robotic system installed in 2008, doubled worker efficiency

15 Evolution of the Operational Model End of drop-shipments – Zappos was still sending orders to its vendors for drop-shipping until 2003, though 75% of orders were being shipped from the Zappos warehouse – Customers served by the Zappos warehouse were happier with the experience than those whose orders were drop-shipped – Zappos stopped using drop-shipments in order to fulfill its customer service mission – When an item reaches zero inventory in the warehouse it no longer appears on the website

16 Supply Chain Management Buying – Difficulties of excess inventory or loss of potential sales when items become a huge hit – Merchandising department has 100 employees, half of whom are buyers and assistant buyers – Buyers are the primary points of contact for vendors – Extranet allowed vendors to see the same information as the buyers

17 Operating a Supply Web Technology to design and run a retail website Call center to deal with customer questions and problems Distribution system optimized for delivery to retail customers Zappos excelled at all these areas and began to work with manufacturers to sell directly to customers under a program called: Powered by Zappos The supply web allowed the same inventory to be accessed through many websites

18 Scheduling Product Delivery Zappos placed orders with 1,400 different brands in 2008 Suppliers given delivery windows in which product may arrive at distribution center Inefficiencies in the warehouse operation, as some days had significant order arrivals, while other days were quiet

19 Dealing with Excess Inventory Not constrained by space needs that brick and mortar stores face Some price reductions based on decrease in sales Opened several outlet stores to deal with the excess inventory Bought the online shoe company 6pm, which Zappos uses to sell some slow moving inventory

20 Opportunities for Improvement Ship shoes directly from China to Zappos distribution center Cut down on partial truckloads by introducing own fleet of Zappos trucks Expansion outside of North America

21 Conclusion Zappos remains true to its philosophy of customer service Zappos has been successful even in tough economic climate Zappos was sold to Amazon.com in July 2009 for 850 million dollars

22 Questions 1) What company bought Zappos in 2009? A.Wal-Mart B.Ebay C.Amazon.com D.Buy.com 2) What is not part of Zappos wow experience? A.Website speed B.Telephone customer service C.Guaranteed lowest price D.Free shipping and returns 3) What did Zappos do to deal with excess inventories? A.Opened several outlet stores B.Bought 6PM.com to use to sell discounted inventory C.Used some small price reductions D.Initiated a relationship with Overstock.com to sell excess inventory E.All of the above


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