The warehousing industry is largely fragmented with most of the facility providers owning less than ten facilities in total. Though this is not particularly a problem with the providers themselves, it is a hassle for businesses looking to lease out space for large inventories. Most often than not, inventories get split across a number of warehouses and coordinating distribution between those centers is a gargantuan task.
Stord, an on-demand warehousing network is using technology to power distribution networks by binding together hundreds of warehouse facilities to move products swiftly and cost-effectively.
“We are providing software for our customers to connect with warehouses and distribution centers across the globe,” said Sean Henry, CEO of Stord. “We work with third-party independent warehouses who are our suppliers and deliver that capacity in a more efficient manner to our customers through a single source inventory and analytics platform. This helps our customers manage their businesses and gives them the ability to ship and hold their product in warehouses across the globe.”
Stord keeps the process of leasing out space simple by removing the need for businesses to interact directly with warehouses. Instead, companies work with Stord as their sole distribution company while Stord works behind the facade, by creating partnerships and integrating warehouse facilities through their warehouse management system.
“We started out our journey at the key logistics hubs of Oakland, LA, Houston, Chicago, New Jersey, and Savannah - the hubs that were very port-centric. We made deep partners with suppliers there, and we replaced their existing warehouse management system with ours. If need be, we also signed supply contracts together, decided on KPIs that had to be met for operational procedures, and determined the market pricing accurately. Using our software, we can deliver capacity to our customers at the required locations,” said Henry.
Initially, Stord was into cold calling and emailing hundreds of warehouses across the U.S., enquiring if they would be interested in joining their network and list space on their platform. While the onboarding process was in full swing, the startup was also taking on customers. One of their initial customers was a Chinese company, that was shipping ten containers a month to the U.S. and had a hard time coordinating its inventory which was spread across three different warehouses. Add to this, a 12-hour time difference between the U.S. and China, it was evident that the company was truly looking at a logistical nightmare.
Stord worked closely with the company and helped them integrate all their inventories onto the software platform, allowing them to manage their operations real-time through a dashboard - giving them the much-needed operational consistency. Stord on average saves its customers 25 minutes of manual interactions on every order that is placed.
Henry said that the startup takes pride in positioning itself as a tech-driven service where it allows its clients to create long-term distribution networks and provides them the flexibility to build and scale in their chosen market. Stord can also provide analytics that can help save thousands of dollars for its customers. For instance, based on a customer’s product, inventory size, and distribution network, Stord can suggest the best possible warehousing space in its network that can help the client save money in last-mile shipping costs.
The warehousing industry has been bogged down by legacy systems for decades, and thus the industry standard till date is mostly about emailing, calling, and faxing for interactions. “Stord lets our customers drive our features. This is probably one of the most important things we have done with product market fit - starting with the lowest minimum viable product that we could build and let customers drive ancillary needs for analytics, forecasting, optimization, online damage reporting, and KPI tracking,” said Henry.
Stord has recently raised $2.4 million in seed round funding, which Henry explained would go into growing the team to build out a larger footprint for warehousing supply. The company has a presence in over 100 warehouses across the U.S. and is also looking out to leverage the seed money to scale up over the year.
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