Getting records to members in a timely manner and in pristine condition is our single biggest priority every month. Well, that and making sure your box comes with everything you ordered (duh). When we started Vinyl Me, Please in 2013, it was myself and Tyler hand wrapping records in the basement of our Chicago apartment. In 2014, we moved the operation to Boulder and Severan assumed much of the responsibility, gathering a group of minions to pack and ship records from the basement of a house we rented. Through each of these phases, it was amazing to be able to have such an intimate connection with every box. Most of us still know many of our early members by name after having packed their box many times over. But as we continued to grow throughout 2014, it eventually came to be too much for us to handle.
Toward the end of 2014 we pulled the trigger and moved all of our fulfillment to a third party warehouse located just a few miles from our house/office. It was a huge upgrade in the process and made the member experience tremendously better overnight. It was such a big change for us too as a small company. It felt like we were shipping our baby off to college and, all of a sudden, our office was a lot less busy. It was also a big learning experience for us—we uncovered a bunch of inefficiencies in our systems and in the fulfillment process and we’ve been working hard since then to make things better and smoother.
Another year has passed and we’re making another big change.
We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Saddle Creek Logistics, one of the largest fulfillment companies in the country, to handle all of our logistics and fulfillment starting in November. As a member, that may not sound all that cool (wtf is a Saddle Creek?) but we promise the effects will be realized in a very obvious way. Here’s a little bit of what the transition will look like:
We’ll be packing up all our inventory and moving it cross country starting early next week. During that time, you’ll still be able to email us and request replacements if anything in your Oct showed up damaged, but they will likely not ship until the 2nd week of November.
We’ll start packing and shipping Nov orders on the 3rd. There shouldn’t be any problems or delays with anybody’s November shipments but there may be a few orders that get accidentally delayed due to inventory coming from Colorado. They’ve been receiving all of our November inventory through this month so that would only apply to people who ordered archive albums or things that were previously available in the store. Our goal is to have everything for our November shipment out by Nov 10th.
Replacement shipments will start being processed on a similar timeline.
We’ll be operating out of Saddle Creek’s Charlotte, NC warehouse so members on the east coast will likely see a little bit quicker delivery timelines starting in Nov. On the flip side, mid and west coast members might see an extra day or two in transit. Colorado homies, you’ll no longer have the same “unofficial-almost-next-day-service” you may have grown accustom to.
Both Sev and I (Matt) will be at Saddle Creek for much of the first week of November to ensure they understand how to pack and ship our beloved records. If any members are in the area and care to grab a beer, let us know!
We’ve been working hard on making this transition as smooth as possible for 3+ months now but, like any big move, there are likely to be bumps in the road. We ask for your continued patience through this, particularly as we uncover and work through any kinks with our Nov shipment. As Saddle Creek gets more acclimated to our process we are confident that things will only continue to get better and faster. We anticipate being able to turn around a full month’s shipment in a matter of days as well as eliminating order or packaging errors completely.
What we can also promise you is that this is just the start of a series of improvements that will come to the entire fulfillment process (and the service as a whole for that matter). We’re immensely confident in Saddle Creek’s ability to meet our member’s needs and we’re incredibly excited to make this transition.
Should you have any questions, thoughts or comments as it relates to this transition, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have any other questions regarding shipments, your membership or otherwise, please don't hesitate to reach us at email@example.com
Matt & The VMP Team