How Caraway uses Fulfil to Support their Exponential Growth

Order Management tasks that used to take hours, now take minutes in Fulfil.

Katya Lotzof
Operations Manager


Caraway is on a mission to craft well-designed home goods that thoughtfully raise the standards of what you cook with. Simply put, their products are designed to make your life easier and healthier. Founded in 2019, Caraway has grown rapidly by offering high-quality products, beautiful designs, and sustainable packaging. We sat down with the Caraway team to discuss how Fulfil is leveling up all aspects of their operations and enabling their rocket-ship growth in a sustainable way.

The Challenges

As Caraway grew its customer base and product line, it faced several operational challenges that hindered its efficiency and scalability. One of the main challenges was managing procurement processes, such as creating purchase orders, tracking supplier shipments, and receiving goods into inventory. Caraway also struggled with the speed and performance of its previous system, which could not handle the increasing volume and operational complexity. Additionally, they needed a better way to manage and track their inventory across multiple warehouses and channels, and quickly to execute new integrations.

“We needed a system that could handle our exponential growth.”
- Mark Riskowitz, VP Operations

No. 1 - Procurement at Scale

One of the main challenges that Caraway faced was an inefficient and error-prone procurement workflow. Their purchase order management was not automated, which meant they had to manually enter and update data for each supplier order.

They also had no visibility into their supplier inventory levels, which made it difficult to plan and optimize their purchasing decisions. When the orders eventually happened, receiving supplier shipments was still a tedious and time-consuming process that required manual verification and data entry. This created a bottleneck that delayed getting products to their customers.

Finally, transferring inventory between their locations was also a manual process that involved creating and receiving shipments for each transfer. This added more complexity and cost to their operations.

An efficient procurement workflow is the backbone of efficient operations so they needed a better solution.

No. 2 - Speed

Another challenge that Caraway faced was the lack of speed and scalability of their previous system. Caraway often runs large pre-order and backorder campaigns, which generate a high volume of orders that eventually need to be released for inventory assignment into the system all at once.

However, this process would take hours to complete, with the system unable to handle the volume and constantly freezing. This meant that they could not assign inventory and create customer shipments in a timely manner, and therefore degraded the customer experience overall.

“Releasing backorders was a process that would take hours, and sometimes not even work at all. We needed something better that could scale with us.”
- Katya Lotzof, Operations Manager

No. 3 - Inventory Management

The Caraway operations team also faced challenges with their inventory management. They did not have the visibility they needed into individual inventory movements, and also were limited in their ability to create complex rules and routings for optimal fulfillment. This also made it difficult to investigate and troubleshoot when fulfillment errors happened, which put stress on the customer support team. Overall, they were limited in their flexibility and control over their inventory allocation and distribution.

No. 4 - Integrations

As brands scale, integrations become a critical part of diversifying revenue and leveling up their team through the use of specific vertical tools. However, these new channels and tools can become an operational tax on the team if they are not effectively integrated into a single source of truth that can become the operational cockpit. Also, without a robust and easy to use API, these integrations can require extensive time and resources to implement, if they are even possible at all.

Caraway experienced these challenges first hand, especially as they placed new-found focus on EDI-based channel integrations as they scaled their wholesale and dropshipping relationships. Additionally, the ops team were stuck switching between multiple tools for inventory management, product development, purchasing, and more, without a centralized, fully-integrated solution.

Caraway pots and pans

The Solution

No. 1 - Automated Procurement

Fulfil has helped Caraway automate their procurement process from end to end. They now have the ability to track supplier inventory levels and set min and max re-order points, to make creating purchase orders with confidence a breeze. They are able to more effectively communicate with suppliers, and can easily split supplier shipments to partially receive inventory. This has eliminated manual work, errors, and delays in their procurement cycle, and optimized their purchasing decisions.

No. 2 - Enterprise Speed

The last thing a scaling brand wants is to be limited by the speed of the system they are operating within. With Caraway’s frequent preorder and backorder workflows, they needed the ability to quickly and efficiently release large numbers of orders at once, have inventory assigned, and customer shipments created, to get the product to the customers as quickly as possible. Fulfil’s Order Management module is built for enterprise scale and has been able to save the operations team countless hours on a weekly basis.

“Order Management tasks that used to take hours, now take minutes in Fulfil.”
- Katya Lotzof, Operations Manager

No. 3 - Dynamic Automation Rules & Saved Custom Views - goodbye Excel!

Caraway has been able to take advantage of Fulfil’s custom reporting and saved personal and global custom views to see exactly the inventory information they’re looking for. Previously, checking how many orders are on hold, or past fulfillment SLA, would require exporting data to manipulate in Excel. Because of this, these critical metrics would only be checked at most once per day. Now, they’re able to see this information at a glance, as often as they like, and execute on this information in a more agile and efficient way.

No. 4 - Fulfil’s 100% open API

Finally, Fulfil’s 100% open API has dramatically improved the speed at which the Caraway team can implement new integrations across their business. The impact of this is 10 new channels coming online via EDI connections, including both retail and dropshipping relationships.

Caraway products

The Results

Using Fulfil, Caraway has been able to:

  • Reduce common order management workflow from hours, to minutes
  • Automate procurement workflows
  • Act in a more agile way using dynamic automation rules and saved custom views
  • Scale to 10 EDI channels

Looking Ahead

Moving forward, the Fulfil team is excited to power the infrastructure behind Caraway’s exponential growth. Doing more with less is the definition of operational efficiency, and the Caraway team relies on Fulfil for it’s industry leading uptime and scalability.

“Onboarding with the Fulfil platform has been an adjustment, but life changing.”
- Katya Lotzof, Operations Manager

If you’re interested in learning more about how Fulfil can help your operations team efficiency scale, book a demo with our team!

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