As you will have seen from our previous guest blog with our Head of Customer Experience, Sam Statham, that we have so much in-house knowledge and expertise here at fulfilmentcrowd. So, it's time to share another perspective from our fantastic team - and with that, today's guest on the blog is Paul Taylor, our very own Chief Operations Officer.
Put your feet up, grab a brew and a biscuit and let's hear all the insights into our fulfilmentcrowd operations from Paul.
In conversation with Paul Taylor
E: Hey Paul, thank you so much for chatting with me today! I know how busy you and and the ops team have been, what with Black Friday weekend just gone. To start off with, can you tell our readers a little bit about what it is you do at fulfilmentcrowd?
P: Pleasure's all mine, Elle. Yeah so, I am the COO here at fulfilmentcrowd and as COO I look after all of our operations including our network centres, the Customer Success team and the Shared Services team; as well our carrier partners.
E: Amazing. How did you get into working within operations then?
P: So, after leaving University, I joined a Logistics Graduate scheme and I then began to work in really fast paced operations from an early age. The speed of change, the necessity to adapt and all the challenges that I was faced with every day were, and still are, strong motivating factors for me.
E: Wow- so you got into operations very soon after graduating - that's awesome! Something I really want to know is what a typical week in the life of a COO looks like for you?
P: Well, there is no 'typical' week really - it can all change quite rapidly day by day. However, no matter what happens during that day or, indeed, that week, mine and the ops team's focus and priorities remain the same. These are to continuously enhance our customer experience, streamline processes and create the best network and team possible in order to support the growth of, not only our business, but that of our customers too.
E: That's great to hear, Paul. Is there anything coming down the track for fulfilmentcrowd regarding streamlining our operations at the moment?
P: Currently we are investing in a new CRM system for ticketing and chat functionality which will be a great support for our customers in terms of improving the speed of ticket responses and resolution time. We aim to have this live from Q2 2022. Another project to mention is our 'Push not Pull' project that is due to go live, again, from Q2 2022. The aim of this project in particular is to drive proactive communications and notifications, rather than having it be purely reactive.
E: Love the sound of both of those projects - they really will improve our customer satisfaction for sure. Tell me, are there any teams in particular that you have been working closely with for these projects?
P: Yes! We are working really closely with our Technical and Development teams, just to ensure that we have the best possible systems in place. We work closely with our Shared Services team also, to make sure that we fully understand the needs of our customers fully. With all of these bases covered, will certify that our solutions will both meet and exceed expectation.
E: That sounds great, Paul. Getting back to our customers now, how would you say an online retailer can best gear their business towards working smoothly with an outsourced fulfillment provider like us?
P: I would say that the accuracy and availability of data and information is always important. For instance, product codes, barcodes, stock descriptions and quantities. Getting this right from the beginning avoids many complications or errors further down the line. Forecasting is also key, so the more accurate this is, the better service we can provide by planning the right location, space and resource to support your eCommerce business. Also, being clear on what your proposition should be and what you are offering your customer is essential to achieving an exceptional customer experience - which will then dictate the location, cut-off and carrier support you need to meet expectations.
E: Thank you for sharing those insights - I know our readers will find that incredibly useful! What would you say has been the highlight of your career working in operations so far?
P: For me, it's the opportunity to work with thousands of dedicated people, that has certainly been the highlight. Having spent 20 years in Operations and managing networks in excess of 4,000 people, it's given me the experience and responsibility to help shape many other people's careers.
E: That's amazing to hear - your expertise have definitely added value to our operations at fulfilmentcrowd. Can you share with our readers any exciting projects that you are currently working on at the moment?
P: Well, at the moment we are expanding our international network, as well as recently opening 2 new network partner centres in the EU. This has given us a greater international capacity and creates a fantastic opportunities for customers to expand their businesses internationally, whilst allowing us to enter new markets in turn.
E: What an exciting year ahead for fulfilmentcrowd, we cant wait to see all these plans fall into place! Well, that's all from me today - thank you so much again for chatting with me and for sharing your insight into operations at fulfilmentcrowd with our readers!
P: No worries at all, Elle - thank you for featuring me on the guest blog series!