September 15, 2022

How PrettyDamnQuick Helped SoHo Turn Delivery Into a Growth Engine

SoHo hosts an extraordinary family of brands and product lines from 100+ Israeli and international designers, ranging from cookware to children’s goods to handbags and jewelry. 

We sat down with Arkadi Haitov, COO of SoHo, to learn how PrettyDamnQuick has doubled its record daily fulfillment within the last 18 months. Conversation topics include: 

  1. Why PDQ is crucial to meeting modern consumer expectations
  2. The severe limitations of working with one delivery provider
  3. How streamlined fulfillment flows unlock brand growth

“PrettyDamnQuick does everything they can to help us succeed, they are proactive and always seeking out and applying feedback. I don’t see them as a vendor. They’re true partners to us.” 

The Early Days: Complex Fulfillment Flows

Before PDQ, the SoHo team executed fulfillment through almost entirely manual workflows – static Excel files and an outdated FTP system for transferring data. 

1. Manual Processes & Limited Bandwidth

This time- and labor-intensive process severely limited their bandwidth, and so the company could only juggle one delivery service provider at a time. 

As a result, any time their fulfillment partner encountered challenges or peaks, SoHo would essentially have to pause all delivery operations, extending customers’ wait times. 

2. Slow & Complex Fulfillment Flows

This manual intensity meant workflows were so complex and drawn-out that Arkadi struggled to effectively train and offload efforts to new fulfillment team members. As he recounts: 

  • If a delivery pickup was scheduled to arrive at 4 PM, he’d have to pause work at 1 PM
  • The next three hours would be spent slowly sending order details, printing labels, etc. 

3. Stagnant Opportunities

Due to the mentioned pain points, Arkadi admits the SoHo team rarely considered opportunities for scale or expansion on the eCom front. 

They felt stuck in their fulfillment system. Without better tooling, they would likely never have the capabilities to take on additional, more sophisticated delivery partners or last-mile providers. 

"The manual way we managed fulfillment before PrettyDamnQuick just didn't make any sense. It kept us from growing and considering opportunities for expansion. Today, delivery is truly a growth engine for our business, increasing customer conversion, retention and significantly reducing operational costs." 

Enter PDQ: Turning Delivery into a Growth Engine

After deciding to jump on board, SoHo was able to replace its entire fulfillment engine from end to end by implementing PrettyDamnQuick. 

As a result, they now have one centralized control center for:

  1. Fielding and managing orders with clear visibility 
  2. Sending new order data to product suppliers
  3. Picking and packaging individual orders
  4. Handing off orders to delivery partners

After making the switch, the brand’s click to door speed has been cut in half while mistakes and human errors have been virtually eliminated. Critically, 99% of their orders are delivered on time.

However, these quantitative improvements only skim the surface of how PDQ has helped the brand turn delivery into a true engine. Arkadi dives deeper into each specific benefit below.

“After switching to PDQ, it doesn’t matter how many orders come in — we can handle our delivery and fulfillment flows efficiently, quickly, and easily.” 

Benefit #1: A Streamlined Fulfillment Engine

Since onboarding, the SoHo team has finally been able to start working with a variety of delivery service providers and offer customers bespoke delivery options, including: 

  • Standard delivery via a rotation of DTC-focused partners
  • Same day and next day delivery via last-mile delivery companies 
  • An option for customers to have their orders delivered from local pickup points 
  • An option for customers to pick up their orders from a local pickup point at a lower cost

"Everything is incredibly more streamlined since we’ve started working with PDQ from end to end. I seriously cannot imagine what we’d do now without them." 

Benefit #2: Cheaper, Faster Delivery

Beyond their baseline software product, says Arkadi, the PDQ team made it easy to transform and transition SoHo's previous system of Excel files and FTP. 

One method built in tandem by SoHo and PDQ enables warehouse workers to pick multiple orders in one go – at least 5x more efficiently than before. Arkadi describes the results as: 

  1. Reduce headcount
  2. Heightened productivity
  3. Quicker fulfillment timelines

This has opened up the company’s capacity for reliable, express delivery (think 1–3 hours) – matching the expectations of today's buyers who expect one-day and two-day delivery. 

“PrettyDamnQuick’s suite of tools saves significant money and helps us manage and process orders far more quickly. This helps us meet the high expectations of today’s fast-paced buyers.” 

Benefit #3: End-to-End Visibility

In terms of his actual interfacing with the PDQ platform, Arkadi highlights the heightened visibility into and resultant control over the end-to-end order fulfillment journey. 

For instance, in working with a number of providers, he can now quickly detect if one of these partners fails to uphold their SLA and pause their flow of orders until they recalibrate. 

On the consumer end, the SoHo team can now easily look into an order workflow and its tracking to troubleshoot, allowing them to provide faster, better-informed customer service. 

"Before PDQ, we struggled to troubleshoot order issues and user complaints. Now, we can diagnose what’s happening instantly enabling us to be proactive and confidently reassure our customers. “Where is My Order” inquiries have virtually disappeared.”

Benefit #4: Scalable Bandwidth

This streamlined tech has also alleviated one pressing pain point: the struggle to effectively train and offload fulfillment duties to new team members. 

Today, the simplicity and ease of PDQ’s user interface mean Arkadi can create and process orders in mere seconds. Onboarding new team members now takes just minutes. 

In being able to easily train every employee in the warehouse, the SoHo team has cut back on excessive hiring to juggle all their orders. 

Instead, their fulfillment team can effortlessly get all their orders out on the early morning and night shifts (to shorten lulls in productivity) without any delays or manual processes - it all flows smoothly, allowing hundreds of orders a day to be shipped, and even more during peaks.

Doubling Your Daily Max Orders

These improvements in employee onboarding times and automation of previously manual, error-prone work have also meant significant improvements in daily fulfillment quantities. 

According to Arkadi: 

  • Two years ago, SoHo fulfilled a record of 600 maximum orders per day
  • Since joining PDQ, this number has increased by at least 300
  • As of late, the company’s record is over 1,200 orders per day

To summarize that impact, he says: “For our warehouse and for our business, it means a lot.” 

“Black November”

Arkadi also emphasizes PDQ's impact during "Black November," AKA the discount season and purchase-heavy period following Black Friday. 

As he explains, the SoHo team essentially needed to up its fulfillment labor capacity (in comparison to regular months) by 5x, 10x, and even 50x at times. 

However, no one wants to radically scale their team just for one month of business. In response, Arkadi recounts, “PrettyDamnQuick became one of our biggest keys to success that month.” 

SoHo’s newly improved order capacity meant they were still able to efficiently capture this wave of sales activity — without needing to double their warehouse or office force. 

"I can teach a worker to use PDQ in 10 minutes. The system just makes sense. It makes a big difference for us, especially by increasing our order bandwidth." 

Benefit #5: A Foundation for Uncapped Growth

Finally, Arkadi attributes his team’s new mindset for uncapped growth to PrettyDamnQuick.

 In his own words, “Now we can grow by 100% without needing to change our system or hire new workers. The knowledge that we have a platform that is scalable and can handle anything that comes our way gives us the confidence to push our growth to new heights.”

Beyond this, SoHo has begun to look into further optimizing their delivery speeds and capabilities, including a new project to introduce robots into the warehouse that will be fully integrated with PrettyDamnQuick.

Empowered by PDQ, SoHo can leverage unique solutions to provide service customers deserve. 

"The sky’s the limit for us since partnering with PDQ. It instills confidence that no matter how we scale and how many orders we get, our system will work."

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