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AND THE AWARD GOES TO… GAP INC. ! Congratulations to the folks at the Gallatin, TN campus for their selection as the 2017 game-changer of the year! By Amanda Armendariz

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he first full day of the 2017 PARCEL Forum in Nashville had a special highlight during the keynote luncheon. Since 2015, we have conducted a search for the game-changer of the year in the months leading up to our fall conference. We look for those organizations who have identified a major hurdle or obstacle within their small-parcel operations and sought out innovative solutions. Reviewing the submissions is always an enjoyable experience, since it is so gratifying to see how many forward-thinking folks we have in our industry! But, as with most things, there can be only one winner, and in 2017, it was Gap Inc. The dedication to seeking out innovative solutions to optimize its growing e-commerce operation made it an excellent choice as our 2017 winner. THE PROBLEM Like many other retailers, the distribution

20 PARCELindustry.com  MAY-JUNE 2018

center located in Gallatin, TN was facing an explosive growth of e-commerce orders. While this means good things for the bottom line, its current setup was not equipped to handle the influx. “With the emergence of e-commerce, Gap Inc. [had to] transition its distribution centers from a retail-central shipping network to one that has to manage retail (store replenishment) orders as well as e-commerce (direct-to-consumer) orders,” shares Kevin Releford, Senior Director at the Gallatin campus. “This transition required the company to convert an existing building in Gallatin that previously filled orders for retail stores to one that would fill orders directly to the consumer. The facility needed to be redesigned with a different configuration and infrastructure than it had before in order to handle e-commerce orders with the speed and accuracy that online customers have come to expect.” Reconfiguring an existing building to handle a large increase in orders is

certainly no easy task, especially when it is triggered by an organizational crisis. In August of 2016, the company experienced a fire in its Fishkill, NY distribution center, just prior to peak season. While no company wants to experience a disaster like this, there was, luckily, a silver lining. This fire activated the company’s business continuity plans, and within days, executives had optimized the US distribution network, allowing them to divert resources and product to other DCs, including Gallatin. Gap Inc. was able to leverage its existing facilities to meet peak retail and online demands through implementation of innovative new processes and technology. “We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from others in our industry to offer help and guidance after our Fishkill distribution center was impacted by the fire,” says Releford. “Our supply chain organization reviewed multiple options [regarding the best path for meeting the increase in orders]

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PARCEL May/June 2018  

PARCEL May/June 2018

PARCEL May/June 2018  

PARCEL May/June 2018

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