August 1, 2022

All Bark, No Bite

Vendors in this space constantly over promise and under deliver. We set out to understand the specific retail needs of Grounds & Hounds and built a successful partnership from the ground up.

The Company : Grounds & Hounds

Grounds & Hounds is an online coffee retailer that supports animal rescue programs, donating 20% of all profits to partner rescue organizations that give dogs a second chance at life.

The Challenge

Grounds & Hounds’ core business is selling and fulfilling coffee subscriptions to their supporters. Over time they’ve seen explosive growth in the merchandise category. This growth exposed several challenges in dealing with their multiple vendors: 

  • Managing Multiple Vendor Processes
  • Custom Private Label Apparel
  • Unique Premiums (Plush Dog Toys, Mugs)
  • Decoration Expertise
  • PO Process 
  • Consistent Delivery
  • Logistics Planning & Execution

The Solution 

After a productive discovery call, we invited the G&H team for a tour of our facility and to continue the discussion of a strategic partnership. Together, we established a new process for their team to manage projects, order details, and streamline communication. This eliminated the back and forth between multiple vendors and multiple orders. For the G&H team, being able to quickly view and share project statuses with their leadership teams was a huge win. 

One of the primary challenges G&H had was getting their swag and merchandise to retail quality. This included private labeling all of their apparel with custom neck labels, sizing, and material composition. It was important for this decoration to be soft and unnoticeable for the person wearing it. We also explored the difference between traditional screen print and screen printed transfers. Depending on the design and placement, screen-printed transfers allowed for a full color design with a soft hand. 

In addition to the apparel, G&H also had a significant need for other themed merchandise such as coffee mugs, tumblers, and plush pet toys. Our team went to work sourcing and designing available options based on their needs and budget requirements. 

Using multiple vendors also caused challenges with consistently meeting the standards of their 3PL fulfillment warehouses. By leveraging our production, we control when things are produced and how they are delivered. In the case of G&H, we uploaded the specific 3PL instructions so that every item, box, pallet, and shipment is delivered the same way each and every time. 

The Results

Grounds & Hounds continues to use their project board to manage existing projects and plan for future initiatives. As their core retail items need to be reordered, we’ve set their program up to make reordering inventory simple and efficient. Our teams meet every two weeks to maintain communication and develop strategies for future launches.

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