Large US Bathroom and Kitchen importer – Victor Director Of Operations
Customer background. Tell us a little about the company.
Our company prides itself on providing premium quality kitchen and bath products at competitive prices to improve the lives of our customers. With over 15 years of experience in kitchen and bath product distribution, you can rest assured that orders placed with us will arrive safely and on time to your customer or job site. We are currently located in a 250,000 square foot distribution facility in Southern California and boast a 95% in-stock rate, so you can be sure the product you choose will be available at the time of your order.
Our goal is to provide high end quality products at accessible prices so our customers can get the most out of their bathrooms and kitchen. We believe that the many hours we spend in our homes should be as enjoyable as possible.
Founded in 2006 our biggest customers include Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe´s etc…
Prior to KlearNow.AI we used our Freight Forwarder who took care of our A-to-Z logistics book shipment and cleared customs when it arrived at origin.
What did your transit mile, last mile and customs clearance filing journey look like per shipment?
As the forwarder didn´t have a software to back us we had no visibility into the process whatsoever and we would receive an arrival notice after clearance but that is about it.
How did you store your documents and access that information?
In the past it was a very disorganized processed. We would scan all of our documents and save it ourselves for our records or if required we would go back to our Freight Forwarder to try and retrieve that information. Unfortunately, as they didn´t have the technology, it was pretty disorganized, whereas now with KlearNow.AI we can retrieve does documents at any point in time.
How much where you paying for your previous services?
Pricing wise at first glance I would say it was similar if you compare clearance to clearance. However, every now and then we would get hit with TSCA charges or small surcharges that would equal additional 30-40% of the clearance and was very varied. There was no flat fee so you couldn´t budget and properly plan your cost throughout the year. With KlearNow.AI not only do you get the clearance at an increased speed with superior service, but actually you also have a document management tool to better manage your business. Much more value for your $ plus better customer support.
How did KlearNow.AI solve your problem?
It gave me a fixed price and minimized the communication spent going back and forth chasing shipments. Before, our team would spend hours of their day chasing shipments and chasing updates to manually input that progress. KlearNow.AI eliminate all that activity. You are so much more advanced in how things are done then what we were doing before, and the number 1 benefit is the flat fee upfront and the upfront communication saving time and money with the data is already provided. No need to chase anymore a very time-consuming activity which has been great and the data provided has been fantastic. Data as we all know is king.
Did you have demurrage charges, if so how much did that cost amount to per shipment on average?
In the past before the pandemic, we rarely received demurrages however during the pandemic we receive quite a bit. In Q4 it was really bad, 50% per shipment. Mainly due to the pandemic and situation in Long Beach. Luckily it all is now resolved with KlearNow.
How was the problem affecting you?
We got the goods later on than expected and there was out of stock duration which impacted our sales which reduced revenue. What was happening at the port was out of our control and so we focused on selling goods in stock and we are very happy to be through this chapter and to have successfully left this behind us.
What possible solutions did you consider?
Another company that does something similar, similar dashboard that we would manually have to submit and file our documents. It was cheaper but you would then have needed more internal resources to manage the activity. I found you via google searching for broker software, watched the videos and decided to give you a go. Best decision I made, before I didn´t know what I didn´t know, now having used KlearNow.AI I don´t know how I ever lived without you.
What was the deciding factor that made you decide to try KlearNow?
It was the interface and the fix price that sold it to me. Your Sales Director Mike Z. was great in the process, knew the product really well and gave us the confidence to switch to it.
What would have happened if you had not made the switch to KlearNow?
We wouldn´t know the benefits and we would probably continue A using the Freight Forwarder or trying something new.
What risks did you consider?
Our team not knowing what to do once starting on the platform, potential demurrage charges that could arise with a switch like this one and worry that the communication would not be what was promised.
What measurable benefits have you seen?
Pricing, savings and data storage so far. In the near future we are really looking forward to new reporting features. We do about 300 entries a year, so the benefits of KlearNow.AI among many, is having customer success team giving strategies in our business processes, help us with the research of correct HS codes that impact our bottom lines, and we can see where the goods are at all times when on the water. All in all, I would say we are seeing 30% saving per entry plus all the bonus features additionally to an entry. And most importantly we are saving roughly 2 hours daily from a full-time employee not having to chase shipments, 500-man hours better spent elsewhere.
What business processes has the KlearNow.AI solution enhanced, reduced costs or time to complete these?
Saving 2 hours a day not having to chase containers, having our distribution center now know when goods are coming, and we can now plan ahead with the data served up on the platform.
What would you tell others who might be considering KlearNow?
Give it a go, it is something that I didn´t know before that I now know it exists and I couldn´t see myself living without it. Especially if you don´t have an inhouse team monitoring this for E-commerce based companies, this is a perfect solution
Would you recommend KN’s solution to your peers?
So far, I have recommended 2 of my friends, I would recommend this service to everyone in the import business.