RaceTrac is a privately held corporation operating more than 550 gasoline and convenience stores throughout the Southeastern United States.
RaceTrac historically stored, packed, and distributed Point-of-Sale (POS) marketing materials themselves, using leased warehousing staffed by RaceTrac employees. But they had grown very quickly to more than 370 stores, and with expansion came complexity: stores with varying configurations, differing regional promotions and all manner of local advertising ordinances to consider. Just keeping accurate track of what was needed for each location was a daunting task, to say nothing of actually distributing materials.
RaceTrac distributed monthly promotional packs, each containing more than 100 POS items on average, per promotion. In addition to the monthly promotional pack distribution, stores often need to replace damaged and missing marketing pieces and it was vital that stores receive replacements quickly. It was crucial for store managers to be able to easily and efficiently place orders for POS materials, so they could focus on store operations and customer service – their true priorities.
Unfortunately RaceTrac lacked a robust fulfillment and inventory reporting system, and so each promotion distribution was a slow, frustrating process: shipments often arrived at stores late, in the wrong quantities, and sometimes contained the wrong materials altogether. Placing and handling daily orders for replacement items was similarly painful for everyone involved.
All Points was selected as the fulfillment company to handle all kitting, pick–and–pack (marketing POS materials and non-perishable maintenance items), and print management of marketing POS materials for RaceTrac. The business was awarded to All Points in three separate phases based on successful implementation and execution of each phase.
Printing and Kitting of POS Marketing Materials
Using store attribute data provided by RaceTrac, All Points created a baseline database that produced a list of item types and quantities specific to each store location. This greatly reduced the amount of effort required on the part of RaceTrac and provided a starting point for improving accuracy. Next, All Points leveraged its sophisticated profiling system to capture, update and refine the attributes of each RaceTrac store: numbers of gas pumps, trash cans with advertising fixtures, retail shelves/racks, total window space, and more. Also noted were any advertising ordinances or regionally specific promotions.
By leveraging their long-established network of print vendors and using the buying power of multiple print programs, All Points slashed the cost of printed materials for RaceTrac. The All Points print manager now ensures that all promotional materials meet quality and color-integrity standards, are competitively priced and are delivered on-time.
Pick-and-Pack: Daily Orders From Stores
Prior to the transition to All Points, stores used an online daily ordering system but inventory data was often outdated. This led to a lack of confidence at the store level. Shipping delays didn’t help: to handle volume, warehouse staff processed and shipped orders by region based on a rigid weekly shipping schedule (all orders for a specific region were shipped on Monday, the next region on Tuesday, etc.).
Now, with the All Points team managing pick-and-pack operations with its sophisticated ordering system, all items are automatically updated, and any orders placed by 2 p.m. ship the same day. Lastly, numerous reports are available for the RaceTrac marketing managers: inventory quantities, item activity/turnover, ordering activity by store, and much more.
RaceTrac’s decision to move all fulfillment and print management functions to All Points resulted in a significant improvement in their customer service, inventory management, order accuracy and shipping timeliness. Leased warehouse space was no longer needed, RaceTrac warehouse staff was re-assigned, printing relationships were leveraged to reduce overall printing costs, and RaceTrac’s IT staff was able to shift their focus to support other operational and sales-oriented technology projects.