HuggleHounds finds a true business partner in DM Fulfillment Services.
HuggleHounds, the creator of premium quality, high-end pet toys, has been establishing their brand in the growing pet industry for over 10 years. In the beginning, they maintained fairly traditional manufacturer-retail relationships with their business partners, but along came the rapid growth of ecommerce and an entirely new landscape to navigate. They quickly realized their current fulfillment provider was holding them back. The warehouse was only 5 miles away which was convenient, but many of the processes were manual and time-consuming. They had no automated data exchange, their ability to receive containers was unreliable and providing tracking information required manually keying numbers.
“American pet spending has more than doubled in the past 10 years.”
– Fortunly, Jan. 2021
An unwillingness to bend
The real defining moment came when HuggleHounds was presented with a very large, time-sensitive opportunity but was met with an unwillingness to bend by the warehouse team. “We were told some of our other business would have to be put on hold in order to make it happen. They weren’t open to exploring alternative solutions. It became clear at that point that if we truly wanted to grow, we needed to find a fulfillment partner who was willing to grow with us,” said Beth Moran, HuggleHounds’ Director of Operations.
Your business is our business
In 2017, the quest to find a new fulfillment provider began with Beth leading the charge. DM Fulfillment was in the running along with 3 others whose warehouses were physically closer to the HuggleHounds office. Proximity and ease of visiting the warehouse seemed important based on their past experience, but DM Fulfillment assured Beth that it was minor in the grand scheme of things. “David Reinkemeyer and Lisa Meyer acknowledged our concern about the location, but explained that their goal was to take care of us and our business so that we wouldn’t have any reason to be onsite at the warehouse,” said Beth. In the end, DM Fulfillment’s “your business is our business” mentality won over HuggleHounds and orders officially began shipping from their Carlisle, PA, facility in February 2018.
Opening doors for each other
DM Fulfillment prides itself on having unlimited integration capabilities. With a dedicated, in-house team of high-level developers and a continual focus on technology, they can connect to any platform making channel expansion simple and seamless for their customers. In 2020, when HuggleHounds was invited to join the exclusive Target Plus™ program, DM Fulfillment was able to provide the direct connection Target required. “The truth is, we opened the door for each other on this. We needed the introduction to Target as an integration partner and HuggleHounds needed a direct connection to do business as a Target Plus™ vendor. It’s great to be part of a mutual solution,” said Lisa Meyer, Business Development Manager at DM Fulfillment.
Growth on both sides of the table
While the partnership between DM Fulfillment and HuggleHounds is not without some growing pains and challenges, the difference is the willingness to work together to find solutions and move forward. “This is a win-win situation. When you find customers who are as eager to partner with you as you are with them, it creates growth on both sides of the table,” said David Reinkemeyer, Vice President of Sales at DM Fulfillment. Looking to the future, HuggleHounds’ goal is to grow the whole pie, maintain balance across multiple channels and continue to increase brand recognition and customer loyalty. And, regardless of where those customers are buying their favorite Knottie™, DM Fulfillment has the infrastructure, technology and willingness to grow right along with them.
“On the occasion when we do run into challenges, the DM team is very responsive and open to change. That’s what we needed in a fulfillment partner.”
– Beth Moran, Director of Operations at HuggleHounds.