“We were flat-out trying to get everything sorted with orders, which spiked massively during lockdown,” says Rebecca, CEO of Silver Mushroom. “We were struggling to keep up for a few reasons, which you can see more clearly in hindsight: we didn’t have the right space, we didn’t have the right tech, and we didn’t have the right managers in place.
“When the demand went through the roof, we went from doing the picking and packing ourselves to quickly finding new ways to keep up with the orders,” adds Rebecca. “We hired an experienced warehouse manager with 40 years in fulfilment, moved into a bigger place with 10 times the space, and implemented a warehouse management system.
“We had to make sure everything was running efficiently and, while we made a lot of mistakes along the way, we’re now in a great position to share our knowledge with other businesses. That’s why, when we were moving, that’s when we came up with the idea of fulfilling for other companies.”
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Hence, CK Fulfilment was born. A newly-launched business which provides delivery and storage services to businesses looking for a made-to-measure approach to shipping their products, the Preston-based company caters for small and growing e-commerce businesses and established online retailers alike.
Naturally, entrepreneur Rebecca has relished the challenge. Having navigated Silver Mushroom’s growth boom with aplomb, she took to fulfilment with similar vigour, partnering with a loyal and knowledgeable team of warehouse staff to help her create CK Fulfilment, which already has nine employees.
“When online retailers get to the point in their journey where they need to outsource their fulfilment, we know how daunting it can be,” says Rebecca. “We want to help business owners every step of the way to give them the freedom to grow. We’re really proud to be flexible for our clients’ needs [and] we like to think we’ve thought of everything.
“It wasn’t a hard-decision to make to start the company - it felt like a no-brainer,” she adds. “We’d faced so many issues and had learned so much that we wanted to offer our services to like-minded companies and smaller start-ups - companies which might struggle to get into the larger fulfilment houses. It just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Wary of taking on too many clients and spreading themselves too thin, it’s all about quality service and consolidation at the moment for the company. But, as experts in everything from packing presentation and subscription box services to working with Amazon and state-of-the-art tracking, the sky could be the limit for CK Fulfilment.
“It’s gone really well,” says Rebecca. “We’re still in the early stages and we’ve got a couple of clients who are really happy with everything and we’ve got another really exciting and high-end client coming in August. I’m really enjoying it - the logistics side of things and getting everything working like clockwork gives me a real sense of satisfaction!”