Building a solid order fulfillment infrastructure that enables the company to grow and scale up.
Scenario Cards’ mission is to help humans grow closer to their calling through deeper conversations. The company promotes self-reflection as the pathway to finding your true passion and meaning in life. The cards, inspired by 12 different topics, can be used for mini-coaching sessions to discover what a person really wants to know about themself or to unwrap deeper conversations with friends. scenariocards.org
Roel Vogels, the founder of Scenario Cards, had personal experience of losing sight of what really matters in life, experiencing burnout himself a couple of years back. Roel explains that before the burnout, he used to be focused on the external rewards and success, but at the same time, he lost track of what motivated him and what he was passionate about. In the recovery process, he spent huge amounts of money on life coaching.
“At some point, I wondered why couldn't I have the same kind of deep and fruitful conversations with my friends? Why does it feel awkward to dive into topics of passion and purpose with the ones that you are close to,” Roel describes.
Roel developed an initial list of questions, which he had with him for gatherings and dinners, and it worked. People enjoyed the discussions with him; a friend of his asked if he could buy his list of questions for a date, and the rest is history.
Roel developed the initial product, the first set of question cards. The first 20 decks were sold within 24 hours on Facebook, and now, Scenario Cards is shipping the products to 65 countries and has over 6000 customers. The rapid growth continues.
In the beginning, Roel did order fulfillment himself, but it became quite obvious that it wasn’t the setup that he wanted to continue in the future. Roel realized how important the order fulfillment phase is for company growth.
"It was nice to have a bit of understanding of how fulfillment works and what it takes, but quite quickly, I realized that if I want the business to succeed, outsourcing fulfillment is the key, Roel explained." He took the strategic decision to find a partner to outsource order fulfillment and build the infrastructure that could efficiently handle the rapidly growing amount of orders.
Scenario Cards delivers products all over the world. Currently, the company has two OGOship warehouses in Europe, one in the Netherlands and one in the United Kingdom. The European warehouses cover all of Europe. In Roel's experience, it is essential to have a fulfillment center in Europe, not just for the sake of shipping times but for the duties and taxes as well. In addition to these centers, Scenario Cards uses one order fulfillment hub in the US and one in Singapore.
Distributing inventory to several different order fulfillment hubs is a part of Scenario Cards' growth strategy. For Roel, it was about the service level he wants to provide his customers as well as cost-efficiency. Roel wants to have as quick a delivery time as possible and low shipping costs.
“Instead of shipping everything from, say, Singapore to the world, we are shipping from multiple hubs. Our factory ships in bulk to the hubs, and we ship to the individual countries from the hubs. So, logistically, it makes much more sense to operate this way,” Roel says.
Roel thinks the demand for quick shipping is still very much the expectation customers have. It is important to be able to offer fast shipping all around the world and to be transparent about the actual shipping times. "People will compare my products to other products, and, if I can promise a quicker delivery, they are more likely to choose my products instead of the alternatives," he describes.
The strategy for Scenario Cards has been from the start to build an infrastructure that enables growth and scaling of the company. Instead of just focusing on what the need is right now, Roel has decided to build a business capable of managing the orders that he'll have in, say, six months. "I'm investing in the infrastructure today because I know it enables me to keep growing without having to stop," he says.
Roel would also give this piece of advice to other e-commerce merchants who are thinking about their strategy. All the work you can do now to optimize and automate as much as you can is worth it in the end. Roel points out that it becomes kind of a virtuous circle, really. If you save your own time, you can use it to make more sales or do better marketing. This, eventually, results in more cash flow, which you can invest in building the infrastructure that allows you to scale bigger. Copy and repeat.
But in order to be able to do that, you need a partner that shares your vision and is equally as passionate about your growth.
Roel says he was looking for a partner who would share the vision to scale with him. It was also crucial that the partner have the potential to grow to other parts of the world as well, not just Europe. This match is what Roel says made the partnership with OGOship a great fit.
One practical example of the value Scenario Cards has gained from working with OGOship is shipping to the United Kingdom. Previously, the UK orders were sent from the Netherlands warehouse. With the right documents in place, you can still do that, but due to Brexit, the delivery times are quite long.
Once there was enough volume, Roel decided it was time to open up another order fulfillment hub in the UK. Shipping from the UK to the UK lowered the delivery times by approximately 400%, from 10 days to 2 days on average. It really is a significant change! "People in the UK are used to Amazon-like shipping, so the delivery needs to happen relatively fast," Roel explains.
The best part is that it is effortless to open up an additional order fulfillment hub with OGOship, and everything works just the same as if I had only one warehouse. OGOship really helped me with this. "The right partner can make things a lot easier," Roel says.
In the future, Scenario Cards will be launching more products to the service offering, which will continue to help people find their true purpose in life – and make their dreams become a reality.
"People will compare my products to other products, and, if I can promise a quicker delivery, they are more likely to choose my products instead of the alternatives."
Roel Vogels, Founder and CEO, Scenario Cards
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