The credit crunch has played havoc with the self store sector owing to the resulting stagnant housing market. However, one player has seen the opportunity to transform itself into a business serving the growing market of online shops and businesses selling by any combination of their own web sites, eBay and/or Amazon.
Hinckley-based BOXstation was founded by managing director Will Sutherland, who says: “We’d noticed new customers using our facilities to store stock, and they were backwards and forwards posting goods. Our infrastructure was ideally suited to looking after their needs.”
BOXstation chose Axida’s pay-as-you-go PPD software to manage its outsourced pay-as-you-go offering, taking care of product warehousing, inventory management, picking, packing and dispatch for retail customers.
The software has standard interfacing for Amazon, eBay and Channel Advisor that can be used with other systems, enabling full integration with ecommerce web sites. “This has helped make BOXstation very attractive to potential customers,” says Sutherland.
As orders are received and payment confirmed, the PPD web-to-warehouse link sends the orders automatically. Items are then picked, packed and shipped with great accuracy. The PPD software also integrates with key carriers such as Parcelforce, Yodel, Nightfreight and Royal Mail.
BOXstation is expanding and is forecast to distribute more than 15,000 parcels a month and has customers as far afield as China, the US and Australia. It plans to open two more UK storage and distribution centres within the next three years
“We can have as many customers as we want and they all have remote access offering them the ability to track the progress of orders, meaning they don’t feel they have relinquished control,” says Sutherland.