Amazon is synonymous with fast shipping, but many people don’t see or think about the company’s warehousing strategy. The key to one- or two-day delivery is not faster shipping; it is storing inventory in the right locations and quantities so it can get to the end customer quickly.
To facilitate high-speed delivery for merchants, fulfillment platform Flowspace built a network of warehouses and connected them with intelligent software. The result is one of the country’s largest warehousing and fulfillment platforms. With a single integration point and no capital investment, companies of all sizes can store and fulfill their products from anywhere, scaling up or down as needed.
The benefits of joining the network include monetizing underutilized space and leveraging updated technology for more efficient processes. Flowspace’s goal—to empower the entire warehousing ecosystem, along with its user-centric product development process and intelligent, future-focused software—earns it a spot on Fast Company‘s 2020 Most Innovative Companies list.
Solve For What You Know
Flowspace is the brainchild of Ben Eachus, CEO, and Jason Harbert, CTO. Over a couple of beers, the friends conjured up the idea to address the fulfillment and warehousing problems Eachus was experiencing firsthand at The Honest Company. Demand was growing exponentially, and Eachus was struggling to quickly find enough warehouse space to store products. Harbert, a software engineer who landed his first job at an Ohio distribution center, had experience with the challenges of using outdated software. The co-founders agreed their problems were prevalent and could be solved by creating a connected technology platform that would benefit both warehouses and merchants.
Two months later, the friends could not shake the feeling they were onto something. In May 2017, they quit their jobs and moved to Mountain View, California, to join Y Combinator, a startup venture capital fund and incubator behind some of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies. Less than three years later, Flowspace has built one of the largest tech-enabled fulfillment networks in the country with thousands of warehouses and hundreds of merchants, all run by just 50 employees.
Built for today and tomorrow
The team credits success to a few factors. They are solving real problems. They have an engaged and talented team. And, they have been obsessed with user experience from Day One, collecting feedback—and great ideas—directly from the people using their software via in-person visits, phone calls, and surveys.
Flowspace is growing fast, but Eachus says they are just scratching the surface. “Every day we realize there is even more opportunity and are more problems to solve that come along with getting products to your customers.”
Harbert sees a future in which other developers can build technology on top of the Flowspace platform. He also notes they are finding ways to use their data to make predictions and glean insights, such as products storage location and warehouse configuration. They are also preparing for a future in which one-day delivery is slow.
“When customers order something, they are going to expect it within hours,” Eachus says. “Flowspace is building a platform to enable this future.”