Problem: A manufacturer in China shipped three containers full of lawn mower replacement blades to the United States just ahead of summer. Unfortunately quality control discovered a little too late that one out of four blades contained a small engineering defect that would keep it from seating correctly on the blade mount. The defect would prove to be an easy fix, but required the manufacturer to quickly establish a partnership with a US firm capable of fixing the problem.
FW has a wide range of experiences with value added services. In the past FW has changed out broken thermometers on grills, mixed paints and repaired pallets for clients. Other times FW has been called upon to fulfill marketing campaigns that included creating variety packs or assembling displays. Removing a burr on a mower blade would be a simple fix.
Solution: FW won the business based on their previous experience doing product modifications for other customers. A space was set aside for the repair operation in an FW warehouse. The FW team started by searching through the mower blades for the defective ones. This required that each mower blade be unpackaged and inspected. Defective blades were separated out. A professional machinist used a grinder to eliminate the burr causing the problem. The mower blades were then re-inspected. Finally the blades were repackaged and loaded back onto their containers. The entire process from receiving the mower blades to the time the left the FW warehouse took less than two weeks.
Benefit: In the end the mower blades arrived at the stores before the beginning of the mowing season ready for use. The final cost to the manufacturer was minimal compared to the price incurred if the mower blades were returned because they did not work. The reputation of the mower blade manufacturer was preserved and the customers were happy. The speedy FW response limited the potentially catastrophic problem to just a small bump in the road. The quality of the repairs was such that there were no complaints to the manufacturer regarding the mower blades.
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food-grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include contract warehousing, dry storage, hazardous material and chemical storage, temperature-controlled storage, product distribution and B2B and B2C fulfillment.
FW Warehousing has more than 50 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third Party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics Magazine.