CEO Alli has returned from her whirlwind few days at QVC headquarters. Read below to find out how the Wicked Sheets QVC deal almost went bust in her own words! We all know about the benefits of wicked good sleep, but now 96 million others heard it, too!
As most of you know, recently we were lucky enough to showcase Wicked Sheets on QVC. After taking a week to reflect on the experience, I wanted to share what I learned, the ups and the downs, and what’s next for Wicked Sheets and QVC.
First, here’s a quick snapshot of what I learned during this 14-month long experience.
1) Everything always costs more than you think.
2) Demand perfection but expect for it to be demanded right back.
3) Increase your lead times by at least 3-4 days to make deadlines.
4) QVC cares a whole heck of a lot about their customer.
5) We’re in the middle of a sleep revolution.
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to read the story below about how the QVC deal almost blew up in my face a week before the show aired, then check out this video below to hear “Thanks! Now, what’s next for Wicked Sheets?”
As you might be able to speculate from the lessons learned from my QVC experience, there were ups and there were certainly downs. In fact, at one point, I turned to Tyler one of my investors and said, “I really think I’m on the Truman Show at this point. This stuff cannot actually be happening?” What I’m referring to is that each and every time something could have gone wrong or broken on this journey, it did. And each time something broke, it cost me money to fix it. Ha!
Whether it was an unexpected duty or tax, an removeable sewing machine oil spill, or bursting pallet which spewed Wicked Sheets all over the O’Hare airport, it happened to us. I can’t even make this stuff up. And for that reason, I’ve got to tell you what happened 3 days before our shipment was supposed to be delivered to the QVC distribution center.
Air freight arrives in Chicago on time and in perfect condition after just having passed an extensive PSFGA (Pre-Shipment Finished Goods Audit). It was then scheduled to be picked up by an LTL freight company and shipped over the weekend to our distribution center in North Carolina. The standard transit time is 2-3 days so we weren’t concerned. Until we were!
The shipment never was picked up on that Friday morning, afternoon, or evening because the trucking company’s rule is that no truck will wait over 15 minutes for a pickup. I hear that this IS pretty standard, but I assumed that if they’re on the property and we’re listed as second in line that the pickup would actually happen. But no. You all know what happens when you ass-u-me.
So, last I hear we’re second in line at 7:45pm on that Friday night and should expect tracking information once it’s been loaded. Since this was their 2nd attempt for the day, after turning around twice after 17 minutes, I (again) assumed that they would do whatever it takes to make this pickup. Nope, I was wrong. And wouldn’t you know it, the largest logistics company in the world doesn’t have a 24 hour customer service line, so I was blissfully unaware of this no-show until Monday morning, the day the shipment is expected to arrive at our DC.
7:34am I finally get a human being on the phone only to find out that not only did the pickup occur, even if I booked an URGENT shipment the same pickup rules apply and it might not be possible because it’s “Illinois’ DOT Freight Inspection Week” in Chicago and all trucks are on delays. Thanks to some quick thinking from my logistics company, Pan Star Express, they tell me we can hire a separate freight company that WILL wait over 15 minutes if necessary in order to pick up the pallets and take them to the LTL hanger for us.
Regretfully I agreed because this seems to be the only option at this point and we hadn’t yet heard what our penalty would be from QVC for missing our delivery. So now we’re off to the races and we’ve found an independent trucking company to wait, load, and unload these pallets across the street (yes, you read that correctly). The entire debacle was for transit less than 500 yards across the street from one hanger to the next. Unbelievable.
No, not unbelievable yet.…just when you think the worst is over, the phone rings. 6:46pm Monday evening, my logistics company called to say that one of the guys from their office is now driving to the O’Hare airport because in the 500-yard jaunt across the street, a pallet broke and our Wicked Sheets boxes were spewed all over the truck yard and back of the truck. You’ve got to be ‘EFFING kidding me?!
Thankfully, these guys at Pan Star are total logistics ninjas and fully dedicated to their customers! After an hour of restacking and repalletizing the shipment, the truck is loaded and finally on it’s way to our DC. After an URGENT ride with some saint of a man trucker driver, our shipment made it safe and sound and only 1.5 days late.
By the time I got on-air 3 days later, the presentation and sales pitch were a cake walk.