The first thing you’ll notice when walking around Verte’s 750,000 square foot warehouse is what is missing: the noise.
For a busy facility that employs over 300 people and can move upwards of 45,000 boxes a day, the e-commerce and supply chain facility is not loud or packed to the ceiling with heavy machinery.
Then you’ll notice the robots.
What makes Verte’s approach to e-commerce fulfillment so interesting — and what helps the McDonough, Georgia facility operate so efficiently — is how it approaches supply chain management. The goal is to create technology solutions that “enable supply chain for the masses,” Stephen Bullard, Verte’s Executive Vice President Of Operations and veteran in the supply chain space, told Hypepotamus. The facility helps small, digital-first brands navigate the ever-changing e-commerce landscape.
That means providing the technology to organize data from multiple sales/logistics channels alongside the physical fulfillment space to make two-day or high-volume shipping options happen.
It’s all about matching demand channels (think Shopify, Amazon, Target) with supply capacity, Bullard explained while giving Hypepotamus a tour of the warehouse. Humans work alongside specialized robots that make the finding and picking of items more streamlined.
The startup works in four main areas: D2C, wholesales, shelf replenishment, and FBA (fulfillment by Amazon). The goal is not to compete with the likes of Amazon, Bullard said, but to make it easier for brands of all sizes to reach customers, provide those brands with real-time supply chain visibility, and help them better understand the compliance requirements associated with different fulfillment options.
The key to this growth has been figuring out the right “human-machine balance” while iterating on what is really needed to make omnichannel work in today’s e-commerce space. And that is on full display when we took our tour, as robots scurry along the floor and do the “heavy lifting” across the warehouse.
This has made it possible for smaller, e-commerce-focused brands like Atlanta-based Tracy Nicole Clothing and LA-based Tronus expand into new markets.
“What Airbnb did to rooms and Uber did to taxis…we’re trying to do that in fulfillment,” Bullard told Hypepotamus.
The McDonough warehouse, located about 30-minutes south of Downtown Atlanta, serves as a sort of living Lab for the supply chain and fulfillment software solutions that Project Verte builds in-house at its Sandy Springs and Tel Aviv corporate offices.
The team currently employs over 30 programmers, over 36 salaried staff, and often has three shifts going in its warehouse to keep up with demand. While the space can easily move 45,000 units a day, Bullard said they have the “capacity to double.”
Bullard added that Verte experienced 25x growth over the course of 2021 and will be opening a second facility in Henry County soon.