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Shark Ninja Case Study

This retailer improved their supply chain team structure, visibility, and forecast accuracy

SharkNinja Meets Growing Demand During Tough Market Conditions

As SharkNinja faced unprecedented demand for their products, they were met with the challenge of tight freight market conditions. Needing to clear their warehouse quickly and efficiently while meeting the needs of multiple retailers across the country, C.H. Robinson helped SharkNinja shift the terms of their freight strategy. With C.H. Robinson’s extensive contract carrier network, this adjustment offered the capacity options SharkNinja needed to get orders out the door and support growth.

Situation: SharkNinja faces tight shipping capacity while driving growth

As the maker of Shark® cleaning and Ninja® kitchen appliances, SharkNinja Operating LLC, is a relentless innovator that designs, markets, and distributes products around the world. In the small household appliance industry, SharkNinja is synonymous with innovative cleaning products for any household and helping consumers confidently create meals in the kitchen.

Unprecedented levels of growth

Like most companies, SharkNinja’s logistics team uses their historical shipping data and planned product launches to inform budgets and planning. At the beginning of 2020, they had a warehouse and shipping strategy in place based on certain levels of growth forecasted.

With consumers spending more time at home, demand for home cooking and cleaning appliances soared. As closures and restrictions were put in place, sales in brick and mortar stores decreased slightly, but orders through ecommerce channels—from retailer websites as well as SharkNinja’s own ecommerce shopping sites—continued to surpass anticipated growth forecasts.

Growing orders amid tight market conditions

Freight terms, typically collect or pre-paid, specify which party is responsible for paying transportation costs. Collect terms mean the consignee is responsible for the freight payment, whereas pre-paid terms mean the shipper pays for transportation costs. Most of SharkNinja’s orders ship using collect terms.

Under normal market conditions, collect terms provide an efficient, effective shipping strategy for SharkNinja’s orders. But the unprecedent increase in demand that SharkNinja experienced, combined with the overall boom in ecommerce shipping that occurred at the same time, changed everything.

Truckload and less than truckload (LTL) shortages and warehouse congestion

As orders poured in, the market continued to tighten, and carrier networks struggled to keep up across the country, threatening SharkNinja’s ability to meet deadlines for promotional events and new product launches. “Securing drivers or trucks was a challenge due to the difficult market conditions, which meant product wasn’t leaving our warehouses,” shared Leyder Flores, vice president of consumer brand experience and business transformation for SharkNinja.

All too quickly, SharkNinja’s docks were filled with products awaiting pickup. Rather than let loads sit in the warehouse for days at a time, SharkNinja decided to act.

Solution: C.H. Robinson recommends a change in freight terms

Before SharkNinja’s warehouses became truly gridlocked, Leyder worked with his team at C.H. Robinson to find solutions. “I’ve always considered C.H. Robinson to be an extension of my team,” shared Leyder. “My C.H. Robinson account manager not only understands my business, but proactively solves problems and helps us improve.”

Change shipping model to keep orders moving

Together, Leyder and his C.H. Robinson account management team determined that shifting freight terms would open more capacity options, improve efficiencies through C.H. Robinson’s extensive contract carrier network, and get orders out the door.

“C.H. Robinson always comes through with a truck, even when the market is tight and turnaround is less than 24 hours,” explained Leyder. “We’re a fast-paced organization and few companies can keep up with us. C.H. Robinson is one of them. The quality of their service was a key contributor to SharkNinja’s success.

Secure efficient, reliable truckload and LTL capacity

With C.H. Robinson’s help, SharkNinja found a balance between LTL and full truckload shipping. C.H. Robinson assessed and aggregated orders going to similar destinations. The combination of services and ongoing analysis of orders meant shipments moved out of the warehouse quickly, allowing SharkNinja to meet promotional event commitments and deliver on time to retailers while maximizing capacity options.

Outcome: SharkNinja meets consumer demand and prepares for the future

Accelerated throughput met demand

SharkNinja’s 2020 growth in North America was 51.65% higher year over year. With C.H. Robinson’s help, SharkNinja’s transportation process changes for truckload and LTL loads successfully supported that growth in demand. Without the strong, efficient transportation network in place to support higher order numbers, SharkNinja could have lost sales.

For example, SharkNinja needed to move 30 loads over a weekend. The order came in last minute, but by midday Sunday everything was picked up and on the road. “Those orders contained critical items for retailers that would have otherwise gone out of stock,” shared Leyder. “Our C.H. Robinson team really took ownership to get the job done. Had we relied on other means to gain access to carriers, the freight wouldn’t have shipped on time and we would have lost sales while shelves sat empty.”

Holistic view for the future

As market conditions and product orders stabilized, SharkNinja transitioned the majority of their transportation back to freight collect with the intention of transitioning to prepaid during times of high volatility—namely during their peak season and when market conditions tighten.

Maintaining a flexible approach to shipping is just one permanent change to SharkNinja’s logistics processes. Leyder and his team are currently collaborating with C.H. Robinson to improve drayage shipping strategies, reduce the number of unplanned requests, and achieve a more holistic view of their supply chain. These strategies will help reduce siloes in their transportation process by leveraging more of C.H. Robinson’s global suite of services.

“After experiencing such high demand for our products, we are reimagining many aspects of our logistics strategy,” said Leyder. “We’re looking beyond specific services from C.H. Robinson to find new ways to boost productivity and efficiency beyond the warehouse. With their network of experts and reliable service, we can face even the most competitive and challenging environments.”

To learn more about SharkNinja, visit their website.

To learn more about C.H. Robinson’s programs, call 800-323-7587 or connect with an expert.

Challenge

Facing unprecedented growth, SharkNinja needed a solution to clear their warehouse and avoid out of stock situations.

Solution

Temporarily switching from retail carriers to C.H. Robinson’s contract carrier network opened additional truckload and LTL capacity options to get orders out the door.

Results

C.H. Robinson’s strong, efficient transportation network supported SharkNinja’s increase in orders, satisfying customers and preventing lost sales.

“My C.H. Robinson account manager not only understands my business, but proactively solves problems and helps us improve.”

- Leyder Flores
Vice President of Consumer Brand Experience and Business Transformation for SharkNinja.

“We’re a fast-paced organization and few companies can keep up with us. C.H. Robinson is one of them. The quality of their service can't be bought.”

- Leyder Flores
Vice President of Consumer Brand Experience and Business Transformation for SharkNinja.

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