From beekeeping to running a winery, AJ Forsythe had dabbled in business. But it wasn’t until, as a broke college student, he fixed a friend’s cracked smartphone screen and stumbled onto a winning idea. Soon thereafter, classmates began asking for his services. That’s when Forsythe roped his friend, Anthony Martin, into providing services with him. The next year, when they graduated from college, the two went to Silicon Valley and iCracked was born.
But the business is more than a screen fixing service. It’s a time saver and a convenience. Most people know the time cost associated with having a broken phone screen repaired. You have to drop off your phone with a repair tech, leave it there and then head back to pick it up.
3PL Storage Enables iCracked to Fulfill Orders On-Demand
To deliver on-demand service, iCracked maintains a stock of the replacement parts that are most likely to break on a variety of smartphones. These parts are shipped to DCL Logistics where they are stored.
John Lowe, Vice President of Logistics at iCracked explained, “The founders realized it only takes 20 minutes to an hour to fix a phone. People were spending way more time going and dropping off/picking up.”
Mitigating the hassle, iCracked uses software that routes a certified cell phone repair tech to the customer. It’s on-demand phone repair.
“We have a network of certified trained techs that will come to you, as needed, to fix your devices,” Lowe said. “The techs choose the days, times and areas where they want to work, and they work from an app.”
“DCL is good at ensuring things are done right. Shipments to techs never suffer due to things being done wrong behind the scenes. They understand how to reliably get shipments out the door on a day-to-day basis and are good at discipline and processes.”
Outsourcing Order Fulfillment Lowers Overall Costs
Before working with DCL Logistics, iCracked insourced their parts stock.
“Last year, we transitioned from insourcing to an outsourcing model using DCL,” he said. “We had less structure than DCL. DCL is good at ensuring things are done right. Shipments to techs never suffer due to things being done wrong behind the scenes. They understand how to reliably get shipments out the door on a day-to-day basis and are good at discipline and processes.”
Working with DCL has also helped to manage costs. Lowe says it was a challenge to anticipate fluctuations in service volume, as well as labor needs versus costs.
“Now that we are at DCL, we have moved from a fixed cost model to variable, and this has helped us better manage our costs.”
Flexible Fulfillment Supports Scalability and New Sales Channels
While DCL came highly recommended, Lowe and the team at iCracked found their offerings were a natural fit for the company and its needs. Lowe said their in-house processes weren’t effective, leaving room for errors that affected customer service.
Lowe says DCL’s flexible approach to customer service has been a huge benefit to the team at iCracked. And, with business model changes on the horizon, this will only become more important.
“We’ll always have a B2C model but we’re clearly moving to the B2B2C, working with businesses such as insurance providers to provide installation and repair services for their customers,” Lowe said. “We’re also expanding from phones to other IoT devices. With the proliferation of these types of devices, our mobile workforce can come to you to install a smart thermometer or smart lock.”
DCL’s ability to adapt to their customers’ changing needs is a primary benefit, in Lowe’s opinion.
“They understand our business needs change from time to time,” he said. “They jump in to help us figure out the best way to resolve, rework, repackage or re-label. DCL’s flexibility will be a key for us moving forward. We’re going to change distribution patterns, shipment and packaging size. We know our business will evolve as tech changes, and having a partner like DCL that we know is going to be flexible and support us, and get involved with the solution, allows us to be more aggressive in our changes.”
iCracked has locations across the United States and Canada. Learn more about the company.