Like many e-commerce retailers, Simpli Home uses a third-party logistics (3PL) provider to help with its logistics operations. The partnership between Simpli Home and WSI has been a long and fruitful one on both sides. The value and strength of the relationship was only exemplified further when disaster struck the Gulf region, two thousand miles away from the Portland, Oregon-based distribution center where WSI handles distribution, returns, and fulfillment for Simpli Home.
Hurricane Harvey left many areas of Texas under several feet of water, and Baytown, Texas—home to a WSI contract chemical distribution facility—was no exception. Four of WSI’s staff lost their homes entirely, and five lost their vehicles. More than 60 percent of WSI’s 38 workers in the region were impacted in some way by flooding or other hurricane-related damage.
A Little Help from Your Friends
When homes flood, lost furniture accounts for a noticeable portion of the damage. Fortunately for WSI, they happened to have a friend in the furniture business.
“I was at the manager’s meeting and Sam Rivera, the manager down at Baytown, told us about the impact of the hurricane and the flooding, and asked if we could get with Simpli Home to see if they would donate some of their furniture to Baytown,” says Brandon Swart, manager of the Portland, Oregon, WSI facility.
Simpli Home was glad to help. WSI handles returns for Simpli Home in Portland, which includes damaged-box returns. These products are brand new, but the boxes are damaged or dirty so that they can’t be sold to customers. Normally, the furniture retailer tries to donate these items locally – but WSI’s Baytown situation presented an opportunity.
“WSI came up with a plan and asked if we could partner up with the surplus of items that were in great condition but not saleable because of the box condition,” recalls Christine Barrett, manager of North American logistics and distribution for Simpli Home. “They covered the transportation, and we were more than willing to help us out with supporting these employees that were affected by the hurricane.”
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Within weeks of the waters receding, a 53-foot trailer full of donated furniture arrived in Baytown. WSI’s employees were still in various stages of rebuilding their homes and assessing damage, so the furniture was very welcome.
“I experienced the team’s tears of thankfulness for donations that helped bridge the gap. It was such a large burdened lifted off their shoulders,” says Sam Rivera.
Thanks to the generous nature of dedicated partners like Simpli Home, those impacted by Hurricane Harvey have been able to rebuild their lives, and make their houses into homes once again.
We received some great photos of the donated Simpli Home furniture in the homes of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.