Nuts & Bolts - Case Study : Nutritionist Finds Sweet Fulfillment SuccessBy Heather Fletcher
"I was only aware of, really, one company," says the Palm Desert, Calif., author of "The Virgin Diet." "And they were, gosh, at least twice as much as Disk in terms of pricing. And they took longer to deliver orders."
The "Disk" Virgin mentions is McHenry, Ill.-based Corporate Disk Company, or Disk.com, which she hired during the first week of November 2012. She remembers the exact timing because she was placing her orders with Disk.com via text while sitting next to her son in his hospital room. Grant Virgin nearly died on Sept. 10, 2012, when a driver hit the teenage pedestrian and left him by the road.
Even though she was next to her son's bed in the intensive care unit, the single mother couldn't slough off the responsibility of ordering CDs, DVDs, fliers, workbooks and binders to coincide with her book launch and PBS special. "I am the sole support of my family," she says.
While she and medical professionals worked with Grant Virgin to help him recuperate from multiple brain bleeds, a torn aorta, 13 fractures, and a lacerated kidney and spleen, J.J. Virgin was also texting with Disk.com to lock in her $2.75 per piece handling charge—she'd previously paid $5.50 each. Then she began work on what would turn out to be 50,000 stock-keeping units (SKUs) shipped in 2013, compared with 15,000 in 2012.
"I called this guy, he gives me his cell phone and he totally makes all this work for me," Virgin says of Joe Foley, Disk.com's CEO and client experience officer. "He didn't know me. He didn't have to do that. He didn't know if I was going to become big or not. … But he completely honestly just rescued me on this stuff, because I was so stressed at the time, too. … [I was thinking] 'I've gotten this far and … I'm not going to be able to fulfill the product.' So they really came through on so many levels."
More than four months after entering the hospital, Grant Virgin came home, far more healed than doctors predicted he would be. At the same time, his mother says she'd found her "forever" production and fulfillment vendor.
So in 2014, Virgin plans to put Foley to work, saying "Next year is going to make this year look like a total warm-up."
Disk.com will be producing Virgin's workbooks, assessments, DVDs, CDs and binders coinciding with the Feb. 18 launch of "The Virgin Diet Cookbook," another PBS show, a November book launch on that sugar subject, and "The Virgin Diet, 2.0" program, complete with upsells and downsells.
"I expect it to quadruple from where this past year was," Virgin says.