How TAGG Logistics helps Deva Curl drive growth.
True to its name, DevaCurl provides hair care products that help women celebrate their curls. In this New York-based company’s own words, “We help women believe in the very simple idea of loving their curls in their own way. It’s not dogma, it’s Deva®.”
The popularity of Deva’s approach speaks for itself: in the past two years alone, Deva’s annual business-to-business (B2B) growth has been in the double digits—and its direct-to-consumer (DTC) growth in the triple digits.
TAGG Logistics has supported this rapid growth with a unique combination of advanced technology, hands-on expertise and passion to fuel our customer’s success. Why did Deva select TAGG as its 3PL (third-party logistics) partner?
Catalyst for Growth
While looking for the perfect 3PL fit, Deva narrowed its choices to a handful of companies. “We needed a partner to help us grow,” said Becky Lahr, Director of Operations. It was an important decision—and the two cultures needed to align perfectly.
“Two things really stood out about TAGG and made all the difference to us,” Lahr said. First, Deva recognized TAGG’s investment in its own business. “TAGG wants to be an industry leader, and it shows in how they invest in the most advanced technology and best people. They want to be on the cutting edge, and that was a major factor in our decision.”
Second, Deva wanted a close relationship with its 3PL. “To us, the really big 3PLs have lost the personal touch. We would be a small fish in a big pond—just a drop in the bucket,” Lahr said. “We’re growing fast, and we sometimes have urgent needs. We quickly saw that TAGG is honest, they have integrity—and they’re just really nice guys. Our instincts were right: today we can just call TAGG and figure out any issue. The service is so personal.”
In 2011, Deva began using TAGG Logistics for B2B distribution, starting with TAGG’s St. Louis-based fulfillment center. Then, as Deva’s B2B distribution needs continued to grow, TAGG’s fulfillment center in Reno, Nevada was tapped for additional capacity in the western US.
Lahr noted that TAGG maintains a continuous investment in the latest scanners and operating systems—and has a strong warehouse management system (WMS) and transportation management system (TMS) partner relationship. “When the next phase in the omnichannel evolution has arrived, I know TAGG is going to participate and make the investment to be there,” she said.
Today, Deva and TAGG continue this strong rapport. “We have continuous and close communications,” Lahr said. “We do a lot of planning together, particularly around managing Deva’s continued growth and forecasting expectations for our needs.” That close relationship led to the next step: collaborating to succeed in the DTC world.
Driving direct-to-consumer success
More than two years ago, Deva began its e-commerce relationship with TAGG. At the time, DevaCurl had small-scale direct-to-consumer (DTC) delivery through their own warehouse.
“We wanted to deliver directly to our customers, to better manage the complete Deva experience,” Lahr said. But Deva lacked the in-house resources to make it happen—or the scalability to expand as Deva’s DTC business continued to grow. “Our warehouse wasn’t big enough to handle our growth. That’s why we turned to TAGG again, this time to help us accelerate our e-commerce operation.”
Packaging the Deva experience
Today, TAGG is also Deva’s partner in product kitting for both businesses and consumers. “They’re very big in helping us with seasonal promotions, as well as kitting ‘regular’ items,” Lahr said. Kits can be complex, and TAGG focuses on designing the most efficient and cost-effective solutions. TAGG stores kitting materials, as needed—giving Deva one less task to worry about.
Another benefit is TAGG’s flexibility in evolving kits as various campaigns are launched. “We’re constantly learning together, and TAGG is flexible enough to make fast changes as needed,” she said. “And we love that TAGG uses sheltered workshops for some kitting assembly.”
Unique Products, Unique Challenges
Hair care products are heavy and can leak. So it’s essential that Deva’s 3PL care for the containers as carefully as their contents care for consumers. TAGG conducts extensive testing to ensure that its fulfillment and distribution protocols protect Deva’s products and ensure they’re delivered with no damage.
“It’s more than just quality control,” said Tod Yazdi, principal of TAGG Logistics. “This is about enriching the customer’s brand experience and making ordering and delivery as positive as the customer’s impression of the product itself.”
Supporting that brand experience sometimes includes special requests as well. “For example, we may include ‘thank-you’ notes in some shipments, which are specific to the customer’s location. TAGG is built to accommodate that level of customization,” Lahr said.
For B2B distribution, TAGG also wraps pallets tightly and securely—and uses black wrapping to obscure the contents and help prevent in-transit shrinkage.
The Future of Curl
As DevaCurl continues to grow its B2B and B2C businesses, TAGG will be at Deva’s side—not only keeping pace, but also recommending new ways to prepare for success in the future.
“We’re here to connect Deva to the omnichannel world,” Yazdi said. “That’s what we mean when we say Your Business Everywhere™.”