Sigma Micro and Stark Bro’s Fulfillment Have Joined Forces to create Fifth Gear. In addition to outsourced fulfillment, the new entity will focus on providing contact center and e-commerce services, business analysis, product personalization and related value-add services for direct retailers.
Stark Bro’s Fulfillment has been a provider of warehousing, fulfillment and contact center services for more than 27 years; Sigma Micro is a developer of order management platforms and related software technologies. The two companies have operated as industry partners under the common ownership of Sigma Holdings since 2007; they will now operate under one brand.
Both Sigma and Stark Bro’s have long histories, says Steve Warren, vice president of business development for Fifth Gear, “but we wanted to round out our offering.” When Sigma purchased Stark Bro’s, he says, “our intent all along was to round out our product offering, and we wanted to make the move to create a consolidated offering and a new brand.”
The outsourced e-commerce channel is “something we’re really bullish on,” says Warren. “Bundling technology into the service offering we feel is a pretty compelling option for customers and gives us an entirely different leverage point. We’re focusing on how to make customers more efficient and save them money.”
Indeed, says Ernie Schell, director of consultancy Marketing Systems Analysis, Fifth Gear presents a “more unified and compelling suite of services to the retailers and manufacturers, as well as to multichannel merchants, who may not have perceived the end-to-end capabilities of Sigma Micro prior to the rebranding.”
But Schell doesn’t believe much will change. Apart from its e-mail management platform Sigma Send, “everything else offered by Fifth Gear is services and solutions Sigma offered before,” Schell says. “But I should imagine the new name will help in their recruiting efforts.”