California Blooms is a family owned and operated company based in California that sells boutique roses grown in Central California. They partner with family owned growers and ship hand selected fresh roses from the farm to the doorstep in 24 hours.
The Problem -
Shipping fragile, climate sensitive roses is not an easy thing to do - orders must ship FedEx next day air and have an order cut off time. Further complicating things is the fact that California Blooms utilizes drop shippers. This is to ensure their customers receive the freshest bouquets shipped with minimal transit time. It’s also common for orders to be placed in advance with a specific arrival date for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Making sure the orders were categorized properly and sent to the proper location was quite a chore.
Our Solution -
We built a system to analyze the orders to decide which drop shipper to send the order to. If it is an advance order, the system will mark it as “pending” for a future ship date. Every night, this information is released in a file and distributed to the appropriate drop shippers. Our system also allows for the custom labels and cards that accompany the flowers to be printed out automatically.
***FunToCollect.com - Fun To Collect is a store specializing in a huge selection of collectable items, gifts, costumes and party supplies.
The Problem - With an inventory of over 18,000 items, you can imagine the wide range of sizes and weights that have to be considered when setting up the shipping methods. Fun to Collect wanted to use USPS as the default shipping method for small, light items and UPS for larger, heavier items. If they could figure out a way to prevent customers from choosing UPS for the small items, it would really improve their bottom line.
Our Solution - We simply built a shipping method blocker to block the USPS option if the order is over $14.99.
***OfficialCostumes.com - Official Costumes is a large e-retailer with 11 websites. They keep stock in their own warehouse as well as relying on drop shippers for additional items.
The Problem - With such a vast inventory and variety of warehouses and suppliers, keeping track of inventory was a major issue. They were relying on a manual order process; when an order was placed, they had to check to see if an item was in stock before they could fulfill the order. If the item was in stock, they would have to send Purchase Orders to every supplier to fulfill the orders. As you can imagine, this took up an incredible amount of time.
Our Solution - We automated their inventory system by customizing the Real-Time system to monitor their inventory and their supplier’s inventory. We implemented a supply inventory availability feed to keep the inventory constantly updated. Orders are only allowed to be placed for in stock items. Once the order is placed, the system automatically forwards the order data to the suppliers. This reduced the manual intervention to zero and reduced customer service calls by 80%! With our Real Time system, there was no need for customer service to contact customers who placed orders for out of stock items.
***TriSports.com - TriSports.com is a forward thinking company that sells a wide range of gear for triathletes, runners, swimmers and cyclists. In addition to offering retail goods, they also have a sponsorship program and an active education section on their website.
The Problem - They needed to connect their Real Time Inventory system to the store and have the ability to customize and add fields to pass more order related data to the Mail Order Manager without affecting the export.
Our Solution - We created an export that has 148 columns for data verses the standard 71 Yahoo! uses to export to the Mail Order Manager. It pushes MOMs inventory to our system in real time. The extra columns are used for additional information such as, encryption and personalization, gift certificates and messages, comments and PayPal related information. It also provides for proper validation to shipping addresses and telephone numbers. Customers are free to name shipping methods as they wish-this is a major restriction in Yahoo!’s export to MOM. Yahoo!’s export only provides for three fields to choose from-USPS, UPS and Fed Ex. This leaves options for UPS 2nd day and FedEx next day left out and denies the customer of choosing from all possible shipping methods. These changes eliminated the labor intensive order process TriSports was dealing with and kept out of stock items from appearing on the page.