Originally founded in San Diego, ShipLab is an e-commerce fulfillment center that provides simple, effective order, inventory, and fulfillment to help entrepreneurs focus on growing their business, not just maintaining it.
Like so many business owners, Jake Brenner and his co-founders set out to solve a problem they had themselves. With a growing e-commerce business, Brenner scaled from his garage to a storage unit. Then somewhere around the time when he was on a first name basis with everyone at the UPS Store, he realized he needed a warehouse solution. The options he found at the time were unimpressive.
“There’s a lot more that goes into e-commerce from a speed, accuracy and technology standpoint, and we just couldn’t find one that we felt checked all the boxes. We thought, ‘This is ridiculous. It’s pretty straightforward, so we could just do this ourselves.’”
With a lease for a 1,500 square foot warehouse, the group started ShipLab, an e-commerce fulfillment center specializing in growing DTC brands. They selected a shipping label provider after doing some basic comparisons of what was available in the market and began their journey. It wasn’t long before issues cropped up.
The company quickly expanded well beyond those 1,500 square feet as more brands signed on with ShipLab. Their growth turned small headaches into massive hassles, such as needing to replenish funds in each of their merchants’ accounts.
“It works for a little while having to replenish funds, but it gets kind of annoying at fifty accounts if they want to charge their own card. Now you’re micromanaging how much money is in each account because getting any money back is a pain if the merchant needs to change carriers or is overcharged. We outgrew that quickly and realized we needed to get to a new system.”
Part of the challenge with replenishing funds came from the user interface being so difficult to use. Warehouse and fulfillment center employees are a high turnover area, and ShipLab was having to spend significant time on initial training. Due to the high confusion factor with the vendor’s UI, only tenured employees were able to do certain critical tasks, such as replenishing funds, which resulted in a bottleneck for merchants.
“There were a lot of demos on their website that looked great. Then we got into the app, and they haven’t updated the actual system you’re going to use since 1985.”
All of these problems were exacerbated by the lack of support that the ShipLab team received.
“I spent multiple two to three-hour calls, working my way up the ladder and getting responses like, ‘That doesn’t happen.’ or ‘That’s impossible.’ They pointed the finger at others instead of taking responsibility and helping me fix it. Meanwhile, we’re in the middle, getting yelled at by clients because orders aren’t shipping out because we just can’t generate a label.”
Brenner admits that his sales call with Shippo might have been the easiest ever, instantly selling him on the end-to-end shipping solution.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t even take it anymore, so I filled out the form on Shippo’s website and got a follow up in 15 minutes. I was thinking, ‘I just need to ship products again,’ because we have clients that are a week delayed and our SLA is we ship orders that come in before noon on the same day. If we can’t print a label, it really puts a damper on that.”
Talking to the team, Brenner quickly realized that Shippo would do everything he needed as a drop-in replacement for the current solution without any of the existing headaches that had caused him significant business disruption since the beginning. He went to Shippo and had an account set up in minutes and was obtaining rates equal to his current rates, something that he didn’t know was possible.
“I think the beauty of what Shippo offers and why I’m such a fanatic now is because I don’t see Shippo often and I don’t want to see Shippo often. I don’t need Shippo popping up and reminding me to replenish funds. I need a solution that works with the ridiculousness of the carrier integrations and gets me a label. And that’s exactly what Shippo has been.”
By adding Shippo to their existing ShipHero implementation, ShipLab cut their basic shipping resource spend by 50% overnight. “There’s a lot more autonomy. They’re able to do a higher throughput because they’re not getting caught up on stuff that they shouldn’t have to worry about. It’s not necessarily even from an efficiency standpoint. It’s just that you’re not dealing with headaches and putting fires out all the time, and that’s really refreshing.” And as with the Shippo sales process, the support experience has been high-touch and valuable in helping drive even more efficiencies.
The team’s morale and efficiency are both up thanks to Shippo, and they are ready for the coming peak season.
“There was high-fiving in the warehouse for shipping our first Shippo order. We had been so frustrated before, and it took 15 minutes to solve all of that. I wish I could have the tens of hours I spent with ShipStation and Endicia back.”
A Shipping Solution for Businesses of All Sizes
Shippo is a single, easy-to-integrate program that powers everything leading e-commerce brands need for shipping. From a single integration, businesses gain access to over 85+ global shipping carriers. And since all carrier interactions are standardized, Shippo makes it easy for businesses to compare rates and ETAs, print labels, schedule pickups (with USPS and DHL Express), track shipments, facilitate returns, and more across several carriers, all in one place.
Connecting your online store is also fast and easy with Shippo’s pre-built integrations. Shippo can automatically connect with several popular e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, and getting set up can be done in a manner of minutes without the need for any technical developer resources.
You also have options for using Shippo: online through our web application or connected via API. The great thing about these options is that Shippo has the ability to grow with you as your business needs evolve.
For businesses that want to get started right away, the web app is a great solution. And getting started is as easy as opening an account, entering some basic information, and creating your first shipping label. For businesses looking for an even more customizable solution, Shippo’s API is the next step. With Shippo’s developer-centric API, businesses can take their automation efforts even further. Visit Shippo’s API information page to learn more.