Backyard Expressions Boosts Order Accuracy and Speed at Scale across EDI, Amazon, and Shopify


August 9, 2021

For more than two decades, Backyard Expressions has been in the business of connecting people with their outdoor spaces through high-quality patio furniture and other outdoor items. Until about five years ago, the company mainly sold its products in physical retail stores and through their own website. As consumer leanings toward eCommerce skyrocketed and expectations for fast delivery times increased, it became clear that drop shipping would have to be part of the business’ continued success.

New Channels, New Technology

Backyard Expressions already had an EDI solution in place, as well as a reliable accounting system, QuickBooks Enterprise. But the company’s director of online operations, Tyler Engelken, saw early on that getting into drop shipping was going to require new technology investments.

Despite using EDI, most of the company’s orders were still coming in through email and had to be manually rekeyed into QuickBooks for processing and fulfillment. This cumbersome process wasted time and caused errors, which Engelken knew just wasn’t going to cut it long term. “Before EDI, we had trouble managing a 20th of our current order volume. We couldn’t keep going that way,” he said. “There were too many errors and morale was down because it was a lot of work for too few orders.”

But Engelken did want to keep QuickBooks Enterprise as Backyard Expressions’ accounting system. They had been using it since day one and needed to move quickly to find a solution that worked with their existing business system.

A Perfect fit for Drop Shipping Automation

Engelken soon learned that TrueCommerce EDI offers a proven integration for QuickBooks and that implementing a turnkey solution for Backyard Expressions would be surprisingly affordable. He hammered out a solution with TrueCommerce that fit his budget and it was up and running in just a few months, much to the team’s delight.

Since implementation, the QuickBooks Enterprise integration and automation has cut Backyard Expressions’ order processing time in half while supporting higher volume. It makes drop shipping easier than Engelken had thought possible. “My favorite thing about TrueCommerce is how fast the drop ship solution is,” he said. “And how it lets us keep up with volume. That’s what it’s for, and that’s what it does!”

Simplifying Shopify and Tame Amazon

After implementing the TrueCommerce QuickBooks EDI integration for drop shipping, Engelken was excited to learn that there were similar integrations with Shopify, one of Backyard Expressions’ most successful sales channels. The minute he learned of it, he reached out to his account manager to find out more. He said, “We needed something to automate Shopify and speed it up, and it turns out with TrueCommerce’s Shopify integration, we were able to do just that.”

The Shopify integration has made a night-and-day difference for Backyard Expressions and has contributed significantly to the company’s online success. Engelken said, “The Shopify integration from TrueCommerce has been amazing for us. We run all our replacement parts through Shopify in addition to our products. TrueCommerce really streamlined order processing from Shopify. Once everything was set up, you wouldn’t notice the difference between Shopify and any other customer, because it’s all EDI and integrated.”

The final piece in the puzzle that enabled the company’s accelerated omnichannel growth is TrueCommerce’s Amazon Seller Central integration with QuickBooks Enterprise. Backyard Expressions has always been a first-party Amazon vendor, but when they tried to expand to the Amazon Seller Central platform without automation, it didn’t go well. With the new integration in place, fulfilling orders is now quick and human-error-free.

Multiple QuickBooks Enterprise Integrations Were Key to Omnichannel Success

Engelken says that getting control of all that order data flow and making it seamlessly compatible with QuickBooks has allowed Backyard Expressions to grow while cutting work time in half. It seems that as they do more business, they cut more time and human error out of the process. There is less stress and far fewer accounting errors, and their trading partners are happy. “Without having a solution like TrueCommerce in place that could keep up with our growth, we’d be spending all our time working to get orders out, instead of focusing on expanding,” Engelken said.

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About the Author: Steve Norris is the VP of Pre-Sales Engineering, Supply Chain Collaboration, at TrueCommerce. He is responsible for helping engineer solutions that allow small to enterprise businesses more efficiently and effectively collaborate with their supply chain partners and expand their sales channels. With over 15 years of supply chain experience ranging from consulting to sales, Steve helps organizations looking to achieve growth and profitability through providing solutions that allow seamless connectivity to customers, suppliers, channels, and systems.

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