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Manufacturer of Sports-Themed Products Ups Their Game with Shipping Automation

Steve Norris
September 8, 2021
MpDirect Customer Highlight Concept.

At MpDirect, speed is the norm. This manufacturer of sports-themed products needs to custom build, pack, and ship a multitude of products every day to support orders from their own eCommerce site as well as its major retail partners, such as Amazon, Walmart, Kmart, Sears, and Fanatics.com.  

Recently, the company began to grow rapidly as two of its top-selling lines, LinksWalker golf equipment and SunTime watches, took off exponentially. However, the sudden need to scale posed some challenges: while MpDirect’s warehouse team was at the top of its game, the technology supporting their packing and shipping processes was not. 

Getting Pack & Ship Speeds Up to Par

As MpDirect’s business began to scale, its warehouse team was grappling with more repetitive, manual processes each day. They had been long-time fans of their QuickBooks Enterprise financial system, but as their order volume increased dramatically, the team began to wish there were a way to integrate it with a shipping solution. Henry Valerio, MpDirect’s Fulfillment Manager, recognized that the need to re-key every order into QuickBooks was a time-consuming and frustrating task that was going to hold the company back.  

Seeking a way to meet demand, he came across TrueCommerce Pack & Ship, a web-based, multi-carrier shipping software that integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks and automates key parts of the shipping process.

A Straightforward Implementation…in the Nick of Time

Valerio was excited at the prospect of a QuickBooks Enterprise integration that had the potential to enable faster, more accurate shipping. He was pleasantly surprised at how cost-effective and quick to implement it turned out to be with TrueCommerce’s customization and support.  

The fact that the combo was easy to learn for the warehouse team was also a plus, according to Joe Guthrie, MpDirect’s Shipping Supervisor. “We have a small set of employees that work closely together, so having a system that was easy to deploy and manage was really important to us. It worked out well for us, with everybody being able to understand the system and being able to operate it correctly every day.”  

The solution certainly makes life easier for the team by auto-filling fields like ship-to and billing addresses, enabling fast label printing, and validating data before orders leave the premises to improve shipping accuracy using Pack & Ship’s pack verification feature. Pack & Ship can also create and send EDI 856 Advance Ship Notifications, which MpDirect’s big retail partners require. And all that functionality is managed through one simple interface. Valerio noted, “We like the fact that we can ship pretty much everything from one, single platform, instead of having to jump from one platform to another. It makes our jobs easier.” 

Little did MpDirect realize just how timely the shift toward efficient pack-and-ship processes would be. They deployed the solution just before Q4 2019, in time for the holiday rush. In a normal year, demand would subsequently fall after the Super Bowl and March Madness, but when COVID struck in early 2020, online orders from home-bound shoppers kept pouring in. The warehouse team was relieved they didn’t have to continue wasting time on data entry during such a hectic time. Guthrie noted, “It was incredible. The number of packages that we turned out this past season by using Pack & Ship was just—I’ve never seen anything like it. It was amazing. I can’t say enough about the speed of this solution.” 

MpDirect Greatly Improves its Performance

TrueCommerce Pack & Ship has had an enormous impact on MpDirect’s shipping capabilities and alleviates the pressures inherent to scaling. Above all, Valerio values the solution’s speed and simplicity. He reported that in the last quarter, MpDirect had quadrupled its shipping capacity. 

Guthrie sees the difference as “night and day.” “Imagine if we had to personally ship every order by hand,” he said. “It would be like chipping away at a mountain; we wouldn’t be getting anything done. I would not be able to ship all these orders if it wasn’t for TrueCommerce Pack & Ship.” 

Regarding the Future, MpDirect Has Its Eye on the Ball

Now that TrueCommerce has alleviated MpDirect’s most pressing burdens, Valerio looks forward to digging deeper into Pack & Ship’s features, especially analytics that can help with reporting and forecasting. In other words, he wants to spend more time building a better, more efficient, and more resilient business. 

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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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