Case Study – Virtual Exchanges

Virtual Exchanges
Cost-saving on shipping labels

labels per month
optimized with Cahoot
Customer Profile
Products : Footwear
Based in : North Carolina

Virtual Exchanges, Inc. has been a leader in the online retail business since 2000. The company carries shoes, sandals, watches, belts, clothes, sunglasses, wallets, and many other products on Amazon Marketplace, Rakuten, and eBay platforms. Some brands that customers will find on their site include Nike, Tommy Bahama, Diesel, Kenneth Cole, Bearpaw, New Balance, Mephisto, Ugg, Timberland, Steve Madden, Nine West, Rockport, Mezlan, Ed Hardy, and many others. Over 100,000 products are available daily.

The Problem:

Resource drain from short-term solutions applied to long-term problems

2 different shipping software solutions, each for different orders
High amount of manual work needed to sync the two software programs
Manual shipping label generation, limited capability for rate shopping

Virtual exchanges got themselves into a bind by using a temporary workaround for a growing problem. Virtual Exchanges has been around for a long time. They have been using RetailOps for their Warehouse Management System and Order Management, and everything was going smoothly until Virtual Exchanges expanded their offering to Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). Unfortunately, their current system did not support buying shipping labels from Amazon Buy Shipping, which is mandatory for SFP orders. To work around this limitation, they used Shipworks as a secondary shipping software. The two software do not integrate well, which result in lots of manual processing. Every day they had to take their Amazon SFP orders into Shipworks and process them separately, and then manually update inventory counts.

Their quick workaround for SFP orders was painful but manageable. However, they have grown from their humble beginnings to shipping more than 1,000 orders per week all over the globe. And their rapid growth made these SFP orders more and more of a pain for their operations. Their team needed a lot of manual effort to synchronize their warehouse operations and shipping label generation across the two systems. The manual steps in disconnected processes were extremely time-consuming and inefficient, which drained the merchant’s already limited human resources.

Moreover, Virtual Exchanges was leaving money on the table because RetailOps does not provide an easy way to compare shipping rates for the merchant’s orders. This limited their ability to figure out which shipping service was best for each order. Shipworks offers some rate shopping tools that can help spot the cheapest rates, but each order using it creates a ton of manual work. Neither option is ideal for Virtual Exchanges.

The Solution:

From paralyzingly slow to blazingly fast fulfillment

Streamlined processes and improved productivity
Automated shipping label printing
Rate shopping done automatically
After communicating with Virtual Exchanges, we had our engineers tailor a solution for their systems. Virtual Exchanges used the Cahoot API to connect with their ERP/OMS. With the API, their orders flow into the Cahoot system for automatic shipping label generation. The solution streamlined Virtual Exchanges’ shipping process by removing repetitive manual steps. Instead of printing a limited number of packing slips at a time and manually updating tracking numbers on the ERP/OMS system every day, the team can now remove all of those steps and print thousands of labels with virtually no human intervention. This makes the typically intense Monday fulfillment as easy as a Friday, and the warehouse staff can focus their precious time shipping out orders.
“Before working with Cahoot, we had to spend a lot of time and money to fulfill Prime orders in 2 days because our software system did not support a large volume of multiple SKUs. Now with Cahoot’s automation, printing labels is so much easier; we have more time to focus on growing our business.”
Jon Greenwood
Founder of Virtual Exchanges
By using Cahoot as their Shipping Software, Virtual Exchanges can now save every penny from every order. Cahoot takes rate shopping to the next level. It does not stop at showing rates of available services, but also automates the selection. This makes sure Virtual Exchanges ships with the lowest-cost possible service that delivers on time, automatically. The merchant does not have to review the options one by one and generate labels manually anymore. All orders would already have their most optimal labels generated by the time the merchant begins their day.

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