Read How ChannelApe took a Complex Problem and Simplified it for Campus Protein
The ChannelApe team figured out a solution to a complex problem and then crushed it.
Russell Saks, CEO
- Started by then College Student, Russell Saks
- Have Sales Reps at Over 300 College Campuses
- Shopify Plus Storefront
Russell Saks, the CEO of Campus Protein, founded the company in 2010 while at College at Indiana University with the simple idea of supplying college students with high quality supplements at great prices. Russell knew there were numerous other companies that supplied much cheaper supplements, but it seemed that these companies would take days to ship and deliver items. Russell knew that if he could get his customers their products the same day or next day and have competitive prices, then he would be able to capture their business.
The ProblemCampus Protein was hiring more sales reps and expanding to college campuses nationwide, their website, Campus Protein, was also rapidly expanding. Russell knew that if he wanted to continue to ship products as fast as possible to his expanding customer base, then he would have to make some changes. Campus Protein would need to place products in warehouses close to where their customers lived. The strategy would solve two problems.
- Faster shipping. Items delivered to 90 percent of customers within two business days.
- Reduced Freight Charges. Margins are tight and shipping products across the country can cut into any profits.
For Campus to implement this strategy they would not only need to take orders from their Shopify Plus Website and send to a 3PL warehouse for shipment, they would also have to determine which warehouse to ship from and which carrier to use to maximize cost savings and reduce shipping times. Once all of that was determined, the webstore would have to be updated using our Shopify inventory management solution using our Shopify EDI integration. These orders would need to be transmitted via EDI over AS2 per their 3PL specifications. Tracking data from the 3PL company would need to be returned to the website to update the orders. This integration would need to be efficient, stable and have the ability to scale.
ChannelApe hit the weight room, as we understood there was about to be some heavy lifting that needed to take place to get this to work as expected. Lucky for Campus Protein, ChannelApe was no stranger to the gym. ChannelApe's microservice architecture and open API's allows for infinite customization so that the platform fits the customer's needs no matter how complex. The solution was to build a service to rate shop each order that came into the website. The orders would be rate shopped to determine which carrier and which warehouse would not only provide the fastest shipping times but also the cheapest rate. The order data would then need to be converted to an EDI document (940) and transmitted to the appropriate warehouse for shipment with the correct carrier. Once the warehouse shipped the orders, the tracking data would need to be ingested back into ChannelApe and then converted back to a format that Shopify would be able to ingest. There was also custom logic built around scenarios such as fraudulent orders, split shipments and backordered items. The integration needed to be stable and have the ability to scale since this process would happen thousands of times per day. An integration such as this could take months to plan, build and then implement. Using ChannelApe's pre-built API's, Pre-Configured EDI Specifications and Microservices approach, this integration was completed and launched in a few weeks.