Social Imprints wanted to replace its separate inventory management and shipping solutions with an all-in-one warehouse management system that would save the business time and improve efficiency. Realtime Despatch helped the company achieve this quickly and easily.
Realtime Despatch offers ongoing support and has been at the end of the phone to solve problems for the company. Using their experience, the team has also been on hand to offer advice on improving the efficiency of the warehouse.
San Francisco-based Social Imprints is a promotional products provider that works with a multitude of companies from non-profits through to technology giants such as Facebook, Dropbox and Google.
The company is unique in that it was launched as a social enterprise, developed to help at risk adults including ex-offenders, recovering addicts, and those that have been affected by homelessness. Today 80 per cent of the company’s employees come from this background and are given the chance to get involved in key organisational decisions, learn new skills and rise up the career ladder.
Social Imprints is one of the US’ only providers of ‘one-stop shopping’, offering promotional merchandise, custom printing and fulfilment. It configures private web stores for each of its clients, mainly using Shopify, where the marketing team, sales reps and event organisers can order bespoke merchandise.
An all-in-one WMS solution
Printing and distributing items for multiple clients in-house, the company needed a robust, all-in-one warehouse management system (WMS). Having worked with Realtime Despatch in the past, when Patrick Secor joined the company to oversee business development he knew the solution lay with implementing the warehouse management system OrderFlow.
“One of my past employers used Realtime Despatch’s OrderFlow system. When I looked into it I really liked what I saw – it was a complete solution. So, when I joined Social Imprints I wanted the guys to come over and begin working with us as I knew the solution – and the company – was the right fit,” he says.
Over the last year Social Imprints has been moving its stores over to OrderFlow and manages over 35 clients via the system. Patrick has found that setting up a new store on the WMS takes roughly a quarter of the time it used to on the old system. However he believes one of the biggest benefits has been enabling the company to manage all its clients through one system.
“Technology is technology – what really matters is working with the right people and to me this is one of the biggest advantages of working with OrderFlow and Realtime Despatch.”
Managing multiple clients with one WMS
“One of the biggest things I like about the system is that it combines inventory management and shipping – everything else seems to specialise in either one or the other,” says Patrick. “Before moving to OrderFlow we were using two different systems from two different companies and neither talked to the other. With the old system any changes you made had to be done twice, but with OrderFlow any changes that you make in Shopify just automatically populates in the system.”
Social Imprints’ employees have found the system simple to use, allowing warehouse staff to work more efficiently and turn orders around more quickly.
“The beauty of OrderFlow is that everything is in one place and that’s a huge advantage. The time savings are massive,” Patrick enthuses. “I also really like the fact that everything is customised and configurable. When you’re using an ‘off the counter’ product you can only do what they tell you to do and have a limited number of options. With OrderFlow you can configure and customise the store down to the minutest detail.”
“The beauty of OrderFlow is that everything is in one place and that’s a huge advantage. The time savings are massive.”
Real world experience and expertise
But for Patrick it’s more than just the WMS that makes Realtime Despatch a great warehouse management partner. It’s also the people and their expertise.
“Besides the quality of the product it’s also the company culture. I really enjoy working with the team. Everyone I’ve dealt with is professional, accommodating and really knows what they’re doing."
“A lot of other WMS’ are developed by guys in their dorm rooms as a senior college product – guys that have never shipped a package in their life. What I like is that Charlie (Armor, Founder and Managing Director of Realtime Despatch) used to run a distribution company of his own. He’s got real world experience and I think by understanding the business, the team can really help you make the most of their system.
Responsiveness and support
“I also like being able to just call them up on the phone to talk through problems or discuss potential ideas – they’re really responsive,” he continues.
“On one occasion I noticed some slow down and gave them a call. I spoke to Matthew (Davies, Senior Developer) who identified a problem with Shopify and made some adjustments to quickly deal with it."
“They really work with you, talk about your options, throw potential ideas around and help you work as efficiently as possible. Technology is technology – what really matters is working with the right people and this is one of the biggest advantages of working with OrderFlow and Realtime Despatch.”