May 9, 2023

Making Bread: how & why Uprising switched from ShipStation to PrettyDamnQuick

Uprising sells artisan, prebiotic bread that's both gluten-free and keto. Over 150 medical practitioners approve of their nutty, sourdough-tasting loaves, which ship every Monday.

In the first installment of a two-part series, we sat down with William Schumacher, Uprising's Founder and CEO, to learn how PDQ overhauled its shipping and fulfillment. We dive deep on:

  1. How PDQ's delivery engine and automation rules save time and money
  2. Why upgrading fulfillment and logistics help drive loyal customers
  3. The intrinsic value of a customer-centric technology partner in PDQ
"You should absolutely use PDQ because it will massively simplify your life. You'll save a load of time and scale your operation efficiently."

How PDQ's Delivery Engine Solved Uprising’s Bottlenecks

Before finding PDQ, Uprising was bogged down by ShipStation's complex, slow process. 

Doing anything more than out-of-the-box basics took an exorbitant amount of time. Uprising fulfilled all of their orders, but ShipStation's methods failed to streamline, simplify, or assist their business in any way. 

William felt like none of the platforms on the market were as good as they could be, cornering Uprising into using what was available.

Ditching ShipStation for PDQ

Uprising discovered the platform when PDQ’s team reached out to them because they were a fast-growing Shopify merchant, and PDQ wanted to shake up their end-to-end fulfillment.

William was intrigued and decided they wanted to be part of PDQ's process because they wanted to see faster, simplified, tech-enabled shipping (aka our bread and butter). 

Immediately after the partnership started, PDQ jumped into their comprehensive onboarding process by first diving into Uprising's existing ShipStation setup. 

This deep dive entailed:

  • Leveraging a massive lift and shift of the existing ShipStation mechanics over to PDQ
  • Learning how Uprising's business already worked
  • Auditing the preexisting rules

PDQ improved the preexisting process rather than just transferring the services. They added significantly more rules and automation to preserve the ShipStation information.

Beyond that, they improved the ShipStation infrastructure, so Uprising had more time-saving automation and error-eliminating rules. Those improvements automated away error-inducing problems that human beings had to catch with ShipStation. 

"Ultimately, we decided to move forward with PDQ because we really experienced their product vision. It's so significantly superior to ShipStation in every way." 

Why Upgrading Fulfillment Helps Drive Loyal Customers

Customers want best-in-class, frictionless shipping experiences and compare your business to all the experiences they've had with completely unrelated brands. 

PDQ delivers multiple shipping benefits that help Uprising retain loyal customers:

  • They help Uprising ultimately deliver on their promises through consistent fulfillment
  • They allow Uprising to be flexible and nimble around customer requests 
  • They cut down on manual human errors across the delivery process

These positives make better first impressions and improve customer NPS, contributing to customer lifetime value retention and ultimately top line revenue growth.

In his words, "The excellence of our end-to-end shipping with PDQ is highly correlated with the belief in our ability to generate lifetime customers and have a thriving business."

Shifting focus, William adds that PDQ’s order management software has two major benefits.

1. Immediate Time-Savings

PDQ allows Uprising to spend fewer hours per order, saving time and money. 

They're also more efficient about working through the order queue and translating those orders into batches that get out the door.

They achieved this by implementing rules and new software that significantly reduces the number of potential errors in the process.

2. Seamless Ability to Scale 

A brand's order management must be able to scale flawlessly if they're going to achieve hyper-growth mode. Scaling is painful if fulfillment systems carry manual work or technical debt. 

PDQ's levels of automation and rule-making gave Uprising the confidence that they can scale their current platform without breaking their system and using bandaid solutions. 

"In the PDQ world, they've solved so much of the messiness of fulfillment that you can be way more confident that you'll scale the product successfully."

The Intrinsic Value of a Customer-Centric Tech Partner

William absolutely loves the PDQ team for a couple of major reasons.

1. A Proactive Technology Partner

Many tech companies provide a product but aren't interested in how it interacts with their customer. PDQ's team, on the other hand, seeks to improve the lives of its merchants. 

They always have a customer-centric focus; when there's a glitch or something doesn't go to plan, they're the first to say, "Wow, this didn't meet our own expectations."

They don't put the onus on the customer to call out mistakes; they do so proactively and look to right any wrongs. They value the customer's time.

2. Superior Product Design

A lot of tech is tools humans have to get used to to get jobs done. PDQ's product, conversely, is built to enable humans with technology. 

This philosophy translates to certain features, flows, UI, UX, and behind-the-scenes engineering that create a product with superior, user-focused design. 

"I really feel like PDQ's team takes it personally if it costs me five extra minutes to do something; they want to over-deliver on your expectations." 

Scaling with Uprising’s Needs: Ongoing White-Glove Service

The current tech landscape has created the expectation that brand teams remove themselves from customers as much as possible; they don't want to troubleshoot individually with users.

No customer wants that experience, but they're resigned to a generally low level of service because it's what's on offer unless they're willing to pay exorbitantly to get in touch with help.

In this sense, PDQ couldn't be more of a departure from the norm. William was surprised and blown away by how fantastic PDQ's team is and their level of involvement.

He didn't expect white-glove level attention from them, but that's what he receives. 

From day one, he's talked to all levels of PDQ people, from account managers to product designers, to people who run the company. Everyone listened to him, and they were all on the same page. William thought, "Wow, this company marches in unison."

That gave him confidence that:

  1. The core team PDQ would proactively address Uprising’s needs
  2. PDQ will produce engineered and published features that benefit Uprising

"The level of speed that PDQ delivered on features I wanted blew my mind. This service was astounding and unexpected, and I'm like, 'I love this place.'"

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