May 7, 2024

How UnderOutfit uses PDQ to scale up seamlessly

We sat down with Nando Dornelas, who heads up UnderOutfit’s logistics, to hear how PDQ drastically enhances the brand’s checkout to delivery management experience.

We cover:

  1. How PDQ accelerated checkout to delivery management when using a 3PL
  2. Why Underoutfit turned to automation to fast-track fulfillment operations
  3. The outsized value of PDQ’s ongoing white-glove service for merchants
“If you’re a brand seeking a fulfillment solution, PDQ are the guys to handle it. They set up everything from product management to processing ops so you’re set to scale.” 

Phase 1: Inflexible, Unscalable Tech

Even before joining PDQ, the UnderOutfit team were no strangers to fulfillment software. 

They’d already tried out a handful of integrations to link their Shopify store and WMS. The latest in the lineup was CartRover — but with limitations and too large of a company. 

This meant less flexible tech and far less client support than they’d hoped. Yet, their most pressing issue was a lack of accurate, timely info on fulfillment issues. 

CartRover often failed to keep up with Shopify’s order updates, and couldn’t provide accurate delivery promises or carrier updates. 

If a snag occurred anywhere between the warehouse and the customer's doorstep, the team wouldn't know until a buyer got in contact about the status of their late package. 

These details could make or break user satisfaction with your business, and legacy fulfillment solutions offered little insight — leaving both brands and buyers in the dark. 

Beyond this, in 2022 alone, UnderOutfit’s revenue has grown by roughly 50%, meaning they currently process over 20,000 orders a month.

To avoid slowing that impressive trajectory, they needed dependable fulfillment flows ASAP. In addition, Nando’s team needed a tech solution that was able to integrate with their 3PL.

“It’s difficult to find an integration on the market that’ll solve all your fulfillment issues, provide the right features and automations, and still allow for flexibility.” 

Phase 2: White-Glove Onboarding with PDQ

One of PDQ’s founders is an old connection of one of the UnderOutfit founders, which landed our platform on their radar pretty soon after launching. The rest is history. As Nando recounts: 

Once the onboarding process kicked off, PDQ team members — from his assigned client rep to our CEO — were on deck, providing (almost) around-the-clock support. 

We spent those first few weeks ensuring the implementation was functioning smoothly. 

Months later, the UnderOutfit crew has been surprised — and very appreciative, says Nando — to see that PDQ support is still readily available on short notice. 

He concedes that, with basically any vendor, his team will likely encounter some sort of integration hiccup or broader tech issue. 

In his words: “Shit happens, right? But it’s important to have someone to count on when that shit goes down. When it comes to integration, PDQ are those people, for sure.” 

“I say the same thing every time: The PDQ team rocks. They’re a truly supportive, attentive, and helpful team from the very start of onboarding.” 

How PDQ Works with 3PL’s to Accelerate Fulfillment 

Two aspects of PDQ have been essential for streamlining Underoutfit’s fulfillment ops: 

  1. The platform’s partnership with leading 3PL’s like ShipNetwork 
  2. Automating mechanical tasks to free up time, energy, and overhead

ShipNetwork is a 3PL provider powered by a network of procurement centers across the U.S. 

Luckily, PDQ built strategic partnerships with a range of 3PLs like DaVinci and 3PL Central to enable dynamic delivery methods in checkout, shipping with any service provider, and arrival by order delivery promise. By leveraging PDQ’s integration with ShipNetwork, Underoutfit streamlined fulfillment functions seamlessly through the following steps: 

  1. End-to-end execution — When a user purchases from Underoutfit, the store data is sent to ShipNetwork's WMS. From there, a ShipNetwork teammate picks, scans, and packs the order. PDQ’s quickflows and automation batching facilitate easy order updates and order upsells.
  2. Handoff — The package goes to the quickest, most cost-effective carrier (determined by PDQ software) from ShipNetwork's partners for final handoff to the customer. 
  3. Exception management — Through PDQ’s CRM, push notifications are automatically sent when an issue arises with an order and/or shipment.

Finally, Nando emphasizes PDQ’s numerous automation options to: 

  • Save team members’ time and energy that would’ve been wasted on rote tasks
  • Eliminate the likelihood of human error when handling thousands of monthly units

For instance, at the end of each workday, his team had to manually extract a CSV file from Shopify and upload it to their facility system. It was an inane but, unfortunately, necessary task. 

Now that PDQ has automated various workflows along that pipeline, workers are freed up to process orders faster and, by extension, ensure more satisfied user experiences. 

"PDQ will definitely provide the best experience possible for both your customers and your fulfillment team." 

The Results: Happier Customers & Lower Service Lift

Since switching to PDQ, UnderOutfit has been able to drive down fulfillment issues — and, by extension, unhappy customers — across the board. Nando outlines three for us. 

1. Less Incorrect Addresses

Incorrect or straight-up nonexistent delivery addresses are the most common cause for a customer not receiving their order. 

PDQ runs a simple fix: a validator function to check address submissions for accuracy. 

By decreasing the likelihood of the most common user complaint, UnderOutfit has been able to drive their NPS and shrink the workloads of their customer service team. 

2. Less Backorders

Backorders occur when a merchant doesn’t have the necessary inventory in stock for a product on their site. It’s all too common for eCom brands with inaccurate integrations in place. 

For instance, the previous fulfillment layer between UnderOutfit’s warehouse and Shopify store often produced outdated info for shoppers. 

Meanwhile, as a platform centered around real-time, two-way data streams, PDQ ensures a 360° view and rapid-fire updates on everything moving (or soon to move) in and out of your facilities. 

This also maintains solid conversion rates, as backorders are far likelier to elicit cancellations once buyers realize they just don’t want to wait that long for a product. 

3. Adjusting Orders with Self-Service

One recurring pain point for Underoutfit was immediate post-purchase regret: 

  1. A customer would hit “Complete checkout” on their cart
  2. They’d quickly realize they wanted a different size or new colorway
  3. They’d reach out to customer support, hoping to just make one quick change
  4. But, support reps could only cancel and refund the order or exchange it after delivery

Basic user psychology tells us that executing an exchange or placing a brand new order is too much work, so canceling it entirely is the simplest move. 

Again: The brand loses conversions due to poor integration between its store and warehouse. 

In response, the Underoutfit folks have been able to implement a technical delay — a window of time between the user hitting “Purchase” and the info getting sent to their facility. 

That 2–3-hour period allows the buyer to adjust the order to their liking, thus improving their customer experience. And all without the extra lift from an actual service rep. 

“We’ve seen happier customer experiences, which go hand-in-hand with reduced lift for our customer service team. Both are direct impacts of PDQ.” 

PDQ’s Real-Time Updates & Delivery Transparency

As mentioned, Underoutfit had long dealt with opaque fulfillment flows and untimely delivery data, leading to an uninformed team and disgruntled customers. 

PDQ finally solves both sides of this pain point by: 

  1. Calculating intelligent, accurate delivery promises
  2. Immediately notifying the team on order issues as they happen

If a user submits an incorrect email address, the fulfillment center encounters a backlog, or weather conditions impede last-mile delivery, Underoutfit is in the know immediately. 

PDQ’s software then updates tracking on the buyer’s end for the most up-to-date timeline. PDQ follows the order even after a 3PL has shipped it with any carrier to ensure that it’s delivered as promised.

In reality, it's not the end of the world if a customer receives their purchase a couple of days late. They just want to know what to expect. 

Don't try to salvage a customer relationship after you've jumbled their order. Instead, reinforce their trust by providing transparency in the post-purchase stage. 

“​​PDQ provides in-depth reporting and real-time updates on logistical issues. With this platform, we have everything under control on the fulfillment front.” 

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