Easing the Pain of Fulfillment and Shipping
Since its launch in 2006, Tiger Tail USA, a pioneer in muscle care and recovery, has expanded from the garage of Spring Faussett, its founder, to producing and selling tens of thousands of units.
Tiger Tail USA pioneered making muscle recovery mainstream in the United States and around the world. The company, based in Kent, Washington was the first to successfully create and market the hand-held foam roller, which is now a part of top-level training rooms across the country.
Pacejet, a division of 3Gtms, is an enterprise multi-carrier shipping software that seamlessly connects users to every part of their shipping ecosystem, ensuring the best shipment rates with fewer clicks.
As her company grew, Faussett needed an efficient way to package and ship its flagship muscle massage stick foam rollers, as well as massage balls, self-help books, handheld massagers, and other products. Tiger Tail has also grown to offer a corporate wellness and employee injury reduction program called “Happy Muscles 365.”
In 2016, Faussett opened a factory in the United States and searched for a solution to help her manage order packing and shipping. She turned to Pacejet from 3Gtms Inc., a provider of multi-carrier shipping and parcel solutions. Pacejet has been able to support Tiger Tail’s manufacturing and distribution operations, ensure reliable product fulfillment, and help it grow.
A Painful Idea
After years in competitive sports, including as a varsity soccer player at Washington State University, Spring Faussett was used to dealing with pain. Then she tore her ACL and underwent a hamstring autograft harvest. The result? “Piercing pain,” she says.
Faussett’s physical therapist recommended she use either a rolling pin or a roller to help manage the pain. Faussett gave both a try, but she couldn’t get down to the ground to use the roller, while the rolling pin offered no relief.
An idea was born, however. “I wondered what would happen if I crossed a rolling pin with a foam roller,” Faussett says. That lightbulb moment led to the launch of Tiger Tail USA.
Ubiquitous Foam Rollers
Today, Tiger Tail USA’s orange and black handheld foam rollers are part of training rooms across the country. They also can be seen on the sidelines of multiple professional sporting events across the United States and around the globe.
The foam roller actually is one of several product lines Faussett, who has invented products since she was a tween, has created. Her other inventions include SoundFlips Acoustic Ear Warmers and the ZooKeeper Pet Barrier.
To start Tiger Tail, Faussett spent several hundred dollars on supplies, created a prototype foam roller, and then made 125 of them. She hauled them all to a trade show, where they quickly sold out. She built another 150 and took those to another show. Once again, she sold out. Several trade shows later, it was clear her idea was viable.
Even so, when Faussett was beginning, few people knew what foam rollers were, let alone their benefits. She has since attended more than 350 trade shows to educate people about muscle knots, why addressing them is important, and how her tools work.
Along the way, Fausett built 20,000 units in her garage, sometimes with her husband’s help. “Pretty soon, we got to a point where we were selling more than I could make even in a day or a week,” Faussett says. “It got crazy.”
Finding a System
Eventually, Faussett connected with an outsource manufacturing partner. She noticed the company’s ability to automate the steps from taking a sales order to shipping the package, including weighing, packing, and labeling the shipment. Once the package shipped, the tracking number and package details would be emailed back to the company’s front office.
“The system was efficient and cool and made a serious impression on me,” she says.
In 2016, Faussett opened a Tiger Tail factory in the United States. Operations weren’t as automated as they had been at the outsource manufacturer, however. It could take eight to 10 minutes to pack a box and type the shipping label, often retyping data already in the system. Then, employees needed to weigh the box, add the tracking numbers, and other steps. “It was a lot of labor,” Faussett says.
A Shipping Solution
While Tiger Tail’s ERP system handles accounting, sales orders, and inventory, it wasn’t able to provide the sort of shipping capabilities the company needed.
Faussett and her team turned to Pacejet, which provides multi-carrier shipping and transportation solutions. “We make shipping much more accessible as part of the business operating systems that most companies use today,” says Ron Lee, chief product and technology officer with 3Gtms, a provider of cloud-based end-to-end transportation management software (TMS) and the company behind Pacejet.
While many companies of any size use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for accounting, order entry, and other functions, these solutions typically don’t provide much help when it comes to interacting with carriers, nor an efficient way to determine shipment cost. “Shippers want to know, ‘What will it cost and who can I use?’” Lee says.
What’s more, for many companies, shipping products regularly consumes both time and money. A company that reduces this expense will save on most shipments moving forward.
And as e-commerce continues to grow, accurate and timely shipping has become part of many companies’ go-to-market strategy. “Accurate shipping is a visible cash savings and a visible element in the customer experience and operational efficiency,” Lee says.
Pacejet helps companies efficiently identify carriers and determine their shipping costs. Organizations using the systems range from small companies, especially those that are hitting their growth curve, to large corporations.
Tiger Tail is an example of a company that’s hitting a growth curve and needs better tools for shipping, Lee says. While many ERP solutions offer some shipping solutions, it’s generally not their specialty. In contrast, “it’s all we do,” Lee says.
At the same time, most shippers look for a solution that can augment the capabilities of their ERP solutions, and remain tightly connected to it. Along with its core functionality, Pacejet already has connections to numerous carriers and ERP solutions.
“The key to fast and reliable implementation is that we’ve done this for hundreds of other companies,” Lee says.
Faussett had looked at other technology solutions, but none integrated as seamlessly as Pacejet. “With Pacejet we never have to worry about data dropping or not being in sync,” she says. “It’s seamless.”
All fulfillment data on the sales order translates into Pacejet. So, when Tiger Tail employees send orders into the warehouse, workers can take them from the printer, scan the label or barcode on the packing slip, weigh the package, and produce and attach a shipping label.
Once the shipping label is produced, a tracking number attaches to the shipped record. This also integrates into Tiger Tail’s ERP and attaches to the invoice that’s ready to go to the customer. Because of its integration with Tiger Tail’s ERP system, the system also knows the items have been pulled from inventory. In addition, tracking data comes back to Tiger Tail.
The integration between Tiger Tail and the ERP solution is a true field-to-field integration, so no data is lost. Packing and shipping can be completed in a few minutes, versus the eight or nine it previously took.
“Pacejet solved the challenge of how we are able to ship a package efficiently,” Faussett says. Just as important, the steps required to ship packages are simple and easy, no matter what an employee’s background or skillset.
The implementation required 15 to 20 hours of time over the course of about a month on Tiger Tail’s end. “Pacejet was great at taking my hand and being a Sherpa through the process, which was fast, efficient and streamlined,” she says.
The Pacejet solution has cut warehouse delays and slashed order processing by about 75%. It has also enabled more accurate inventory forecasting “Now, we have enough product to fulfill orders without carrying excess inventory,” Faussett says.
In addition, as Tiger Tail works with more corporate clients, it’s able to, for instance, take employee names and ship products that are part of a corporate wellness account either to their homes or to the company’s location—a capability that enables Tiger Tail to pursue this new market.
“We’re seeing that section of the business grow,” Faussett says.
Tiger Tail is looking at other features from Pacejet. One is the LTL shipping comparisons it can offer. Another is an enhancement that could speed data transfers with Tiger Tail’s EDI provider.
Given the commitment and dedication required to run a company, many business owners “live through the grind and the grit of making a small business work,” Faussett says. Often, they’re unaware of solutions that can streamline operations and ease some of the grind—like Pacejet.
“Sometimes you don’t know what’s possible until you see it,” Faussett says.
Casebook Study: A Roaring Pace
As Tiger Tail’s business grew, the company needed a way to streamline its packing and shipping operations.
Partner with Pacejet by 3Gtms for multicarrier packing and shipping solutions.
Fewer warehouse delays, a 75% reduction in order processing time, and more accurate inventory forecasting.
Tiger Tail is evaluating Pacejet’s capabilities to compare LTL shipping options, as well as enhancements that could speed data transfers with its EDI provider.