Have you ever wondered where all of those manufacturing pieces and parts go once they’ve outlived their original purpose? If they’re made by any number of 80+ industrial manufacturers around the world — there’s a good chance Vintage Parts is giving them a second life. Started more than 50 years ago, this niche retailer specialises in getting original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to the people and places that need them. From car components to medical equipment to industrial machinery, this impressive seller reports that it carries an astounding 1.1 million unique part numbers and over 10 million actual pieces — all of it housed across 15 warehouses in Central Wisconsin.
For years, Vintage Parts says it relied on its own internal systems to manage complex processes.
“We relied on our OEMs to list us digitally in their electronic catalogs,” says Vice President of Sales and Marketing Pete Fogarty. “We created our own internal processes, working with the major shippers such as UPS, FedEx and DHL, and then integrated them into our database system. It was all our own software and programming.”
But unfortunately, Fogarty says, the systems didn’t always integrate seamlessly. And when your team is shipping some 1,200 packages a day, he adds, that fragmented approach can make for some pretty big challenges when handling fulfilment in-house.
“One of our downsides was getting tracking numbers sent to buyers in a timely fashion,” he says. “It usually took us about 24 hours, if not a little longer, and definitely involved a lot of phone calls from customers the following day.”
As orders continued to increase, Fogarty says his team realised it was time to find a better solution.
In an effort to optimise fulfilment, Vintage Parts turned to ShipWorks, an all-in-one shipping software solution that integrates directly with ChannelAdvisor. By unifying various fulfillment and e-commerce processes in one central platform, the company set out to eliminate many of its biggest shipping hassles and headaches.
“My team doesn’t ask me questions about it,” Fogarty says of the software. “It’s very straightforward.”
Thanks to the ShipWorks and ChannelAdvisor integration, Vintage Parts is now able to check and confirm orders easily. Now, when a customer calls to ask when a part will arrive, Fogarty says the team simply turns to the e-commerce platform for details.
Fogarty describes it anecdotally as feeling like “100% improvement in productivity,” adding that,”Now, when somebody places an order on eBay with us and we confirm shipment, the process is instantaneous. We don’t have to touch anything.”
He says the solution has been so successful that Vintage Parts is now exploring ways the company can make ShipWorks the standard across all of its shipping platforms.