ShipSource.com and Skygeek.com/ Styles Logistics White Paper
ShipSource.com was able to deliver a solution to Styles Logistics that has allowed the company to scale and expand.
By: Hunter Hartman
“Aviators, mechanics, businesses, military institutions, government agencies— basically anyone under the sky - we are here to fulfill your order promptly and as conveniently as our resources will allow.”
For over 40 years, Styles Logistics, Inc. has served the aircraft community and the aviation industry as the premier provider of airplane parts and supplies. From these beginnings at Sky Acres Airport in Lagrangeville, NY, SkyGeek was born and, in 2003, became the online portal for Styles Logistics. With an impressive selection of over 100,000 items, aviators can find practically anything required prior to take-off.
“The part came three days after I ordered it, right on schedule. It was exactly the OEM part, even to having both part numbers correct (part mfg. #, and airplane mfg. part # / cross-reference #). Fifty dollars less than API would have charged the shop for the same part, AND I didn't have to pay the shop mark-up and drop- shipment charges. Great job guys!
-William D, North Carolina
Challenges & Opportunities
Like many online retailers, SkyGeek, which stands at #819 in the IRCE Second 500 e-commerce companies, understands the value of a multiple-carrier shipping strategy. However, this strategy consisted of utilizing five different shipping platforms in conjunction with a Stone Edge Order Management System as well as managing HazMat shipments. Bouncing around from one system to the next, along with the required upkeep of multiple third-party platforms, created significant inefficiency in the warehouse.
In order to improve efficiency and control shipping costs, SkyGeek needed a single shipping platform that could integrate with Stone Edge and provide automatic, multiple-carrier rate shopping functionality. Not an insignificant challenge.
For many shippers, a robust and customizable, enterprise class shipping system can be price prohibitive. However, with ShipSource.com, small and medium sized businesses can take advantage of a sophisticated shipping platform that is surprisingly affordable.
When working with multiple-carrier solutions, Stone Edge can be tricky. As a fully integrated solution, ShipSource solves this concern, providing Stone Edge
clients the ability to utilize an almost limitless mix of carrier and to pick those carriers based on the specific business rules of the shipping department.
For SkyGeek, looking to significantly enhance warehouse efficiency, the Stone Edge-ShipSource integration was critical. Within a matter of weeks, they moved from five shipping platforms and a manual “rate-shop” to determine the best shipping option, to a single shipping platform. This platform not only pulls and pushes data to-and-from Stone Edge seamlessly throughout the shipping process, but automatically selects the “right” carrier every time.
Additionally, SkyGeek manages numerous HazMat shipments, which presents a unique set of challenges for any shipping department. The ability for RateLinx to write a custom integration for HazShipper alleviated the problem and further enhanced shipping efficiency. This integration can be utilized by like shippers working with HazShipper for HazMat shipments.
Finally, a thorough analysis of SkyGeek shipping data uncovered a hole in the carrier mix based on the size and weight of the products being sent. As the premier provider of USPS Priority Mail products in the U.S., Move Method provided SkyGeek the opportunity to incorporate this product into the shipping matrix as part of a comprehensive carrier mix.
The ability to move from a multiple and highly inefficient shipping platform scenario to a ShipSource single-platform model that communicates flawlessly with Stone Edge has provided extraordinary efficiency gains for SkyGeek. The shipping process is now completely streamlined allowing them to ship more packages in less time with the added benefit of enhancing customer satisfaction.
According to Rob Rose of SkyGeek, the transition to ShipSource was well worth the effort. “ShipSource has been a great partner. The implementation was very successful and easy. Issue Tracker is quite amazing. We receive response time from minutes to within an hour.”
By incorporating USPS Priority Mail and the inherent two-day delivery time throughout the Continental U.S., SkyGeek has been able to decrease average transit time to their customers as well as realize cost savings in the warehouse. RateLInx queries carriers aligned with the specific shipping requirements and automatically produces the lowest cost label. As part of the carrier mix, the USPS fills a prominent void in the SkyGeek shipping department.
SkyGeek lives by the motto “Supplying the Skies.” Now, with ShipSource, SkyGeek is living that motto not only more efficiently, but with substantial cost-savings and greater customer satisfaction.