Twenty years old in 2017, Trinity Road was founded with the goal of creating new channels of distribution for family-friendly religious and inspirational books and gifts.
With peak shipping times centered around the spring and December holidays, the company ships more than 200,000 packages every year from its 17,000 square foot Charlotte, NC warehouse to customers in the United States and around the world using the U.S. Postal System and FedEx.
When the postal system implemented new requirements for international packages (i.e., making sure a list of all the items being shipped were printed on the label on the outside of the package), Trinity Road acquired a new system from a national provider to help accommodate the new rules. On the very first day of its operation, however, it had to be shut down. The new system was taking a full eight seconds to populate information to the system and print the appropriate labels.
Given that Trinity Road ships up to 1,700 packages a day, that delay meant four hours of…waiting. It was an unacceptable reality. So, the company temporarily went back to using their old machine. It worked, but didn’t allow them to meet the post office’s requirements. They were basically doing all of their manifesting and documentation by hand. It was an untenable scenario. While they eventually implemented the new system to meet the requirement of the post office, the team was never satisfied with the labeling performance nor the effort from the provider to correct the system inefficiency.
“With them, it’s always been about helping us get what we need. I would recommend them to others. They have solutions that work.”
– Brian Smith, Vice President of Operations, Trinity Road
Brian Smith is Vice President of Operations for Trinity Road. He was on the team that found the answer to the dilemma in Lineage, which outfitted the organization with ProShip Shipping Software, from Neopost. Now fully implemented, the product allows Trinity Road to scan barcodes and print labels in a single second per package. What’s more, it’s allowed the company to use the Postal Service’s electronic verification system (EVS) instead of paper manifesting.
“That saves us, literally, two-and-a-half man hours a day,” said Smith. “We had a hard cut-off in terms of labeling packages because the post office doesn’t like to wait when the truck shows up, so at 2:30 we would stop labeling because it previously took us up to 30 minutes to print the appropriate documents. But with EVS, because it’s electronic, we label up until the time the truck shows up. We push a button and the manifest is transmitted electronically and we go right back to work.”
The ProShip software provides Trinity Road with automated rate shopping, customized labeling, manifest management and multi-mode track and trace. The best benefit, though, might be that Smith and his team can focus more of their time on other, more important matters.
“To be honest, we don’t even notice it anymore,” said Smith. “We had so many issues with our previous provider that having something help us so effortlessly has been wonderful. It’s there, it’s working, and we don’t have to monitor it all the time. That’s huge.”
In some ways, the improved performance and efficiency that ProShip and Lineage have enabled has been an answered prayer. It does the work while instilling peace of mind, as well. “It’s helped accomplish two of our primary goals,” added Smith.
“It continues to save us a bundle of time in label generation, while as a consequence of that, giving my team a lot of valuable time back to focus on their jobs. Being able to use the postal service’s EVS has been a real time-saver, too. It’s also upped our reliability rating, which is always nice. Our bar code readability accuracy is way up.”
Smith said he appreciates the comfort level he’s achieved with the ProShip solution.
“Every time I’m generating a label, the barcode is right, the address is right, the cost is correct, and were not getting overloaded with having to deal with problems or minutiae.”
Having a solid partner like Lineage to help him them out has left a favorable impression on Trinity Road.
“We have a great relationship,” said Smith. “The communication is great, and that’s something we really appreciate. In our business, time is essential. With them, it’s always been about helping us get what we need. I would definitely recommend them to others. They have solutions that work.”
Well that’s good news.