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Meg vs. the Book Blunder

The great Blueprint shipping crisis of 2016.

Meg is organizing some notebooks

When I add new products to our Shopify store, there are a few things I have to do. Weigh the items, make sure I write in the correct SKU and price, upload product photography and descriptions, set Shopify to track the new inventory, and, last but not least, set Amplifier — our fulfillment service — to fulfill the item.

We made 3 notebooks with Baron Fig for Freddie and Co.’s third collection. For 2 of the 3 notebooks, I set up fulfillment. Somehow, I forgot about the Blueprint notebook.

On a recent Thursday, we launched the collection and emailed the Freddie and Co. list (5,000+ subscribers).

The very next day, I noticed some of the orders were marked “Unfulfilled,” but I shrugged it off. Unless an order is made late in the day or there are too many for our one warehouse guy (Hi, Austin!) to manage, we ship the next day. I decided I’d check Monday to see if they ship then.

Meg waving to Austin

Monday was crazy, and the thought didn’t even cross my mind. But I remembered on Tuesday and took a look — 23 unfulfilled and partially fulfilled orders!

I immediately called Austin (Hi, Austin!) to see what was going on, and that’s when I realized all of the unfulfilled orders had a Blueprint notebook. When I checked the Blueprint product setup, I quickly discovered my mistake.

I created a spreadsheet, filled in all the unfulfilled orders, and told the team. We decided to send an email explaining the delayed shipments and letting our patient customers know we’d shipped their items via UPS 3 Day Select. On Thursday, the Freddie and Co. email account got a bunch of shipping notifications, and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the Blueprints were now on their way. Crisis averted!

Except actually only half of them were.

Apparently, because I used the same order numbers as the orders direct from Shopify, Amplifier ignored the repeats — their system thought those orders were already fulfilled.

By the time we sorted that out (7:00PM on Friday), UPS was closed, so Austin (Hi, Austin!) labeled them all with Next Day Air and dropped them off at the UPS store Saturday morning. Thanks, Austin! In less than a week, no one was angry and everyone got their books. It turned out fine. I think people appreciated that we were quick to explain the issue and that we were willing to shell out some money for expedited shipping. Of course, I plan to quadruple-check my products in the future, but I’ve also learned that people respond well if you’re honest enough to admit a problem and take quick steps to fix it.

Next week’s issue is also going to be about lessons learned. Thankfully, this next lesson wasn’t the result of a mistake.

See you then!

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