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At MailChimp, we use a company called Amplifier for all of our shipping and fulfillment. If we’re sending stuff to a conference, keeping t-shirts on hand for our support team to gift to users, storing our Freddie costume, or doing a giant holiday giveaway with 13,000 socks, we turn to Amplifier.

Amplifier!

The Freddie and Co. team was divided on how to handle fulfillment. “Why not get first hand experience?” David said. “Wouldn’t it be fun to create an assembly line in the office and pack things up?!”

The rest of us–me included!–knew how that would really turn out.

We’d get confused and flustered. We’d send the wrong packages to customers. We’d lose track of inventory. Plus, we ordered 1200 “pears” of socks. Our office space is overflowing with people. Where would we keep that inventory? Even though some of my team considered it “cheating,” I opted to let Amplifier handle Freddie and Co.’s shipping.

Now, there’s still a lot of work to be done, even with Amplifier’s help. We had to create a SKU for every item and make sure we kept Amplifier updated on what would be arriving when. We also had to keep an eye on the inventory. There’s a lot of coordination necessary to make sure everything syncs up. But we also wanted to be involved, too! So a few of us decided to head to Amplifier’s Atlanta HQ to help pack some socks after our grand opening.

so many things!

Austin, the guy who runs our Amplifier space, let us come crash his warehouse one day and taught us all about bulk orders and how to properly “pick and pack.” He explained the different types of shipping methods and showed us how he prints labels and organizes items. We debated over what would be the most aesthetically pleasing way to fold the tissue paper we’d got for the socks. (Speaking of which, did anyone notice the pattern on the tissue is the same as on the Topog socks?) We asked Austin tons of questions, looked in almost every box wondering if we’d find treasure, and chit-chatted about the best BBQ in Atlanta while folding tissue paper around socks and stuffing them in envelopes.

Meg and Melissa wrapping socks!

It didn’t take much time at all to pack up the socks sold on our grand opening (207 pears!), and with orders trickling in at around 2–12 per day after that, we could’ve definitely pulled it off ourselves. But partnering with Amplifier gave us more time for creative pursuits — like writing this newsletter! What things, if any, have you been able to outsource that freed you up for more creative time?? Reply and let me know!

-meg
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