PulseTV Sees Shipping Performance Gains

PulseTV, an online and catalog seller of discounted home goods, electronics and other products, was looking for a way to cut down on its shipping costs. Having used UPS since its founding in 1996, it was exploring its options when a representative of OSM Worldwide reached out five years ago.

Since then, PulseTV has moved most of its business over to OSM, which consolidates shipments using the U.S. Postal Service network. PulseTV founder Anisa Ali said the switch has resulted in cost savings and process improvements that have benefitted PulseTV and its customers.

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Taking a “walk before you run” approach, PulseTV moved about half its business over to OSM. Today, OSM handles all its 1 lb. and under shipments, representing 95% of the volume. The rest is handled by USPS’s Priority Mail (2%) and UPS Ground (3%). In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the UPS volume spikes up to as much as 20%.

“Through the years it’s only gotten faster with delivery times, and customers are very pleased,” said Anisa Ali, co-founder of PulseTV. “In this age of Amazon we have live people in the office to help with issues with our products. Using OSM has cut down the number-one customer service question, where’s my order? Now they’re not asking.”

While PulseTV doesn’t track how many “where are my shipment” calls it gets, Ali said the number of overall problem calls has stayed about the same even as shipping volume has increased more than 60% since the company started using OSM.

Ali said PulseTV’s goal is to meet or exceed OSM’s standard of 1-5 days for delivery, with its current average at 3.3 days. Since using OSM it’s been able to cut down the percentage of packages falling short of the standard from 4-5% to 2%. “That’s really cut down on customer service calls and resulted in real dollar savings,” Ali said.

OSM has also allowed PulseTV to avoid the two-step labeling process with UPS, requiring only one label to print and adhere. Ali said PulseTV has been able to streamline its fulfillment process and lower its labor costs by not having to scan, scale and weigh each package after the order is packed. OSM scans the packing list bar code and applies the shipping label with a USPS tracking number.

Ali said PulseTV has benefitted in terms of pricing because of OSM’s volume as a USPS consolidator, getting better deals than it would on its own. It has then passed along some of the savings to its customers, resulting in increased business, she said. Its daily package volume has grown from 300 five years ago to about 2,000 today.

PulseTV has also been able to add USPS Priority Mail to its shipping options without requiring a separate USPS pickup, which would have been the case on its own.

Mike O’Brien is Senior Editor of Multichannel Merchant

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