The Making of an Inc. 5000 Company
After years as a successful eBay seller, Brigham Budd caught up with his former boss at a local Chili’s in July 2009. The two had gotten together to contemplate the future, and they spent majority of their lunch scribbling businesses ideas on a handful of napkins. They left the restaurant with their goals outlined and a fledgling idea for Vetora in mind.
Fast forward a couple months to Brigham’s garage, and Vetora got its legs as the duo sold, packed and shipped electronic accessories to consumers across the U.S.
The company soon expanded to include an array of brands – Ecoswift, focused on shipping supplies; Fenzer, specialized in electronic accessories; and ClapFish, a deals site. Vetora soon needed to move into a warehouse to accommodate its growth.
For Brigham, it was always about adapting to the space available. “When we worked in my garage, we focused on selling electronics goods, because those were smaller and easier to keep in stock,” said Brigham. “As we moved to a larger location, we were able to offer packaging materials, because we had the space to store it.”
Along with selling on a website and through retail partners, Vetora garners 75 percent of its revenue from eBay. With a long list of products available, Brigham needed a solution that could aggregate orders from an assortment of sites to ultimately streamline Vetora’s shipping process.
The Road to Efficiency: Endicia and Teapplix
When it came to finding a shipping solution, Brigham heeded his favorite adage: “Imitate before you innovate.” He took a close look at what other businesses were doing and tried to copy them.
So, Brigham adopted the shipping and inventory management software Teapplix in 2011 to take advantage of its tracking features – particularly the ability to automatically update eBay buyers with tracking information. Working with Teapplix’s sales team, Brigham was able to assume similar management strategies of large eBay sellers and personalize them for Vetora, like the ability to automatically apply product shipping rules to Vetora’s products.
Brigham also added Endicia to the mix, given his previous experience with the software. “I don’t ever see myself leaving Endicia,” said Brigham. “I was thrilled to see it integrate seamlessly with Teapplix. Their partnership allows me to create native USPS shipping labels and access consolidator solutions, like DHL Global Mail.”
Teapplix pulls in Vetora’s orders from eBay and its many websites and automatically assigns weights and shipping rules to each product. Then Endicia creates and prints the shipping label – saving considerable time in the process.
“Teapplix and Endicia have helped us achieve maximum shipping efficiency,” said Brigham. “We’ve come a long way from buying rolls of stamps and attaching them onto each package. Now, we spend that time focused on growing our company.”
Today, Vetora’s business model is thriving. The company made the Inc. 500 list in 2013 and Inc. 5000 list in 2014.
Endicia and Teapplix: The Partnership
Teapplix started as a programming favor for a friend, but quickly turned into full-fledged shipping and inventory management software.
Xudong Yan created the software back in 2007 to provide a multi-user, web-based order management interface for online sellers. Teapplix can route orders, manage RMAs, track financials and inventory, integrate with QuickBooks and provide customer service.
Teapplix was born right alongside its partnership with Endicia. Since Xudong’s same friend was already using Endicia, he requested Xudong create a solution compatible with the shipping software.
Today, Teapplix’s strength is in bulk shipping – especially in batch – and Endicia’s software allows Teapplix customers to create and print shipping labels. You’re able to configure a number of USPS consolidator solutions, like Globgistics and APC.
For Xudong, the Teapplix and Endicia partnership goes hand-in-hand with his goal of putting the customer first. “Small business owners face enough challenges – shipping shouldn’t have to be one of them,” said Xudong. “It’s been my mission to make my customer’s lives easier, and Endicia allows us do just that.”