Written by Starshipit
The Feather is Australia’s largest seller and importer of the widest selection of feather plumes from around the world, including the ever-glamourous ostrich, peacock and pheasant plumes. All sourced to the highest standard and a natural bi-product.
“We have less stress. I kick myself for not using Starshipit sooner!”
The business is managed by the owner, Shelley Steinwede, who inherited The Feather from her mother-in-law over fifteen years ago, and Leanne Cotte, who has been working with Shelley for close on ten years. Leanne is responsible for getting all the orders out the door to their clientele who are mostly in Australia and New Zealand, with some orders coming in from international clients.
As fashion trends have shifted over the years, The Feather product line has evolved alongside these shifting demands. For example, as Leanne explains, “With the rise of the boho fashion look we decided to extend our product line to include dried flowers. We keep up with what our customers want, who are primarily in fashion and entertainment, and the wedding and crafts industries.”
For a business that supplies so many glamourous events, it was particularly un-glamourous work having to manually process orders. “The main problem we were facing was the time it was taking us to process shipping labels. We would manually type in each of our customers address onto the Australia Post eParcel system.”
As orders increased, what didn’t increase were the number of hours in a day. “Some days we would have over 100 orders, so you can only imagine the time it would take me. There were also more errors, as it was easy to type in the incorrect address, so I was constantly under the pump to get all my shipments done before our postal pickup.”
Another time-consuming task was ensuring that the delicate plumes and flowers were packaged safely as a lot of the orders were destined for high-end Great Gatsby parties or a dream wedding.
Top tip: You pay penalty fees for every parcel returned from an incorrect address, so ensuring all packages go out with correct addresses as much as possible will save you money.
Leanne and Shelley would often wonder how big brands manage shipping high volumes every day. It seemed highly unlikely that they would also be sitting for hours manually processing thousands of orders one at a time.
Eventually Shelley and Leanne reached breaking point and Shelley reached out to her network to find a shipping solution. A friend of Shelley’s recommended Starshipit as a multi-courier shipping solution that would easily plug into their online store.
However, Leanne was resistant. She knew there had to be a better way, but she had worked out a system and didn’t want to disrupt the process, as slow as it was.
“I’m going to be very honest and say I wasn’t entirely sold when Shelley told me we were changing over, even when I knew the way I was currently doing shipping was not efficient.
They implemented Starshipit and Leanne became an instant fan.
“Changing over to Starshipit was a gamechanger! I couldn’t believe how simple it was. What’s been amazing is how responsive the team are at Starshipit. I’ll be in the middle of orders and there will be some small issue, but I need an answer there and then as I wouldn’t be able to continue. So I would send an email and without fail I would get a reply within minutes and that usually solved the problem.”
At this stage, The Feather use the label printing application, but as Leanne becomes more familiar with the product features she realizes that there are even more ways that she could streamline her fulfilment process.
Leanne is more than happy they started automating all shipping tasks with Starshipit, “We save 80% handling time, which means I have more time to focus on other areas of the business.”