How Semaine Health Saves $2/Order With 4x the Volume & 99.95% Order Accuracy With ShipBob [Case Study]

Verified & Reviewed

Written By

Written By

Subscribe for More

“We quadrupled our order volume this year, and because our fulfilment and shipping costs have gotten so much cheaper, we’ve been able to support that scale.”

Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Semaine Health

Customer Profile

Semaine Health is a supplement brand devoted to taking women’s health seriously. While their flagship product is specially designed to alleviate menstrual symptoms (including mood swings, bloating, and cramps), their catalogue of plant-based, clinically-developed products provide solutions to issues such as menstrual pain, hormonal imbalances, UTIs, and menopause symptoms. 

Learn how supplement brand Semaine Health cut shipping times, optimised costs, and even improved accuracy leveraging ShipBob’s Inventory Placement Program.

Key metrics

  • 4 ShipBob fulfilment centres in the US
  • $2.16 lower fulfilment cost per order on average
  • 1.6 days cut from average transit time: from 5.2 days to 3.6 days
  • 4X order volume increase in 6 months   
  • 99.95% order accuracy rate (a 10X reduction in the error rate over previous 3PL)
  • 4 fully automated B2B wholesale retailer partners with ShipBob EDI

About Semaine Health

Lauren Lee had always had really painful periods – but as she got older and the pain only got worse, she began to suspect that something was very wrong.  

After 15 years, lots of her own research, and a surgery, Lauren finally achieved an official diagnosis: she had endometriosis. But by that point, decades of high painkiller doses had caused problems with her stomach lining and rendered regular pain treatments a non-starter.

So, Lauren and her husband Matt Crane began exploring plant-based alternatives to ibuprofen. As a faculty member at the University of Washington’s medical school, Matt turned to research on dysmenorrhea (extremely painful periods), and quickly discovered that certain plant extracts work similarly to common painkillers without causing the same stomach side effects. 

Matt used that research to develop a smoothie to help manage Lauren’s pain – and it worked! The pair shared their solution with Lauren’s sister and their friends, where it was met with rave reviews. Soon after, the couple pivoted their solution into a supplement and brought it to market as Semaine Health – and have only grown since. 

We sat down with Matt Crane to discuss how ShipBob’s inventory placement program, B2B solutions, and order accuracy has helped support them as they scale.

Finding ShipBob after outgrowing prior fulfilment partner

As told to ShipBob by Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Semaine Health. 

We started out fulfilling orders ourselves, then switched to a 3PL that was recommended to us by our advisors.

That partnership worked for a while, because we were really small – but a year and a half into working with this 3PL, we realized they would not be able to scale with us. 

There were just so many issues – they were making tons of mistakes with our DTC orders, their software was a mess and didn’t connect well with Shopify, and the cost and transit times of shipping from just one fulfilment centre was creating more customer service headaches than it was solving. 

@semaine_health

@AsianCajuns Lar tells us how she takes our PMS & Period Support. #ceo #periodprobs

♬ original sound – SemaineHealth

We started looking for a true fulfilment partner, and pretty soon narrowed the list down to ShipBob and one of its competitors. In talking with the ShipBob team and getting some demos of ShipBob’s software, I got a really thorough understanding of what working with them would be like, and knew they would be a good fit for us.

Cutting transit times by a third through ShipBob’s Inventory Placement Program

Right after we partnered with ShipBob, we joined their Inventory Placement Program, which streamlines inventory distribution across the US, taking multi-location inbound shipments, inventory allocation, and rebalancing off merchants’ plates. 

Since launching in the program, we’ve been able to allocate our inventory across 4 of ShipBob’s fulfilment centres in the United States, which cut our shipping times by a third – from 5.2 days down to about 3.6 days. Not only has transit time dropped, but at the same time we reduced fulfilment costs by over $2 per order compared with our old 3PL. This combination has been key to profitable growth this year. 

The before and after images show how Semaine Health’s shipping zones changed after they shifted from using 1 fulfilment centre to using 4 fulfilment centres.

Key: Green = Zones 1-3, Yellow = Zones 4-6, Orange = Zones 7-8

“We technically offer 2-day shipping to customers at checkout for a premium. But with the Inventory Placement Program’s strategic inventory distribution, most of our standard orders are delivered in two days anyway!

It’s been incredible watching our shipping times get shorter and shorter just using standard delivery, simply because we expanded to more fulfilment centres through ShipBob.” 

Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Semaine Health

And the cost to split inventory this way? It’s a no-brainer. It costs less for us to deliver all inventory to one location that’s close to our manufacturer partners in NJ, and let ShipBob take care of splitting the inventory between the four different warehouses than it would for us to ship and handle logistics ourselves. We quadrupled our order volume this year, and because our fulfilment and shipping costs have gotten so much cheaper, we’ve been able to support that scale.

“I ran the numbers to see what it would cost to ship pallets directly to different fulfilment centres, and it’s so much more expensive than sending it to one hub and letting ShipBob distribute it for us. The Inventory Placement Program’s model is much cheaper, and we don’t have to think about distribution. It’s saved us so many headaches, and now we just arrange one pickup from a manufacturer and one delivery. It’s so cheap, and so easy.” 

Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Semaine Health   

The Inventory Placement Program has also made my life a lot easier. We only have 5 people on our whole team, and I handle most of the inventory shipments. Now that we’re in the IPP, it’s super easy for me to get the inventory where it needs to go – I just send it to one hub location, and it gets distributed across ShipBob’s fulfilment centre network. Not having to worry about shipments and distribution saves me several hours every week. 

Automating B2B fulfilment for Target, Walgreens, and other retail stores

ShipBob’s automated B2B solution has also been key in helping us scale. We partner with major retailers like Target and Walgreens, and rely on ShipBob to send B2B orders to their brick-and-mortar locations. 

Getting EDI connections set up is always complicated, but ShipBob’s implementation team was amazing, and the way they treated us during the whole process was just fantastic. The team really worked hard to fix any issues, sort out any challenges, and make sure that we could get orders to retailers following all compliance guidelines. 

“We use ShipBob’s EDI connection to automate B2B retail distribution, and it’s been really straightforward. Everything flows through the system so easily now; we get a purchase order from a retailer, it ships out, and we don’t have to think about it.

Our goal was always for B2B to essentially work the same way as our DTC business: something we could have on autopilot, that requires very little oversight from us. With ShipBob’s B2B solution, we’ve got that, and now our B2B is automated.” 

Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Semaine Health

Improving the customer experience with higher accuracy and branded touches 

Fulfilment is hard, so there’s always going to be mistakes – and with our previous 3PL, we were used to having about a half of a percent error rate (meaning 0.5%-1% of the DTC orders that we shipped out were wrong in some way). 

With ShipBob, I feel like our error rate is a hundred times less. I’m just stunned by how accurate our orders are, and our error rate is just vanishingly small now. Honestly, it’s been a game-changer for us, because we’re experiencing way fewer customer service issues than before, while growing 4x. 

@semaine_health

Semaine swag is here! Subscribers get it for free! 🎉 #merch #wellness

♬ All I Want Is You – Disco Lines

If our accuracy levels had stayed the same as they were before partnering with ShipBob, we would have had to hire more customer service members on our team just to handle all the issues and get orders out on time. If we were still with our old 3PL, we would not have been able to scale.

ShipBob also gives us the ability to automatically add marketing inserts, branded packaging, and other customised touches to our orders.

For instance, we have little sticker sheets that we’ll sometimes send out with orders if someone has been a subscriber for a while. Before ShipBob, we were editing orders manually to add the sticker sheets.

Now, we’ve set up an automation rule in the ShipBob dashboard, so all we have to do is add a tag to an order (which is easy), and the order gets customised correctly. It’s been really helpful, because those extra elements can make a huge impact on customers.

Achieving our mission with partners like ShipBob

At Semaine Health, we’re passionate about helping people whose pain has been overlooked, ignored, and dismissed. Our goal is to be able to continue providing solutions that are high quality, yet affordable – and ShipBob enabling us to reduce fulfilment costs helps us achieve that mission.   

Using high-quality ingredients means that our products cost a lot to make, so for a long time, bringing a higher-quality product to more people has been tricky. But by leveraging ShipBob’s Inventory Placement Program to lower shipping costs and speeds for DTC customers, and streamlining B2B with their automation, ShipBob has really helped us broaden access to pain solutions for more people and get them our products faster.

“We literally would not have been able to expand this year without ShipBob. In the past six months, we’ve quadrupled the number of orders that we’re shipping out. You might expect that that jump in volume would cause issues – but fulfilment has only gotten faster and better. That’s not how it typically works! ShipBob’s solutions have been game-changing for our brand.” 

Matt Crane, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer at Semaine Health

Looking to the future

We’ve already scaled so much, it’s honestly hard to imagine what the future holds! 

We’re really excited to keep growing with ShipBob’s support. We’ve got some big additional retail partners in the pipeline, and we’re thrilled about all of the B2B expansion that ShipBob is doing. ShipBob’s retail distribution solution has already made our life a whole lot easier, so we’re eager to see how ShipBob will make it even better.

Semaine Health’s team at ShipBob

Marc Fontanetta

Marc is part of ShipBob’s Merchant Care Team, and helps support Semaine Health.

Jordan Thomas

Jordan is an Implementation Consultant at ShipBob that helped onboard Semaine Health.

Jeremy Whitaker

Jeremy is the Account Executive that helped Semaine Health get started with ShipBob.

Get started with ShipBob

Want to improve your ecommerce fulfilment strategy and scale your business? Discover if ShipBob is the right fit for your brand and request a fulfilment quote below.

Order fulfillment services

You omnichannel fulfillment partner that's an extension of your brand, from unboxings to 2-day shipping.

Warehouse management

Have your own warehouse? Get ShipBob WMS to reduce mis-picks, save time, and improve productivity.

Global scalability

Grow into new geographies with ShipBob's international presence in the US, UK, EU, Canada, and Australia.

Written By:

Rachel is a Content Marketing Specialist at ShipBob, where she writes blog articles, eGuides, and other resources to help small business owners master their logistics.

Read all posts written by Rachel Hand