How DTC Brand Prymal Regained Trust in 3PLs and Grew 4x with ShipBob [Case Study]

Learn how Prymal founder, Courtney Lee, was able to move her business forward by switching to a 3PL that offered savings and real-time fulfillment data. 

 

Customer Profile

Prymal is on a mission to make your coffee a little sweeter and a whole lot healthier. Based in Austin, Texas, the health food brand offers a one-of-a-kind sugar-free, non-dairy creamer made with ingredients like monk fruit, stevia, and erythritol. Prymal creamers don’t compromise taste with guilt-free flavors like Red Velvet and Birthday Cake. 

Prymal - Courtney Lee

Key metrics:

  • 2019: started shipping with ShipBob
  • 4x growth since switching to ShipBob
  • $8,000 per month saved on fulfillment costs with ShipBob
  • 160,000 hit in monthly sales
  • 2 ShipBob fulfillment centers used

Founder Courtney Lee grew up in a family that loves their morning coffee, especially with a good amount of creamer added. But when her father was diagnosed with diabetes, there was a clear elephant in the room — sugar. And creamers are full of it.

Her father was able to make a lot of changes to his diet, but the one thing he couldn’t give up was adding sugary creamer to his coffee (traditional creamers contain about three to five grams of sugar per serving). He tried every low-sugar alternative on the market, but none of them offered the same taste that her father enjoyed.

Courtney saw this as an opportunity. She set out to create a sugar-free creamer that would live up to her father’s standards. It took almost two years of R&D and walking the show floors of numerous food technology trade shows to finally pieced together a formula that her dad approved of. Prymal was born.

Today, Prymal offers several decadent creamer flavors sure to delight even the pickiest coffee drinkers, from Traditional Vanilla to Blueberry Pancakes, all completely natural and containing zero grams of sugar. 

We had the pleasure to speak with Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal, to learn about her company’s growth and why she switched to ShipBob after a poor experience with a previous 3PL. 

Creating a life-saving, flavorful product

As told to ShipBob by Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal.

When my father was diagnosed with diabetes, I took the initiative to create the perfect sugar-free creamer formula that he would approve of. After two years of trial and error, I finally found it! 

In August 2017, I got my first customer and since then, the business has taken off. I’m about scaling smart and consistently. Since I’m so engaged with my customers, for the first year and a half I didn’t do any paid ads. But once I did, the ROAS has been 4.5 on average, and we’ve been profitable on ads since day one. Last month, we hit $160,000 in sales, which is close to what we did in all of 2018. 

For the first year and a half, I spent most of my time making products and trying out different flavors. For a while, I even had a 400-square-foot hand mixer in my backyard. I eventually found a small warehouse and hired a couple of people to help me mix. 

My mom and I would start packing orders at 7am so we could make it to the post office on time. As my business grew, heading to the post office with bags full of orders was not sustainable, so I decided to work with a local 3PL. 

Regaining trust after switching to a new 3PL

prymal butter pecan flavor

Before ShipBob, my first experience with a 3PL wasn’t good. They underestimated the amount of time they would spend on shipping our products, they didn’t integrate easily with Shopify, and they always had plenty of excuses — not to mention, they were expensive to work with. 

I was also told that I’d have a dedicated account manager, but I soon found it was one support person dedicated to all of their customers. There was zero trust that they would deliver on what my business needed. I didn’t have the capacity in any which way to focus on growing my business.

“With my prior 3PL I felt sidelined — emotionally and financially — because all I could think about was troubleshooting errors and reconciling with the high costs.”

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

When it was time to switch 3PLs, I got on the phone with several of them, but I had a hard time understanding how they operated and a lot of the conversations seemed too transactional. 

When I spoke to ShipBob, it was the most personable phone call I’ve had with a 3PL. The rep I worked with was so amazing; she’s truly the reason why I committed to ShipBob. She really wanted to help solve my unique problems and shared a lot of the ways that ShipBob could help.

When I switched to ShipBob, it was game over! I could finally start growing my business. They made the move from my prior 3PL fast and easy, and I saw the benefits of working with them right away.

“Even if you’re working with a 3PL currently, there could be a better option out there, which is why ShipBob should be considered.”

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

Growing a six-figures-per-month business with the right partner

prymal packaging

When it was time to source a new 3PL, I was looking for three things: accuracy, cost savings, and access to data.

 “At my previous 3PL, nothing seemed to come easy. Even getting a reshipment was nearly impossible. I felt like I had to babysit them. Everything was done on spreadsheets and it was very difficult to get the fulfillment data I needed.”

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

Now, we’re working with a tech-enabled 3PL that seamlessly provides data to help us make business decisions. ShipBob’s analytics tool is a game-changer and it’s helped me grow my business tremendously. With ShipBob’s free analytics tool, it’s so easy for any of my team members to pull data in real-time.

“I felt like I couldn’t grow until I moved to ShipBob. Our old 3PL was slowing us down. Now I am encouraged to sell more with them. My CPA even said to me, ‘thank god you switched to ShipBob.’”

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

ShipBob provides me clarity and insight to help me make business decisions when I need it, along with responsive customer support. Other ecommerce companies who are approaching or are in an inflection point will benefit from ShipBob because they allow entrepreneurs, like myself, do what we do best — create, sell, and grow!

I’m proud to be a ShipBob partner. Looking back at our 2019 month-over-month numbers, there’s a big difference between the months I was with ShipBob and the months I was with my previous 3PL. 

A lot of entrepreneurs and companies underestimate the cost-savings and power of choosing your entire supply chain and partner network wisely. These choices will make or break your business.

Reducing fulfillment costs and headaches with ShipBob

santas cookies - prymal

ShipBob has helped us save money while also providing more support. I now have a dedicated account manager that I can rely on too.

They know how to support entrepreneurs as they go through a fluctuation point. The support team is so accessible, and I’m so grateful that they respond to things in a timely manner. Finding the right 3PL was the final component for me to start feeling comfortable scaling my business. I feel really supported. 

We love that ShipBob actually operates its fulfillment centers — they know their operations and they are very clear about it. ShipBob having multiple locations was also huge for us. Keeping our inventory in Chicago and Los Angeles has brought cost savings since we ship from the locations that are closest to the customer. 

“Last July, Prymal reached $40,000 in revenue. After switching to ShipBob just four months later in November, we are reaching $160,000 a month in revenue — that’s 300% growth. We’re also saving $8,000 per month in fulfillment costs.” 

Courtney Lee, founder of Prymal

With ShipBob, I have experienced peace of mind and a high-tech solution that allowed me to be removed from that day-to-day fulfillment process like how I was at the previous 3PL.

For Prymal, the best is yet to come

My team is very confident in what they do. This year, we finally have all the pieces in place. I’m excited to finally work on my business rather than in my business. I love that I have time to be on Instagram and Facebook, engaging with my customers. I’m also able to do more podcasts, distribution, and media opportunities. 

On the customers’ end, we have some exciting projects in the pipeline. I really love creating and bringing new flavors to life that you would never imagine being in a delicious coffee creamer. As we keep growing, I’m glad to have ShipBob on our side.