Table of Contents
Learn how healthcare brand Baby Doppler partnered with ShipBob to improve inventory visibility, optimise inventory allocation, and make distribution easy.
Baby Doppler is a global healthcare brand and one of the leading online fetal doppler retailers worldwide. Founded in 2011 and based in Toronto, Canada, Baby Doppler is on a mission to help expectant parents have the best pregnancy journey possible by providing them with trustworthy tools. Their flagship product, a pocket-sized fetal doppler, enables parents to hear their baby’s heartbeat anywhere and anytime, so they can track changes, make memories, and elevate their pregnancy journey from the comfort of home.
- 6 ShipBob fulfilment centres utilised across the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia
- 87.2% of orders shipped from Zones 1-4
- 4.9/5 rating from customers since joining ShipBob
- 3.2: average shipping zone
About Baby Doppler
Hearing a baby’s heartbeat can be one of the most magical moments in a pregnancy. For a long time, parents would usually only hear it with the help of a doctor or in a doctor’s office – but in 2011, Mithu Kuna and Maria Gorobets set out to change that.
That year, they were expecting their first child. When the baby’s movement decreased towards the end of the pregnancy, they consulted a midwife, who used a doppler device to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. As soon as she heard it, she knew something was wrong, and recommended that the couple induce labour as soon as possible to avoid any complications. They did, and the next day the two safely welcomed a healthy baby boy.
Afterwards, they realised that, had it not been for the doppler device, they wouldn’t have known there was a problem. It gave them an idea: what if every pregnant mother around the world was able to use a simple tool to hear their baby’s heartbeat at home, which could help them catch issues like these early?
A year later, Mithu and Maria got to work making that idea a reality. They found the right product, decided on a manufacturer, tested it, and began shipping orders for Baby Doppler from their garage. Their product quickly gained traction, and before they knew it, they had boxes filling every room in the house. Within 6 months of expanding into the US, Baby Doppler became the top seller in all of the US in their category and niche – and has only grown from there.
We sat down with Mithu, Co-Founder and CEO of Baby Doppler, to discuss how ShipBob’s fulfilment services and Inventory Placement Program help them optimise product and shipment distribution with top-notch analytics, allocation recommendations, and a lower zone mix.
Achieving inventory visibility through deep analytics
As told to ShipBob by Mithu Kuna, Co-Founder & CEO of Baby Doppler.
Before partnering with ShipBob for order fulfilment, we had a lot of trouble getting visibility into inventory movement.
We worked with some large fulfilment providers as well as some smaller 3PLs, and none of them gave us unified data, let us look at inventory holistically, or enabled us to see which inventory was moving and where.
The reporting formats for every fulfilment provider were different yet incomplete, and taking all of that data and piecing it together to figure out what was going on was a nightmare. I got to a point where I just couldn’t operate like that any more.
Partnering with ShipBob, we joined their Inventory Placement Program, which helps us distribute our inventory to strategic hubs across the US so we don’t have to manage multi-location inbound shipments or identify the most optimal fulfilment centre locations ourselves. This finally gave us the visibility and analytics we were looking for.
Through the program, we get real-time insight into how much inventory to allocate to a specific warehouse, our current on-hand inventory levels, and how long each SKU is going to last by location. ShipBob provides a lot of distribution metrics, and everything presented is useful.
“ShipBob’s Inventory Placement Program provides visibility into inventory movement that’s absolutely key for anyone running a business.
The data is easily accessible, and it shows exactly how inventory is being split across ShipBob’s network of warehouses. It’s also really great for our product reconciliation, because you can see what’s received at the hub locations and individual fulfilment centres.
There’s a lot more clarity, and it’s so much simpler to check that our shipped inventory was received.”Mithu Kuna, Co-Founder and CEO of Baby Doppler
I don’t want to have to ask multiple people for information or wait for reports on stock levels at various locations – and with the Inventory Placement Program, I don’t have to. Now, I can literally go into my ShipBob dashboard and see exactly what I want to see with a few clicks.
I love that it’s a quick snapshot of everything that’s going on. I can literally not look at the ShipBob platform for 3 weeks, and then log in and within 10 minutes of analising the data, I know exactly where we stand in the business.
Even if I had to crunch some numbers, it would be just pulling a couple of reports and putting that data together – it’s so much easier than other solutions. As a person who relies on data analytics to run my business, I want to see my analytics exactly how ShipBob displays them to me.
Making inventory distribution and allocation easy
One of the best parts of the Inventory Placement Program is how easy it makes inventory allocation. ShipBob manages inventory distribution for us, meaning, they choose the best locations for us, cross-dock our inventory, and see that it arrives at the ideal locations.
All we have to do is send inventory to one ShipBob location through a WRO (or warehouse receiving order, which lets ShipBob track our inbound inventory, mark it as arrived, and stow it away), and they do the rest! The program even recommends our ideal inventory split across fulfilment centres over time as our customer base shifts, based on our order data and inventory levels.
It’s made things really simple and streamlined, because we can make sure that the right products and quantities are shipped without having to do the calculations ourselves. It also reduces a lot of man hours on our side, which allows us to focus on other strategic priorities.
“ShipBob’s Inventory Placement Program has made the inventory allocation process so much more streamlined for us. Literally all we do is create the WRO sending inventory to a hub location, and then everything is taken care of from there. I don’t have to email anybody, and I don’t have to worry about what’s going where – honestly, it’s a no-brainer.”Mithu Kuna, Co-Founder and CEO of Baby Doppler
Optimising zone mix to cut shipping costs and times
The Inventory Placement Program really makes sense in the US, because of how geographically distributed our customers are in all corners of such a large country and since ShipBob has so many strategically located warehouses that we can use to store our products.
Through the Inventory Placement Program, we’ve been able to distribute our inventory across 6 of ShipBob’s fulfilment centres. This has decreased the average zone number we ship throughout the US. By storing our inventory closer to more hubs of customers, we eliminated far distance shipping and now, 80% of our orders are shipped from Zones 1-4, which is amazing.
Looking at it from an average cost perspective, I noticed that as soon as we have inventory allocated across ShipBob’s network, our average shipping cost drops down, as do our fulfilment costs. It’s because the Inventory Placement Program ensures that our orders are being picked, packed, and shipped from the most ideal fulfilment centre location (the one closest to the order’s final destination), so shipping distances are always minimised.
This also means that our orders are going out faster. We used to have a lot more complaints with 2-day shipping before partnering with ShipBob, but with our inventory strategically distributed, we can cut lead times and really follow through on the 2-day promise.
“Since switching to ShipBob from other 3PLs, our overall customer rating has been climbing steadily to get closer to our previous nearly perfect 5/5 rating, I believe largely due to improved shipping performance and service levels provided by ShipBob.”Mithu Kuna, Co-Founder and CEO of Baby Doppler
It also helps that ShipBob isn’t locked to a specific carrier for 2-day service, and instead partners with a bunch of different carriers to find the best rate and most optimal route. I think that’s very beneficial, because if one carrier has a problem, ShipBob can use a different one to get our orders to customers on time.
Overall, our customers seem much happier since we switched to ShipBob, and we’re not getting negative reviews on our 2-day shipping anymore.
Tapping into ShipBob’s global footprint to continue expanding
As always, our mission is to elevate pregnancy journeys for parents all over the world – so one of our goals for the future is to keep shipping costs as low as possible while expanding our global reach.
I’m a strong believer in having local inventory in the country that we ship to. I don’t like to do cross-border shipments, just because there’s so much potential for delays and customer issues. So for us, it’s very important that the fulfilment company that we work with has the capability to grow with us and provide service in the countries in which we want to sell our products – and I see that with ShipBob.
Their goal is to continue building their global network so that their customers have as many global selling options as possible, so I definitely see that working for us in the long term. And ShipBob’s current footprint is very aligned with our top ecommerce markets and target audience.
“We utilise several of ShipBob’s US fulfilment centres, as well as their warehouses in Canada, the UK, Poland, and Australia. We were already shipping to all those countries from Canada when we found ShipBob, so transitioning to ShipBob’s more global presence made a lot of sense for us.
Right now, I’m at the point where I’m not going to expand into any country unless ShipBob is there, because our business is so spoiled with the data that we get from them.”Mithu Kuna, Co-Founder and CEO of Baby Doppler
Baby Doppler’s team at ShipBob
Vanessa is a Merchant Success Manager at ShipBob, and helps support Baby Doppler.
Joe is a Merchant Expansion Manager at ShipBob, and helps brands like Baby Doppler grow.
Marc is part of ShipBob’s Merchant Care Team, and helps support Baby Doppler.
Alexandrea is a Implementation Consultant at ShipBob, where she helps brands like Baby Doppler onboard seamlessly.
Jon is a Senior Manager of Strategic Solutions at ShipBob, and helped Baby Doppler onboard with the Inventory Placement Program.
Get started with ShipBob
If ShipBob sounds like the right fulfilment partner for your business, request a quote to connect with our team.