Lindsey has always been a keen puzzler but when she started to find it hard to find puzzles she wanted to complete, she began to wonder just how difficult it is to find art which could be made into a puzzle. During a bike ride in Colorado in July 2019 she decided to take the plunge and after initially contacting potential artists she found 2 who were willing to let her use their art.
Wanderpuzzle started small, with Lindsey purchasing the minimum order quantity and initially selling to friends and family once inventory arrived in January 2020. However by the end of March 2020, once quarantine in the USA was in full force, she was selling over 100 puzzles per day and completely sold out of her initial stock the following month.
Whilst Lindsey had a supportive partner who has handling the logistical side of the business, she still found that the learning curve was very steep. They were shipping out of a warehouse which was in another state and traditionally had only handled bulk shipping instead of the single unit shipping required by WanderPuzzle.
There was also a lack of software available meaning Lindsey had no visibility of orders as they were received and dispatched, so couldn’t see how long it was taking for orders to reach her customers. She also was unable to edit incorrect addresses or add gift messages. If she wanted to find out this information it was a long, manual process, with stock takes consisting of counting the remaining boxes of products.
Finally, Wander Puzzle were also facing high shipping costs as the facility they were using didn’t have negotiated shipping costs with carriers in the same way an established 3PL does. The result was that Lindsey was only making a few dollars per sale as she was using her profits to subsidise the shipping instead of passing the cost onto her customers.
Initially Lindsey moved to work with a single 3PL provider based in the US which handled her orders worldwide. However, she soon found that the costs associated with shipping B2B orders to Europe were too high to make it a viable business path. Combined with very little tracking during the long delivery period so she couldn’t keep her customers up to date, Lindsey scaled back her European ambitions.
This really started to matter when Wander Puzzle was featured in Flow magazine in Germany in October 2020. By the end of the following month, 30% of sales were going direct to consumers within the EU.
Wander Puzzle needed another 3PL based in Europe.
From working with her US based 3PL, Lindsey knew what she was looking for - extremely powerful software which would give her all the transparency and data she needed to make strong business decisions, along with the assuredness that the new provider was able to confidently handle the logistics and regulation changes associated with Brexit.
"When thinking about starting up, think about future integrations in choosing platforms - you don’t want to setup and invest to then have to change it all later down the line."