With their academic and startup expertise, Matt Mayberry, T. Dalton Combs PhD, and Vince Enachescu PhD wanted to build a product to help individuals change their behavior for a healthier lifestyle. Given the rise in metabolic dysfunction and concerns of cardiovascular health, the team landed on creating a daily digestible called Temper to make intermittent fasting easier.
Here’s their story, as told by Matt.
Upon launching, we wanted to prioritize connecting with our first customers, so we wrote handwritten notes and shipped the first 200 orders from my house. I was in charge of packaging, labeling, and uploading tracking information and was taking orders to the post office every two days. We knew this wasn’t sustainable. As orders came in, things started to pile up and we looked to outsource our shipping.
Having never made a physical product or worked in direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies, none of us knew the lingo, the networks, or any of the details behind the supply chain. But D2C was the quickest way to go to market, so setting up reliable shipping was crucial.
However, it took us a long time to find a partner because warehouses wouldn't work with us. They told us we were too small, were geographically in the wrong area, or they had a lot of upfront costs – there were all sorts of limitations for newer brands.
We finally found a warehouse and signed a contract, but the integration and setup took a long time and was messy. The warehouse used a third-party provider to link a ton of pieces together, we had multiple contracts and communication across various teams, and it was overall very disorganized. On top of that, there were lots of surprise fees for maintenance, API access, and ambiguous pick & pack fees.
Customer support was the biggest challenge. Email response time was up to 72 hours, and it was impossible to get anyone on the phone. We didn’t have anyone help us directly, not during onboarding or for any order troubleshooting, and the turnaround time was abysmal.
We learned that for our next 3PL we wanted a smooth and clear technical integration and dedicated customer support to help us out.
"With Airhouse, our customer complaints have gone down 85% and we're now able to focus on the thoughtful customer relationship building we have been wanting to prioritize."
Given all the issues with our first warehouse, when we found Airhouse, we wanted to dip our toes in and send just one product to test it out. Once we saw how smoothly everything went, we immediately terminated our other contract and moved all of our inventory to Airhouse.
Airhouse’s pricing was clear and the technical implementation was the easiest thing I’ve seen in this industry, a one-click install. On top of it all, our costs have gone down because there are no hidden costs like setup or maintenance fees.
Onboarding took about 1/10th the amount of time than it did with our previous warehouse. We onboarded in five minutes and were shipping out orders in two weeks. And having an Account Manager has made my life much easier. We appreciated that they took the time to learn about the challenges of our business, and gave us detailed walkthroughs. It’s nice knowing that I can communicate with an actual person and have a trusted ally if I have any questions or problems.
Airhouse’s dashboard also gives us the inventory visibility we wanted, and an easy way to handle restocking. That’s a huge upgrade considering our old warehouse’s dashboard looked like 1999 software with no visibility into our inventory. I used to spend a lot of time digging into issues like customers not receiving their orders, tracking numbers not updating, boxes showing up damaged, and complications with setting up different shipping speeds. Now I look at my Airhouse dashboard once a day, just for a quick sense check and spend my time on more meaningful customer support.
Airhouse’s team is extremely reliable, and I feel great knowing that they care about us and our success. Their pricing is friendly for launching brands, the integration is top-notch tech with an easy-to-use interface and their customer service is hands down one of the best.
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