Adjusted their business model to meet the demands of mass market retail businesses.
Out of the Box Publishing Inc.’s Efforts To Drive Growth Supported By Freestyle Solutions
Award-winning Multichannel Order Management Solution Supports Leading Game Manufacturer
It’s All Fun and Games!
Out of the Box Publishing (OTB) was founded in 1997 on a single principle that games should be fun! Based in Wisconsin, Out of the Box Publishing specializes in family, card and party games. All Out of the Box games are family-oriented and appropriate for kids and adults. Out of the Box is best known for games that are innovative, take less than five minutes to learn and less than a half an hour to play.
Since its inception, Out of the Box has published over 45 titles. The company has received numerous awards including Mensa Select, Toy of the Year and National Parenting Center.
OTB’s Apples to Apples was the first interactive, social party game originally published by Out of the Box Publishing and now published by Mattel. It soon became the number-one selling game on shelves and the number-one party game. By 2005, one-million units were sold.
Business Opportunities and Challenges
In 2005, Out of the Box Publishing was growing rapidly and expanding into mass market distribution channels. The company transitioned from a specialty retailer to a mass market business model. Under the new business model, the “big-box” retailers it worked with required EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) for purchase orders, invoices and other related documentation. Out of the Box’s first trading partner was Target. It was a difficult and manual process to provide the back-end documents that Target required. When the company added Kohl’s to its growing list of “big-box” retailers it supports, it could not get the back end documents prepared correctly. Amazon came later, and Amazon was the account that motivated OTB in using an EDI component. So, Out of the Box developed a customized EDI program to be able to prepare back end documents correctly.
“…When Freestyle Solutions informed us that it had an EDI solution, it was a no brainer to automate it. Since we started working with Freestyle Solutions’s EDI solution, it’s been great.” –Brad Carter, VP of Sales, Out of the Box Publishing
Out of the Box Publishing has been a Multichannel Order Manager (M.O.M.) customer since 1997. In 2009, it started working with Freestyle Solutions for EDI. Now, it can send carton label detail via EDI. OTB also works with a Freestyle Solutions EDI partner for mapping.
With over 10,000 catalog and eCommerce customers since 1985, Freestyle Solutions has handled the unique business needs of order taking and processing businesses in specific vertical markets and has the tailored M.O.M. order processing and SiteLINK eCommerce software to handle the specific needs of just about any vertical specialty, including toys and games.
Freestyle Solutions customers collectively generate more than $200 million in sales each month. Freestyle Solutions clients’ growth/results reveal industry trends, insights into the needs of small to medium sized businesses and what has been most effective in helping them grow. It’s that experience which has enabled Freestyle Solutions to support Out of the Box Publishing in its growth efforts.
Solution: M.O.M. Helps OTB Change the Game
M.O.M. is the leading integrated eCommerce and PCI compliant order management software built for eCommerce, multi-channel and distribution businesses. From shopping to shipping, M.O.M. manages the critical aspects of a business to be sure that their inventory is always accurate, orders ship smoothly and the company’s customer service team can respond with confidence.
With M.O.M, you can:
- Quickly enter customer selections, calculate shipping charges, return shipper tracking numbers and take payment information.
- Integrate your purchasing function to help you establish the best inventory levels for each stock item.
- Take advantage of the powerful API and the ability to interface with any eCommerce system and import orders.
Results: A Perfect Game
To comply with Amazon, Kohl’s and other retailers, M.OM. can process the paperwork through the system rather than manually. M.O.M. continues to enable Out of the Box Publishing’s growth. The earlier accounting-centric tools the company used were not robust enough to keep up with its growth plans. Over the years, OTB has continued to keep pace with M.O.M. upgrades and adopted the M.O.M. Standard Edition.
Out of the Box Publishing is now exclusively B2B and follows three steps in complying with EDI requirements:
- On the front end, the Purchase Order is processed electronically
- On the back end, the invoice is processed
- Finally, an advanced shipping notice is generated
M.O.M. works seamlessly with the EDI process. If, for example, eight Amazon purchase orders go into M.O.M, OTB simply selects the documents needed and hits ‘process.’ Then M.O.M. sends the required form to the EDI partner program and imports them. Now, everything is completely ready to send – a big time saver.
Brad Carter, VP of Sales for Out of the Box Publishing comments, “When Freestyle Solutions informed us that it had an EDI solution, it was a no brainer to automate it. Since we started working with Freestyle Solutions’ EDI solution, it’s been great. It’s working very well. Now, when we ship an order using Freestyle Solutions EDI, we have advance shipping notices.” The Out of the Box business continues to grow with M.O.M. and EDI as a big part of it.