UPS OnLine® Tools Shipping Technology Helps Fat Brain Toys Scale Business and Seasonal Growth

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E-commerce toy retailer employs custom UPS application to manage triple-digit growth.

We needed to seek out an effective solution that would solve our unique business needs.

As e-commerce toy retailer Fat Brain Toys entered the 4th Quarter of 2005, they were faced with a daunting question: How do you scale your operations to account for year-over-year growth of 100% AND seasonal inflation of 650%? One of the answers came in the form of a custom fulfillment application built around the UPS OnLine® Tools shipping technology.

“Early in 2005 we could already see that our fulfillment processes were not keeping pace with the steady growth of the business,” explains Mark Carson, co-founder of Fat Brain Toys. “We needed to seek out an effective solution that would solve our unique business needs.”

While Fat Brain Toys had been utilizing UPS and their suite of online tools on the front-end for nearly three years, their back-end systems required multiple batch processes – exporting and importing fulfillment data from one system to the next, often creating troublesome bottlenecks.

In looking for a solution, Carson evaluated several commercial shipping applications that incorporated the functionality required. Reluctant to the integration required in combination with the high price tags, Carson looked to UPS for an alternative solution.

“We had already incorporated a host of UPS tools into our infrastructure,” explains Carson, “so it was actually quite easy to take that next step.”

Fat Brain Toys’ fulfillment application now allows them to ship orders within minutes of it being placed, with near 100% accuracy. Like many other online retailers on Cyber Monday, Fat Brain Toys set new records for both sales and outbound shipments, but according to Carson, it’s only just beginning.

“Even though our volumes will dramatically climb for the next 15 days,” says Carson, “we now have the confidence that we can continue to provide the high levels of service that our customers have come to count on.”

About Fat Brain Toys

Fat Brain Toys was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Mark & Karen Carson to sell toys that entertain AND educate. Begun as a literal garage startup in Elkhorn, Nebraska, the Carsons have grown their company into one of the largest independent, online retailers of specialty toys in the country by offering great toys at fair prices, coupled with truly remarkable customer service. Please visit to see the entire range of toys offered by the company.


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