Improving Shipping Communication using APIs

Things Remembered: An IBM i API Use Case Success Story

IBM i 
Web Service Programs

About Things Remembered

An American retailer with hundreds of retail locations throughout the United States, Things Remembered specializes in personalized gifts, messaging and engraving. An omnichannel merchandising company, Things Remembered sells through multiple platforms. 

  • Website & eCommerce
  • Print Catalog
  • Direct to Consumer
  • B2B Channels
Things Remembered
Things Remembered Icon

Revived UPS Address Validation Function

Updated UPS Rate Shop Function

Created API for Shipment Label Creation

Extended Communication between APIs and Intranet

The Problem

While the UPS APIs had existed for years, they had never been used and were placed on the backburner as Things Remembered was using Agile to communicate to various private shipping companies. Now, since Agile support was sunsetting, our team, made up of members from the original API creation, was asked to revive the APIs and set them into motion.

The Goals

  • Revive and green-light the existing APIs
  • Perform preliminary tests for API utilization
  • Debug and fix all related issues
  • Create any necessary Web Service programs to extend API functions

The Result

Together with the client's in-house team, Briteskies served as the Tech Designer and Project Coordinator for reviving multiple existing API calls to communicate to UPS. 

Creating a tailored interface between Things Remembered and UPS, the API calls seamlessly communicate between the logic stored in the System i and the company's UPS account. 

Using APIs to comb through the UPS variables, Things Remembered is able to pass cost savings on to the customer while also:

  • Streamlining the shipping logic process
  • Guaranteeing product delivery date
  • Offering lowest available shipping rate

As an added bonus, because the APIs were developed in-house, they were specifically coded using RPGLE, empowering the Things Remembered developers to support future changes to the code. 

Business woman using tablet with financial, cloud connectivity concept

Key Project Benefits:

  • Created custom API interface 
  • Saved time and cost by updating already existing code
  • Designed Web Service programs to extend shipping functions and unlock System i data and logic
  • Developed APIs using RPGLE allowing in-house developers to support future changes 


Close up of hand touching icon with finger

The created API functions and interface allow for a smoother check-out experience for customers across all purchasing channels. 

The Solution

Once the team was updating the shipping functions and abilities, our developer took it one step further and wrote multiple Web Service programs that run through the System i and extend the Address Validation and Shipment Label Generation functions. 

Because there is an existing store portal and intranet, cashiers and sales teams are now able to take advantage of the System i and UPS communication channels and, using back-office functions, immediately perform address validation and generate UPS shipping labels directly. 

By improving the shopping experience, Things Remembered increased the probability of repeat customers and higher annual revenue. 

"Because we had multiple developers working on this project, we spread our resources out to where they made sense and where the expertise was."
Clyde Brady
Project Coordinator and Developer, Briteskies

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