Catholic Answers

Third Party Logistics and App Development

The Mission

For over 40 years, Catholic Answers has been a voice of Truth, sharing the teachings of the Catholic faith through a number of high-quality resources. In fact, it’s the largest organization of its kind. From faith and morals to sacraments and saints, their team offers trustworthy answers for contemporary questions about the Catholic faith through their website, countless books, videos, and other content.

The Problem

Catholic Answers has been blessed with consistent growth over the last 40 years. But this has meant they’ve also needed to manage the increasing demand for their products from a storage, shipping, and logistics standpoint. Since they are based in San Diego, shipping their products to customers on the East Coast was costly and often resulted in slower transit times. Simply put: they needed a more efficient and cheaper way to store and ship their products.

Their increasing customer demand also meant they needed more help with customer service. By addressing so many customer inquiries and phone calls (a good problem to have, no doubt!) they were finding it difficult to focus on their core mission: producing content highlighting the truth of the Catholic faith.

To stick to their mission as content producers, they needed some help with fulfillment and customer service. As an organization committed to the Gospel, they wanted a partner who also deeply understood their mission to bring Catholic truth to the world. 

The Solution

We were excited to collaborate with Catholic Answers so they could turn their attention more fully to their core evangelical mission.

We began by collaborating with Catholic Answers to transition from their warehouse in San Diego to our more affordable and centrally-located warehouse in Sycamore, Illinois. 

An important part of this transition was creating a custom integration to ensure a hassle-free handoff from Catholic Answers’ software to our warehouse management system. Our technology team worked closely with their IT department to deliver this solution on time and on budget. 

We then teamed up with Catholic Answers to provide world-class customer support, offering our experienced and passionate CS team to assist Catholic Answers’ customer inquiries, requests, and purchases. 

The Results

Catholic Answers has been able to turn their attention more fully to their core mission of answering questions about the Catholic faith and evangelizing our culture. 

Since they now ship their products from a centrally-located warehouse, customers across the country receive their products in a more timely manner and at a cheaper cost to Catholic Answers. Further, they no longer incur the significant expenses of managing their warehouse in California (property, personnel, equipment, materials, etc.).

They can now better manage the increasing number of customer inquiries, requests, calls, and purchases, ensuring that everyone who interacts with Catholic Answers has a positive and pleasant customer service experience.

Content creation is Catholic Answers’ core competency, but logistics is not. This is why we decided to shut down our own shipping and receiving operation to partner with 5 Stones. Frankly, it’s been one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.

Donna Barrack, the Director of Marketing at Catholic Answers shares her experience with this service: “5 Stones has had an extremely positive impact on our operations as well as our customers. In 2019, we outsourced our customer support to 5 Stones and the transition was seamless. The team there has solid product knowledge, makes excellent product recommendations, and our customers are getting the professional support we desire. On average, 5 Stones handles 300 calls, 40 parish-related calls, 500 emails, and runs upselling campaigns for us each month. I’m happy to report that 97% of our customers wait less than 2 minutes to get support now and 100% receive a response in less than a day. Catholic Answers staff now has the time to focus on fulfilling our mission to explain and defend the Faith and navigating continuous change and growth for our ministry.” 

Catholic Answers was impressed with our technology team so much that they decided to collaborate with us to rebuild their Catholic Answers Live app along with another Catholic agency (Sherwood Fellows). As a result, we have equipped Catholic Answers on multiple fronts with the right technology to help them accomplish their mission for the Church.

Hear what their COO, Jon Sorensen, has to say about our partnership: “Content creation is Catholic Answers’ core competency, but logistics is not. This is why we decided to shut down our own shipping and receiving operation to partner with 5 Stones. Frankly, it’s been one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. They have a top-notch team of professionals who are great at what they do, and who are responsive when we have questions or concerns. Their customer service department knows our product line well, and are able to upsell when customers call to place orders. Catholic Answers was so impressed with their all-around professionalism that we approached them to help us with an overhaul of our mobile app—a project they knocked out of the park.”

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