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PARCEL media and PARCEL Forum were pleased to present Cascade Orthopedic Supply with the second annual Game Changer of the Year award at the 2016 PARCEL Forum in Dallas, Texas.

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By Amanda Armendariz couple of years ago, Cascade Orthopedic Supply was facing a challenge: once UPS and FedEx implemented dimensional-based (dim) pricing, what was the best way to deal with the rising shipping costs that almost inevitably resulted? As an organization that ships, on average, half a million packages a year (with just a little under 10% of those shipments designated as irregularly shaped), it was crucial that the company take steps to combat this change. Its president, Jeff Collins, explains, “The switch by major carriers to a dimension-based pricing model made managing dimensional data a critical — and inevitable — step in taking back control of shipping costs. The integration of dimensioning is a significant investment, requiring research, new costs, and a rethinking of our processes.

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We saw opportunity as well as cost: to optimize warehouse space and pick/pack operations, to give customers shipping costs in real time, and to enter a new era of efficiency and control.” The change in dim pricing did indeed present these opportunities, but it was also a challenge to find the right solution that would allow these opportunities to be realized. So, armed with their checklist of problems (growing and unpredictable shipping costs; the inability to accurately quote shipping costs to customers at time of purchase; no ability to audit shipping invoices for overcharging; and difficulty in managing irregularly shaped items), Cascade executives set out to find the perfect partner for a solution. One thing that is critical to understand, Collins shares, was that the company’s goal was two-fold. “More than simply patching individual issues, we wanted to implement

sweeping, integrated efficiencies that would create a new standard for ‘best practice.’ Our goal: to raise the bar in speed, economy, and quality in every aspect of how shipping touches our business — from first contact with a customer, through the sales and fulfillment process, and ultimately to our bottom line — yielding service, competitive, and revenue advantages.” THE PROCESS After exhaustively researching available options, Cascade became convinced that it would have to implement something new to achieve the company’s goals: an integrated combination of PathGuide’s Latitude Warehouse Management Manifest and Shipping System and Postea’s QubeVu Dimensioning Solution. This implementation didn’t disappoint. It presented modern, fast, scanning technology at an affordable price. And that wasn’t the only benefit. Collins explains, “A secondary issue was the lack of integration with our warehouse management system and ERP systems. QubeVU’s API, along with their willingness to work with our developers, allowed us to take advantage of the technology AND have it integrate with our operating systems.”


PARCEL January/February 2017