As a trusted printing contractor for decades, Gateway Press knows the importance of speed and accuracy for competing in the fast-paced and stringent bidding process. Known for speed, accuracy and quality in the printed materials it produces for millions of people and dozens of customers every day, Gateway Press was struggling to deliver the same experience when it came to bidding on projects – an important process of securing new business contracts.
The company, which offers a full line of services from printing and finishing to mailing, turned to UPS for a new technology solution that would not only address its challenges with the bidding process, but also deliver benefits across the organization.
Pressed for Time: The Need for a Better Way
UPS began working with Gateway Press in 2010, starting with an assessment of the company’s supply chain needs, a process which identified two key priorities: improving the processes of bidding on contracts and order fulfillment. On the bidding side, the company needed a solution that would allow it to quickly determine shipping charges to include with bids, as well as improve the accuracy of shipping charges that were included in bids. Gateway needed to obtain pricing information and move from a one-by-one approach to developing quotes that often took hours to complete to a more automated and seamless solution for both the company and its customers.
"We needed a solution that would help expedite the bidding process and provide information to our potential customers," said Cheryl O’Bannon, manager of estimating services." To accomplish that and win more business, we understood the critical need to provide accurate shipping estimates."
On the order fulfillment side, Gateway press needed a technology solution that would give them greater visibility into the high-volume of shipments going to customers every day so that they could proactively alert customers as to when shipments would arrive and improve the overall customer experience. With Oz Link Gateway Press is able to know the TNT for all of their shipments minimizing tracking and tracing inquiries.
Pressing Ahead: A New Solution
As a result of UPS's technology and supply chain analysis for Gateway Press, UPS identified two solutions that together would achieve the company's goals. The first was the integration of UPS WorldShip® software into Gateway Press' operations. Designed to simplify the shipping process for air freight, ground freight and small package shipments, UPS WorldShip speeds shipment processing through a variety of automated features and allows companies to process and track global shipments from one system. The technology also enables companies to improve customer service through features such as an alert system that enables them to proactively notify customers when shipments will arrive.
"When we began talking with Gateway Press, they did not have an integrated software solution to help them proactively track and trace their shipments,"said Leo Perez, account executive at UPS. "We knew that by integrating the UPS WorldShip® software into their operations, we could address that need and deliver benefits on both the back-end processing side as well as the front-end customer service side."
In addition to technology improvements on the shipment processing side, UPS also saw an opportunity to help Gateway Press improve their process for forecasting shipping costs in the bidding stage. Through the UPS Customer Technology Program (CTP), UPS connected Gateway Press with the UPS Ready® OzLink® Pro application. With the OzLink tool, Gateway Press employees could import job files as they were received and immediately access time-in-transit and net costs for every shipment. "By utilizing the OzLink Pro application, Gateway Press recognized the added value in speeding up the bid process and providing a better service for their potential customers," said Perez. "We worked closely with Gateway Press to ensure they experienced a smooth transition from the beginning to the end."
As part of a full-service solution for Gateway Press, in addition to addressing the company’s technology needs, UPS also began handling its small package and freight shipments, which consisted primarily of printed materials such as brochures and fliers.