In 1996, Sharon Jiang was a computer science major at San Jose State University with an idea for a part-time job: buying and reselling cables via mail order. Something to make her a bit of pizza money.
Today, CableWholesale is a $20 million business with 28 employees and two distribution centers that manufacture and ship various types of cables — including cellphone chargers and HDMI cords — all over the world. She’s brought it a long way from her garage in Cupertino, California. “Back then I didn’t even have anyone else to answer the phone,” she says.
Keeping up with success
Michael Capone has handled a call or two along the way. He’s now the chief operating officer at CableWholesale. The two bonded in 2000 over a mutual vision for e-commerce, and Jiang brought him onboard two years later. “I’m a programmer by trade so when I joined I helped build a new website,” Capone says. The online sales have been growing ever since, notably from industry heavy-hitters.
And for orders like these ― 10,000-plus phone charging cables ― Cable Warehouse needed efficient processes to ship them. That amount of cables weighs about 3,000 pounds and requires a pallet for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. Not easy to move, not easy to process. “We used to have people type up orders manually, and that was just taking way too long,” Capone says. Part of the company’s success is due to never settling for slow or inefficient processes.
Capone called Oscar Martinez, his FedEx account representative, and David Reitz, an associated automation consultant at FedEx, and asked: Could freight be shipped as easily as small parcels? And could the ordering process be automated and integrated into his computer system?
The answer was yes.
“Our salespeople [at CableWholesale] never liked quoting freight orders because it meant going online, putting together a quote, getting it to our customers, and, if the customers accepted, going online again to schedule the freight [shipment],” Capone says. “But FedEx gave us the tools to make it happen. Now we just scan a barcode and out comes a prepared label, and a truck arrives.”
Capone relished working with Reitz and Martinez to learn about the capabilities of FedEx Ship Manager® Software. “I figured if you’re going to ship you should know how to ship, and Dave and Oscar were great,” he says. “They got us the documentation on integrating the freight and package tracking into our system and it works great. Plus I know I can always call on them with questions.”
The company has worked with FedEx Ship Manager® for its packages for several years, so they’re familiar with the benefits of a simple processing system. The freight integration was implemented a few months ago and the results have been equally impressive.
“Automation of freight shipping has been critical to our success,” Capone says. “When we discovered that we could connect FedEx® software directly to our database and have it read into our order, it changed everything. The first time we typed an order number into the system and it spat out a label, we nearly fell out of our chairs.
“The time savings is at least 90 percent,” Capone says. “It takes only three seconds to produce a label. We’re to the point where we need to consider how fast a printer can print a label because it directly affects how fast we can process orders.”
This means being able to say yes to more projects, like providing the cables for a large hotel in Las Vegas, and handling more business. Capone estimates that CableWholesale will grow by 7 percent this year. “I’m happy to see that,” he says.
Save time and money by transitioning your freight shipping process to an automated system. With FedEx Ship Manager, you can easily get rates and transit times, schedule shipments and track their status, generate Bills of Lading; keep a shared address book, and more. Contact your sales representative for more information or get answers at FedEx Ship Manager.
To learn more about Fed Ex Freight® shipping services and options, go to Freight Central. You'll find answers to all your questions about less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, plus, you'll have access to helpful resources such as the Freight Classification Tool.
The FedEx Freight transit map will quickly provide you with origin-to-destination transit times for FedEx Freight® Priority and FedEx Freight® Economy services. Simply enter the ZIP/postal code from where the shipment originates.
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