As a manufacturer of prosthetic feet and ankle systems, College Park Industries (CPI) knows that each shipment is no ordinary package for the individual who receives it. Each order is an opportunity to give someone the freedom and mobility to live a normal, active lifestyle. Most of CPI's end customers have lost limbs due to trauma, birth defects or vascular disease, including diabetes, and they depend on prosthetic limbs to walk.
"Our products stand out because they are designed to mimic the human foot," said Joseph Wicker, president of CPI. "They give lower limb amputees the motion they need to live an active life."
CPI individually customizes each order to suit the user's needs. To ensure a perfect fit, each user must receive a thorough assessment from a prosthetist, a practitioner specializing in designing and fitting prosthetic limbs. The prosthetist evaluates the patient's activity level, height, weight and manner of walking, and then sends the assessment to CPI. The company's manufacturing facility in Fraser, Michigan, creates and customizes the prosthetic foot system, and then ships the completed system to the practitioner's office the same day.
CPI currently processes several hundred orders a week, and is committed to the timely delivery of each order. In fact, the company guarantees that any order received by 5:30 p.m. will be shipped on the same day. To help keep its promise of same-day shipping, UPS makes CPI one of the last stops of the day.
In the mid 1990s, CPI began receiving orders from prosthetists in Canada. As the company started working with a distributor across the border, it discovered a compelling opportunity to increase order volume and revenue by reaching out to new markets.
After successfully extending its sales into Canada, CPI began looking at other regions of the world. Today, the company attends international trade shows and develops relationships with distributors all over the globe.
Realizing enormous opportunity in these new markets, CPI was eager to expand, but first it had to tackle some complicated questions. How could it ensure its international shipments comply with global trade regulations, or correctly classify its goods to guarantee speedy customs clearance? How could it ensure fast delivery of its time-sensitive products to every corner of the world? CPI needed more than just a reliable shipping partner; it needed an expert in global trade.
UPS offers both the reliable worldwide coverage CPI needs and the global trade expertise it depends on to comply with international trade regulations.
UPS TradeAbility® helps the company establish harmonized tariff codes that correctly classify its products, comply with trade regulations and protect CPI from paying excess taxes on its international shipments.
"The tool does all the work for us," said Jeff Mira, manufacturing engineer at CPI. "It saves us time since we don't have to research international shipping codes for each and every country we ship to."
CPI uses WorldShip® to manage both its domestic and international shipments. The software runs reports, manages shipping costs, and creates shipping documentation such as labels and commercial invoices instantaneously. For CPI, this translates into major timesavings. The company estimates that WorldShip cuts the time it takes to prepare each shipment by more than 50 percent. What's more, with UPS Quantum View®, CPI can track each shipment from the manufacturing belt to a practitioner's office. As each order is shipped, UPS automatically emails customers the expected delivery date of the order and its status while in transit.
Equipped with UPS's global solutions, CPI has successfully expanded its business around the world. Today CPI ships to more than 20 different countries, and its international orders account for a growing proportion of the company's annual revenue.
According to Mira, this number continues to grow. "Our international sales are our fastest growing market segment. They are consistently increasing, especially in Europe."
UPS helps CPI keep its customers satisfied, wherever they are, by ensuring that every order is delivered quickly and efficiently.
"If they are in Germany and they order a prosthetic foot from our facility in Michigan, they know their package will be there in three days," Wicker said. "In fact, they depend on it."
CPI's clients, many who are practitioners around the world, make return appointments with their patients based on UPS's scheduled delivery date. This way, patients can receive their new prostheses, and renewed mobility, as soon as possible.
"Sometimes people have to travel hundreds of miles to the closest practitioner's office," said Wicker. "Often these patients will get fitted for the foot one day, stay in a nearby hotel overnight, and then return to the office the next day for a final fitting."
Thanks to UPS's reliability and tracking services, patients can schedule an appointment to pick up their prosthetic foot on the same day it's delivered. Speedy distribution, dependable delivery and precise order tracking are competitive differentiators that help make CPI a key player in its industry.
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