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Sweet taste of success

Georgetown Cupcake's Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Berman

Gourmet cupcake retailer Georgetown Cupcake slices fulfillment costs with UPS.

Since opening their first shop in 2008, Georgetown Cupcake founders Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne have seen their business skyrocket. The sisters, stars of the hit TLC series DC Cupcakes, have since added stores in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Bethesda, Md., as well as a nationwide bakery and shipping center in Sterling, Va.

"[OzLink] reduced errors and removed two layers of our old, manual process, which saves a lot of time and labor expense," says Georgetown Cupcake CFO Stephen LaMontagne.

But business growth is never without its challenges. Burdened by shipping-related labor time, Georgetown Cupcake switched to UPS from another carrier to help streamline the process and cut labor costs in half.

A simple recipe to save time

"The order management process we had previously required us to do everything twice," says Stephen LaMontagne, CFO at Georgetown Cupcake. "We had to print customer orders from our own backend software and print customer labels from a different system. Then, a person had to match them."

To complicate matters, a lot of Georgetown Cupcake's orders are corporate gifts. "We have large companies sending hundreds of different cupcakes to hundreds of different customers throughout the country," LaMontagne explains. "We had to print out gift cards, then match up all three things – customer order, shipping label and gift card – manually."

UPS analyzed Georgetown Cupcake's order management process and recommended the company implement OzLINK,® a third-party software solution offered through the UPS Ready® program. UPS Ready gives customers access to third-party technology solutions that integrate with UPS services.

OzLINK streamlined Georgetown Cupcake's order management and fulfillment operation into a seamless process. According to LaMontagne, "It reduced errors and removed two layers of our old, manual process, which saves a lot of time and labor expense. We had two people sorting through orders, and now we have only one person who does that, enabling us to devote more staff to customer outreach and order fulfillment."

UPS also eliminated the need to separate air and ground packages since one UPS driver collects both. "Not having to sort packages into air and ground helps our efficiency," LaMontagne says. "The same UPS drivers service our location, and they understand how to handle our product and the uniqueness of a Georgetown Cupcake gift."

UPS also delivers very personalized customer service to the Sterling center – something the gourmet cupcake retailer relates to and appreciates.

"Our UPS account representative, Marla Miller, proactively calls us, particularly during our busiest days, to make sure that packages are getting out, and even comes to our facility during these hectic periods and lends a hand," LaMontagne says.

Perfect packaging: The icing on the cake

Georgetown Cupcake began shipping nationally in 2009 after the sisters discovered that customers were coming into their store, buying cupcakes and shipping them on their own. Today, the company ships hundreds of packages each day and thousands on busy holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.

"When we started shipping nationally, we wanted to recreate the Georgetown Cupcake store experience," Berman says. The retailer worked with UPS to refine its packaging to reduce the weight of each shipment by a pound while maintaining the distinct look and quality of the Georgetown Cupcake experience.

"The shipping experience is an extension of our retail experience," Sophie LaMontagne says. "We wanted a business partner who stays ahead of the curve to help us stay at the forefront of our industry. UPS really has their pulse on the future."

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