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Leading Pet Supply Company Chooses ProShip as Shipping Software Solution


Doctors Foster and Smith switched to ProShip Software ( to expedite the tens of thousands of packages shipped daily.

MILWAUKEE, WI. – July 18, 2011 Pet lovers everywhere rely on Drs. Foster & Smith for home delivery of all things pet related. From their headquarters in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, the privately held catalog and Internet Company expedites tens of thousands of packages to waiting pet owners each day. When that involves items as diverse as live, exotic fish and catnip toys, keeping abreast of Carrier requirements and rates is essential, as is finding the most cost effective method of shipping.

Recently, Ron Sasek, IT Manager at Drs. Foster & Smith, decided that it was time to make a major switch from their existing software to a new system that would provide an entirely new level of responsive customer support as well as seamless integration with the current warehouse management system, Exacta by ASAP Automation, and sophisticated rate-shopping and carrier compliance.

Sasek and his IT team had discovered ProShip at the Postal Forum Event in Chicago, where they viewed a demo and were impressed. “I came away from there with a real comfortable feeling about ProShip,” Sasek said. “We talked to other shipping companies and weren’t getting the same level of information as from ProShip. ProShip answered all of our questions.”

Still, the reputation of Drs. Foster & Smith was on the line. Friendly, personal service makes the company unique, and they promote the shipment of all orders within 12 hours; a new shipping system had better be able to jump through hoops. “We were staking a lot on it with the rate shopping module, and all the things we were told about tech support,” Sasek said.

ProShip President, John Berg, knew his company was up to the challenge. “We stake our reputation on speed, compliance and proactive customer support,” stated Berg. “Like Drs. Foster & Smith, we are committed to delivering above and beyond our customers’ expectations and have the track record of doing just that,” Berg added.

ProShip implemented a black box solution utilizing ProShip SDK. The integration flexibility of ProShip meant that Drs. Foster & Smith was able to retain the existing user interface. ProShip runs natively within Exacta and operates behind the scenes, keeping the Exacta Pack program for warehouse personnel. “We didn’t have to retrain the packers, didn’t have to have a whole new pack system,” said Sasek. “The way they were able to fit ProShip in helped for a smooth conversion.”

Software engineers at ProShip configured the system to accommodate the broad range of products Drs. Foster & Smith sells, and the designated shipping methods for each. “Corals and fish are sent next-day air, larger buckets of salt and aquarium supplies go differently,” said Audrey Schmidt, warehouse manager. In addition, pet pharmaceuticals require the recipient’s signature. “ProShip took care of organizing with the different carriers so we were set up correctly, and managed details with how invoices and labels print out.”

Drs. Foster & Smith scheduled the actual installation off-hours on a Thursday night, and set aside a 12-hour window. Within two hours of starting and testing, they were shipping real packages. “It was the smoothest changeover I’ve ever gone through in 25 years of doing them,” Ron said.

Credit the end result to months of planning that preceded the transition. ProShip software engineers worked closely with their counterparts at ASAP to achieve a seamless integration, and personnel from both companies were on site during the conversion.

Although the installation of ProShip was only recently completed, Drs. Foster & Smith is already seeing benefits. “The nice thing with ProShip is there are certain products that have to ship a certain way, like fish that have to go overnight,” said Schmidt. “We’re able to tell ProShip which package has to go this way and which can be rate shopped; it’s really flexible that way.”

Unlike the old shipping program that charged Drs. Foster & Smith for making carrier-required changes, ProShip updates keeps them ahead of the pack. “They are very proactive about making changes, miles ahead, with labeling requirements, letting us know with weekly updates that we can automatically download,” Sasek said.

And moving forward, Drs. Foster & Smith has a dedicated point of support with ProShip. Whether it’s a question about carrier compliance, warehouse integration, or software function, ProShip manages all aspects of the relationship. “One of the key selling points of ProShip is that we can work with them directly,” said Sasek. “We have direct tech support and an account representative.”

About ProShip Software
ProShip was developed by a core group of shipping professionals determined to improve upon then-existing software for shipping. They established Best Way Technologies to create a product shipping solution that would deliver superior speed, carrier compliance and customer support. Introduced in 2000, ProShip is now in use by more than 300 customers at some 3000 locations. Businesses like BuySeasons, TigerDirect, Miles Kimball, Guhring, Derco Aerospace, Eli Lilly and Louis Vuitton rely on ProShip to handle their packages worldwide. For more information, call 414-302-2929 to speak with one of our Sales Representatives or visit


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