Driving Change

A young freight audit and analytics firm helps companies optimize supply chain ­management and improve profitability

Photo: Matt and Marco Grossi of Orca Intelligence

IF YOU KNEW there were errors in roughly seven per cent of the invoices your company was sending out, costing tens of thousands of dollars, wouldn’t you look for someone to fix the problem?

And if, while fixing that problem, the company you hired came up with a list of ways to make your entire shipping operation more efficient, wouldn’t you sign up for that?

Welcome to the world of Orca Intelligence, a small-but-powerful London firm that uses technology and analytics to simplify the Wild West world of supply chain management.

“Shipping freight is more complex than it appears from the outside. There are 100 different things to consider, all kinds of varying costs” —Matt Grossi

“Our clients send their invoices to us, and we analyze them to make sure everything is correct, but that’s just the beginning,” says Matt Grossi, 27, CEO and company founder.“Shipping freight is more complex than it appears from the outside. There are 100 different things to consider, all kinds of varying costs. Our system checks them all and makes sure the entire supply chain is operating as efficiently as possible.”

Grossi’s brother, Marco, 30, joined the firm this year. Their parents own and operate a freight brokerage company in Woodbridge. “It’s not the same thing we’re doing, but we learned a lot about the business growing up,” Grossi says. “I decided to go on my own in 2016 and create a software platform to analyze and organize all kinds of supply chain needs.”

The company struggled initially, with a single client for more than a year. But by late 2017, word of its innovative approach started to get around to prospective clients. It was part of the Western Accelerator program that year and continues to rent space at the school’s Research Park. Orca has five employees and is about to hire a sixth.

“There are so many variables in freight shipping and ­supply chain management,” Grossi says. “We provide a digital offering with modules to serve different needs, all accessible 24/7.”

At its simplest, Orca verifies invoice accuracy. But most clients go well beyond that, trusting Orca recommendations about how to ship more efficiently. Various analytics tools give clients an unprecedented view of their entire shipping operation. Coming soon is a module that allows shippers to calculate their carbon footprint.

Today, Orca provides services to many firms, including 3M Canada, Rogers Communications and Chewy.com, a large U.S.-based pet food and supplies retailer.

The next challenge is to increase its presence in the U.S. “But it’s a very different market,” Grossi notes. “Everything is different, from rate structures to carrier relationships.” Christopher Clark

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