Find the Hidden Waste and Grab Huge Cost Savings in Your Supply Chain

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Brett Minner, Logistics Manager

Shigeo Shingo, one of the early proponents of the Toyota Production System, once said that “the most dangerous kind of waste is the waste that we do not recognize.” For any organization with a complex supply chain, vigilance is required to seek and recognize hidden waste. A complex supply chain requires specialization of labor, and that specialization can easily create silos–waste may no longer be owned by an individual person or work group. Huge opportunities can exist for cost-savings and waste elimination when responsibilities within an organization blur. We were able to find the hidden waste and help the customer grab huge cost savings.

 

Our customer has a very large distribution network; a portion of the business involves the collection of product at other major distribution centers, returning to the shipper’s own location. The highest volume lanes ship more than 4,000 loads per year. The shipper did design the workflow to be both productive and cost effective from several angles. The length of haul is normally minimized, there are favorable circumstances at the origin and destination to make them a shipper of choice, and the rates (compared to the market) are very reasonable. One thing had been overlooked here though.

The missing piece was the utilization of the available trailer space. My team pulled data regarding how full the trailers were, compared to the potential of how full they could be, and we found the impact was significant. For many locations, the percentage of cube capacity utilized was only 80%, sometimes as low as 70%. This resulted in many additional and unnecessary dispatched trucks, which was exaggerated by the size of the network. For the largest volume lanes, in one fiscal year alone, approximately 3,728 loads were moved wastefully.

It is fair to wonder how this much waste went undetected. This is the risk an organization runs  if no one is tasked, either internally or externally, with innovation across the entire supply chain. In this case, the lack of cube utilization could have been the responsibility of at least six different parties in the organization, but no one considered this as an opportunity before. The total value of the opportunity is difficult to overstate; if cube utilization was maximized across the entire supply chain for returns, the freight cost savings amounted to over 5% of the annual freight spend, which includes outbound and transfers in addition to the inbound work this project effects.

The impact of this isn’t limited to a reduction in transportation spend though. There is additional value created by saved dock appointments at both the shipper and customer distribution centers, reduced staff required at the shipper location (both potentially dock workers and spotters), reduced CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions from the removal of trucks on the road, and when the shipper shares this as a best practice with their customers. Perhaps the largest impact is how the knowledge of this waste has changed the shipper engagement with customers. All renewed or new contracts have language around proper cube utilization, which will continue to embed this as a permanent continuous improvement initiative.

According to Maya Angelou, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Improved data allows the identification of waste, and the knowledge of that waste provides opportunities to “do better,” which my team and the shipper were able to do here.



How to Leverage Managed Procurement Services For Better RFP’s

Craig HoweCraig Howe, Procurement Lead, sits down to discuss how Managed Procurement Services can transform your RFPs

A few weeks ago, we shared some of the Do’s and Don’ts of handling an RFP. The post provided several great tactical examples of how to most effectively manage an RFP. But has the execution of the RFP itself become a daunting task? Companies that answer yes to this question often turn to Managed Procurement Services.

When do companies need Managed Procurement Services?

The decision to utilize Managed Procurement Services really boils down to resource availability and/or resource allocation. Conducting RFPs is a full time job for most companies covering an 8 to 12 week period of time. During that time-frame, a critical company resource will need to be either removed from their “real job” or try to stay engaged in both their daily activities AND managing the bid event. For many companies, re-deploying an existing resource just doesn’t make sense.

On the other hand, some transportation managers look at an outsourced solution and may feel a level of discomfort thinking that the execution of the process will now be out of their hands. What many managers don’t realize is that there is a chance that they could actually lose more money by not paying full attention to the execution of their freight compared to the potential gains from executing the RFP. Using a Managed Procurement Services provider allows the shipper to greatly reduce or eliminate the amount of time they have to spend related to the communication, data collection, and analysis of the large amounts of data associated with conducting RFPs. This allows a shipper more time to focus on the award process itself–rather than copying data from spreadsheets–while at the same time not neglecting existing freight.

With that outside expertise, shippers can focus on the quality while the Managed Procurement Services provider can focus on the quantity. Instead of 25 carriers, a shipper can now look at 50 carriers. No matter the size of the RFP, Managed Procurement Services can help “set the net” at the right size. A true Managed Procurement Services provider can also provide best practices regarding how to approach the marketplace based upon your specific business. This could also allow a shipper to work through the process with their Managed Procurement Services provider multiple times with multiple RFPs, then take the tools and processes back in house for future added benefit.

Determining when a company should invest in outsourcing their transportation procurement event is best done by looking first at the value drivers and then allocating resources where they can best be utilized.

How to best leverage Managed Procurement Services

As it relates to a transportation procurement strategy, the one-size-fits-all theory does not always end with the best results. The question a shipper should be asking is, “Based on my business requirements, what procurement strategy should I use and why?”

To answer this question, my suggestion would be to do a business review and look at the following:

  1. Contractual requirements – Are the requirements exceeding current needs or potentially adding unnecessary risk (and thereby inflating rates)?  Some examples might be the Master Transportation Agreement / Fuel Surcharges / Accessorials / Operational Requirements / Etc.
  2. Origin or Destination operational constraints – What improvements can be applied at either endpoint? This can impact your “SOC” (Shipper of Choice) score that carriers are keeping.
  3. Execution / Carrier Compliance monitoring – Are those responsible for tendering (your team) as well as those accepting loads (the carrier’s team) accountable for what was committed to? What are your enforcement capabilities for each?
  4. Consistency / Incumbency / Commitment – Based on driving the best results for your business, this needs to be incorporated in your RFP schedule. How much risk can you allow in terms of displacing current incumbent carriers?
  5. How to introduce the RFP to the marketplace – Even if you are in your way to becoming a “Shipper of Choice”, if your messaging to carriers is discouraging or contains something which makes them disregard your RFP, you lose. Also, if some of the rules in your RFP haven’t been evaluated for years, they might actually be costing you money.

In the end, when it comes to the optimal frequency or optimal time to conduct an RFP, there is definitely not a one-size-fits-all answer. My recommendation is simple as it relates to procurement strategy: Align your strategy to best support YOUR business versus trying to align your business with a “typical” strategy.

Dealing with the award

You may want to rely on one of your past events when deciding how to award. It’s a lot easier to understand the process when using data that you are familiar with and if you already have a good idea of what your results should look like.

With Managed Procurement Services, you can also run a two round bid rather than a single round. When doing a two round bid, it allows you to look at rates that are coming in, hit those against incumbents, and evaluate your options. It also allows you to give visibility to and work with your incumbents.

Analytics also support a number of alternate “what if” scenarios, but they are dependent on knowing what you are looking for regarding your award methodology. The variables are endless: low cost, incumbency, asset versus brokerage, preferred mode, equipment size, and equipment type are just a few examples. Another option is to limit the number of awarded carriers so you have a number of constraints that can be applied.

Allocation scenarios do not replace the need to fine tune the overall award. The intent is to get you close with the majority of the lanes and volumes to reduce the time for creating the final award solution. At the end of the day, a Managed Procurement Services provider delivers on the execution of the RFP so you can focus on the awards, and ultimately your business.

Other considerations when looking into Managed Procurement Services

Like many aspects of transportation procurement, there are no silver bullets and the target never stops moving even with Managed Procurement Services.

Who is in the best position to make business decisions when conducting a transportation bid? Without a doubt, it is you, the shipper. You know your business, you understand the requirements, you have the tribal experience with the current carrier base, and you have the power to negotiate and award business to the best carrier.

But when comparing the total time invested in conducting a transportation bid, the advance business decisions required only represent a very small part of the total time required to conduct an RFP. What many companies do not realize is that there is still time to reap the benefits of working with Managed Procurement Services even if the decision is made just ahead of the planned kickoff of the RFP.  We have had many shippers that move from initially having doubts about Managed Procurement Services and the process to completely endorsing the process, and fully trusting the recommendations to the point they don’t even need to review the award. Managed Procurement Services provided by LeanLogistics is a great way to leverage procurement expertise and innovative technology to build better supply chains together.



Scalability? It doesn’t happen overnight

Wherever you look today, you see overnight successes.  The latest app becomes all the rage on Android and IPhone’s. A video goes viral and creates a cult following.  A little known startup suddenly gets acquired by Microsoft for a sum three times your company’s size.  All of those can happen in the blink of an eye.  In today’s hyper connected world, it’s amazing how quickly fame and glory arrive, yet can so quickly fade.

Fortunately, that’s not how the supply chain works.  There aren’t too many supply chain professionals who watch their network undergo extreme changes in a matter of moments (with the exception of natural disasters of course).  Having a single truck delayed does not tank a business plan; neither does a single delighted customer bullet proof a company’s logistical success.  Supply chains are extremely resilient, but are often asked to shoulder major changes.  And when it comes to scaling that supply chain, it definitely does not happen overnight.

Scalability in the supply chain requires expertise and direction.  Not all supply chains need to scale in terms of size, but maybe it’s a matter of scaling back certain elements and scaling up others.  Mode shifts are a perfect example of this.  As intermodal continues to gain traction and unseasonably low capacity remains, being able to scale in different ways gives the supply chain options to retain its original purpose and goals.

Goals.  Sometimes that’s all practictioners have to go on, relying on their partners and suppliers to deliver the results.  Some will trust in the process, waving contracts and service expectations in front of their constituents.  Others, like CHEP, take a proactive approach to managing partners with technology.  In this way, positive results are scaled and negative outcomes are reduced.

Although it’s clear you can’t scale a supply chain overnight, there are some ways to help it along.  In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed getting your RFP in better shape or planning for seasonal shifts as ways to scale your supply chain, but there is another element to consider. If we go back to our first three examples in this post, they have a common theme: technology.  In today’s world, always-on SAAS infrastructure is table stakes for scaling for long term success.  Startups don’t buy servers anymore, they buy server space and time.  Storage of secure documents is often housed thousands of miles away to a data center able to take an 8.9 on the Richter scale.  It’s scalable and configurable.  Whether you need a lot or a little today and need the exact opposite tomorrow, a SAAS model delivers.  If you’re not there, it’s okay.  Chiquita had to take a journey, too.  Now, SAAS is part of their world.  Your supply chain might not be as complex as dealing with highly perishable food, but if a 115 year old company can adopt a scalable SAAS solution. so can your company.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  For those looking to scale their supply chain (up, down, or sideways), challenges lie ahead.  Those challenges are just that, a challenge.  With a combination of technology and expertise, plus a little bit of time, those supply chains will scale with sustainable growth.  When those goals are met and the company lauds it as an overnight success, the supply chain folks will know how it really happened.



Scalable TMS Technology Provides Dannon With Supply Chain Visibility

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The dairy industry is an extremely competitive market with yogurt holding the title as one of the fastest growing segments. Yogurt consumption has almost doubled every seven years, making it a very attractive marketplace. Dannon, headquartered in White Plains, New York, is one of the top manufacturers and distributors of fresh yogurt in the United States. The company has been bringing good tasting healthy products to America for 65 years.

Dannon competes with other fresh dairy providers to get products on shelves as quickly and efficiently as possible. In order to stay on top of the competition, Dannon is required to track hundreds of loads a day through its three manufacturing plants, six distribution centers and numerous trucks from third-party carriers. The Minster, Ohio plant is the largest yogurt manufacturing plant in the world, producing 230,000 cups of yogurt an hour (three million cups per day). Dannon utilizes third party trucks to help distribute products throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Prior to leveraging a scalable true SaaS TMS solution, Dannon utilized a traditional on-premise TMS to manage its transportation process. However, the company realized that it needed to improve efficiencies in its carrier-related processes, as well as improve customer service and costs. Another pressure point with Dannon’s transportation process was outbound and inbound appointment scheduling. It was a manually-intense process, requiring time-consuming phone calls or faxes between the numerous departments at Dannon, the shipping facilities, and the carriers. The dock scheduler at each location was the only party with visibility to the entire schedule, creating bottlenecks and limiting alternatives. As a result, customer service was impacted by limited visibility to shipment status or the ability to monitor on-time delivery.

The company implemented a true SaaS solution to improve communications with carriers, capture and record every event in the transportation process, and make the information available to all members of the organization who needed it.

“Our initial implementation was much faster than expected — seven weeks instead of ten,” said the Director of Transportation, The Dannon Company. “Furthermore, additional modules were also implemented quickly which allowed us to realize efficiencies sooner.”

By gaining visibility into its transportation process, Dannon was able to:

  • Improve Order Fill Rate: More than 98% fill rate due to better inbound/outbound visibility.
  • Save Time by Scheduling Labor: Saved 1.5 hours per day due to improved appointment visibility and online scheduling.
  • Reduce Detention at Dannon Controlled Sites: Reduce detention costs at production and 3PL facilities by 80%.
  • Improve Carrier Performance: On-time pickup and delivery percentages are continuously improving, enabling increased sales to customers and better dock management in facilities.

“Visibility to shipment information throughout the organization is drastically improved,” continued the Director of Transportation. “With the addition of a true SaaS based TMS, Dannon is able to start building more collaboration between supply chain departments –Transportation, Customer Service, Product Deployment, Operations Planning and Central Inventory.”

With additional supply chain visibility, Dannon can proactively address potential issues in a more timely manner, such as late delivery to distribution centers or service failure to customers. By utilizing scalable SaaS TMS technology, Dannon can ship delicious dairy treats to your local grocer on-time and more efficiently.

To read the full Dannon case study, click here 



Managing Transportation In The Seafood Industry.

Overcoming transportation challenges in the fisheries and aquaculture industries

How to manage transportation requirements in the seafood industry where supply can be unpredictable    

The unpredictability of harvesting or catching live fish puts great pressure on the supply chain. Knowing customer demand but not completely knowing supply volume creates uncertainty as to whether the demand can be satisfied. And this leads to unknown transportation volumes.

This, together with short lead times to reach customer sites, can result in the shipper either having a surplus or shortage of transportation capacity which then leads to increased costs as the real capacity is determined.

Norway is the world’s second largest seafood exporter and the equivalent of 37 million seafood meals produced by Norway is consumed worldwide each day. In 2014, Norway exported NOK 69 billion (€7.6 billion) worth of seafood to countries worldwide including Poland, France and the UK – Norway’s 3 largest export markets.

LeanLogistics is running a half day and evening event to address this transportation challenge in the fisheries and aquaculture industries. The event will be held in the luxurious five star The Thief Hotel in Oslo, Norway on 3rd December 2015.

LeanLogistics has helped companies save between 5% and 15% of their transportation spend by using LeanLogistics Transportation Management Software (LeanTMS). Marine Harvest, a keynote speaker, has been a LeanLogistics customer since 2013 and has already saved up to 5% in transportation costs.

Attendees have the opportunity to:

  • Hear about Norwegian transportation challenges from the Institute of Transport Logistics
  • Discover more about the expected developments in the Norwegian seafood industry from Norsk Fiskerinæring
  • Network in a relaxed environment and enjoy dinner in a luxurious location – on us!

More information on the event: Overcoming transportation challenges in fisheries and aquaculture industry.

Register here.



A Single Corporate TMS Implementation is Key for Chiquita Express

LEA_Web_Results_Chiquita_BannerIn addition to being one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of bananas, Chiquita is a leading international marketer and distributor of many other fresh and processed food products. They offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, juices, beverages, packaged foods, salads, and fruit ingredients.

Their company’s commercial operation is a backhaul business developed to increase asset utilization for more than 9,000 Chiquita-owned containers, which need to get back to the port after the delivery of bananas to the customer. Chiquita’s Fresh Select business, distributing non-banana fresh produce such as melons and pineapples, moves in mostly LTL shipments.

In 2005, Chiquita acquired Fresh Express, the number one seller of packaged salads in the United States, with 40% retail market share and approximately $1 billion in revenues. Fresh Express is dedicated to providing healthy, convenient, and ready-to-eat spinach, salads, and vegetables.

Initially, Chiquita needed to consolidate three disparate legacy systems into centralized transportation command and control. Sourcing both strategically and for specific lanes was time-consuming and didn’t leverage the large annual transportation spend. They also wanted to maximize the use of the Chiquita-owned containers. With the acquisition of Fresh Express, Chiquita faced a series of issues relative to their TMS implementation. First, Fresh Express had a legacy-installed TMS package. Chiquita and Fresh Express needed to be converted to LeanTMS. At the same time, Chiquita decided to re-implement the entire company under one corporate structure.

Using LeanTMS®, Chiquita implemented four business divisions onto one system, supporting centralized planning and decentralized execution. This automated the RFP process and directly linked strategic procurement with tactical execution. Chiquita Express was able to automate routing guides for both the company and its customers, increasing efficiency.

The entire Chiquita corporation gained significant operational efficiencies by bringing all divisions onto a single transportation management platform and implementing common ways-of-working throughout all divisions.

Learn more by downloading the full “A Single Corporate TMS Implementation is Key for Chiquita Express” case study >>


Milk Producer Leverages Managed Transportation Services For End-to-End Visibility

Beginning in 2003, a leader in leveraged LeanLogistics LeanTMS® and the industry’s largest SaaS transportation network to scale their supply chain. With growth in many areas of the business, the company was able to successfully divide assets into separate companies, all which continued to leverage the LeanLogistics LeanTMS for supply chain execution.

Within those years of growth and transition, keeping synergies across all departments became a challenge. As the multiple centers and locations leveraged transportation technology, they did not have a view of the entire network, leading to limited visibility and reducing the opportunity to collaborate internally. The organization also had sizeable fleet operations that could be leveraged in a capacity constrained marketplace, with fluctuating asset utilization creating variable transportation costs.

The organization looked to Managed Transportation partnerships to assist with:

  • Centralizing management of transportation
  • Providing full network visibility to all locations
  • Standardizing accessorial costs and stabilizing carrier relationships
  • Leveraging transportation network partners for collaborative opportunities around fleet operations

With LeanLogistics Managed Transportation Services, the company is able to:

  • Centralize control: By partnering with LeanLogistics Managed Transportation Services, the company was able to bring all the facilities on to a centralized system, increasing visibility across the entire network and driving best practices to all locations.
  • Standardize cost and process: The Managed Transportation Services team is also able to identify the best mode and carrier combination for their freight, leading to cost control measures and better carrier partnerships.
  • Effectively utilize assets: With increased utilization and shifting some freight to different mode opportunities, the organization has been able to unlock additional capacity for their freight. With that additional capacity, their private fleet can also be utilized for revenue generation and collaboration opportunities within the company, as well as with other network partners.

By leveraging the innovative solutions and supply chain expertise provided by LeanLogistics, the company has built a better supply chain. Read the full case study here >>



Aberdeen Group: Cost to Serve Measurements of Best-in-Class Companies

Cost-to-Serve is one of the most critical measures of a supply chain.  Retaining profitable customers is the key to continued growth for any organization, regardless of size or industry.  Cost-to-Serve involves linking the costs of logistics activities together in order to enable proper allocation to products, customers, and channels.

A recent Aberdeen Smart Brief outlines how Best-in-Class companies are improving P&L through Cost-To-Serve analysis:

  • Maturity of the Supply Chain: Mature supply chains (as measured by a myriad of factors such as technology employed,  operational best practices, organizational structure, process flows, visibility that drives logistics capabilities) showed better control on Cost-To-Serve analysis and therefore, strategy.
  • Access to Real Time Data and Integration: Having data to analyze in real time as well as an automated process allows more informed and faster decisions in the supply chain.
  • Customer Segmentation: Shippers are continually analyzing their customer base and grouping their customers in a variety of ways beyond revenue potential.

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To read more about what Best-in-Class companies are doing around Cost-To-Serve, download the Smart Brief here.

To read the read the full Strategic Inbound Optimization report from the Aberdeen Group, access your free copy here.



GUEST POST: The Two Economic Halves of 2015

NoelPerry

 

Noël Perry, Senior Consultant and Managing Partner with FTR, discusses the economic conditions of 2015 and the impact on transportation.

 

This is how FTR is thinking about 2015.  It’s the tale with two halves.  Both are quite real, and they oppose each other.  The key is how you balance them.

On the good side is the long-awaited acceleration of the U.S. economy.  The optimists have been forecasting this since 2011 when the economy slowed after its initial burst of enthusiasm.  After three years that forecast came true last year, and most people, including FTR, think the stronger performance will continue through at least 2015 and probably 2016.  The new drivers are the energy situation, of course, but more important is a gradual improvement in consumer spending and the belated revival of small business.  Although such belated acceleration is rare in recoveries, a study by the International Monetary Fund predicted exactly this pattern, slow but eventual full recovery, back in 2009.  Their work was based on a pain-staking analysis of banking failure recessions during the past 50 years.  There were more than 20 in their global database.  Importantly, FTR’s own research has shown that mature recoveries do tend to feature consumer spending and small business expansion, especially in the service sector.  Think about it, most small businesses sell services.  Got a haircut recently?  Seen your massage therapist this week?  This means that the unusually strong performance of the heavy manufacturing sector so far in this recovery may fade some, but the other facets of consumer spending will accelerate.  In freight terms, this means slower growth in bulk commodities and heavy manufacturing goods like machinery but an expansion in dry van freight.   Finally, with capacity still relatively tight, carriers should get solid pricing to go along with good volumes.

On the bad side are two factors.  First is the simple age of the economic expansion.  We are in the sixth year of the current expansion.  The average for expansions is 5 years, although the last three have averaged eight years and the record is nine from the 1960s.  So, unless something fundamental has changed twenty-first century economies, we are due for a recession sometime over the next three years.  It makes sense, after six years of strong durable goods sales and business investment.  Only the housing market has disappointed this recovery.   Any economy alternately overbuys, then underbuys.  We are about due for an underbuy.

The second factor is the situation in the global economy.  Although many economists remain doggedly optimistic about 2015, debt problems in Europe, South America, and many of the developing countries are serious enough to threaten major slowdowns over the next several years.  Greece, with its intractable debt problem, is merely the tip of the iceberg.  As it now stands, global problems are enough to lower U.S. GDP 200 to 300 basis points.  Should they worsen, as is likely, the global drag could be enough to tip the U.S. into recession.  That would certainly happen if the problems cause a banking crisis.  Lest you think that unlikely, consider that only Germany’s willingness to continue to make highly risky loans to Southern European countries is the only thing preventing a collapse of the European Monetary Union and its common currency, the euro.  Here’s the point:  although the chance of recession starting before the end of 2015 is small, by the time we reach the end of 2018 it will top 80%.   Any multi-year planning you do should include a serious recession scenario.

So this complicated tale sums up to good times now but bad times to follow.  What to do?  We suggest three things that are well-suited for such late recovery situations.

  1. Relationships: This is the time to cement relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees that will survive the trials of recession.  It is relatively easy to lay the groundwork for strong long-term relationships when times are good and people are secure.  Looks like you will have two or maybe three years to get current or new relationships right before the stress of recession will test them.
  2. Asset management: This is the time to build cash reserves and strengthen the balance sheet.  We are at or close to the profit peaks for carriers and suppliers.  Husbanding those gains will enable you to emerge from the coming recession strong, just when the opportunities for market gains are strongest.
  3. Capital spending: This is a great time for quick return projects, especially if they will provide market strength or cost control to help you in a downturn.  Capital costs are still low, and the chance of good initial volumes is strong.  This is, alternately, a bad time for projects with longer maturing yield curves.  A project with a three or four year break-even timing may well have a five to seven year timing if recession hits in 2017 or 2018.  Ironically, those kinds of projects are better started in the downturn when asset costs are at their minimum.  Moreover, they mature just as the market is expanding and when competitors are still digging out from recession.

One final point in closing.  Keep in mind that conventional economic commentary seldom deals with the chance of recession.  It is apparently too risky for the tastes of my economists – or their primary clients.  So you will see very little talk about the risks to the U.S. economy we outlined above.  That view, however, does not reflect reality.  Recessions do occur whether economists help you get ready for them or not.  FTR stands out in our willingness to give you that help.  Not because we have discovered a crystal ball that solves this mystery, but because we acknowledge its reality.   We know something about recessionary economics and how it links to managerial strategy and market conditions.  That enabled us to predict the current driver shortage in 2008, at the bottom of the last recession.  It should help you benefit from the last several good years of this recovery, while, at the same time, preparing yourselves for what follows.

Noël Perry is the rare economist to specialize in transportation and logistics. Noël provides strategic work on customer logistics economics, North American transportation demand, carrier competition and ground-breaking research on truck driver supply and demand. His innovative work in freight demand modeling, modal price competition and driver labor economics are in wide-spread use. He also maintains his extensive relations with the logistics analysis community, from security analysts to analytical vendors to trade associations.

Learn more about FTR 



Route Optimization Solution for Today’s Complex World

innovationIn today’s business environment, a company’s supply chain continues to grow in complexity. From the time a company accepts an order to the delivery of goods, the transportation team struggles to create a comprehensive plan that aligns with the organization’s logistics strategy. Corporate-driven initiatives, customer service expectations and cost constraints require supply chains to be more nimble. This is especially problematic for transportation departments where organizations accept last minute order changes and/or where new orders with short lead times are the norm. While this compresses the cycle time on order fulfillment, customers still expect on-time delivery.

When planning transportation, companies must try to simultaneously minimize costs, adhere to pickup and delivery windows, select the proper mode and equipment, and consider a multitude of operational constraints. With so many moving parts, the exponential number of options is overwhelming for transportation planners.

Large organizations have the luxury of purchasing enterprise software and installing expensive hardware in an attempt to solve transportation complexities. Regardless of an organizations’ budget, size or resources, companies with complex and dynamic supply chains need a solution to provide effective transportation optimization options.

LeanOpt³®, route optimization software offered as a module of LeanTMS®, uses a leading-edge proprietary optimization algorithm to generate best-in-class transportation plans. Companies leveraging this leading-edge route optimization system are able to:

  • Save time in the overall transportation planning lifecycle
  • Mitigate unnecessary freight costs by containing the cost of carrier decline
  • Improve carrier and shipper relations

Companies that use LeanOpt³ improve the efficiencies of the transportation department by increasing productivity and allowing personnel to focus on more strategic initiatives. Consolidation is one of the primary considerations when formulating a least-cost, servicedriven solution. Basic principles apply, such as maximizing vehicle utilization, but LeanOpt³ considers more leading-edge methods to achieve greater consolidation opportunities, including newer concepts whereby new orders can be augmented onto existing loads, even those that may have been already tendered.

LeanOpt³ is designed to search for cost savings, some of which may be unbeknownst to transportation departments. By providing the most optimal transportation plan, LeanOpt³ saves companies significant time and expense while maintaining or improving service levels.

Download the full LeanOpt³ data sheet here >>