Rich Products Corporation is the leading supplier and solutions provider to food service, in-store bakery, and retail marketplaces. The founder of the non-dairy segment of the frozen food industry, this 60-year-old family-owned company manufactures and markets an extensive variety of products, including toppings and icings, breads and rolls, finished desserts and cakes, pizza dough, sweet goods, beverages, Italian specialties, barbeque, seafood, and appetizers. Rich’s distribution network encompasses more than 60 locations, including 19 plants, 35 other production locations, and five regional DCs. Rich’s ships more than 70,000 loads a year (combination of full TL, consolidated TL, and intermodal) and has an annual freight spend of nearly $100 million.
Business Process and Problem Definition
A complex company like Rich’s needs centralized control, scalability and visibility into processes to better manage and measure transportation execution. Some network locations are involved in the daily transportation planning and execution, while other locations are managed by third party companies leading to significant process and procedure inconsistencies. Furthermore, while carrier usage within lanes is defined periodically through corporate routing guides, the usage isn’t controlled or measured. Additionally, procurement (contracts and carrier negotiation) is performed by corporate management and a third-party company handles freight payment. One of the company’s requirements is to retain strategic control of carrier relationships. Rich’s knew that carriers prefer a direct relationship to the shipper (not mediated by a broker or a third party). In an effort to gain greater control and reduce costs, Rich’s desires to outsource the daily management of transportation and standardize processes. Rich’s defined a list of business imperatives for transportation management:
- Implement a single source for transportation management and a single platform and database
- Become a leader in carrier-friendly business practices
- Provide visibility to issues (with a resulting increase in service levels)
- Monitor and reduce distribution costs and performance-to-plan