Reduced Freight Costs Through Transportation Consolidation and WebSettle® Self-Invoicing Exp
With this many carriers and this many loads, automated, self invoicing saves more than just a sip. Just ask the nation’s second largest bottler of soft drinks. This leading bottler operates 17 soft drink and water bottling plants and 103 private and third-party warehouses in 12 states. In addition to its flagship beverages, the company also distributes complementary soft drinks, iced teas, fruit drinks, tonic water, ginger ale, and bottled water in 19 US states. The logistics group within the company consists of 16 different group managers and one LeanLogistics system administrator. Monthly, on average, 50 carriers (a combination of private fleet, common carriers and dedicated carriers) move 10,000 loads; 99% of its volume is full truckload.
Business Process and Problem Definition
The company knew its disparate transportation networks prevented leveraging its large shipment volumes and annual transportation spend. Its business had grown with each plant servicing its own warehouses, but now plants that produced specialty beverages ship across networks. A key requirement was the capability to identify round trip or continuous move opportunities between inbound and outbound freight, thus improving carrier efficiency and reducing costs. They wanted a common platform for all locations to manage carrier rates and contracts and as a means to track carrier performance. In addition, they wanted an on-line communication tool for tendering, settlement, and accessorial and rate change management to replace the labor-intensive phone and fax communication with carriers. Automation of appointment scheduling was also a requirement. Each plant used a separate, manual process for freight audit and payment. This process could take up to a month before an invoice was sent to the centralized accounts payable department where five full-time employees performed manual data-entry and administration. A company-wide study documented that it was costing the company up to 28 dollars per invoice to pay freight bills. This cost for 90,000 invoices per year represented a significant line item in the budget.