A national wholesale distributor supplies was struggling to manage its complex supply chain and maintain high levels of customer service, which is a top priority. With over 20 decentralized sites spread across five states, communicating delivery needs between sales staff, professional drivers and each distribution center was creating challenges. Additionally, the distribution centers had no set routes, making planning difficult. Compounding the problems, Department of Transportation violations were impacting the distributor’s ability to meet its customers’ delivery needs and creating liability concerns.
Creating a positive experience for the distributor’s customers started with improving visibility and communication. Success within the supply chain depends on connectivity, and technology suite ensures everyone involved in a shipment has visibility into what is happening.Lora Carson, join CEO, Warehouse Company
The distributor turned to Logistics to help streamline and improve its deliveries to warehouses, houses, job sites, apartments and businesses. The partnership has allowed the distributor to improve customer service, reduce the size of its in-house fleet and tap into dedicated capacity. Utilizing expertise also enabled the distributor to focus on its core business rather than transportation concerns.
The distributor’s parent company uses transportation-as-a-cost-of-sales as a metric to compare business units, so managing costs is critical. ClearChain technology allows customers to centralize their data, giving them the ability to see and understand their total transportation spend. The technology has also helped optimize the network and streamline deliveries, driving overall cost savings. Moreover, the distributor saw added value in efficient, professional drivers that arrived at its customers’ sites on time. As part of its communication, team members from Logistics and the distributor meet regularly to discuss metrics, data analysis, priorities and plans. The increased visibility enables data-driven decision making, and regular meetings give both parties clear direction for the future.
Changing the entire supply chain of a business may seem like a larger project than it actually is. Decentralizing is an agile supply chain solution by definition, and can be done in phases. When you decide to move your business forward with a decentralized logistics solution, you can roll it out strategically.
As you probably know, manufacturers produce products and retailers sell them to end users. A can of motor oil, for example, is manufactured and packaged, then sold to automobile owners through retail outlets and/or repair shops.
Just like the cost-effective solution used to be centralized distribution, businesses used to overstock inventory in case of unforeseen spikes in demand. While this did solve the problem, it tied up cash in inventory, increased the chance of damage, and consumed large amounts of real estate.
According to U.S. Industry and Trade Outlook, published by The McGraw-Hill Companies and the U.S. Department of Commerce/International Trade Administration, wholesale trade includes establishments that sell products to retailers, merchants, contractors and/or industrial, institutional and commercial users.
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