Stephanie Williams, supply chain manager with Nestle DSD, tells how the company went about acquiring a new transportation management system to handle growth, cut costs, enable visibility and enhance customer service.
Nestle DSD is the distribution arm for Dreyer's and Edy's ice cream, as well as several frozen-pizza brands. The entity operates out of seven manufacturing plants, 14 distribution centers, and more than 200 cross-docks and inventory locations. For transportation, it relies mostly on truckload carriers with temperature-controlled equipment.
An existing transportation management system was no longer sufficient to cope with the increasing complexity of Nestle DSD's operation. The call went out for a more sophisticated tool.
Nestle turned to a TMS from LeanLogistics. Williams says the company needed a system that could manage day-to-day costs while reducing time in transit. The tool it chose had a number of key features, including order planning, appointment and dock scheduling, carrier payment and performance reporting. That last capability was especially important; Nestle in the past had been forced to process data manually or didn't have access to it at all. That needed to change. "We have pretty aggressive management requirements," says Williams.
Nestle was able to roll out a new series of scorecards which delivered a better sense of carrier performance. Previously, says Williams, the company had lacked visibility of critical elements such as accessorial management. Now, it was able to document key performance indicators online.
The system turned out to benefit both parties, giving carriers a more accurate picture of their service quality, and streamlining basic processes. "It makes us more attractive to do business with, when a carrier can do scheduling [online]," Williams says.
Nestle also gained better visibility to the behavior of its own staff. It had been relying on manual processes to monitor internal compliance with purchasing directives. By automating its routing guide, the company was able to improve the execution of its request for proposal (RFP) strategy. Other benefits included less time spent on loading planning, which is achieved today with "a couple of clicks," says Williams.
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