When you’re shipping needed parts and components around the world by just about every conceivable mode of conveyance, you need a reliable transportation management system.
The supply chain of Sensata Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor of sensors and controls for automotive equipment, aircraft and other applications, is complex. The company ships more than 1.1 billion units globally each year from 12 international locations, using a variety of modes. That means coordinating thousands of orders with heavyweight air, ocean, ferry, train, less-than-truckload (LTL), parcel and hand-carry services for expedited shipments. Sensata knew there had to be a more effective way to manage transportation operations with the help of technology.
The company’s goals were to reduce costs, identify areas of improvement, and gain visibility, traceability and control of global logistics operations. Sensata knew that any piece of technology that it implemented had to be able to flex with the company’s needs, accounting for the complex nature of shipping product internationally. Following an in-depth analysis of various transportation management systems, Sensata chose Kuebix TMS.
Implementing any new piece of technology can be a huge project, so Sensata began with a pilot and the goal of gradually expanding its use of Kuebix TMS. The pilot started in 2016 in the Aguascalientes facility in Mexico, as well as the Fort Worth facility in Texas. The pilot was highly successful and resulted in the launch of Kuebix across all of Sensata’s Central European sites in 2017.
Since launching on a grand scale, Kuebix’s modular features have flexed alongside Sensata’s business needs to add functionality. As a complex international shipper, it was critical that Kuebix be scalable to bring on hundreds of Sensata employees globally.
Sensata uses Kuebix for all modes of transportation in the original locations, as well as in two additional sites in the U.S., two in Bulgaria, one in Malaysia, and in its Antrim facility in Ireland.
By implementing Kuebix TMS, the company reports being able to streamline a number of processes that were previously costing significant time and money. “Within one year of launch, Sensata saw a $2.2m cost-avoidance savings because of Kuebix TMS,” says Janelle Ballerstedt, global logistics TMS manager with Sensata.
The company now has complete visibility to all logistics operations. It’s been able to understand, down to the part number, what’s happening and why certain actions are being performed in regard to freight spend.
Before Kuebix, Sensata only had visibility to the customer’s requested delivery date. It was unable to see rates by time of day. With Kuebix’s expedited approval process in place, the company can now see all shipping options before a shipment is booked.
Sensata uses Kuebix to rate, book, track and trace standard orders internationally. Order information is automatically populated from its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system into Kuebix, so that all information required for shipping is accurate and instant.
Kuebix is also integrated directly with carriers, making it easy for Sensata’s employees to view real-time, accurate rate information. Hundreds of warehouse and customer service employees at Sensata are using Kuebix portals, which are customized to show exactly what each person needs to work on efficiently.
Through the use of Kuebix TMS, Sensata now has more control and accountability of its freight-management processes. Everything is done through a centralized location, creating more efficient processes throughout the network.
With the system in place, real-time costs and delivery information are now easily accessible, resulting in significant cost savings. In addition, Sensata’s logistics professionals can make wiser strategic decisions, and negotiate better rates with carriers.
Overall, the company says, customer service has drastically improved since implementation, due to the increased visibility and collaboration that Kuebix provides.
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