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United States Gypsum came to Transplace, a 3PL specializing in web-based transportation management, for assistance with its unique transportation and distribution challenges, says George Macko, USG's transportation manager at the Chicago-based building products manufacturer.
According to Macko, these challenges included a lack of carrier capacity, timely access to specialized equipment needs, better communication with a large base of medium and small carriers and a fragmented marketplace. In addition, USG faced several large-scale issues, including a large number of plant sites, an extremely high demand for product, lack of visibility in the pipeline and an enormous shipment volume that generated more than 30,000 electronic status updates per day.
"Transplace worked diligently to formulate solutions geared toward USG's goals of improved customer service and available-as-needed capacity," says Macko.
The rollout of the Transplace solution was completed at all 46 USG plant facilities in April 2004 and today more than 500,000 truckload shipments are managed annually. As a result of continuous improvements in technology and operating efficiency, USG last year reduced its original transportation staff of seven to five without a reduction in workload for the USG/Transplace team.
Transplace receives shipment order data electronically from USG plants to create shipments. Now, virtually every order can be tracked through the USG outbound supply chain with complete visibility. In addition, the Transplace/ USG team provides ongoing updates of carrier capacity, new carrier rates, research of errors and anomalies, addressing delayed responses from carriers, monitoring and correction of shipment rating issues and monitoring of EDI 214 shipment status messages.
According to Macko, carrier automation for USG operates at 100 percent, with 26 percent of the status updates coming via standard EDI transaction sets, and the remaining 7 percent completed utilizing the Transplace Carrier Web Suite. Additional communications cost savings were realized through utilization of AS2 electronic communications, which eliminated VAN costs for USG and for their carriers.
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