Challenge: A medium-sized importer on the west coast needed additional sailing schedule flexibility to better react to seasonal shipping and distribution requirements, but wanted to maintain a carrier contract relationship. They realized this carrier alone simply couldn't satisfy all these requirements. More importantly, they needed a tool to help collect Purchase Order data at time of booking so that they could proactively manage these service selection decisions.
The Laufer Solution: We first evaluated the customer's specific port pair cost, transit requirements and seasonality. We then created a specific port pair solution incorporating multiple carrier services (including the customer's carrier contract), and adding the additional service schedules on every supplier booking. So what the customer sees on every Booking Confirmation from Laufer, is the following:
1. Purchase Order Number and SKU-level detail
2. Cargo ready date
3. Supplier information
4. Three carrier service options, with three ETAs
So now the customer has the ability to make quick, informed decisions on carrier selection, based on P.O. data and ETA - for every shipment. This ability to manage supply chain based on ETA is critically important.
Results: This solution provided enhanced shipping flexibility and control to help the customer react to changes in production cycles, cancellation dates, inventory levels, and changes in the market. In addition, it also helped to create immediate solutions to problems in Asia related to equipment shortages, space issues, and carrier service disruptions. The ability to immediately adapt to supply chain changes and to have the tool to manage this flexibility is critically important in this economy - and this customer is benefiting because of it.
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