Ten To Watch

Industry leaders employ innovative solutions to address logistical challenges.


1. ES3: YORK, PA

ES3 offers manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to take cost and time out of their supply chains while improving service through its collaborative and automated consolidation and Direct-to-Store (D2Ssm) solutions.

Since opening the York, PA facility in 2002, ES3 has reduced cost and improved service for the more than 50 manufacturers and all Northeast retailers utilizing this facility. ES3 started the first true consolidation program—not just pooling of less-than-truckload orders but, true consolidation at order creation. Retailers build fully optimized truckload orders, across all participating manufacturers, daily.

The retailer can order a pallet or layer of an item and receive it, from order to delivery, in less than 48 hours. Retailers get better in-store service levels and manufacturers get lower costs through better truck utilization and lower limits on retailer fees. The result is a better supply chain that moves product faster, at a lower cost than single manufacturer mixing centers, and higher service levels than direct plant shipment models.

However, Consolidation was only the start of the savings that ES3's collaborative warehouse enables for the grocery industry. In 2010, ES3 launched its D2STM service. By utilizing cutting-edge automation, economies of scale, and unprecedented facilitation of manufacturer collaboration, ES3 has changed the economic order quantity for the industry, from a truckload to a case, and changed delivery timing from days to hours.

The D2S program combines manufacturer mixing centers and retail distribution centers into a single facility. Product flows in straight from the manufacturers' factories in full truckloads or rail cars and flows out to the retail stores in aisle-friendly sequenced pallets of single cases per item.

The combining of manufacturer and retailer warehousing into a single facility eliminates the costs associated with handling, storage, and inventory holding. It eliminates a leg of transportation. It also reduces damage, increases speed to shelf, and improves on-shelf availability.

The manufacturers get lower costs and higher sales. The retailers get lower costs and higher sales. The shoppers get the products on the shelf when they want them. Everyone wins!

2. Restaurant Depot: COLLEGE PARK, NY

Restaurant Depot is a cash and carry restaurant supply wholesaler with approximately 80 U.S. warehouses that offer supplies for food service operators, independent retailers and caterers.

Given the growing number of purchase orders, warehouses, cross-docks and logistics staff, coupled with the increasingly competitive environment for securing capacity, the logistics team identified the need for a Transportation Management System (TMS). It selected InMotion Global TMS and companion web portal LoadLink, applications offered by InMotion Global Inc. (IMG).

The solution is a free, web-based application that is fully hosted utilizing the latest cloud-based technology, saving customers from any upfront hardware/software expenditures. The system includes features that centralize and streamline the entire transportation process from load inception through final delivery and invoicing, allowing shippers to manage their transportation operations from anywhere seamlessly.

Restaurant Depot initiated a nationwide rollout of InMotion Global TMS, installing it in its Northeast and West Coast offices and training its carriers to use LoadLink. The logistics team now electronically transmits load tenders to carriers via LoadLink rather than faxing or e-mailing load tenders to them.

arriers receive an automated tender notification from InMotion Global, and then log into LoadLink to electronically accept or decline load tenders.

Carriers also use LoadLink to set their own appointment times, record actual pickup/drop-off times and update their load location and status information. LoadLink allowed Restaurant Depot to improve and accelerate the load tendering and load updating process, while reducing their internal man-hours associated with the activity by 78 percent.

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