Ten To Watch

Industry leaders employ innovative solutions to address logistical challenges.

"Without the tools to track and optimize supply chain functions, we were leaving money on the table at every turn. We needed a solution to align all the facets of the supply chain in order to reduce inventory levels and eliminate outside storage and inventory write-offs," says Susan Kinder, director, operations services.

Looking for an innovative solution, Papa John's turned to Manhattan Associates. Manhattan Associates was selected for the seamless integration and coordination made possible by its Supply Chain Process Platform.

This creates a central information repository that provides consistent, standardized inventory data and performance metrics that can be shared by Papa John's entire supply chain.

Implementation of Manhattan's solutions has provided unprecedented visibility along with reduced expenses, improved efficiency and productivity in every part of the supply chain.

Eric Hartman, senior director of logistics, says, "With new visibility, we know when a PO was created and can track a delivery all the way to our QCC, which is invaluable. Manhattan solutions allow us to manage inventory levels accurately, efficiently and more dynamically based on actual need—and that has resulted in our being able to reduce overall inventory levels."

He adds, "We were able achieve our goal of a 10 to 15 percent reduction in freight spend after just six months of live runtime on the system."

Executive dashboards that track key performance indicators and enhanced reporting are two of several important new functions made possible by the system. In addition, automated traceability provides the means to address both FDA compliance and improved product quality. This functionality creates real-time data as well as a clear audit trail in the event of persistent delivery or transport issues.

"In one instance we had product that was consistently showing up damaged. We were easily able to determine the source and work with the carrier to determine that loading wasn't properly configured. We came up with a low-cost solution—and that cost was more than offset by having inventory that arrived in good shape and didn't have to be thrown out and replaced," Hartman points out.

8. DSC Logistics: DES PLAINES, IL

DSC Logistics was interested in improving labor management throughout its network to benefit its customers. DSC's customers include leading food companies Kellogg, J.M. Smucker and StarKist as well as two dozen other food manufacturers.

Realizing that the ability to effectively manage labor is critical to productivity—especially for food supply chains where key processes in the warehouse, such as receiving, putaway, case picking, pallet picking, replenishment, product moves, and trailer loading are labor intensive—DSC was motivated by a desire to maximize efficiency and reduce total system costs. By setting optimal labor management as a goal, DSC realized that success would offer a strategic advantage to DSC customers and become a differentiator for DSC's capabilities as a supply chain partner. Effective labor management also supports the increased flexibility inherent in circumstances when labor is preferred over automation.

DSC applied engineering expertise to develop a Performance Optimization Process (POP). The initial implementation of this program was based on an integration of the selected labor management software (Red Prairie) and DSC's proprietary warehouse management system (WMS). (DSC has since applied POP to other software.)

DSC's approach included:

  • Initiation of a pilot program focusing on case picking;
  • Development of Best Practices (including ergonomic Best Practices) and a work template for each task;
  • Creation of a warehouse map (defining all locations of the warehouse and measuring travel time on various pieces of equipment accurate to the inch);
  • Design and implementation of a change management and training program, including training for supervisors who provide coaching to employees on the warehouse floor;
  • Baseline measurement of productivity;
  • Ongoing measurement of results.

The solution involved DSC's Performance Optimization Process (POP). The pilot program and roll-out described above included an integration of Red Prairie DLx Module and DSC's WMS. Red Prairie's DLx Labor was chosen because it is a sophisticated tool for measuring performance in the warehouse and it met the following criteria:

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