Retailers are using network hubs to connect them to more than 1,000 suppliers and carriers.
THE KROGER CO. Keeping Appointments With Centralized Transportation Management
As the world’s fourth largest retailer, The Kroger Co. presides over a $54 billion empire with more than 29 manufacturing facilities and 30 distribution centers managing both dry grocery and refrigerated goods. Its banners include Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyers, King Sooper and others.
But after years of growth through acquisition, the supply chain was fragmented and de-centralized. The Cincinnati-based retailer sought to centralize several operations, included transportation. It wanted to improve inbound visibility with vendors, improve private fleet asset utilization for back-haul lanes and better identify lanes where it could take control of vendor-controlled freight when economically feasible.
To achieve its goals, Kroger turned to One Network’s Retail Solution to centralize transportation management and automate appointment scheduling across its divisions.
The retailer uses One Network’s “hosted” solution to enable efficient deployment across the supply chain network. Online appointment scheduling at distribution centers required all vendors and carriers to schedule appointments via the Internet, instead of by phone.
Standard transportation measurements were created, including on-time delivery, carrier acceptance/rejection rates, and vendor target delivery data compliance.
“About 80 percent of Kroger’s DCs are live,” says John Keenan, president of One Network . “The rest will be live by the end of the year.”
However, the change so far paints a picture of improved supply chain visibility, increased supply chain metrics and centralized transportation management. Among the results:
•Enabled 100 percent visibility of inbound freight through online appointment scheduling;
•Set up a single systemic platform across Kroger’s manufacturing and transportation centers;
•Decreased inbound freight expenditures annually across regional transportation centers and manufacturing plants through centralized shipment planning and systemic routing guide compliance;
•Captured 100 percent of relevant transportation data (load tenders, freight costs, vendor allowance costs, etc.) in a central database for analysis;
•Decreased inefficiencies in a phone and fax process for shipment tendering and appointment scheduling;
•Provided product delivery visibility to procurement organization within the buying application;
•Improved contract management control;
•Deployed and integrated with existing procurement system within 90 days of contract signature. —J.K.