Its transportation management strategy has greatly improved visibility to the carriers' activities in transit. "We've also improved carrier compliance with contracted rates, accessorials like fuel taxes and surcharges, and unplanned accessorials like detention charges," says Rob Shafer, Dial's manager of carrier alliances.
Dial has also gained 95 percent compliance for carrir reporting, mainly because freight payment is tied directly to it. "Our system will not authorize a payment until we have receipt of an invoice, so it's in the carriers' interests to expedite the processing of invoices," explains Shafer.
Its strategy for managing its contracted carriers—75 percent of which are asset-based carriers and the remaining 25 percent made up of third-party carriers—has yielded 12 percent to 15 percent savings in high-volume lanes. Carriers in those lanes did not miss a beat at all last year.
Event management is the key to this success. Using the Collaborative Logistics Network from Nistevo Corp., Eden Prairie, MN, Dial has automated and centralized its logistics operations and is now able to track carrier performance with alerts for expired or rejected tenders and for exceptions to shipment schedules.
Dial uses the online, subscription-based Nistevo solution for carrier selection, contract management, less-than-truckload consolidation, routing, dock scheduling, invoicing, freight tendering, freight settlement, freight payment, load building, managing direct-store delivery and factory gate pricing initiatives and more. The company plans to expand its use of Nistevo programs to cover returned goods and backhaul management.
Prior to implementing the Nistevo TMS package in August 2002, only about 40 percent of Dial's contracted carriers were using electronic data interchange (EDI) to communicate with the company. "Now, everything comes into us through EDI," says Shafer.
"Before, we had no way of knowing what carriers had what loads, or what were the in and out volumes of certain facilities," he adds.
Now we have real-time data about all that. We also have the ability to migrate information from disparate operations into one touch point."
"We've done a great deal with their applications and in today's transportation world, I'm not sure how we could have survived without it," says Shafer.
Sequencing Routes Was Never This Easy
Who: Piller's Sausages and Delicatessens Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario, a family-owned foodservice distributor, delivering European deli, smoked meats and sausages to retailers throughout North America.
Why: Switches to a Web-based service to improve fleet operations.
While strong sales growth is always good for the bottom line, it can also wreak havoc on the transportation department, as dispatchers for Piller's Sausages and Delicatessens Ltd. can attest to. As demand for Piller's products increased, dispatchers had to add new stops to its fixed delivery schedule and ensure that loads were balanced.
These tasks were done manually and became increasingly difficult to accomplish as the business grew. Piller's also had no visibility into its supply chain. While delays and exceptions could range from lack of dock space to heavy traffic, the key for Piller's was real-time access to this information.
Dispatchers needed to know the status of deliveries and where drivers where being held up—time wasted on one call could affect the rest of the day's delivery schedule and ultimately impact Piller's number one priority: customer service.
Piller's realized that it needed an efficient way to optimally sequence its routes following the order cut-off and prior to loading the vehicles. Dispatchers and managers had to be able to measure actual performance against an engineered plan, and required real-time visibility into its delivery operations to ensure ongoing customer satisfaction.
Toronto-based Cube Route introduced Piller's to its managed logistics service, which facilitates the deployment and management of the delivery process for transportation and field service organizations. Specifically, the Routing and Optimization Service provided by Cube Route offers a way to optimize routes, and track and monitor delivery fleets in real-time.