Make Every Penny Count

Companies are reigning in logistics costs. Here's five that are putting money in the bank.


The solution provides complete planning, execution and settlement, enabling users to centralize transportation command and control, according to officials at Pinnacle. It scales to incrementally add shipping volume, even doubling shipping volumes, such as with the acquisition of Aurora Foods.

The application enables Pinnacle to take over the management of the transportation function from the third-party logistics provider, while decreasing costs by employing a more efficient process. "There were savings in bringing the management of transportation back in house, as well as being in touch with what is being done on a daily and weekly basis," says Brian Smolenyak, director of transportation.

Pinnacle is now able to use the software's "continuous move" planning functionality. This process was not possible with the former decentralized third-party systems. At this point, Pinnacle is still in the process of developing an internal initiative to manage continuous moves within their network. "They are currently doing a little, but the control of the capacity is a greater value than reducing freight charges," says Smolenyak.

The application is providing greater visibility of shipments for Pinnacle and its customers. The company also plans to implement WebSettle to eliminate the third-party freight payment service. "Using this platform allows my team more flexibility in managing our transportation, while having greater real-time access to information. We see real value in that," says Smolenyak.

Reliable Foods Gains Insights Into Delivery Operations

Reliable Food Supplies has been providing quality frozen and refrigerated products to foodservice customers for more than a half century. Its fleet of trucks loads more than 4,500 food items at the central warehouse and provides customers with fresh dairy products, meat and frozen vegetables.

Tony Priaulx, IT manager, wanted to improve the overall productivity and efficiency of services by gaining more insight into the delivery cycles.

"Any exceptions, changes or problems in the daily delivery schedule were not reported until the following day," he says. "As a result, the majority of issues that came up remained unresolved."

The Canadian company needed a way to gain real-time insight into its delivery cycle. Delays in information delivery mean that Reliable Foods could not effectively monitor and stay on top of exceptions and the daily delivery activities key to its business. One area of special concern was monitoring driver productivity.

"From the moment our drivers arrived for work until they went home, we had no real way to measure unproductive time," says Priaulx. "It's hard to find sources of cost leakage without real-time data. We wanted to be able to measure their performance against an engineered plan."

Reliable's 10-year-old logistics application was less than reliable and too expensive to maintain. The reports were too difficult to run and complicated to interpret. Moreover, the cartridge-based computer processors mounted in some of the refrigerated trucks didn't provide the information needed to identify delivery problems quickly enough.

To find a solution, Reliable turned to Toronto-based Cube Route's on-demand logistics services. The subscription-based visibility service provided dispatchers with real-time visibility into the delivery status of the company's fleet. The service tracks vehicles using wireless-to-Web devices such as cell phones, GPS-enabled cell phones, handheld PDAs or field-tracking units.

The Cube Route Visibility service captures the following real-time data: mileage, delivery productivity, timecard information, exceptions, temperature, and signature capture. This enables dispatchers to monitor pickup orders scheduled into each driver's daily delivery route, as well as doing away with the need to re-engineer existing processes, driving up costs.

"The service has provided us with an affordable and effective way to stay on top of our delivery operations," says Priaulx. "Our dispatchers simply log in to the Web-based service at any time of the day to see the status of all deliveries in real-time."

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