One of the most notable collaborative programs that CaseStack has pioneered is its use of retailer-driven consolidation programs. In a normal environment, many consumer packaged companies use age-old methods to fulfill orders from retailers from their warehouses. In simple terms, a purchase order comes in; the supplier stages the products on pallets, and finally they contact a trucker to deliver it to the retailer. Often times, that shipment does not completely fill a truck, so they use less-than-truckload services or partial trucks; either way more wasted miles, time, diesel fuel and more greenhouse gas emissions.
In collaboration with large retailers, CaseStack cultivated something very different called retailer-driven consolidation. By developing technology and processes with retailers, CaseStack facilitates ordering and consolidation of multi-supplier full truckloads. So, again in simple terms: The orders for many different products from distinct, unrelated companies come as one. Then, they are shipped out on full trucks together. Transportation costs less, resources aren’t wasted, on-time delivery rates are higher, and even the Earth’s environment is better off. Retailers get exactly what they need when they need it; reducing potential obsolescence and inventory carrying costs. Without the programs, retailers would need to order larger quantities, but now they can get the benefits of full truckload economics with orders as little as one case. The average CaseStack truck is carrying 16 independent loads; replacing up to 16 separate trucks pulling into the retailers’ distribution yards. That reduces operating expenses. Many mid-sized suppliers have actually stated that they may have gone out of business without such a program, and retailers have benefitted by being able to add variety to their shelves.
CaseStack’s collaborative model is expansive. For example, although it has focused primarily on business-to-business (B2B) logistics; it has recently developed state-of-the-art B2C capabilities through a new business alliance. It is working with its current customers to use empty backhaul trucking capacity for other clients; creating mutual benefits for various clients. It has shared its collaborative approaches with community service projects, worked with universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and state entities on more efficient trading platforms, and it has even used its methodology to play a leadership role in sustainability initiatives. d
Dan Sanker is CEO of CaseStack, a leading provider of supply chain solutions. For more information, visit www.casestack.com.