2005 Supply & Demand Chain 100 Case Study  Arctic Glacier Inc. / Cube Route

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: A packaged ice company turns to an on-demand logistics service to gain visibility into, and better control over, daily delivery activities.

Profiles in Supply Chain Enablement: A packaged ice company turns to an on-demand logistics service to gain visibility into, and better control over, daily delivery activities.

Company: Arctic Glacier Inc (Winnipeg)
Company Size: Medium
Company Sector: Food/Beverage
Area(s) of Enablement: Fulfillment/Logistics
Enabler: Cube Route Inc (Toronto)

SDCE 100 2005Case Study: Arctic Glacier Inc. is a leading North American producer and supplier of premium quality packaged iced products. A rapidly expanding business with a large delivery and distribution network, Arctic Glacier's main operations service over 10,000 retail and 500 commercial accounts for food processors, convenience and grocery stores, gas stations and others.

According to Chris Doiron, distribution manager for Arctic Glacier, dispatchers had virtually no visibility into daily delivery activities. Scheduling was done on paper; orders that came in were coordinated using a map on the wall; and the appropriate drivers were contacted through numeric pagers to be advised of scheduled delivery changes.

To add to these challenges, Arctic Glacier's business is extremely seasonal. During summer peaks for example, inventory on any given truck could be depleted halfway through the day, which meant adding trucks and drivers to cover the backlog of orders that weren't serviced that day. The high rate of missed drops per week resulted in lost revenue during peak season, while drivers would perform a high percentage of unnecessary stops in the slow winter season.

Gaining Visibility...and Control

Looking for a solution, the company opted to implement Cube Route's Visibility & Routing Service, on "on-demand" solution that provided an affordable and practical way for Arctic Glacier's dispatch staff and managers to track truck activity and inventory, without requiring expensive upfront investments in licenses, installation, maintenance and integration services.

Using the solution, Arctic Glacier dispatchers have gained real-time visibility into driver and fleet activities. They can monitor truck location, inventory levels and route changes in real-time, as well as make adjustments on the fly. With the insight gained through Cube Route, they can reassign trucks to cover missed drops, improve inventory and delivery efficiencies and eliminate the need for additional trucks/drivers to cover contingencies.

Meanwhile, drivers use the solution to access information on their daily schedules through a single screen view on their Web-enabled cell phones, rather than having to scroll down for information. Any changes  from delays to additional stops  are communicated back and forth between dispatch and drivers, in real time. "Sometimes, for example, there are loading dock delays at a site," says Doiron. "Now drivers can look at their schedule and perform other drops rather than waiting two to three hours  and we can track all that as it happens."

Also, since Cube Route worked on a subscription model, the service could be scaled up or down to accommodate Arctic Glacier's seasonal business demands. The financial and operating risks were minimal, and the overall impact on efficiency would be immediate, according to Cube Route.

"Live Inventory Counts, Real-time Monitoring"

Within days of signing with Cube Route, Doiron says the benefits were obvious. "Midway through the first week everything was there: live inventory counts, real-time fleet monitoring, visibility, control. We knew instantly where every driver was at any time, which is a huge plus for us. As soon as we started, my dispatching workload was cut back by at least three hours."

Annual return on investment (ROI) is 8.8 times. After using Cube Route for only three months Arctic Glacier reduced incomplete deliveries from 17 percent to less than 1 percent, reduced dispatch administration by three hours per person per day and saved additional rental and staffing fees.

"Any dispatch person now knows on the fly who has gone where, and can make any necessary adjustments as the day progresses," he continues. "That way we can virtually eliminate incomplete calls, because we can immediately see where another truck is available with inventory to cover where another has left off."

Arctic Glacier is now working with Cube Route to consolidate hand held devices in the field to be able to run multiple applications on a singe handheld device. Cube Route is also supporting Arctic Glacier in operationalizing new acquisitions and rolling out their facilities North America wide.

For more stories of successful supply chain implementations, read the "2005 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100" article in the June/July 2005 issue of the magazine. Also watch the Today's Headlines section of SDCExec.com every Tuesday and Thursday for more in depth best practices drawn from this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100.