As the embodiment of modern American style, 3PL links’ largest women’s apparel customer offers impeccably designed clothing that meets and
The over-arching goal was to optimize processes to improve speed to market, improve outbound freight from Distribution Centre’s to retail outlets, increase visibility on both their shipments and vendors and continually seek innovative ways to reduce logistic-related expenses.
Through the use of a Risk Free Assessment, proprietary auditing tools and ongoing freight management program, 3PL Links was able to and continues to meet and exceed the needs of the Retailer.
In 2008 the Retailer approached 3PL Links about the possibility of forming a long term partnership to help analyze and manage their Supply Chain. The first step was to sit with the Retailer to get a true understanding of their goals and objectives- along with signing off Non Disclosure Agreements. The customer new that there were areas of improvement but did not know where to start and were worried about the time and costs associated with a full supply chain analysis.
3PL Links started their Risk Free Analysis, and as they had thought discovered many areas of improvement. Just to name a few, the Retailer was shipping 80% of their freight via Air and 20% via Ocean, excessive GRI and PSS charges were being billed (and paid), resources at the Retailer we not being optimized efficiently and there was a lack of visibility both on their shipments and carrier rates. There was also a need to reexamine their carrier base to ensure timely deliveries into their big block store clients. Each of these big block stores have their own set of imperatives for specific details of deliveries, and when those very specific guidelines are not met, there are crippling fees and penalties that can be incurred. If not audited and fixed these items combined for a toxic supply chain limiting growth at both the individual level and company as a whole.
3PL Links received 3 months worth of data from the Retailer. This data included, but was not limited to, invoices, rates, historical shipment volumes, and forecasts. Through this data, 3PL Links was able to paint a picture of the Retailers current supply chain and identified areas where they could add ongoing value and cut costs. The first step was to do a complete audit on the Retailers freight bills- Surface, Ocean and Air- against their contractually negotiated rates. Through this process 3PL Links found approximately $300 thousand in excessive PSS and GRI charges. Not only were they discovered but 3PL Links was able to have those charges clawed back.
As this partnership grew, 3PL Links continued to cement themselves as a trusted partner and an extension of the Retailers Supply Chain & Logistics Department. 3PL Links has initiated a quarterly rate review program with the selected carrier base. This program ensures that the Retailer rates are protected against fluctuations in the market, further to that it ensures that the rates they do get are the most competitive rates available. In addition to the quarterly review, 3PL Links also prepares and manages an annual bid tender. Like the review this ensures that the Retailer continues to have the best level of service and most competitive rates over all modes of transportation.
Not only has 3PL Links provided consistent and reliable reports they have also helped optimize the Retailers resources. Prior to the partnership, the Retailer had a pair of individuals auditing every incoming bill before payment. This was a very labour intensive process and the Retailer knew that these individuals were not being used efficiently. Through the VAP program the retailer moved these individuals to another department where they are not excelling and truly providing valuable input on the day to day operation of the company. Furthermore, the Operations department was able to remove approximately $65 thousand of their P&L.
This case study & customer truly reflects the value add 3PL Links can
and takes them out of the day to day grind. Rates and solutions are presented and proven before implementation to ensure they meet and exceed the client’s expectations. While, Key Performance Indicators and weekly, monthly and quarterly progress meetings are held to ensure the ongoing success of the program.
“Not only did we realize a 15% reduction in freight spend in our first year, but we soon realized that we could never approach the level of expertise that 3PL Links brings to the table.”
– Richard Boyer, Solowave Design
"We could never approach the level of expertise that 3PL Links brings to the table."