Set It and Forget It

Background

A nationwide home improvement retailer struggled to meet the demands of their peak spring promotional season. With up to 90 loads per day needing attention out of one location the retailer needed to work with a provider who could deliver a seamless experience utilizing both asset and non-asset capacity without affecting any of its existing capacity commitments.

Situation

During these peak promotional periods the retailer was at risk of losing big on key first and early second quarter sales if it worked with the wrong provider. The big ticket items included in the promotion must deliver on-time to the regional DCs so that local deliveries could go out to the stores on their slotted days. One late delivery to the DC could easily affect 20-30 stores per region. And every lost sale was a big hit to the bottom line.

With 1,900 deliveries to make in four distinct waves of shipping over an eight-week period, the retailer needed to have visibility of all product that was going to deliver in each wave so that it could appropriately plan to receive them at the regional DCs and at the store level.

Additionally, advertising dollars and the retailer’s brand equity and reputation were tied to these promotions. The damage done when a potential consumer comes into the store to buy an advertised product but can’t find it is hard to undo.

Solution

The retailer engaged with Schneider’s Supply Chain Management team and its Sole Source service was identified as the perfect solution. Sole Source allowed the customer to take advantage of all of Schneider’s assets, both owned and brokered, to create a complete solution for on-time deliveries within the allotted time frames. It also allowed for the creation of trailer pools at the ship location; when the shipper got ahead of schedule these trailers could be pre-loaded, helping everyone stay ahead of the game.

Service and communication were key. Because roughly 45 loads per day were being picked up from one shipper, the Schneider team generated a daily report for the customer to help make sure all the i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. This report also ensured any potential issues were identified before causing delivery delays. On-time pick-ups and deliveries were key for the retailer to successfully hit its financial goals.

The retailer liked knowing that once a promotion like this had an identified solution, it could trust it was going to work as specified; enabling its transportation planners to focus on “non-promotional” freight in day-to-day operations vs. tracking down multiple carriers with these shipments.

Results

The retailer has enjoyed a streamlined Sole Source process working with Schneider. On-time deliveries, the key metric for this promotion, were at 100% the first year of the promotion. And they’re tracking for the same result this year.

The retailers favorite part of the solution, though? That it can ‘set it and forget it’ with Schneider. Once all variables have been identified and a plan has been agreed upon, the retailer can move its focus to something else and count on Schneider to get the work done.

The solution has worked so well that Schneider is its go-to provider for quick-turn promotions when a Sole Source solution fits the bill.

Published February 2017