Warming to the Challenge: Leveraging Technology and Expertise to Wow the Customer

RESOURCES // CASE STUDY

The Challenge

With a lack of logistics management expertise, a leading manufacturer of innovative heating and cooling equipment was seeking a partnership to deliver a better customer service experience and maintain its competitive advantage.

The manufacturer already had in place a user-friendly web portal through which dealers placed product orders but had no visibility to freight costs. Once dealers placed their orders, the manufacturer’s customer service team contacted the customer to provide a freight cost estimate. Not only did this add a step in the ordering process, but the lack of visibility to contracted freight rates increased the risk that customers would be invoiced for a freight cost different than originally quoted – not a positive customer experience.

Further, the manufacturer relied on one carrier to service a nationwide customer base. This single-source strategy elevated transportation costs and limited the manufacturer’s ability to provide potentially better service to parts of its client network.

The Solution

Transportation Insight helped the manufacturer implement a multiple-carrier sourcing strategy that provided optimal service across the customer base at more
competitive contracted pricing. In addition, Transportation Insight’s team of logistics technology experts collaborated with the manufacturer’s Information Technology team to build an Insight Rater® Link into its dealer portal. Based upon order information, this innovative solution applied the weight, freight class and all SKU-level detail to the shipment. Customers could access all-in costs, carrier options and service levels at the time they placed their order. They could select a desired carrier, and the system automatically provided all shipment information, including tracking details.

The Results

While the Transportation Insight solution provided a smoother customer buying experience on the front end, there was equal benefit in the back office. Transportation Insight’s proprietary freight invoice audit and payment system enabled the manufacturer’s finance team to devote far less time and effort to reviewing each individual freight invoice. Rigorous auditing of every invoice ensured that customers received an accurate freight cost on every shipment. Automated GL coding helped the finance team scale its productivity without adding resources.

Going Forward

As the partnership between the manufacturer and Transportation Insight moves forward, efforts to help this client maintain its position as a market leader continue through ongoing implementation of process improvement, cost containment and shipping strategies that yield an enhanced customer experience. The manufacturer’s parent company has been so impressed by the accomplishments of the Transportation Insight partnership that plans are in place to replicate the solution and build
on the original success across additional divisions under the corporate umbrella.

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SUMMARY

Challenge

Leading manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment lacked visibility to contracted freight rates. A single source for Less-Than-Load (LTL) capacity across a nationwide network of clients elevated transportation costs and limited service improvement opportunities.

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Solution

Multiple-carrier sourcing strategy for optimal service at more competitive contracted pricing. Logistics management technology to support customer expectations for delivery choice and cost.

Results

Shipper with a $1.3 million annual transportation spend reduced LTL costs 9.7% and captured additional 3% savings in invoice error corrections and administrative cost avoidance.

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