Construction equipment firm masters transportation management with Sterling Commerce solution

For manufacturers, managing transportation costs is a constant juggling act. The challenge is identifying and implementing cost-savings techniques without hindering customer service. Given a choice, supply chain managers usually will expedite shipments for a valued customer, says Patrick Connaughton, senior analyst, sourcing and vendor management, at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass.

11/01/2009


 

CONTECH manages the movement of more than 100,000 flatbed trailer loads of bridge, drainage, and earth stabilization equipment each year with the Sterling Commerce Transportation Management Solution.

CONTECH manages the movement of more than 100,000 flatbed trailer loads of bridge, drainage, and earth stabilization equipment each year with the Sterling Commerce Transportation Management Solution.


For manufacturers, managing transportation costs is a constant juggling act. The challenge is identifying and implementing cost-savings techniques without hindering customer service.

Given a choice, supply chain managers usually will expedite shipments for a valued customer, says Patrick Connaughton, senior analyst, sourcing and vendor management, at Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass. That’s the high-cost option, at least in dollar terms.

On the other hand, delaying that customer’s order could be more costly in the long-term if the customer decides to take its future business elsewhere.

“To balance cost and service levels, companies now need a tool that shows not only shipping options, but also the cost and the effect those options have on delivery performance,” Connaughton says. “Use of a transportation management system [TMS] has become increasingly important for manufacturers and distributors because it delivers planning functionality—the ability to plan the right route and load structure, for example—as well as execution functionality so a company can determine the best course of action when changes occur.”

CONTECH Construction Products has been using the Sterling Transportation Management System (Sterling TMS) from Sterling Commerce for five years. It recently renewed its subscription to the on-demand solution based on its success at helping the company reduce costs and improving processes, says Rick Gaynor, VP of Logistics at CONTECH.

“The Sterling solution delivers the visibility necessary to gain a better understanding of how we execute our shipments across the entire organization, and that in turn enables us to quickly respond to changes in the supply chain as well as identify areas of opportunity for continuous improvement,” says Gaynor.

CONTECH, based in West Chester, Ohio, provides high quality, cost-effective engineering solutions to the bridge, drainage, earth stabilization, and storm water markets. The company, which has a physical presence in all 50 states and third-party distributors in every major U.S. city, tenders more than 100,000 flatbed trailer loads each year using more than 1,000 carriers.

“Like most companies, we make important decisions based on key performance indicators,” Gaynor says “By having visual access to information we’ve been able to make better decisions for our transportation business based on empirical data.”

Sterling TMS—part of the Sterling Selling and Fulfillment Suite—provides transportation planning, shipment execution, financial settlement, and tracking visibility. The solution enables users to consolidate transportation planning at the corporate level, and then execute shipment tendering at the regional plant level where the flatbed carrier knowledge resides.

One of the most significant benefits to using the solution, Gaynor says, is that it automates the tendering process. Since CONTECH’s business predominately involves flatbed loads, the company manages a private fleet as well as more than a thousand small carriers to enable service for regional markets.

In the past, the tendering process was done manually, which was complicated and time-consuming. Today, however, use of Sterling TMS automates the process with both contracted carriers and tenders via a bid process.

“Using the Sterling solution has allowed CONTECH to keep costs flat in a market where costs have increased from 3 to 7 percent,” he adds. “Having visibility into our spending in different markets has been extremely beneficial. “We’ve basically saved money and mitigated cost increases over the years caused by fuel and capacity constraints in the market.”





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.