A leading food processor, “LFP Inc.,”* was relying on their third-party logistics provider for their TMS technology and to help manage their logistics and transportation operations across 10 warehouses and 2 manufacturing plants. However, the relationship was increasingly challenged with a lack of support and visibility.
One of the main issues was the lack of user and technical TMS support from the 3PL. LFP’S TMS users needed rapid assistance and support, but often waited days to receive a response. LFP was charged by the hour for every support request and often received incomplete or insufficient answers from the 3PL’s technology team.
Due to limitations of the incumbent 3PL’s TMS, LFP’s management team also lacked necessary reporting tools to measure and monitor KPIs and gauge overall performance of the transportation department. Additionally, LFP had a somewhat unique need, in that they were looking to their 3PL partner to create a way to broker freight for their warehouse customers who needed transportation services.
The Sheer Logistics team was brought in to address these challenges and provide a Managed Transportation Services (MTS) solution that would allow LFP to take control of their freight management operations. Sheer leveraged its proprietary Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), SheerExchange, to facilitate the implementation of the Sheer TMS with custom integrations to third party tools for enhanced visibility and performance. The SheerExchange middleware can integrate disparate systems including ERPs, real-time transportation visibility platforms (RTTVP), fuel programs, rating engines and more using virtually any web service, communications protocol, and file format. This capability, combined with Sheer’s internal team of logistics technology experts, meant that LFP only needed to invest minimal IT resources to complete the implementation of the Sheer TMS.
“The middleware was the big thing. Not having to go to IT to convert files was huge to making the decision.”
Sheer provided the technical support LFP needed at no extra charge, addressing the lack of technical support from their previous 3PL. Sheer also developed a combination of advanced reports and custom dashboards to help the LFP management team gauge overall performance of the transportation department.
To address LFP Inc.’s unique request of brokering freight for their warehouse customers, Sheer customized the Sheer TMS to allow LFP to act as an agent of Sheer and become an exclusive carrier to one of LFP’s premiere customers. Optimization software was utilized to create more efficient routes and decrease freight spend for multi-stop loads. Sheer also implemented SheerDirect, a fully transparent process for buying freight, allowing LFP to save money and improve their bottom line.
“They were upfront with the timeline and laid out every detail. It went really fast, and they did a great job.”
Sheer’s implementation of the SheerTMS, Managed Transportation Services and other solutions provided LFP with the tools and support they needed to take control of their freight operations. By leveraging Sheer’s expertise and advanced technology, LFP was able to manage their own freight operations more efficiently and effectively. As a result, LFP saved money, increased efficiency, and improved overall performance.
“They are transparent. The transparency with Sheer is probably the best. They don’t try to hide costs.”
Sheer has since taken over management of select lanes, including supporting the rollout of a new product line (ready-made sandwiches) to major retailers. Sheer put metrics in place, providing a package of KPI reporting to help guide decision-making. Sheer’s network analysis continues to guide LFP’s decision-making, such as the opening of a new warehouse in a strategic location.
*The company name has been anonymized for the purposes of this case study.
“Cost was important because the Sheer TMS wasn’t purchased. We pay a monthly fee instead. This saves us a six figure dollar amount…Other companies charged $250,000-300,000 for implementation of other TMS systems.”
AT A GLANCE
Food processor (fresh & frozen turkey, beef, chicken, and pork for retail & foodservice)
Refrigerated & Multi-Temp TL
Annual Freight Spend
- Managed Transportation Services
- SheerExchange Integration
- Project Management
- Retail Delivery Coordination
- Network Optimization
Scoped at 8 weeks; completed in 6 weeks