“Pet Food Company” (“PFC”)* is a leading and fast-growing global producer of natural, raw and grain-free pet food. Their products require a mix of Truckload, Refrigerated Truckload and LTL service.
As PFC’s domestic and international business rapidly expanded to the tune of 20% annual growth, they sought a partner that could provide freight management services, as well as the technology, expertise, and strategic solutions they needed to reduce costs, gain visibility, increase efficiency and mitigate risk.
Challenges & Needs
Sheer Logistics’ relationship with PFC began in 2018. At the time, PFC was managing their own freight without the aid of a TMS, 3PL or 4PL partner. The client had previously engaged with a leading 3PL for freight management but were unhappy with the service they received. However, as they grew, it became apparent that in-house management of their transportation and logistics was neither desirable nor scalable.
“We had a team of people that didn’t believe they needed a 3PL. Sheer worked to overcome that.”
The Sheer Logistics team quickly engaged and conducted a transportation analysis to uncover optimization opportunities. The Sheer team identified $675,000 in initial transportation cost savings and proposed a Managed Transportation Services partnership supported by the Sheer TMS and Sheer’s team of logistics experts to deliver ongoing benefits including service improvements, enhanced supply chain agility and the ability to get actionable business intelligence through a centralized TMS.
The partnership commenced with the implementation of the Sheer TMS. This was facilitated and accelerated by SheerExchange, a proprietary middleware platform that connects disparate systems and point solutions to aggregate, unify and normalize data. SheerExchange acts as a “universal translator” that quickly and seamlessly connects and automates the supply chain, including vendors and industry leading technologies including ERPs, Fuel Programs, Ratings Engines and Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms (RTTVPs). In addition to facilitating the rapid implementation of the Sheer TMS (a process consisting of weeks not months), Sheer Exchange also makes sophisticated data analytics possible, driving timely business decision making.
Due to their negative experience with a prior logistics partner, there was initial distrust of Sheer on behalf of some members of the client’s team. The Sheer team worked collaboratively with the client’s team to build trust and change their perceptions throughout the integration process. As our main client contact later remarked, “We had a team of people that didn’t believe they needed a 3PL. Sheer worked to overcome that.”
Upon implementation of the TMS, the client retained strategic control and decision making, including carrier utilization, while either creating efficiencies by automating tactical execution or shifting it to Sheer. While the client wanted to utilize Sheer’s carrier relationships on 100% of their outbound freight management, they desired to utilize a pre-existing provider on their Inbound freight. The solution includes the incumbent carrier providing the client with a carrier neutral solution which allows them to use the optimal provider for each order while delivering one strategic solution with total visibility and holistic data on critical KPIs such as cost per unit, cost to serve, and much more.
Under the Managed Transportation Services partnership, Sheer’s team members act as an extension of the client’s team, freeing up valuable resources to focus on other priorities within the growing business. As the client remarked, “Spending the time to negotiate rates for a company our size doesn’t make sense.”
- Significant initial transportation cost savings of $675,000.
- Ongoing year-over-year savings, including $400,000 in new transportation cost savings in the latest year.
- Sheer collaborated with client to reduce fixed fees while shifting to performance-based compensation.
- Compensation structure is fully aligned with client objectives. The arrangement removed any conflict of interest that is inherent in many variable-rate 4PL relationships.
In addition to the initial and ongoing savings, the client has experienced a host of benefits from their partnership with Sheer Logistics:
- No longer having to negotiate freight rates frees up their team members to focus on more high-value tasks and initiatives.
- Sheer secures rates tied to greater shipment volumes that the client cannot bring to the market.
- Sheer enables the client to “consistently meet the market. They give good feedback. In general, I find them collaborative.”
The client recently participated in a Voice of Customer study commissioned by Sheer. When asked to rate their satisfaction with Sheer on a scale of 1 to 10, the client replied “9. They’re really tremendous…For us, they have been a really good fit…My team sees the value they provide.”
When asked if, on a scale of 1 to 10, they would recommend Sheer to another shipper, the client rated Sheer a “10 for sure” and stated Sheer is “100%” mission critical to their business. The client recently renewed their partnership with Sheer for another two years.
*The company name has been anonymized for the purposes of this case study.
AT A GLANCE
Project Start: 2018
Project End: Ongoing
- Managed Transportation Services
- Sheer TMS
- SheerExchange integration
- Project Management
- Retail Delivery Coordination
- Supply Chain Resiliency
- Real-time Visibility
- Business Intelligence
- Truckload and LTL
- $675,000 transportation cost savings in year
- $400,000 in new transportation cost savings in latest year
To achieve an efficient supply chain for your business, you need a managed transportation partner that understands your shipping needs. Sheer Logistics provides comprehensive managed transportation services that improve visibility and business intelligence, allowing you to make informed decisions and focus on the core of your business.