Retail industry shippers have been faced with tough on-time mandates from their customers for some time now. Consider the Walmart-inspired Must Arrive by Dates (MABD) that have been adopted by numerous other non-Benton-based businesses. Following in this tradition, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that increasing numbers of grocers are now levying fines on suppliers whose shipments arrive late costing the grocery industry a reported $75 billion a year! Food shippers are feeling the pain when they deliver later than scheduled. So what can be done to neutralize this new and costly supply chain threat?
If the problem is ensuring on-time delivery, the solution is obviously more effective and efficient pickup and delivery scheduling. With supply chain management powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart both making major investments in the grocery business, and smaller grocery chains adopting similar tactics, food shippers feeling the pressure to compete are turning to supply chain technology solutions like the Advanced Scheduling module from UltraShipTMS.
Appointment scheduling solutions like UltraShip’s Advanced Scheduling offering use TMS data to provide real-time carrier notification of available loading bays, hours of operation, and loading times for each bay. This upgrade to traditional scheduling in TMS allows each unique location to employ its own method of scheduling – Appointment Time, Appointment Window, Hours or Operation or any other method in use at any given location.
Carriers are provided access to the TMS so they can select from a list of available appointment types and times. For static routes, fixed appointment times for each carrier at a given facility can be set up when the carrier is on-boarded. Appointment times, pickup and/or delivery appointments and other scheduling data can be set in the order management section of the TMS and transmitted via EDI, prior to offering a load to a carrier. Moreover, the system disallows tendering if the pickup or delivery requested can’t possibly be achieved given the parameters in the TMS for appointment time/day, product availability transit times and other critical considerations.
Helping to further improve timely pickups and thus, higher on-time delivery rates, Advanced Scheduling tools also support easy, automated bay scheduling. Vendors are given access to scheduling interfaces via a vendor portal. There, they can determine scheduling availability and reserve specific bay times from among the available open slots. The system produces system-generated messages to be issued to DC management whenever a bay is scheduled or released. DC management may also view the entire schedule for global view of daily DC throughput. Even dock users can be provided access for purposes of reserving bays as needed for maintenance, storage or any other reason.
The new Advanced Scheduling solution from UltraShipTMS is proven to increase shipping visibility and velocity while significantly reducing the time and manpower needed to ensure on-time deliveries. Want to know more?