General Cable automates transportation management for 20 sites


Waukesha, WI- RedPrairie Corp ., formerly McHugh Software International Inc., announced Aug. 20 that General Cable Corp. (Highland Heights, KY) has implemented RedPrairie's DLx Transportation to automate load consolidation and routing, carrier assignment, and electronic load tendering and shipment tracking. The system is expected to reduce transportation costs and improve customer service at 20 of General Cable's North American manufacturing and distribution sites.

'We needed to establish ourselves as an industry leader by taking advantage of emerging best practices," says Greg Wells, General Cable's corporate transportation manager. "Transportation management systems (TMSs) are perhaps the quickest to implement, fastest to show a return and the lowest capital investment of the various supply chain optimization and execution packages.'

However, General Cable's shipment profile presented unusual challenges. Its telecommunication and utility cable products are shipped on large reels that are not stackable, defy normal cubing algorithms and are prone to damage. This broad product line, customer requirements and job site delivery needs require a diverse mix of carriers, including truckload van, flatbed, LTL and airfreight. Genral Cable also must deal with the large-volume order spikes common in servicing the telecommunication and utility industries. Consequently, automating shipment planning and execution required a robust and flexible solution.

'We carefully evaluated the leading TMS products on the market,' adds Mr. Wells, who also serves as General Cable's TMS integration project manager. 'After a comprehensive selection process we found that RedPrairie's DLx Transportation platform gave us the best combination of functionality, stability and value. We've integrated TMS in half of our sites, and the early results are encouraging. We're capturing significant savings, plus we're identifying additional savings potential. Even with the softened economy, we're yielding favorable ROI, and we've got upside for additional savings in the future.'

So far, savings have come from more effective routing, especially by consolidating LTL shipments into multi-stop loads, and more efficient operations and administrative procedures. More effective carrier rate negotiations based on increased information availability is a source of potential future savings. Equally important to General Cable, according to Mr. Wells, is the standardization of platforms and processes the new system has enabled, as well as improved metrics.

'Standardizing transportation processes and metrics across the company has provided greater management control and efficiency without sacrificing the autonomy each site has to address their unique requirements,' says Mr. Wells. 'We can now capture actual shipment detail and costs in real time for immediate analysis and decision-making. Also, getting shipments off of LTL and air transport onto multi-stop truckloads reduces the risk of damage, which improves customer service.'

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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