An industry leading global specialty chemical and gas manufacturing company found themselves struggling in the marketplace to keep up with competitors. To get to the root cause of this challenge they performed a comprehensive audit of their current business practices. Supply chain and logistics management systems were found to be the main gap in the processes audited. The systems used were found to be antiquated and largely performed manually. The lack of technology in these systems and overall approach to logistics management made it difficult to keep evolving along with the industry.
Another obstacle that the company faced frequently was finding quality logistics management specialists to add to their team. It was imperative team members have proper knowledge of the hazardous materials, associated regulations and other requirements of the company’s chemistry’s. This position is key in making sure that their supply chain was visible, understood within the organization and moving smoothly. Without stability in this role the supply chain defaulted to being managed in silos with no real operational oversight.
A smaller finding from the audit was the operation of multiple distribution centers. They recognized that having a multitude of manufacturing and distribution centers didn’t provide an easy way to control price or accountability.
Rinchem Company Inc. was hired as the lead logistics provider to the company. Rinchem was able to take over the complete supply chain from local warehousing to international freight forwarding. This was key in making sure that there was a standard and single point of contact for all logistics and supply chain needs. Once the single point of contact was in place Rinchem was able to make changes that would affect and improve the supply chain overall.
Rinchem was able to institute benchmarking and real-time tracking for costs across the supply chain in order to provide cost control and identify where improvements might be needed.
The distribution centers that were located near the ports were utilized as consolidation points for materials. These centers were transitioned to provide transload capabilities and to consolidate international shipments. The international shipments were all now handled by Rinchem’s IFF service team who have an extensive knowledge of hazardous material shipping and all regulations associated.
The domestic transportation was optimized using our Chem-Star system. Chem-Star and the FMS team were able to create a routing guide for FTL and LTL shipments to ensure the transportation pricing remained level and consistent through all lanes required for material movement.
Finally, a regular meeting was established to ensure the complete supply chain was being continuously improved. These meetings explored cost improvement initiatives and strategized about future needs and plans for the supply chain.
When Rinchem was established as the single point of contact for the complete supply chain, they saw an increase in employee’s available time. Time previously spent managing a small piece of the supply chain could now be better applied to other projects and tasks.
In addition to the improvement in employee efficiency, there was also improvements in supply chain visibility and overall supply chain cost.
Overall the selection of a 3PL partner managing the complete supply chain allowed for a focus shift back to the company’s core competencies of creating high quality specialty chemicals for their end users.