Automating Logistics

Toshiba Industrial Division automates routing guide for outbound freight

Downers Grove, IL  April 16, 2002  Toshiba International Corp. (TIC) has tapped solution provider NTE to develop a private community for TIC's Industrial Division to automate its routing guide for outbound freight.

Starting this month, all of the division's non-parcel shipments are being tendered electronically to NTE from TIC's back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, then executed automatically using a tiered-tendering process. NTE also is providing proactive exception management support and real-time visibility so TIC's customers and staff can monitor shipment activity online, eliminating phone calls and manual processes in its supply chain.

"Because tendering and execution is now automated, we can do in minutes what used to take hours," said Al Fitzpatrick, director of customer service for TIC's Industrial Division. "I still decide which carriers get what freight, but without the phone calls and paperwork. NTE put my plan into action using my routing guide as the playbook."

TIC ships heavy industrial products from its Houston-based manufacturing facility to customers nationwide and to its satellite distribution center in Erlanger, Ky. Using its new TransTrade service, NTE will be receiving hundreds of the company's shipment tenders each month and executing them according to TIC's routing instructions. To transport the freight, TIC will be using a combination of its core carriers and carriers who are members of its online transportation community, called NTE Public Exchange.

NTE began working with TIC in mid-2000. Initially TIC used NTE to move freight in the spot market using NTE's Exchange. "e-Transportation has gone from the exception to the standard," said John McCarthy, TIC's logistics manager. "NTE has helped us from both a cost and a service standpoint. Now, we've fully automated the process. We determine the business rules and capture the savings and value."

TIC and NTE are discussing a way to provide added value by automating and streamlining TIC's inbound activity. The solution is expected to include supplier compliance and reports, exception management notification, transportation planning and execution, and shipment monitoring at the purchase order level. Such a solution would enable TIC to provide visibility throughout its supply chain for all of its business partners and staff.