At Batory Foods, building new, and continuing to foster, strong relationships with its customers and vendors are key ingredients for success. The company offers a full portfolio of high-quality food ingredients to service the needs of food and beverage manufacturers throughout the United States. In addition, Batory's national system of warehouses and distribution centers is centered on logistics principles that speed products to the doors of its customers.
Batory Foods sought out 4SIGHT Supply Chain Group, a full-service supply chain consulting and systems integration firm, for a cross-functional review of its core transportation processes. The main objective was to offer observations and recommendations for improvement. 4SIGHT conducted a benchmarking analysis of Batory’s key lanes throughout its network and also provided input on key future state decisions regarding its implementation of LeanLogistics’ transportation management system (TMS).
Supply & Demand Chain Executive (SDCE) sat down with Batory Foods (BF) to gain insight into its consulting relationship with 4SIGHT.
SDCE: What was Batory Foods’ business problem as it relates to its project with 4SIGHT? What drove Batory to pursue this review and benchmarking analysis from 4SIGHT?
BF: With the growth of our business, we recognized that transportation was an area we had an opportunity to really excel in by implementing a new transportation management system (TMS). Our goals were to reduce costs and increase customer service. The specific project that 4SIGHT helped us with had three major deliverables:
- Review the cross-functional processes that were being followed between the transportation and other departments in the company (sales, purchasing, customer service, distribution), and make recommendations for improvement.
- Benchmark the rates we were getting with what was happening in the market.
- Review transportation processes, including the day-to-day operations and the carrier selection process.
SDCE: How did the evaluation and benchmarking analysis from 4SIGHT help? What is the roadmap moving forward for using this analysis?
BF: We decided to go ahead with the implementation of the TMS; we hired a new director of logistics; and we are implementing many of the process changes identified by 4SIGHT Supply Chain Group.
SDCE: What are/were some of the business and/or change management challenges involved in this process? What are/were some of the process changes/technology Batory intends to implement?
BF: We spent a lot of time working to ensure our team understood the changes we were making, as well as the impact of those changes to our business and to the individual departments. From a business perspective, we were careful to ensure the accuracy of the data needed for the launch of the TMS to facilitate the adoption of the new processes in other areas of the business. At this point, we are also looking closely at the business intelligence/data analysis side of transportation.
SDCE: What metrics is Batory applying to measure its return on investment (ROI) in the review? What are/were some of the targets or objectives, and how far is Batory toward achieving those objectives?
The primary metrics were:
- Reducing the costs for running the transportation department.
- Reducing carrier spend.
- Improving carrier performance.
We already achieved number 1, and are working towards 2 and 3. The implementation of the TMS is giving us visibility into information that we did not have before to help us measure these.
SDCE: What advice would you offer to another company that was seeking an evaluation and benchmarking analysis?
BF: Take a full supply chain view of the process and make sure you understand the goal of transportation. For example, what is most important to you, minimizing cost or have the best possible level of customer service?