ArrowStream, a supply chain innovator that combines proven expertise with data science and analytics to improve the way supply chains perform, today announced the release of a first-of-its-kind Inbound Freight Program Insights module for its Crossbow software solution. With this addition, Crossbow provides unprecedented control of shipment efficiency, and enables purchasing and logistics departments to collaborate on reducing freight costs by up to 10 percent.
Inbound logistics is a complex process that can consume more than 40 percent of the average organization's annual freight budget. The Aberdeen Group estimates that total inbound freight spend alone consumes between 3.6 percent and 5.2 percent of a firm's total sales. Logistics teams have increasingly struggled to control these costs, in the face of fluctuating carrier capacity and fuel rates, and a "need-it-yesterday" mindset that requires smaller, costlier shipments.
Crossbow's unique and patented optimization technology recommends improvements to ordering and routing patterns, reducing inventory to the warehouse, eliminating unnecessary miles and increasing freight under management. This is accomplished through bridging the gap between planning and execution to increase truck utilization while lowering costs, and transforming supply chains into efficient, cohesive operations. Using Crossbow, teams are alerted when orders and shipments are falling short of plan, and can take action to improve financial performance by preventing losses from inefficient orders before the freight is tendered.
Texas-based Ben E. Keith, the eighth largest foodservice distributor in the U.S., has adopted ArrowStream's Crossbow solution to help manage the flow of products from thousands of suppliers into its eight distribution centers, which supply restaurants and foodservice operations across twelve states.
"Our network is too large and people too busy to have buyers and load planners searching for every missed opportunity," says Owen Stull, director of logistics at Ben E. Keith. "Crossbow makes it easy for us to know what action to take next. With that immediate feedback loop, we are preserving savings in our daily operations. Even more importantly, we are changing mindsets—we can actually measure the progress of our teams getting aligned by watching the compliance to the optimized guidelines."
With the release of the Program Insights module, Crossbow customers gain total visibility into the opportunities to manage more freight, optimize the efficiency of the freight they are already managing, and improve compliance to planned ordering and routing patterns. Focused on translating root-cause analysis into immediate specific action, the new features enable organizations to take pre-emptive action as soon as freight costs are threatened, often saving margin before it is lost.
"Whenever you are moving product between suppliers and distributors—whether food, auto parts, consumer healthcare products or retail items—there are just so many factors that can lead to higher freight costs," says Bill Michalski, chief product officer, ArrowStream. "With Crossbow Program Insights, it is no longer a science project for businesses to understand those influences, discover what factors are within their control, and to begin tackling specific opportunities. Crossbow guides you step-by-step to a more intelligent freight network, whether that means optimizing existing freight patterns or increasing freight under management."
More information about Crossbow can be found in our datasheet or case study with Ben E. Keith.