How Pregis Used Their Data to Drive Operational Improvements

August 7, 2019

We were a regionally based logistics organization that was reliant on our carrier base to provide us data and analytics. Fast forward to today, we have meaningful data tracking, good understanding of where the market is, much better visibility to market pricing, and a strategically aligned carrier base.”

- Brandon Kirk, Director of Logistics, Pregis

CHALLENGE

High growth business expanding manufacturing footprint into new geographic markets with a decentralized, manual logistics operation that provided little visibility into network performance.

RESULT

Through the implementation of Coyote managed supply chain solutions, Pregis was able to maintain customer service in a tough freight market, establish and track KPIs, optimize their carrier base, automate their tendering process, and gain insight to both their network and the truckload market.

 

FULL STORY

Pregis knew they had outgrown their supply chain operation. As a leading manufacturer of packaging solutions delivering hundreds of just-in-time shipments into enterprise distributors and retailers every day, their outdated processes were no longer cutting it.

When Director of Logistics Brandon Kirk arrived at Pregis in 2017, he was tasked with sourcing a solution that could bring their freight network to the next level.

At the time, Pregis ran their supply chain with a combination of a rating engine integrated to their SAP instance and Excel spreadsheets. The shipping manager would have to manually choose which carrier to use, then call or email the carrier to confirm capacity. 

Tendering, tracking and settlement were all manual. There were no system tools to ensure user compliance or check against user error. Analytics were limited to a few basic reports on aggregate spending and lane history.

 

Sourcing a Solution

After making the decision to invest in a TMS platform, Pregis began a comprehensive bidding process, eventually narrowing it down to a few finalists. The Pregis network has some unique features; many shipments are extremely time-sensitive and require specialized equipment (vented trailers).

As such, flexibility was a priority, and they ultimately decided that Coyote was the right choice. According to Brandon:

We landed on Coyote because of flexibility. We knew our business process isn’t the easiest. We’re demanding because our customer base is demanding. We didn’t really fit into a box that most other providers were trying to push us into.

We felt Coyote gave us the ability to customize more than the competition and ultimately enhance service to our valued customer base.”

Network Transformation

Coyote began integrating the customized supply chain solution in 2018, right when the truckload market was entering a period of record rate inflation. Though it was not an ideal time to implement a new supply chain solution, Coyote helped Pregis mitigate rate inflation, increase tender acceptance, and reduce exposure to an expensive spot market.

In terms of operational management, 2018 was an extremely tough market. I think everybody suffered in terms of pricing and service. If it wasn’t for the Coyote operations team, I don’t think we would have been able to get product to our customers like we did—we probably would have lost customers without Coyote supporting us during tough times.”

Here are some of the tactics Coyote implemented to help Pregis navigate a volatile freight market:

KPIs: We worked with Pregis to establish the most important network metrics and used our platform to start tracking them.

Carrier Scorecards: With KPIs established, we used them to create weekly carrier report cards for carriers, Coyote and Pregis.

Reason Codes: We helped Pregis start tracking reason codes on delays to discover the “why” behind service failures.

Carrier Strategy: We used KPIs and scorecards to discover which carriers were committed to Pregis’ network and which weren’t, then strategically reduced primary carrier base from 110 to 30.

Automated Tendering: Using Coyote’s technology, Pregis employees were able to reduce redundant, manual tasks and focus on value-adding activities.

Visibility: Coyote’s proprietary platform allows Pregis employees to quote and build shipments, track individual loads, settle payments, review accessorials, and read carrier facility reviews.

Network Optimization: Coyote ran three optimization analyses to explore the potential cost savings for alternative shipping schedules and routes.

Reporting: Pregis employees now have access to a whole suite of customized reporting tools to view network health.

Steering Committee: We host monthly meetings review operational improvements and provide context and action items for network data.

Market Insights: The Coyote team regularly provides analysis of truckload market and how it will affect Pregis’ supply chain. 

 

Coyote, as a Carrier

In addition to proprietary technology and a dedicated team of supply chain specialists that act as an extension of Pregis’ team, Coyote also sources critical truckload and LTL capacity to keep their network moving.

Additionally, Pregis often requires drop trailers at destination, so Coyote has configured custom capacity solutions with leased trailers and power only carriers.  

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Cost control and carrier compliance were Pregis’ main focuses during 2018—the implementation of Coyote’s managed supply chain solution empowered them to significantly improve both. 

By reducing the carrier base and gaining operational efficiency in conjunction with a now deflationary market, Pregis was in a position to reap the rewards in 2019. Coyote conducted their 2019 network RFP, bringing Pregis a reduction in annual transportation spend. Through June, Pregis is on pace to hit, and surpass, that estimated savings forecast.

With the foundation in place, Pregis and Coyote shifted the focus to operational excellence. Now that Pregis can measure and report on core KPIs, how can we use data to drive improvements?

 

 

SUMMARY

With the help of Coyote’s managed supply chain solution, Pregis was able to transform their supply chain from a cost center to competitive advantage. The combination of Coyote technology and a dedicated team of specialists has empowered Pregis to grow their business in all market conditions.

 

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