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Remote customer service and logistics improvements (CS253a)



Driving service improvements and savings in a hyper inflationary duopoly market


This story is for executives who:

  • Are having issues with customer fill rates and concerned about warehousing and transportation

  • Are facing huge challenges internally and within the marketplace and battling with increased costs

  • Want to take a fresh look at their warehousing and transportation operations to improve performance

The Challenge

A global seafood provider was experiencing rising transportation costs, a warehouse agreement which was ending in 9 months, internal labor shortages and Covid-19 disruptions resulting in increased pressure on tight margins, customer service and growth.

Lacking visibility, management operating controls, and reliant on a legacy logistics provider, the CEO contacted SGS-Maine Pointe for help. At the same time, the company was going through a major SAP integration project.

Starting with an analysis, SGS-Maine Pointe was brought in to look at the company’s logistics and warehousing operations, marketplace options and to develop a management operating system to help them grow and improve in service partner management. This uncovered the potential to improve customer service and to save millions of dollars across its logistics spend even though logistics costs had increased by 50%. The subsequent engagement focused on realizing those improvements and savings through logistics, warehousing, data analytics and leader & organization improvements.

Driving measurable and sustainable customer service and logistics improvements remotely

With the pandemic raging, Maine Pointe’s analysis and engagement team were faced with a challenging task of remotely implementing the improvement program 98% of the time. Having gained the confidence of the CEO and executives, the team found its cold storage freight commercial agreement was ending alongside the client having a very limited understanding of the logistics market. Warehousing and transportation was at a low maturity level with limited KPIs and a weak management operating system. Working and regularly communicating with the CEO and key executives in a time of high inflation, Maine Pointe:

  • Established a competitive environment for both warehouse and transportation operations
  • Developed and negotiated a long-term warehouse agreement with annual increases below market rates
  • Defined / trained and established a framework for continuous improvement projects, management and benefit documentation
  • Developed KPI’s and the ability to utilize data for fact-based decisions in the daily work structure
  • Developed a transportation model which provided optionality of carriers, a competitive environment
  • Implemented an enhanced Logistics Management Operating System (LMOS) to provide common structure and process to support future transportation growth
  • Defined missing positions to support future and establish position job descriptions and responsibilities
  • Established methodology to support growth and team development for growth

Having implemented these changes for the client and trained their team to understand and interact with the marketplace, senior executives said that the knowledge, new systems and skill set transfer has helped them significantly improve the performance  of their business.

The Results

SGS-Maine Pointe helped our client drive measurable performance improvements across warehousing  and transportation:

  • Provided transportation optionality and capacity to support current volume and future growth
  • Achieved improvements in working capital and 16% savings of their logistics total addressable spend in the face of high inflation
  • Established a long-term warehouse agreement, with annual increases below marketplace
  • Reduced costs associated with marketplace growth and inflation projections for the next 5 to 7 years
  • Enhanced warehouse and freight provider relationship management and trained workforce
  • Embedded a new management operating system and improved the performance and capability of their workforce
  • Provided fact-based data views and KPI measurements to support management processes
  • Investment ROI of 4 to 1

Lessons learned for other executives

  • You can in an inflationary and duopoly logistics provider market improve service and reduce costs
  • You can drive significant improvements and implement new operating models with your support team located offsite
  • Clear, regular communication is critical to building confidence with your people and logistics partner

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