DP&C was recently recognized in CIOReview magazine as one of the 20 most promising manufacturing technology solutions providers of 2017. CIOReview Magazine annually reviews and ranks manufacturing technology providers based on the value they bring to MES and ERP functions. DP&C was recognized for being unique in its process-centric approach, while at the same time introducing proprietary technology solutions using its applications and customer software development group.
“DP&C Enterprises’ deep industry expertise, combined with agile software solutions help manufacturers enhance their cash flow by improving existing physical, system, and human resource utilization by increasing the real time visibility of information in order to make better, faster, management decisions. “First, we create and crystallize an executable plan that is embraced by management with clear delineation of responsibility for execution,” states Spero. “This is presented and measured through project management tools that track activity, resources, cost to budget, and quantified metric improvement.”
“the company is ideally positioned to assist small to midsize manufacturers, distributors, and transportation providers by increasing the use of the processes and technology at hand— in an iterative way that allows businesses to continue and make improvements. The process driven strategy is core to the bottom up approach that DP&C has taken to commercialize its TMS application, DP&C SmartFleet. SmartFleet is constructed on the fundamental principle of the user requirement and application experience.”
If Steve Jobs where alive today, he would look at the final mile, dray or intermodal delivery process of handing the driver stacks of shuffled unorganized papers and sending the driver off left to his own devices to a location he may never have delivered, keeping no physical record of what really happened, he would scratch his head and say it’s time for disruption.
Final Mile operations rely on the driver, many times not an employee to notify us of arrival and departure times and return the paperwork intact enough to invoice in a reasonable amount of time. Not a day passes by when tensions mount between customer and final mile provider due to lack of visibility of the delivery.
In a digital world where connectivity is available at low cost, this process rooted deeply in the 1960’s looks and IS archaic.
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It stands to reason there is a better digital process available to these drivers and service providers that can increase turns per truck (loads per week), decrease out of route miles, facilitate increased cash flow, increase on time deliveries and enhance the relationship between drivers, management and customers.
The drivers already have devices. Manufacturers have the systems with the order and customer data. In the digital world we live there is a wireless pipeline to these two entities so manufacturers can better serve their customers.
Digitizing the process that connect the logistics-specific back-end systems and utilize native mobile functionality, logistics teams can improve delivery times, ensure safe delivery compliance, and even help manufacturers and retailers speed up order to cash, improve revenue recognition compliance and customer & driver satisfaction.
The paper-laden delivery confirmation process often involves capturing key data and customer signatures, and then handing the paperwork to an admin for processing once the drivers are back at the office. This greatly impacts time to invoice, receiving of cash, revenue recognition compliance, and data quality.
Final delivery can be complicated or delayed by traffic, construction, inefficient dispatching, incorrect addresses, unattended delivery issues, manual signature capture problems, and other factors.
If you add visibility to the last mile of goods transport which decreases out of route miles.
Imagine the world where the driver carries in his device all the documents and instructions needed to carry out his work assignment. When it comes to the last mile delivery processes, there is a paper form for everything: schedules, addresses, travel routes, hazardous materials, delivery confirmation, dispatch orders, bills of lading, invoices and more. The time it takes for drivers to wrangle paper forms and fill them out during the delivery process, increases the amount of time the driver takes to complete the delivery. That can eat into the productivity of the route and increases costs. Digitizing pen-to-paper processes with mobile forms helps solve for this.
When moving international shipments or hazardous materials, there is a host of regulations that drivers must check and report on before departing from the warehouse and during the journey. It’s a very manual process, with stacks of paper to go through and take notes on, which then get entered into a system by admin. Moving this scenario to mobile makes it very easy to use and will save time and data entry. All documents are now digital.
Paper processes associated with addresses, routes, delivery confirmation, etc., slows down delivery. By mobile-enabling paper processes and providing a mobile schedule app drivers can get real-time routing updates with GPS optimization, customers can get up to the minute notifications on expected delivery times, and logistics managers can see where drivers are at and what deliveries have taken place in real-time. This decreases frustrations with synchronizing delivery schedules allowing a decrease in inventories.
Instant and direct communications between the pick-up and delivery personnel and driver facilitate greater efficiency. Dispatchers guess or rely on phone conversations with drivers to assist them in the dispatch process. Seeing these assets in real time allows dispatcher access to more accurate information and who to dispatch, providing a fairer-across the board distribution of loads that are executed every day. This increases driver pay and revenue per truck.
Companies can’t invoice customers until goods have been delivered and signed for. For many manufacturing companies, capturing proof of delivery is paper-based and invoicing is reliant on the time it takes for drivers to get back to home office to deliver the paperwork, and then when an admin inputs the data into the ERP system. This delay impacts time to cash and revenue recognition compliance as well. Mobile-enable this workflow with signature capture and have the signed forms go straight into backend-systems in real-time for immediate billing and revenue recognition compliance.
For customers who manage the delivering of goods to customers, having visibility into where the shipments are and the exact ETAs for their customers can be great competitive advantages.
If the drivers need to carry out deliveries as efficiently as possible is met; they increase their pay and decrease frustration dealing with the stacks of paper they will have a natural increase in job satisfaction and will likely stay in their job. Customers, actually have the same need, arrive on time and notify me what happened. In the race to stay ahead of industry trends, companies must manage customer expectations and place their needs at the top of their agenda, especially when it comes to last mile delivery. Enabling drivers to communicate with customers on delivery scheduling and providing real time updates on delivery times can be a great differentiator and a real customer benefit.
If the process of managing the final mile delivery enhances the relationship with your drivers and customers, wouldn’t the relationship with management and shareholders be enhanced as well?
DP&C was able to reduce manufacturing, materials, warehousing and transportation costs and improve the overall capabilities of the supply chain. Popcorn Indiana is a manufacturer of healthier, whole grain snacks with facilities in New Jersey.
Arma Container Corporation is a major manufacturing producer , converter , and distributor of customized corrugated containers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas. It is a well-established 80 year old company that provides corrugated packaging to a number of industry verticals including , but not limited to , pharmaceutical , bakery , food and consumer products. Its base of operations is located in Suffolk county , from which it does all its manufacturing and supply. It is a high service company using Imaginera from Amtech ERP application , high speed converting equipment and private trucking to satisfy its customer requirements.
Streamline its supply chain process to speed the transactions and visibility of converting information to material to cash . This involved the effort of extracting greater utilization of Arma’s existing physical , system and human resources . This involved a combination of education on current ERP application , system integration to make the existing ERP application more valuable , process definition and improvements , associate training and shop floor and distribution enhancements.
An executable improvement plan was created as a result of performing a discovery process. This plan was executed over an 18 month period in iterative steps that moved the supply chain operation forward without interfering with day to day business activities. The activities included a deep dive into the existing ERP application that provided enhanced ability to do the following:
A sustainable , continuous improvement plan that provided bottom line profit improvement and a road map to organization capability improvement.
Let’s explore Adapting IT to the Supply Chain Evolution for small and large companies alike.
1. Larger companies have had an information advantage to gain benefit from the IT evolution that has benefitted the supply chain function to streamline the flow and visibility of information in a company to increase the rate of informed decision making, mitigate administrative time, reduce redundant data inputs, etc.
2. Smaller companies have been at a disadvantage due to the lack of critical mass large enough to gain the economic advantages associated with these IT improvements due to hardware , application and implementation cost
1. The evolution of the internet has been a conduit to SaaS (software as a solution) based applications making it both readily available , and affordable for small companies to take advantage of the same benefits as larger companies without the need to add internal network and organization overhead.
1. Individual companies being able to readily define their own business processes so that they can be digitized into repeatable processes for automation
2. The time and effort to adapt more automated processes into the current day to day operations
3. Providing data base management to install structure on current information that provides the benefit to automate through applications and integration between them.
Supply chain challenges arise as companies make the leap from a regional supply chain to a national supply chain and eventually to a global supply chain.
The national supply chain represents a close, company coupled, vertically integrated supply chain, direct control of material and supply chain services.
The global supply chain represents Off shore outsourcing, horizontal integrated supply chain, indirect control of supply chain material and service purchases
The national supply chain shows cost of manufacture decreased primarily due to lower labor costs, less capital investment required.
The global supply chain sees length of supply chain became longer, more complex passing ownership and information between multiple vendors, high premium on information exchanges.
Resulting in longer lead times, higher inventory levels, greater chance of material obsolescence
The national supply chain sees the cost of manufacturers starts to level based on based on combined productivity gains and limited domestic wage growth, energy benefits and capital investment. This causes globalization of the supply chain to be more advantageous.
The global supply chain makes Investment in IT technology that better integrates the information exchange between supply point transfers coupled with a closer geographic proximity to the end customer offsets the cost of labor offshore. This leads to a demand for returning the global suplly chain to a nationalized model.
1. Job force readiness to accept and adapt to new technologies
2. Company willingness to invest in integrated IT performance to streamline hand offs between supply points
Despite the increase of affordable Transportation Management Systems being made available in the market place for businesses to become more efficient, improve margin, and speed revenue growth, a majority of firms have not embraced this capability.
a.) The firm is overwhelmed by day to day issues limiting the ability to define in manageable terms the issues at hand.
b.) If the firm can qualitatively define its opportunity, quantifying a return on investment is difficult.
c.) In order for a quantified return on investment to become a reality requires an executable plan that can be implemented while marinating its current business operation. Firms don’t have the latitude to shut down to make improvements. Maintaining its customer base and cash flow with implementing operating improvements requires management diligence and priority balance.
d.) Most mid and small size companies are resource constrained causing a lack of continuity required in any new technology / business process. This causes good ideas, making financial / operating sense, to be put on the shelf. This in time subjects the firm to being less competitive.
e.) At the time of implementation of a transportation management system, firms find that data integrity has only been maintained in the heads of a few resources making system upgrades difficult. The lack of system maintenance, resulting from resource constraints, makes technology upgrades difficult.
a) Consumes a minimal amount of time from the customer, but can define the current organizational capability, business processes, and technology / systems utilization and the potential opportunity to be realized.
b) Define and crystallize an executable implementation plan that realizes the full opportunity benefit by maximizing the use of the existing organization and technology at hand. An executable plan includes the ability for the customer to be able to financially support such an initiative.
c) Executes the plan in a step by step, iterative manner that can be consumed and institutionalized by the customer, and is not disruptive the service / product supply to its customer base.
d) Maintains its own TMS application that can be appropriately customized to meet the requirement demands and matches up well with the capability of the user base.
e) Can be efficiently integrated with the existing technologies in place to present a seamless enterprise to the customer.
f) Provides ongoing support, technology refreshes, customized reports, and training to fully optimize the defined opportunity.
About DP&C Enterprises , LLC
We are a boutique supply chain management consulting company focused on delivering well thought out custom solutions to large complex problems that typically span across internal organizational departments, customers, and suppliers. These types of solutions are approached and solved by small, undisruptive, iterative improvement steps that have significant impact on improving throughput, asset utilization, cash flow, and reducing expenses, while building teams and organizational capability to sustain and advance the initiatives set by management during the project creation.
DP&C® SmartFleet is a comprehensive transportation management system. It serves as transportation, logistics, and distribution management application designed specifically to increase efficiency of fleet management, enhance the visibility of mobile inventory and asset management, and highlight the importance of enhanced customer service as a competitive advantage. It has the ability to seamlessly integrate GPS sources and all Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms to provide a comprehensive end-to-end fleet management system for the network users.
DP&C® SmartFleet is a customizable and scaleable fleet management system, providing a solution that generates immediate and sustainable return on investment. The seamless, real time visibility provided by DPC® SmartFleet can enhance profit performance, customer service and fleet optimization. It has received the industry certification issued by TEC. One of DP&C SmartFleet’s key technology advantages is the ability to seamlessly and securely share data between customers and suppliers who are independent within the SmartFleet network.
DP&C® SmartFleet’s capabilities can be effectively matched and customized to meet the needs of service providers who are contracted to provide delivery and transportation services. If you are looking for a cost effective TMS (transportation management system) or FMS (fleet management system) please explore the SmartFleet product website to learn more.
SmartFleet provides critical delivery status information for tracking of mail between sorting locations to meet distribution requirements to end user. The USPS network is one of the most complex in the world in order to meet a 365 day demand associated with urban, suburban and rural delivery locations. The objective was to provide this service in a passive way requiring limited interface from the driver to mitigate any additional responsibility on that resource.
BlackBurn is a major USPS vendor to deliver mail between major Post Office depots
Provide critical delivery status information for tracking of mail between sorting locations to meet distribution requirements to end user. The USPS network is one of the most complex in the world in order to meet a 365 day demand associated with urban, suburban and rural delivery locations. The objective was to provide this service in a passive way requiring limited interface from the driver to mitigate any additional responsibility on that resource.
DP&C SmartFleet application provided the ability to update recurring routes meeting a complex set of delivery frequencies based sort location requirements. Actual activity is managed against those predetermined routes to provide both real time visbility and historical information to further optimize performance.
SmartFleet helped Premium Supply effectively manage the deployment of its route delivery vehicles serving Long Island, the five New York City boroughs, southeast Connecticut, and northern New Jersey.
Premium Supply is a provider and distributor of restaurant equipment & supplies
Effectively manage the deployment of its route delivery vehicles serving Long Island, the five New York City boroughs, southeast Connecticut, and northern New Jersey. The opportunity presented was to better route and have visibility to the status of delivery to the customer network being serviced in the greater New York City area. Since delivery drivers are paid on an hourly basis, delivery efficiency is paramount.
Linked route management and GreenRoad GPS devices to provide management a seamless view of delivery status with the benefit of continuous improvement to make more deliveries in less time and fewer miles traveled.
SmartFleet provides Hinkle with increased resource management and more oversight into the dispatch and application of resources and assets in the field.
Hinkle and DP&C have collaborated to implement and selectively customize its SmartFleet Transportation Management System application to increase the sharing and asset utilization of mobile assets across its five operating divisions, eighty plus quarry & stone operations, and multiple construction sites. Through collaboration with Hinkle’s Kevin Flanigin, John Stump & the operating team, the implementation of DP&C SmartFleet has caused an increase in the visibility, communication efficiency, and awareness of asset management. A key organizational benefit has been the centralization of mobile assets/resources to support the construction effort resulting in more sharing, visibility of asset utilization, and the ability to better objectively measure performance.
The seamless visibility of accurate information has afforded Hinkle the opportunity to better measure, quantify, and provide next step solutions to further improve the efficiency of the current operation, including the resulting asset utilization. The quantified next step benefit in this effort to improve overall supply chain efficiency is to reverse the upside down relationship between drive time and idle/stop time associated with the company’s mobile assets (at present mobile assets spend 70% of the time idled/stopped versus driving). As part of improving mobile asset utilization, the resulting benefits will include an improved relationship between miles, payroll, fuel and administrative time to revenue earned.
The objective information gained from SmartFleet & joint collaboration has prompted Hinkle & DP&C to propose an enhancement project to flip the current drive time versus idle/stop time right side up by:
1) Providing a portal for construction management to directly enter resource requests for specific job numbers
2) Linking scale ticket information directly to the SmartFleet application
3) Provide an alert system to dispatch when idle/stop time exceeds a predetermined threshold
4) Create system recommended resource recommendations based on historical information to better optimize resources to job
5) Providing a management dashboard to further improve organization communication
The combination of the eighteen month joint (DP&C & Hinkle) familiarity with requirements & objectives achieved through continuous collaboration & improvement, SmartFleet implementation and selective customization and evolving initiative for Hinkle Contracting’s parent company, Summit Materials, to more centralize its processes & systems (sales tickets for example) makes for an efficient go forward, scale-able model to improve overall company mobile asset expense to revenue relationship.