A fast growing health care , respiratory service provider needed to streamline it administrative activities to gain better control of its customer support and resource assignment processes
The company was outgrowing its cash flow causing more internal focus as opposed of taking full advantage of the market opportunities.
The opportunity to expand was being limited by redundant , disconnected administrative processes .
Order to cash flow was both an administrative and credit line strain. More utilization from current cash availability needed to be realized to gain more market leverage.
Utilize DP&C’s supply chain management skills , application software and customer software development to seamlessly tie together the following :
a) Resource assignment to client requests
b) Lot tracking for its for rent , tangible assets
c) Item / Pricing matrix for each of its customers linked to services provided , including therapist time , consumable materials , and rented equipment
d) Provide field therapists access to the application to record all transactions electronically to mitigate the use of paper forms
e) Link the field execution activities to its financial system to expedite and make more accurate invoicing process
1. Mitigate administrative time and effort relative to revenue growth through seamless integration of electronic forms
2. Reduce Days Sales Outstanding to improve cash flow and reduce borrowing requirements
3. Enhance timely in service billing
4. Efficiently report technician time and attendance
5. Reduce time to customer
6. Create one enterprises portal for current operation and historical records
7. Provide a reconciliation & validation process for in service billing
8. Advanced notification to customer for service and material deliveries
9. No IT infrastructure to support the application to gain all the benefits
10. Promotes Aeris Consulting brand name and image across the industry
DPC Provided real time visibility for transportation & shipping operations to drive faster , more informed management decisions. DP&C is able to link disconnected operations and activities under one TMS operating system by integrating information from manual processes and existing DSI ERP (Data Specialists Inc.) application to enhance supply chain performance . DSI is one of the most used ERP applications in the dairy & food product manufacturing and distribution industry.
Resource management and allocation to execute delivery of existing sales orders is managed through manually spread sheets that mitigates operating visibility.
Validations to tie together system , process and resource activity is cumbersome and time consuming Delivery Chain of custody for food products is not readily availability and cannot be easily validated Operating improvement is not easily measured for current and future state due to the lack of timely, visible information
Connect separate processes , manual systems and information from existing ERP application into a seamless enterprise to drive efficient management decision making
Implement the DP&C SmartFleet TMS application to provide systemic and real time visibility for transportation to the transportation operation.
Integrate the sales order management process to and from the existing DSI ERP application to electronically match demand (sales orders) and supply (resources —–drivers , tractors , trailers) to provide an efficient and visible chain of custody for transportation operations.
Manage the order to cash process seamlessly through the DPC SmartFleet application and integration with DSI ERP to mitigate redundant data input , increase the validation of information , create a platform for efficient supply chain expansion.
Implement temperature chain of custody for food deliveries under the FSIS requirements (USDA —-Food Safety & Inspection Service) Provide system and process efficiency to mitigate redundant administration associated with manual tracking of delivery systems (bossies & dollies) , payroll management , sales order invoicing
Tie together the sales order management and hours of service management requirement into one application and management process
Successfully linked sales order and resource management together to improve the visibility of information and delivery performance Mitigated redundant data administration in the sales order management area by directly linking proof of delivery information to DSI for customer invoicing
Eliminated the redundant administrative effort to track delivery systems (bossies and dollies) and provided more visibility to chain of custody to improve overall asset management , reducing annual shrink
Ties together all the elements associated with the weekly payroll process and provided system validation to reduce redundant administration One transportation system from which to grow and improve operating results
Provides real time visibility of resource execution versus sales order assigned.
DP&C SmartFleet streamlined payments to transportation providers and administration associated with hourly payments to transportation providers associated with delivering material and services to construction projects.
Transportation services provided by vendors that was compensated on an hourly, as opposed to per delivery, basis created compensation accuracy issues and a somewhat cumbersome and un-timely administrative process.
The former process was driven by paper tickets (hourly tickets), issued at the material source / pick up location or construction origin site. The start and end times were issued by the origin site dispatcher or site supervisor. The process was to record the start / end time on paper tickets.
The validation of the start and end times was inaccurate and untimely resulting in inaccurate transportation expense associated with the construction project. It also created non-value added administrative time collating and collecting paper, hourly tickets. The information from the hourly ticket is a core component for transportation costing to the project and ultimately, project profit.
DP&C’s SmartFleet application, which is integrated with Tilcon’s JWS dispatch and scale system, provided a user interface for the site dispatchers and supervisors to record the start and end times for each vehicle, each day , on each construction job.
The start and end time information initiated through the user interface creates a proof of delivery for each vehicle assigned to the specific construction job. The start / end information is validated against the JWS dispatch and scale system to confirm the information on the electronic hourly ticket per vehicle, per day —–for each construction job.
The information from the electronic proof of delivery is automatically integrated and delivered back to the vendor and distributed to Tilcon’s document storage system for future reference.
Validated payment to transportation vendors for hourly services provided
More accurate costing associated with construction work
More management time to analyze costs with less redundant data input and paper document collection and collating
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.