New retail consortium to define standards for logistics processes

May 2, 2005
A new consortium of retailers, suppliers and carriers is forming to define standard processes to streamline the flow of goods from suppliers through distribution centers to stores

A new consortium of retailers, suppliers and carriers is forming to define standard processes to streamline the flow of goods from suppliers through distribution centers to stores. The ONE Retail Standards Board, announced by supply network services provider One Network Enterprises (ONE), comprises grocery retailers, including Publix and Safeway; transportation service providers Marten Transport and Werner Enterprises; and a number of major consumer packaged goods companies.

This consortium represents a collaboration of retailers, suppliers and carriers in an effort to standardize key logistics activities such as appointment scheduling at distribution centers (DCs). Dispatchers currently spend 15% to 50% of each workday scheduling appointments by phone or fax, leaving messages and waiting on hold. The consortium’s web-based appointment scheduling process will allow suppliers and carriers to log on to a retailer’s network hub, request appointments and get immediate responses.

Suppliers and carriers use the same standardized tools and processes to work with any retailer on the network. Additional retailers can create new ONE Retail hubs and gain instant access to a wealth of suppliers and carriers already trained in and using One Network tools and processes. Carriers can coordinate pick up and delivery schedules because both processes are done using the same network and tools.

The process defined by the ONE Retail Standards Board includes automatic prioritization of orders and shipments based on demand, and the ability to balance that with inbound capacity. This capability allows companies to:

* improve productivity for dispatchers, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities;

* cut carrier dwell time and related carrier accessorial charges;

* improve carrier relations and ensure capacity, despite Hours of Service regulations and driver shortages;

* improve capacity planning and workforce scheduling;

* reduce store stock-outs and improve customer fill rates through better prioritization and execution;

* provide buyers, customer service reps, logistics operations and inventory analysts a time-phased view of capacity constraints to improve buying, available-to-ship and delivery commitments.

Because all order volume goes through the appointment scheduling process, companies can also automate and improve their vendor, carrier and internal score carding using this process. Measurements can include order target delivery date vs. appointment, on-time delivery, carrier dwell time, number of rescheduled appointments, and order quantity changes.

The ONE Retail network currently serves over one third of the grocery retail market, including suppliers Kraft, Del Monte and Georgia Pacific, grocery retailers Delhaize America (Food Lion, Bloom, Hannaford), Kroger (Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC, City Market, Hilander, Owen's, Jay C, Cala Foods/Bell Markets, Kessel Food Markets, Pay Less, Baker's, Gerbes, Fred Meyer, Fry's Marketplace, Smith's Marketplace, Food 4 Less, Foods Co.), Safeway (Vons, Dominick's, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Genuardi's, Carrs) and Publix; and more than 1,000 suppliers and logistics and transportation companies.

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