The client is a retailer operating ~950 retail stores in U.S. malls and shops inside of larger retailers. Stores, replenished by a single Distribution Center (DC) in the Midwestern U.S. and Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) shipments, fulfilled from the DC and ~550 store locations.
The Client engaged Summit Advisory Team in 2019 to perform analysis. To identify opportunities and implement a solution that would reduce transportation costs and improve the end customer experience.
The Client’s primary goal was to implement a carrier management tool that would enable the transportation team to easily change shipping strategies via configuration. There was also a desire to leverage a shipping rules engine that would create a more consistent customer delivery experience while minimizing cost.
From an operational standpoint, the Client did not want to train 550+ teams. Therefore, needed no process changes to the end-user (packing/shipping Associates).
Financially, the Client required a less than 2-year ROI and ongoing daily savings. This would require carrier management & shipping rules engine capabilities to optimize parcel shipping expenses.
During the analysis phase, Summit identified two primary opportunities.
DTC Consistency: While the level of DTC operational (pick/pack/ship process) performance was high, the ship-to-delivery speed was inconsistent due to variables such as distance to customer and shipping service selected by the customer.
Parcel Shipping Costs: When shipping from a nearby location to the customer one problem was clear. The lack of an intelligent shipping rules engine meant the most cost-effective service was not always selected.
The vendor selection process included six potential vendor partners with an innate focus on key program goals. ProShip was selected due to its software’s many features, but notably certified carrier engines, robust carrier management, and flexible shipping rules engine.
The ProShip application was also compliant with the Client’s existing technology stack that was more relevant to the ship from store program. Lastly, ProShip’s advanced rate shopping algorithms allowed the Client to take full advantage of carrier offers. This allowed them to move more products, lower costs, and delight customers.
Summit provided Program Management to support the implementation and deployment of ProShip. The project duration was six months from setting up the initial development environments to the final go-live for 550+ fulfillment locations. And as expected, changes were transparent to the end-user and no training was required for fulfillment Associates.
During the 2019 holiday season, ProShip was able to process over 100,000 DTC shipments per day without performance or latency issues.
The Client also leveraged ProShip’s Advanced Date Shopping (ADS) engine, supplemented with additional custom logic that further optimized cost. The custom logic included business rules specific to the Client’s transportation network and carrier contracts.
Results & Follow Up
Due to the cost savings associated with the overall program, the Client achieved a 2-week ROI during the 2019 holiday season.
As a follow-up to the DTC implementation, Summit provided Program Management in support of the Client’s implementation of ProShip for Retail / Store Fulfillment shipments. This led to additional significant transportation cost savings and improved store delivery performance.
Summit continues to support the Client with the expansion of their DTC and Retail carrier networks using the ProShip engine.