Baillie Lumber Company Reduces Transportation Costs and Improves Customer Service with Transportation Management Hub
 
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Baillie Lumber Company Reduces Transportation Costs and Improves Customer Service with Transportation Management Hub

Baillie Lumber is one of North America's largest hardwood lumber manufacturers and exporters. The company provides hardwood logs, lumber, and proprietary grade products—including cherry, maple, oak, ash, walnut, and exotic lumber species—to furniture, cabinet, and flooring manufacturers and distributors. Founded in 1923 by James A. Baillie, the company has grown from a regional supplier of domestic hardwoods to an international hardwood manufacturer, with the capability of shipping hardwood lumber to any region of the world.

The company operates a complex distribution network for its own products as well as those it distributes for its partners. It ships from more than 300 points of origin to over 500 end users. Approximately 35% of Baillie’s shipments are domestic, and 65% are bound for more than 60 international destinations.

The company managed its transportation operations using a homegrown legacy system developed more than 20 years ago. As Baillie added transportation modes, it had to bolt new instances onto the system, resulting in a highly siloed environment that limited visibility. The system was nearing end of life and could not deliver the flexibility, visibility, automation, and reporting capabilities that today’s market demands.

Baillie selected Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to create a centralized hub from which it effectively manages all transportation modes—including more than 300 flatbed truck carriers, 1,200 monthly ocean exports, and more than 60 monthly, intermodal shipments. Baillie also gained the ability to track shipments, from order through delivery, to reduce costs and provide a critical, value-added service to retail and manufacturing customers.

Today, the company can identify, record, and make available more than 20,000 rates from multiple carriers to identify the most cost-effective and fastest options, helping to drive down costs and provide greater flexibility to meet customer requirements. Baillie has also automated tendering processes, enabling it to support significantly higher volumes using the same number of employees that are dedicated to the transportation function. In addition, the system sends instant notifications to key stakeholders―including drivers, suppliers, and customers―when an activity has occurred, which has improved communication and saved time.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Baillie Lumber Company

  • “Oracle Transportation Management provides a centralized hub for all our transportation planning and management activities―allowing us to track shipments, from order through delivery. Since deploying the system, we have automated tendering and alerts, controlled transportation costs, and improved customer service.” – John Vitale, Director of Information Systems, Baillie Lumber Company

  • Enable Baillie Lumber to cost-effectively and efficiently ship hardwood lumber products from more than 300 points of origin―including its facilities and those of the manufacturers it wholesales―to more than 500 end users
  • Develop a single hub that enables the company to manage all modes of transportation—including truck, van, ocean, and intermodal—to improve visibility and equip the company to provide more responsive service and expanded reporting to retail and manufacturing customers
  • Gain greater insight into key distribution metrics to drive performance improvement

Solutions

  • Deployed Oracle Transportation Management and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to create a centralized hub from which the company can manage all transportation modes—including more than 300 flatbed truck carriers, 1,200 monthly ocean exports, and more than 60 monthly intermodal shipments using rail services
  • Transformed transportation management and gained the ability to track shipments from order through delivery and provide a critical, value-added service to retail and manufacturing customers
  • Standardized transportation processes and extended visibility and reporting capabilities to drive more cost-effective shipping of lumber products
  • Improved ability to customize shipment options based on customer requirements with an integrated view of rates and combinations, eliminating the need to consult several systems and enabling transportation planners to determine what options are the best fit for a customer in terms of price and delivery targets
  • Gained the ability to identify, record, and make available more than 20,000 rates from multiple carriers to identify the most cost-effective or fastest options, helping to drive down costs and/or provide greater flexibility to meet customer requirements
  • Controlled overall transportation spend, despite dramatically fluctuating diesel costs
  • Automated rate and tendering processes, enabling Baillie to support significantly higher volumes using the same number of transportation employees
  • Gained the ability to provide instant notifications to key stakeholders―including drivers, suppliers, and customers―by alerting them to activities, such as a load scheduled, load left the facility or load delivered, enabling better communication and saving time
  • Integrated Oracle Transportation Management with the company’s sales management system, financial management system, and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition for enterprise visibility and expanded reporting
  • Eliminated overpayment for shipping, which in the industry averages 2% to 10% of transportation costs, as Baillie pays to the penny, thanks to integration with its financial management system
  • Replaced an error-prone, paper-based reporting system—which required manual input of data from numerous systems—with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, creating more than 1,000 tailored reports and views to equip management, customers, and partners with timely and accurate information to support more informed decision-making
  • Gained insight into key metrics―such as the time required to book loads or ship lumber products, as well as the length of time between product manufacture and shipment from a port―enabling continuous improvement and more accurate communication with customers about delivery windows
  • Improved transportation planning with insight into historical rates per lane, allowing the company to identify new ways to manage and reduce costs
  • Achieved a rapid return on investment in approximately two-and-a-half years, which was faster than the targeted timeframe of three-to-four years

Partner

Baillie Lumber Company selected Hitachi Consulting as the implementation partner for the base solution installation and domestic shipping configuration. Oracle partner MavenWire assisted with configuration for export transportation, as well as intermodal configuration.