MAPEI North America Reacts in Real Time to Today’s Freight Market

MAPEI North America, a subsidiary of the world-leading manufacturer of mortars, grouts, adhesives and complementary products for installing all types of flooring and wall coverings, began a journey to logistics digitization just a few years ago. In late 2017, the company saw truckload and intermodal rates starting to rise dramatically. Coupled with the rise in diesel fuel costs and shrinking carrier capacity, the company anticipated potential increases of anywhere between $6 million to $10 million annually on a $60 million freight budget.

More importantly, MAPEI was seeing a growing number of missed customer deliveries.

“When we start failing our customers and start losing market share, there’s no cost you can assign to that,” said Warren Shaw, Corporate Transportation Manager at MAPEI Corporation. “So that became one of the most important things or reasons to change for our organization.”

Where did MAPEI North America start on their journey? Warren detailed the systems and process changes his organization implemented in “Logistics Process Excellence Through Digitalization,” an educational session presented as part of CSCMP EDGE Live! 2020.

Gathering data from static records

Without a company-wide view and the ability to manage freight across all its facilities in the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and some shipments out of Canada, each location was operating independently.

After reviewing historical freight bills as a source of rate and carrier information, Warren noted that they weren’t able to make a good connection between revenue and freight cost at the customer-order level without more context. “They don’t match up to the actual shipment activity,” Warren said, “and they don’t often carry all the information you need.”

Pickup dates, delivery times and loading time at the dock—those “important things that help us run our businesses more efficiently”—were not always available on the freight bills.

Warren’s team needed more dynamic information that would help them set goals and KPIs around individual moves and granular costs.

An end-game solution

MAPEI went on the search for a solution that would extend a system-wide, real-time view of operations and costs to allow the transportation managers to react quickly to changes in the market as they were happening, and one that would reinforce carrier rate compliance.

“Just to give you an impact on one lane for us,” Warren said, “a $50 differential, which we have seen, has a potential of a $250,000 increase in the expense over the year. Now, we run 350 of those a day, so all you have to do is look at the math and understand where your opportunities are going to lie.”

Since MAPEI is a global organization, the company was on the search for a cloud-based system that could easily integrate with any transportation management platform in use in any of the regions around the world. Ease-of-use was a key consideration in the evaluation, something that would be simple for anyone in the global transportation organization to use daily.

After a lengthy search and evaluation, MAPEI chose Transporeon.

“It was a huge success,” Warren said. “We were touching every order and every plant with tons of pieces of paper, emails and phone calls. The day we turned it on, we saw that almost 80% of our orders were going through automatically. So, literally, we took 80% of the workload—the tactical workload—out of shipping departments.”

Saving money and increasing strategic resources

Warren estimates that the company saved approximately $23,000 in the first month by implementing the Transporeon platform at just one single facility. He notes that some of the benefits he’s seen have extended beyond transportation and into the warehouse due to greater visibility into carrier arrivals with the Dock Scheduling system, which has granted the staff the ability to plan ahead.

Additionally, employees in the shipping departments are now able to spend more time on those higher-impact strategic items that are most important to their roles.

“The email traffic [is] way down. When we used to walk into the shipping departments in any plant, they would be like beehives: phones ringing, people running back and forth, pieces of paper flying everywhere,” said Warren. “It’s just gone now. People are sitting at their desks, they’re managing the business. They’re focusing on things that are really important.”

Where is MAPEI North America going from here? Warren notes his team is currently in the process of rolling out Transporeon to the connected plants, and that other divisions within MAPEI are starting to take note of the benefits of Transporeon and will also be implementing the solution soon.

To learn more about the benefits of a centralized control tower view of your freight operations, we invite you to check out the Gerdau North America and DS Smith stories in the video link, or contact us.

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