Cookies and More* is a U.S. Fortune 500 Consumer Food Products company with hundreds of brands that are well known in every U.S. household. Naturally, supply chain efficiencies play a very large role in company operations and profitability, which is exactly what led Cookies and More to contact and consult with Quality Logistics Systems’ Transportation division.
Quality Logistics Systems was approached by Cookies and More to perform transportation cost analyses, review their operating procedures, and to help them reduce costs by increasing shipping reliability, timeliness, and freight tracking for the many marketing and promotional items required for their brands. At that time, Cookies and More was allowing each individual materials manufacturer to arrange and route shipping for the items produced by the respective manufacturer, regardless of quantities or load types. Due to the numerous and varying load types, whether they be less-than-truckload, small parcel, or full truckload, the costs associated with these loads were quickly becoming exorbitant, lead times were getting longer, and tracking each project was becoming more and more difficult, equating to a complete lack of shipment tracking management.
Upon reviewing the previous quarter’s customer activity, QLS was able to assess outgoing shipping dates, dates of receipt, and overall freight and accessorial costs being incurred by Cookies and More via the many marketing producers being used. These analyses uncovered an estimated several hundred thousand dollars over spent per year by Cookies and More while still experiencing an unacceptably high frequency of delay and/or wholly missed shipments.
The team at QLS first addressed the operational inefficiencies, including the lack of ability to track projects and provide the products needed by the customer in a timely manner. Quality Logistics Systems designed and proposed a plan to equip Cookies and More with dedicated warehousing space that would offer a centralized location to receive, stock, and ship the essential marketing and promotional items. In addition to an established warehouse, QLS suggested assigning an in-house project supervisor to act as a transportation liaison between Cookies and More and their vendors. This singular position would also streamline and focus Cookies and More’s ordering and shipping processes and manage orders coming from the sales staff and field representatives. After implementing Quality Logistics Systems’ plan, Cookies and More gained the ability to see each job in its various stages, and thanks to the added project supervisor, increased the proficiency and accuracy with which each job was executed.
With the efficiency and visibility issues now addressed, Quality Logistics Systems looked to tackle the excessive shipping costs while also increasing reliability. The Quality Logistics Systems Transportation division put together a plan that revolved around two key factors that were particularly challenging for Cookies and More. The first concern was the assignment of shipping responsibilities. QLS suggested that Cookies and More take on the task of creating the routes needed to receive their materials from each vendor at the centralized warehouse. This proposal would allow Cookies and More to manage and leverage their scale of orders to lower their overall shipping costs. For example, rather than having twenty trucks with varying load sizes from ten different shipping companies move their product, Quality Logistics Systems suggested using their logistics services, allowing Cookies and More access to an integrated and more organized selection of shipping companies. This reduced shipping costs by having one carrier pick up materials from multiple vendors and allowed for a more efficient receiving process once delivered to their warehouse. By taking control of shipping, Cookies and More maximized each truck load and decreased the associated cost of goods for each marketing and promotional piece. This shift in operations created the second solution associated with reducing shipping costs. In taking control of and consolidating outbound shipments from vendors, Cookies and More was able to decrease the amount of detention fees and create a more productive use of labor at the warehouse. This operational change greatly cut down the number of incoming loads to the Cookies and More warehouse. As a result, they were able to create a routine and predictable ordering/shipping cycle rather than having to work through the ad hoc arrival of trucks as with the previous operational system.
Overall, the programs designed by Quality Logistics Systems for Cookies and More managed to reduce the overall number of shipments needed by more than fifty percent in the quarter immediately following implementation. Furthermore, this reduction relieved the amount of inbound shipment stressors on external facilities associated with Cookies and More as an added benefit. With several hundreds of thousands of dollars now released from excessive shipping costs, fees, and inefficiency annually, Cookies and More has been an extremely pleased client of QLS for many years now. In fact, the system Cookies and More is currently running is essentially the same as what was initially designed by QLS with very few minor changes having to be made over the years.
*Cookies and More is a fictitious name for an actual client. Out of respect for client confidentiality, QLS does not disclose current or prior clients.