December 2016 | Sponsored | Above & Beyond

The Grass is Greener

Tags: 3PL, Partnership, Manufacturing, Logistics, Third-Party Logistics, Supply Chain

Wagner Logistics helps a leading manufacturer of lawn care equipment overcome growing pains.

More to the Story:

The demand for Excel Industries' most popular zero-turn mowers had skyrocketed. While the increase in demand was great news, it meant the company needed a facilities review and a potential supply chain revision. They realized when they forecasted future demand they will need to expand while consolidating locations to increase their daily production.

Excel Industries sought Wagner's expertise in warehouse layout, daily warehouse management, and WMS capabilities.

Wagner Logistics brought extensive 3PL resources, its experienced team, and the latest technology (IT-in-a-Box) to Excel Industries with a plan to outsource and streamline distribution. The new warehouse near Kansas City was fully functional within a few months. IT-in-a-Box was deployed to accelerate the startup time, and runs on a secured private network to get connectivity throughout the warehouse without having to wait for permanent lines and wiring to be installed.

Moving the finished goods out of a rural location to a better transportation and warehouse market helped bring transportation rates down. Excel was able to use current staff for other manufacturing positions. Outsourcing eliminated the need for staging; finished goods were moved to an improved storage environment, reducing inventories and removing bottlenecks at the end of production lines.

Daily production increased throughout the transition. The facility consolidation reduced duplicate inventory in multiple locations, resulting in fewer back orders. Some quality assurance checks were moved to the new facility, allowing Excel to handle rework offsite versus taking up manufacturing space at the plant.

Several of the components used in the production of the mowers are strategically being transferred to the Kansas City area to free up more space at the main production site. The production facility carries 1-3 days of components, which are delivered to the production facility during off-peak production times to optimize labor planning. Vendor shipments are less frequent and a higher quantity can be ordered with a better overview of overages and shortages. To keep onsite inventory level stocked, Wagner runs 25-30 shuttles a day from the Kansas City area to the production facility, delivering components and returning with finished goods.

Excel has recognized a 37-percent production growth during the transition, consolidated multiple DCs, and moved to a superior freight market using Wagner transportation. Excel has gained better visibility of raw materials and finished goods while still maintaining complete control through outsourcing.

Finding the right logistics partner when your company is experiencing growth, consolidation, or both is challenging. Wagner brings experience, technology, and dedicated people to finding the best solution that works for each company.