Global Manufacturer Gains Visibility and Control Over Inbound Freight
Deploying the RateLinx Supplier Portal and its transportation management system, water solutions company Pentair gained transparency, visibility, and control over its entire freight spend.
Monitoring carrier compliance, freight costs, and visibility to inbound freight is essential for many shippers. When these functions are done manually, overhead costs and the potential for human error are high. Pentair, a global manufacturer of water solutions and thermal management products, knew this problem all too well.
Pentair always struggled to get control of their freight, but the inbound side had big gaps. Their policy consisted of distributing routing guides and maps to the supplier's sales rep, CSR, or general mailbox hoping the information would make it to the shipping department.
When it came to monitoring compliance, the only way they could tell if a supplier followed the routing instructions was to either scan the invoices looking for an invoice from a non-approved carrier or a sky-high rate.
"While this manual, archaic process did catch many high-priced shipments, it would fail to catch shipments where a supplier used a $355 approved carrier vs. the $300 approved carrier they should have used," said Mike Pahlman, global logistics manager for Pentair.
Furthermore, having highly manual processes meant there was a significant lack of data, reporting, and insights available. Pentair desperately needed visibility to view cost trends, carrier compliance, and ETAs at the carrier and lane level. Without quality data and reports, Pentair was unable to glean any usable insights from its transportation network.
In December 2020, Pentair rolled out the RateLinx Inbound Supplier Portal to their domestic suppliers. In just the first three months since adding the supplier portal module, Pentair has saved a substantial amount of money and is on target to save even more in the reduction of incorrect routings. Pahlman said one of the benefits of working with RateLinx is the ease of adding new carriers, pricing and swapping preferred carriers.
He adds that having the ability to add routing exceptions has also made a big difference.
"For example, adding an exception that because carrier ABC won't pick up at supplier XYZ, they need to be removed from the routing option for that supplier," he notes.
RateLinx's fast implementation enabled Pentair to quickly access reports to show each shipment, the preferred carrier and rate, the actual carrier and rate used, and any variances.
By integrating their new supplier portal with the ShipLinx TMS from RateLinx, Pentair was able to leverage Prescriptive InsightsSM to make proactive improvements to service and cost about statistical outliers. Prescriptive InsightsSM delivers easy-to-understand recommendations to improve performance and can be customized to take actions automatically.
The RateLinx solutions delivered a quick ROI, automated manual processes, and enabled the development of new procedures that could be sustainable as the business grows. Pentair now has something the company has never had before: 100% transparency, visibility, and control over their entire freight spend and a data/technology partner with the tools to give them a competitive advantage.