Inbound Logistics | July 2022

“We have a dedicated pod of operations managers who work with Cale and his team daily, keeping an eye on their freight operations at all times,” explains Thomas. Supply chain challenges are typically addressed in less than 30 minutes. Improving carriers’ on-time performance of carriers in a time of escalating freight costs is a major focus for IL2000. “National Oak Distributors’ next- day delivery is what sets it apart and we work to provide solutions so it can keep that promise to clients,” says Thomas. Proactively managing potential carrier bottlenecks is part of that formula. “We never had this kind of service before,” says Beckman. “It’s more than a typical third-party logistics (3PL) relationship where you rate and tender shipments and tasks along those lines. It’s a consultative relationship for driving improvements continually.” A TRUE PARTNERSHIP Acquiring enhanced reporting tools and having a troubleshooting support team at the ready ended up saving National Oak Distributors more than $500,000 in freight costs in a single year. That gure is even higher if you factor in avoiding cost and rate increases while negotiating with carriers over new tariffs, according to Beckman and Thomas. Fuel costs currently weigh heavily on everyone in the transportation industry and the IL2000 team has spent a good deal of time focusing on ways to offset them. Finding and negotiating better accessorial rates has been helpful; so has anticipating reweighing inspections that in the past had caused unnecessary expenditures. National Oak Distributors did not have certied scales uniformly in place at all its facilities. Upon IL2000’s advice, it rectied that situation. “Weighing freight and making sure the company got proper and accurate quotes has eliminated the issues we used to see when a pallet would reach a dock, get reweighed, and the weights didn’t match,” explains Thomas. Of all the improvements achieved thus far through the partnership, being able to live up to its promise of on-time delivery

National Oak Distributors products are stocked in 16 warehouses across the United States. A partnership with IL2000 helps the company improve visibility and manage supply chain disruptions.

Acquiring enhanced reporting tools and having a troubleshooting support team at the ready as a result of its IL2000 partnership saved National Oak Distributors more than $500,000 in freight costs in one year.

some of the roadblocks the transportation industry currently is dealing with, communication is essential. “We meet bi-weekly to strategize,” says Thomas. “Our teams are in contact with one another daily. Communication has been the truest testament to our success.” “What sealed the deal was that IL2000 took the time to understand our business and to develop a solution that would meet our needs,” Beckman says. “It has been seamless to do business together.” n

gives National Oak Distributors the greatest satisfaction.

“I haven’t any benchmark to make a comparison,” explains Beckman. “I can’t say it’s a 10 or 15% improvement because we didn’t have the visibility we have today. But we have the visibility now and we know our on-time percentage. We’ve stayed fairly consistent despite the crazy carrier situation this year and that is certainly a benet.” In order to successfully navigate through

July 2022 • Inbound Logistics 199

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