In today’s world, living a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. Streaming services have made it easier than ever to spend hours on end lounging on the couch. Scrolling through online news is bound to uncover stories about the newest fad diets, and ads on social media seem to be pushing a new diet pill or supplement every day. By focusing on honest labeling, safe ingredients and effective products, one retailer of vitamins, nutritional supplements and health foods is attempting to make living a healthy lifestyle easier and creating loyal customers along the way.
For this retailer and many others, one component of building a strong customer base is ensuring that customers are able to purchase the products they need when they want them. While there are many factors at play in the delivery of products, one of the biggest factors is product transportation. If something can’t get to the store, then that same something won’t end up in consumers’ shopping bags.
Recently, this very scary scenario nearly became reality for the retailer. When a major disruption was poised to wreak havoc on its supply chain, the retailer immediately sprang into action.
Its last-mile delivery provider went bankrupt, leaving the retailer in jeopardy of a major supply chain interruption. The retailer was left with only three weeks to find a new final-mile carrier that could implement a product shipping plan for its St. Louis–area stores before the retailer’s supply chain would be disrupted.
Since it had previously worked with Schneider on other parts of its supply chain, the retailer reached out to see if the company could help with its last-mile delivery needs as well.
Schneider pulled in its First to Final Mile delivery division to quickly help price, plan and execute an efficient product delivery process. As a final-mile carrier, Schneider would provide the perfect solution to shipping the retailer’s products along the last leg of their journey, from the terminal to the stores
The retailer’s needs were more complex than just shipping products to stores. The products arrived at the terminal in bulk and needed to be broken down into individual orders before moving on to the stores.
Not only that, but Schneider would also have to learn and adopt the retailer’s shipping software in a mere three weeks.
Schneider had no time for trial and error. Thankfully, after more than 80 years in business, Schneider has built up a large network of drivers and equipment, as well as a depth of knowledge from working across multiple service offerings. The First to Final Mile delivery division was able to pull resources and processes from other lines of Schneider services to quickly create a shipping model it knew would work.
To handle order fulfillment for the individual stores, Schneider provided sort and segregate services. The pallets of bulk product were broken down and sorted into individual orders before being repackaged for shipping as needed. Then, Schneider deployed 26-foot lift-gate trucks to deliver the products to stores within a 100-mile radius of the terminal.
All hands were on deck to get every aspect of the last-mile delivery process in order. The retailer was reassured that it had chosen a freight carrier that paid attention to every detail, crossing every “t” and dotting every “i.” Schneider created a new billing process specific to the retailer’s needs. The team also licensed the retailer’s scanning and shipping software and learned how to use it – all within the three-week time frame.
At the end of the tight three-week time frame, the retailer’s products were delivered to each of its 50 stores in the St. Louis area. Despite the quick transition between finalmile carriers, the retailer experienced no disruption to its supply chain, so customers were able to continue purchasing the vitamin and nutritional supplements they loved.
Despite a monumental challenge, Schneider and the retailer were able to get a final-mile delivery process, including order fulfillment, up and running smoothly. As a bonus, this efficient shipping model is ready to replicate in other markets.
By choosing Schneider, the retailer was able to keep its supply chain as healthy and strong as its consumers strive to be.
Published April 2019
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