The supply chain is the backbone of business operations. Many business challenges (for example, customer satisfaction, profit margins, overall efficiency) actually stem from inadequate supply chain management, offering the opportunity for improvement. Many businesses don’t plan for future growth and its requirements in supply chain management to support this growth. All too often, businesses outgrow their supply chain systems resulting in issues and challenges.
PolySource, a top plastic resin provider in the United States, set out on a mission to become the leader in engineered plastic resin solutions.
As a company who serves North America, Asia, and Europe, it may not be a surprise to learn that the company needed the very best operations to manage their business. Working with 15 warehouses, PolySource anticipated challenges created by siloed locations, systems, and operators. Knowing change through automation was needed, they seeked support for the technical and operational resources to consolidate their operations.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
A fragmented warehousing model meant that PolySource had critical limitations moving forward: Inventory, Technology, Invoicing processes were all customized over the years. There were future concerns such as inventory levels not being completely accurate, the use of technology varying by operator skill sets and the invoicing process becoming less efficient.
Needless to say, working with countless 3PL partners made managing their supply chain more difficult and time consuming than it needed to be.
The status quo in supply chain
The company voted Plastics News Best Places To Work 2017 and 2019 would need a new supply chain and warehousing initiative to provide future service customers have come to expect from them. After all, PolySource provided a technically sound product and a knowledgeable workforce. However, a concern arose over its existing supply model supporting its growth plans.
Like many companies that have grown over the years, PolySource understood the status quo in supply chain management was not going to support the businesses’ growth plans. PolySource understood that it needed to take some of the manual approaches to supply chain management and become more streamlined. A significant concern was also the increase in time currently spent on low-income-producing tasks when the team should focus on growing sales and the business.
A growing problem
Ryan Koenig, CFO for PolySource, noted that the company lacked the technical and operational resources needed to drive a new supply chain initiative in their operations.
Without a new efficient process and an agile supply chain, the company’s growth prospects were of concern.
In response to these problems, Ryan began the search for better alternatives. As a supporter of innovation, Ryan welcomed WarehouseQuote’s and their supply chain platform with open arms.
Running straight at the problem
PolySource knew that a new supply chain initiative had to achieve three major objectives:
- The network had to be agile and place products closer to customers.
- The solution should provide easy, real-time reporting with visibility into inventory to quickly respond to customers needs.
- The team supporting PolySource must provide expert consultancy to guide the PolySource team on how to manage operations and build commodity-specific SOPs so they could free up more time internally to work directly with customers externally.
PolySource also knew they could continue reaching out to a new 3PL provider every time they needed a new warehouse, but this would add even more complexity. However, when Ryan and his team began working with WarehouseQuote, they were able to immediately benefit from a pre-vetted warehouse network. This network of providers gave them options to scale quickly and transform the way that PolySource did business.
One of the most attractive parts of the WarehouseQuote network is the ability to create custom operating procedures. PolySource leveraged the team to create a standardized repack process in a majority of their markets. They also have the support of an operations team and a software engineering team to help offer automation and data consistency across the entire network. In essence, the WarehouseQuote team quickly became a part of the PolySource team.
How PolySource checked all of their boxes
Since PolySource wanted to be able to implement new warehouses quickly, the project had under 60 days to go live. This way, the team would have a repeatable model that they could rely on as they continued to grow. Upon implementing the solution, their team no longer had to manage communications with 15 different warehouse providers. Complicated and customized invoicing processes vanished, too.
From a time-saving perspective, the software and warehouse implementation benefits have been transformative. In addition to inventory consolidation, the WarehouseQuote engineering team integrated many of PolySource’s business systems through an EDI integration, further connecting their supply chain.
Ryan was able to meet directly with WarehouseQuote to give feedback on different features of the software. Their team was appreciative to see that the WarehouseQuote team immediately began work to add these different features to the software to make their experience more effective and efficient .
The new solution to an age-old problem
Polysource now has a model that can support their aggressive growth plans, and the visibility to manage their business in real time. This allows PolySource to spend more time with customers now, and in the future, to grow the business and less time on back-room internal business and sales support systems to support the business.
While this visibility is useful for operations it also assists managers and supervisors to make strategic decisions. The WarehouseQuote system has helped them ensure that all of their SKUs will be visible across their warehouse network.
In addition, they no longer have to source new warehouse providers and go through the complicated process of onboarding a new 3PL, training each provider to their unique operating procedures. They have one strategic partner in WarehouseQuote that not only sources their warehouses, but guides them in their decision making process to support new business growth.
In terms of cost-savings, PolySource is now saving thousands in transportation costs by positioning their network in strategic locations nationally.
With 15 automated warehouses, a 15x reduction in vendor invoices, and thousands of dollars saved, the project was more than justified.
The benefits of greater visibility, new insights, and a more automated supply chain meant that WarehouseQuote has more than paid back the investment that PolySource made.
Why not explore how your company can benefit from working with WarehouseQuote? Work directly with one of our experts now to find your tailored solution.