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Rehrig Pacific - Freight Orchestrations

About the Client

As an authority on sustainable supply chain solutions, Rehrig Pacific leverages that expertise to help consumer packaged goods (CPG), dairy, beverage, waste management, agricultural and e-commerce companies manage their end-to-end supply chains. Founded in 1913, Rehrig Pacific is the nation’s leading supplier of residential rollout carts. It also produces specialized products based on its in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of waste hauling and recycling management.


Challenges the Client Faced

With seven manufacturing plants strategically positioned across the USA, Rehrig Pacific Company has a lot to think about when it comes to freight, transportation and logistics. In some cases, for example, this leading manufacturer of residential rollout carts may not always be able to pick the most efficient and affordable freight lanes for a trip.

In some cases, this would happen if a product manufactured in Los Angeles had to be shipped to another company location in Texas or Kansas—a trip that would necessitate Rehrig Pacific using trade routes it is unfamiliar with. Up until recently, the manufacturer was using a standalone instance of PC*MILER trucking software for mapping, routing and navigation.

Using PC*MILER employees were manually managing field surcharge calculations for every single trip. “Our freight coordinators had to go into every shipment and, using Google Maps or another application, manually calculate the distance,” explained Lisa Horvath, a business operations analyst. “Then, they would add in the fuel surcharge, do the calculations and add that into our freight lines so we could track those surcharges.”

Giving Freight Coordinators Hours Back in the Day

Tracking fuel surcharges manually—multiplied across hundreds of 
shipments per month—took a lot of time. Wanting to add more 
automation to its transportation management setup, Rehrig Pacific
called on GSI, Inc., for help. The longtime JD Edwards user wanted to
use Orchestrator to have PC*MILER calculate its shipping distances.
Then, based on a standard per-mile fee, the application would
handle the calculations and enter the shipment charges for the
freight management team. GSI gathered the geocoded addresses
and calculated route distances using application programming
interfaces (APIs) to better determine shipping routes prior to adding
shipments to their trucks.

"That was a huge time saver for our transportation associates, and
our first kind of go-round with using Orchestrator with PC*MILER," said
Horvath. Managed by GSI, this single orchestration has given Rehrig
Pacific’s freight coordinators hours back to their days. Previously, the
company took an average of 90 seconds per shipment to manage the
fuel surcharges across roughly 127 shipments per day. That equates
to about three hours of manual labor per day, now reduced by 37.5%.
With its PC*MILER Orchestration in place, Rehrig Pacific also has
good visibility into its fuel surcharges and can be more strategic
when picking its freight routes. And because it now has a data table
to refer to for a historical view of fuel surcharges, the company can
also compare across the months or years by carrier. It can also see
which carriers charge higher or lower fuel surcharges and use that
criteria when selecting transportation providers.



Determining Days in Transit

Once its fuel surcharge calculations were automated, Rehrig Pacific then moved on to automating its days-in-transit calculations. The company covers about 550
miles daily, for example, and wanted to know exactly how many transit days each route would take. This would help it better plan out its own production process
and meet its manufacturing deadlines.

"This was really useful when it came to auto-routing shipments in the system," said Horvath, "knowing that some shipments were higher priorities than others and that some routes were better for expediting orders."

"Now, Rehrig Pacific is using PC*MILER and the GSI-developed Orchestrator to calculate the distance and the transit days. It’s all auto-routed and feeds back into
our work order to tell us what needs to be produced based on those transit days," said Horvath. "Our production planners know that if an order is due by December 5, and if it’s going to take five days to ship it, then the goods have to be produced by the end of November."

A Strong IT Partner in their Corner

Reflecting on Rehrig Pacific’s ongoing relationship with GSI, Horvath says the IT consultancy always understands the manufacturer’s problems and comes up with viable solutions to those issues. "They truly partner with us, help us think through some of our solutions, and come to us with really creative ideas that we’ve never even thought of," she said, "and that we often end up implementing."

Horvath also likes GSI’s service after the sale, which extends long after the projects have been completed and the new functionalities are in use. "We've encountered a few minor issues with PC*MILER, and the moment I bring it up with GSI, someone is on the phone or answering my emails about it," said Horvath. "GSI is always readily available to help us with those tweaks.

Looking ahead, Rehrig Pacific plans to use PC*MILER and Orchestrator to manage its less-than-truckload (LTL) transportation, with a specific emphasis on determining the best LTL routes for its shipments. "We’d like to bring some additional logic based on the mode of transportation via another PC*MILER modification that we plan to implement within the next few months," said Horvath. "GSI is definitely going to be able to help us with that and continue to provide even more value for our business."



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