3PL enhances competitive advantage and strengthens non-asset line of business with Tier 1 TMS.

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Industry: 3PL Provider
Location: Hamilton, Ohio
Customer Benefits:

  • Facilitate the growing, dynamic, multi-client consolidation and optimization program
  • Increased efficiency and growth of non-asset line of business
  • Strengthened competitive differentiator of fast, customized services

Since 1971, ODW Logistics, Inc. has been a full-service 3PL provider of supply chain solutions for mid-sized and large companies. With more than 1,000 employees, ODW has the technology, infrastructure and service to support businesses in a range of industries, including health and beauty, food and beverage, manufacturing, and consumer packaged goods.

ODW offers 3PL all modes transportation management, warehouse distribution and fulfillment service, including over 5M square feet of strategically located space throughout the US, an asset based fleet, supply chain network design, and shipment optimization engineering and execution.

Challenge

ODW began primarily as an asset-based solution provider, but has grown its non-asset side of the business in recent years. However, the company’s transportation management system (TMS) was not able to support its goals to acquire new business and offer differentiated services. The TMS was built in the 1990s for a truckload business, and although ODW tried to make the technology work in a LTL and brokerage environment, it was not a sustainable solution.

In addition to a TMS applicable to the non-asset sides of the business, ODW sought a solution to leverage its in-house database and development expertise. “We wanted a TMS to take advantage of our knowledge and experience from an IT perspective and to keep our business at the cutting edge,” explained Bill Grannis, director of information technology at ODW Logistics. “And to be honest, we didn’t know if a TMS like that existed in the market.”

ODW’s success was built on its competitive advantage that set it apart from the commoditized world of 3PLs: Customized services delivered quickly and in a flexible way that allowed customers to adjust to changing market demands. It was essential that a new TMS support and strengthen these differentiators.

“The TMS had to allow us to deliver our unique services, like creating custom integrations with our carriers. We wanted a solution with a strong rating engine, optimization and open APIs,” said Grannis. “If it forced us to do something the same as everyone else, then we’d be just like every other 3PL. We didn’t want that.”

Solution

ODW examined several of the larger and more wellknown TMS solutions and chose the 3Gtms 3G-TM, a Tier 1 transportation management system with rich functionality, flexibility and modern technology to drive efficiency and automation throughout the entire order-to-settlement lifecycle. “When we did a detailed comparison of the 3Gtms & MercuryGate solutions, it was the adaptability of the 3Gtms system that really stood out. It was clear we were buying a platform that could expand and grow with our business and allow us the flexibility to be responsive to our customers,” explained Grannis.

Unlike other offerings that were built decades ago, 3Gtms technology addresses today’s market needs and complexities. Built on one scalable platform that leverages the same data throughout the application, 3G-TM helps ODW expand and grow its non-asset line of business. 3Gtms’ deep industry and software knowledge also impressed ODW. “Their knowledge is tremendous and makes us confident that they understand our needs, and know how to address them quickly with the best approach,” said Grannis.

While some TMS vendors had a lower cost-pertransaction in the short term, 3G-TM was a better long-term investment because of ODW’s ability to customize processes itself and react quickly to market changes. “We’ll be able to drive costs lower because we can further customize processes and clinch it down to exactly what a customer wants,” explained Grannis.

Results

With a TMS solution to support their non-asset line of business, ODW has strengthened its competitive advantage and its reputation for fast, nimble service. “We can make changes on the fly with 3Gtms and do it substantially better than with other systems. If we can differentiate and customize our services, that will help us succeed,” said Grannis.

Grannis continued, “I’ve been involved in implementing and managing TMS systems for 30 years. This isn’t an easy business, and we can’t afford a TMS that doesn’t meet our exact needs. I haven’t come across a system with as rich of an architecture as 3G-TM. This, along with their cloud-based integration Hub, allows our business-to-business communication to be much more efficient and lowers our transactional cost. From their technology to their service, 3Gtms makes sure its customers succeed.”

ODW has been methodical about transitioning its customers to 3G-TM. “The people at 3Gtms have so much industry and software knowledge. That really allows us to work closely with them and look at our business processes to figure out how the software can help,” said Grannis. “When I’m talking about a detailed problem, they understand it from start to finish. That makes me confident they’re committed to our success and ready to help us overcome any challenge.”

As ODW looks to the future, 3Gtms is committed to continuous enhancements of its solution that reflect the ongoing changes for 3PLs. Grannis noted, “We liked 3Gtms’ vision, and are leveraging its systems in unique ways that aren’t available anywhere else.”