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Success Stories

Brother Canada

Project: Optimization of the Cost
Transportation Management

Client

  • The international Canada Brother Corporation is part of the Brother group founded in Japan in 1908 when the Yasui brothers opened a modest sewing-machine-parts shop in Nagoya. After acquiring its initial industrial and technological know-how in the world of sewing machines, the Brother group then re-oriented its specialization toward the world of automation and printing products. From laser printers to multifunction centres, fax machines and electronic labelling systems, Brother offers a range of products that are reliable as well as economic and are designed to help both small and large enterprises become more efficient. The Brother Corporation has been in Canada since 1960
  • With a global workforce of over 15,500 people, 36 commercial subsidiaries, 19 plants, and 2 research and development centres, Brother stands among the leading world manufacturers for each of its diversified lines of products. The International Brother Corporation of Canada has two distribution centres in Canada and employs over 140 people

Initial Computer Environment

  • SAP R/3 version 4.6B software was already in operation
  • Imagine transport management software

Challenges

  • Manage transport rates by postal code for LTL (less than truckload) shipments and by parcel delivery service
  • Establish an automated mechanism to determine the best transport rates by way of a personalized development
  • Generate all the shipping labels for all used carriers
  • Generate all the manifests and electronic shipping documents for the parcel delivery services
  • Create documents to automatically calculate transport costs

Objectives

  • Reduce the transport costs for shipping by optimizing the choice of carriers based on rates in effect
  • Include all the costs that are not normally included in the price structure such as fuel surcharges
  • Completely automate and optimize carrier selection by keeping track of the destination, weight and volume in order to eliminate human error and favouritism
  • Manage transport costs for parcel delivery services, LTL and full truckloads with SAP
  • Eliminate all interfaces with external systems to SAP solutions in order to prioritize using only one system
  • Integrate the transport costs by client-invoice in order to be able to analyze the cost-effectiveness of each shipment
  • Produce all the documents required for shipments: the labels, manifests, and shipping and dispatch notes
  • Generate reports in order to validate the transport costs by client, province, route, etc.
  • Handle the shipments, consolidate the deliveries and determine the best transport rates
  • Consolidate the shipments in pallet format in order to better ensure on-time deliveries
  • Eliminate shipments by parcel service that often causes delays

Actions Completed

  • Introduction of completely integrated functions with the 4.6B version of SAP R/3 software already in place, ensuring that there is no impact on customer service
  • Training users on the use of the new functions

Achieved Results

  • Reduction in overall transport costs due to the new functions as well as the new shipping processes that were implemented
  • Minimized human intervention for selecting a carrier
  • Availability of information relative to exact transport costs by customer-invoice
  • Creation of a better management and negotiation tool for shipping and transport activities

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Outside of Montreal 
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