|H & M Case Study|
Bay Accelerates Cold Storage Freight Transfer with RFID
Customer: In the freight industry, time is always a major factor in successfully meeting customers’ needs. When you add temperature control to the mix, operational efficiency becomes even more critical. So efficiency is necessarily a guiding principle at H&M Bay, one of the nation’s leading transporters of less-than-a-truckload frozen and refrigerated commodities.
H&M Bay had always used manual systems to track its product inventory and, for the most part, those systems worked well enough. But when they decided to add cold storage facilities to their cross-docking distribution center in Maryland, they wanted more than that – they wanted to set new standards for efficiency in inventory control.
In business for more than 25 years, H&M Bay provides efficient, reliable transport of temperature-controlled less-than-truckload (LTL) freight. H&M Bay has distribution centers in California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Washington.
With its strategically located distribution centers and an owner/operator network of over 10,000, H&M Bay provides industry-leading delivery to companies throughout the continental U.S.
As the premier freight mover in the LTL frozen and refrigerated commodities market, H&M Bay is always looking at ways to increase service excellence. One example is the company’s custom Web-based dispatch system designed and implemented by John Walker, H&M Bay’s software development manager. The web-based system was designed to allow customers and remote workers access to critical operations data 24x7. The customer Extranet opens up the dispatch operations of H&M via online order entry and real time push or pulls shipment tracking. Tight integration with the Microsoft Navision Accounting application provides customer and vendor account insight tightly integrated with shipment information.
Solution: Real-time tracking, reduced labor, and increased revenue opportunities were the result of implementation of the RFID System. "This is a unique RFID system, and we did have some implementation hurdles. We’ve made a few adjustments, and it’s really working well,” Walker said. "We have real-time inventory information, our LTL truck loads and reloads are faster, and we were able to reduce our cross-docking workforce by 25 percent.”
The solution has also helped launch an additional business model at H&M Bay. "We have a new fulfillment capability involving palletizing and cold storage for customers on a month to month basis. We then ship their product LTL anywhere in the U.S. from our facility,” Walker explained. This service was not possible with the trailer storage used in the past, and has increased revenues by 0.5% in new temperature-related accounts.