Cross-docking is a common practice in the logistics industry. The goal is to streamline the courier process by directly unloading materials from inbound delivery vehicles to outbound vehicles.
In today’s episode, Ivan Hernandez, Director of Transportation, Operations and Procurement for Daimler Trucks North America, shares how they use several transportation management systems (TMS) and warehouse management systems (WMS) solutions to optimize their cross-docking network.
The Benefits of TMS and WMS Solutions
- Expedite shipments to customers
TMS and WMS solutions enabled Daimler to process a lot of data and streamline their processes, allowing them to service their customers faster. Their partners have also helped them find optimal locations, which then minimizes the number of miles driven daily. Minimizing miles means lowering costs, and the positive impact on the environment is also a huge plus. “Fewer miles, less gas,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also stressed that you need to have an absolutely clear reason for what you want or your objective to be regarding technology. If not, you will run the risk of automating a mess instead of applying a solution.
- Considerable savings and a more efficient supply chain
When investing in logistics solutions, Hernandez said that their main objective is to improve how they can cost-efficiently service their factories. By using TMS and WMS solutions, Daimler was able to eliminate as much of their middle man type of transactions that existed in their network.
- Satisfy the needs of the distributor and the customer
According to Hernandez, for Daimler, improving customer service and building relationships with partners are essential considerations when working on and leveraging solutions to cross-dock network optimization. A good relationship with your partners can encourage more transparency and teamwork in solving potential issues that may arise.
“I don't think there is a silver bullet or a formula that tells you, ‘Hey, you need to do 10 or 100 at least.’ It will depend on management discretion. It will depend on the knowledge that you have of the area. It will depend on how many sites you have available. That is where that real human interaction is important. Every project will have a different timeline, and for every project, there are different outside constraints and pressures that you need to weigh in.”
Director of Transportation, Operations and Procurement - Daimler Trucks North America
Undoubtedly, combining your cross docking network with TMS and WMS solutions can bring forth benefits for you and your customers. However, keep in mind that there are still many factors that can affect your operations and processes. That’s why for Hernandez, it’s still essential that you stay on top of your metrics and data so you and your team can make the adjustments or improvements needed to achieve your overall objectives.
Tune in to the Down to Freight podcast, where we sit down with transportation, logistics, supply chain, and warehousing subject matter experts to discuss the Digital Transformation Project.