In business, you spend an enormous amount of time and energy in developing your product, as well as building relationships with retailers to score shelf space. When your shipment arrives at your customer’s dock, you and your customer expect it to be on time and damage free. When that’s not the case, or shipments arrive outside their specified time windows, you can be slapped with chargebacks that cut into your profits. Your reputation is on the line to deliver on-time and in-full.
Adding to these challenges, logistics managers continue pushing to shorten supply chains and reduce inventory handling through smaller delivery windows and tighter timelines. Improving your retail performance and meeting these demands may seem daunting, but when you have a good partner working with you, it’s not an insurmountable task.
At Old Dominion Freight Line (OD), we knew our customers were struggling with these stringent requirements, and we wanted to help them navigate whatever the retail world threw at them. That’s why we built our on-time delivery solution specifically to help customers manage and strengthen their retail relationships. We call the result Must-Arrive-By-Date (MABD) services.
Although this type of service goes by different names in the industry — just-in-time, time critical, on-time-in-full, or store replenishment — our MABD service allows OD to act as an extension of our customers’ business. We see ourselves as a partner who helps them manage compliance demands, avoid costly fines and protect their vendor scorecards. The service model is simple. Customers just have to tell us when their freight has to be there, and our team handles the rest.
1.) OD Standard LTL that meets delivery requirements with normal transit times
2.) OD Guaranteed service for shipments due on a certain date (that can neither be late or early)
3.) OD On Demand service for time-sensitive shipments due outside normal transit times or that required a specific delivery time, not just a certain date.
Take one of our current customers, a major snack food company, for example. They called us when their former less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier wasn’t consistently meeting expectations. Their product wasn’t showing up for delivery at retailers at the right time, resulting in chargebacks and poor evaluations on their vendor scorecard. It was damaging their relationship with major national retailers and hurting their sales when consumers weren’t able to find the company’s products on store shelves.
Our customer service team analyzed their situation and recommended OD’s MABD service to ensure dependable on-time deliveries. Our team streamlined their shipping process and saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational costs and vendor fines, which more than offset the nominal cost of the enhanced service. Not to mention, we helped the customer strengthen their relationship with all their retail customers through the improved process.
It also helps that OD is a preferred carrier with most major national retailers and have long-standing relationships with them. We like to think of ourselves as our customers’ rolling warehouse, an inventory wagon of sorts that can get shipments to the right place at the right time. Our innovations in technology allow our customers to get real-time data about their shipments. With this traceability, our customers can reduce and control claims.
With our MABD services, we take that traceability to the next level, as each of our customers has a dedicated expedited agent who proactively tracks every detail of time-sensitive deliveries. That means there is a single point of contact throughout the shipping process. If customers need to make in-transit changes to meet a modified delivery window, it’s not a problem. We can upgrade services and make real-time changes to ensure a delivery is on time. Additionally, OD has one of the lowest claims ratios in the industry, and is on-time more than 99.999% of the time.
Customers have found that by selecting the right MABD service, in the end, they eliminate costs from their supply chain by avoiding fines and retail chargebacks when their products are delivered at the right time. They also improve their scorecards, strengthening relationships with their customers in the process. Being a consistent and dependable supplier can positively increase future sales and promotional opportunities.
After all, we approach our business as a partnership with our customers. We see ourselves as an extension of their team and work to understand their business. By doing so, we can help drive efficiencies to keep costs down. Our motto, “helping the world keep promises,” really means keeping our promises to our customers, so they can make good on promises they make to theirs. It’s a point of pride for us to make our customers look good; it’s the core of how we operate.