Magazine Article | September 22, 2011

Transforming Supply Chain Transportation

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Matt Pillar, Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine

As 258-store Anna's Linens grew, so did its need for supply chain efficiency. Four years ago, recognizing the need for a supply chain paradigm shift, the company kicked off a comprehensive supply chain transformation initiative. The Anna's Linens team quickly identified the company's greatest opportunities for supply chain improvement, and transportation management was near the top of the list.

Anna's Linens supplied its products by means of storelevel purchase orders, which totaled more than 750,000 orders annually. "We were using an outsourced TMS (transportation management system) application for inbound routing from vendors to six cross-dock LTL (lessthan-truckload) terminals. Obviously it worked with a smaller number of stores, but our growth exacerbated this inefficient model, which was characterized by little in the way of control and high-expense variability," Miles Tedder, SVP, IT and Supply Chain, says. Anna's Linens determined there was a need for a TMS that would increase its supply chain visibility and enable consolidated shipments.