January 14, 2005, 12:00 AM

Mazda revs up parts deliveries to dealers with web-based system

To improve the way it ships parts to its U.S. dealers, Mazda last year deployed a web-based logistics system that automatically determines the best shipment options from a number of carriers. Costs are down and carrier performance is up, Mazda says.

 

To improve the way it ships parts to its U.S. dealers, Mazda last year deployed a web-based logistics system that automatically determines the best shipment options from a number of carriers. Costs are down and carrier performance is up, Bobbie Rooney, manager of national logistics and transportation for Mazda North American Operations, tells Internet Retailer.

The web-based logistics system, from Kewill Solutions North America, the shipping management division of Kewill Systems plc, automatically determines the best shipment options from a number of carriers after dealers place their orders on a Mazda web site. The system can cut shipment costs by a third or more by consolidating shipments, Rooney says.

In addition to cutting costs through more efficient loading and routing of trucks, the Kewill system is helping to improve Mazda’s shipments to dealers in several other ways, Rooney says. For example, the web makes it easier to monitor and enforce compliance with performance standards imposed on carriers.

Because the Kewill system aggregates shipping information from carriers, including the actual times goods reach their destination, Mazda can run reports on carrier performance and re-set the Kewill system to favor certain carriers.

The system also helps Rooney’s staff as well as outside freight auditors maintain control over shipment bills, making it easier to hold carriers accountable for errors and unauthorized charges. With invoices and freight documentation aggregated in the Kewill system, Mazda and its auditors can now match invoices to records of actual deliveries, and check final shipment costs to those originally promised by carriers.

“Now I can compare actual rates and times to commitments,” Rooney says, adding that she can produce evidence to force logistics providers to pay the difference when costs are higher than promised. “In the past it was too hard to come up with that data.”

 

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