October 3, 2003, 12:00 AM

Stage Stores cuts logistics costs with web-based transportation management

Stage Stores is controlling 100% of shipments to its 360 stores and distribution center through a web-based transportation management system, resulting in significant savings in shipment costs.

Stage Stores Inc., which operates 360 stores under the Stage, Bealls and Palais Royal brand names, is controlling 100% of shipments to distribution center and stores through a web-based transportation management system, resulting in significant savings in shipment costs, Tina Laube, director of transportation and logistics, tells Internet Retailer. “It puts us in control of when shipments are coming and how much we pay for them,” she says.

Stage operates a web-based transportation management application from application service provider Shippers Commwealth. The application, powered by technology from RedPrairie Corp., enables Stage to consolidate shipments from multiple suppliers onto fewer truckloads, Laube says. The system uses built-in mathematical algorithms to recommend the optimal routes and carriers for shipments from multiple suppliers, and Stage uses those recommendations to route carriers to suppliers in the most efficient way, she says.

In the past, Stage followed the more conventional retail industry method of having suppliers arrange for most deliveries, resulting in less efficient and more costly shipments, Laube says.

Although Laube could not give the actual savings involved in shipping costs, RedPrairie notes that, in general, shippers that rely on a large number of less-than-truckload, or LTL, shipments can save about a third of shipping costs by consolidating shipments on full truckloads.

Laube adds that Stage is planning to integrate its web-based transportation management system with its web-based warehouse management system. This will allow it to better coordinate shipments with labor schedules of distribution center dock workers, providing for more efficient handling of freight, she says.

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