Inbound Logistics Software for the End-to-End Purchase Order Management Process
Logistics Flow Control is the next generation retail inbound logistics transportation management solution designed for rapid return-on-investment. It is a multi-party Microsoft-based cloud solution that breaks the paradigm of having to coordinate multiple parties with multiple systems that have historically made inbound retail supply chains inefficient and hard to manage. With Logistics Flow Control, retailers, suppliers, carriers and brokers can use the same solution to manage the “end-to-end purchase order management process”, helping retailers to:
- Improve control of inventory in motion;
- Reduce purchase order cycle time, transportation costs, inventory carrying costs, and custom filing fines; and
- Measure supplier and carrier performance.
Descartes’ Logistics Flow Control provides the essential capabilities for retailers, suppliers, customs brokers and carriers to benefit from unprecedented levels of coordination at each stage of the inbound supply chain logistics. By leveraging data across all of the parties involved in the inbound supply chain, Descartes helps customers simultaneously manage their commercial, logistics and customs filing processes.
Purchase Order Visibility
Retail buyers, merchandisers, and logistics personnel can know the current status, location, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and contents of every purchase order and shipment. Based on status and priority of inbound orders, shipping plans and receiving priorities can be adjusted in Logistics Flow Control to alleviate OOS (Out of Stock) and the most pressing current inventory replenishment needs.
Compliance Assurance and Shipping Advice Processing:
A key step in bringing order to the inbound supply chain is to coordinate with the supplier on ship date, receipt date, carrier, methods of shipping, and requirements on orders that can or cannot be split, short shipped, or consolidated. Logistics Flow Control takes these important compliance requirements out of paper guides and in to an electronic system that supports the supplier with pre-populated source data on orders, and handles customer delivery expectations, compliance rules, validation processes, UCC carton labeling, and electronic delivery confirmations. The supplier, carrier, and retailer can then be assured of accurate information, compliant shipments, timely delivery, and priority order handling.
Entry Control and Yard Management
When the time comes for the shipment to arrive, Logistics Flow Control provides enhanced security and control by validating facility entry to expected loads, reducing facility congestion and labor issues by screening out unscheduled and improperly documented loads, and allowing loads to be put away with proper tracking of placement when not received directly to the warehouse.
Load Flow Control
Manages supplier-controlled freight by providing the retailer and its suppliers and carriers purchase order visibility and consolidation that is synchronized with the retailer’s available dock appointment times. The traditional coordination process from supplier to carrier to retailer is streamlined, as the dock appointment is confirmed at the time of purchase order consolidation, thereby reducing total delivery time. Retailers have the ability to control what purchase orders get consolidated by the supplier and manage their movement in-transit. Changes to the schedule by any party are measured against a date validation guide, helping to ensure that deliveries comply with purchase order commitments.
A collaborative supply chain document management solution that facilitates the consolidation of information required by importers into a concise and accurate electronic data set – the shipment folder. With all the required information in a single location, the retailer can create an accurately rated commercial invoice ready for the broker or self-filing retailer to transmit to the customer. A properly rated commercial invoice ensures that the retailer pays the proper duties and taxes, eliminating filing-related fines. The solution includes: consolidation of purchase orders and shipment notifications into a customs ready shipment folder; Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification code updates through third party HTS services; scanning and sending of imaged documents; imaged document storage; broker’s package completeness validation; imaged document delivery management to the customs broker; and Canadian Release Notification System (RNS) release notification. All of this data can be shared directly through the Descartes Global Logistics Network™ or accessed through the specific user-right managed portals.
At each stage of the processes from purchase order to receipt, performance information is collected by Logistics Flow Control that can be used to improve performance of suppliers, carriers, and the retailer; cut lead-times; and adjust the receiving programs compliance rules to optimize results.