Complete visibility of products, shipment status, documentation, as well shipment cost, all in one location.
A Better View of Business
Increased visibility and greater efficiencies help a global leader manage complexities of an expanding global supply chain.
A global leader in performance materials and specialty chemicals. Based in the United States, the company has more than 50 locations across five continents and serves the automotive, architectural, solar and energy, specialty and custom sectors.
Over the years had transformed from a regionally focused company to one with a global footprint and wanted a supply chain organization and infrastructure to meet the needs of its expanding support network. The existing resources included 60 regional forwarders, transportation organizations and intermediaries, which made it difficult for the company to get a global picture of its supply chain. In addition, its internal ERP system was not adequately structured to provide the information it needed, resulting in a number of data gaps.
Having a significant presence in Europe, US, China and Brazil. Many of the customer’s business units and country offices around the world managed their forwarders and brokers independently.
A decentralized approach where different forwarders were used in numerous countries . Order processing was centralized in Shanghai and each country was allowed to choose and negotiate with their own forwarders and brokers, when necessary. At one point, the customer has 60 forwarding relationships around the globe.
The capabilities of freight forwarders were reviewed regularly on a regional basis. However, the customer wanted to explore the benefits of working with one primary global freight forwarder to achieve a global view of its exports and imports.
Visibility and operational efficiency were two important criteria. Several complementary businesses and technology platforms was acquired as part of its growth strategy over the past several years so that their supply chain has the ability to easily integrate those new acquisitions.
Services & Technologies Used:
- Freight Forwarding: Ocean and Air
- Exports and Imports
- Customhouse Brokerage, including Imports Clearance
- NEOLink (Customer Service Portal)
- Inland Transportation
- Limited NVOCC Operations
- Multiple Trade Lanes
Customer has been very satisfied with NEOLink and was invited to all RFQs. However, customer has never implemented a consolidated search for one global freight forwarder before.
A multifunctional team was involved in collecting data from the different business units and regional entities to create specific requirements for an RFQ. The RFQ was shared with global freight forwarders, including NEOLink, to see what they could bring to the table. An evaluation was made of each freight forwarder’s capabilities. Two companies (NEOLink included) were short-listed for an in-depth evaluation.
The primary capabilities that were expected from a transportation and logistics resource were efficient and flawless execution of transactions on behalf.
NEOLink has been selected base on a global engagement basis. Not only met but exceeded the demanding set of requirements in terms of customer’s expectations. While not every requirement could be met by the global freight forwarders, the two or three that they had selected probably has the best to offer in terms of global reach.
Two primary reasons for selecting NEOLink were the company’s broad global presence and technology capabilities, including access to global data from one source. NEOLink’s global operations versus the use of agents was an important factor because customer has difficulties obtaining full data if an agent was involved in the past. Customer would like to access and view global reports 24X7 anytime, anywhere. They did not need to go to different agents and a freight forwarder to get the data they wanted. It was important that NEOLink has the system and technology in place to be able to get all that data.
One global system providing end-to-end global visibility of orders and getting supports globally were the major factors in selection. In addition, the need for a freight forwarder to deliver best practices. There was also a green element that customer liked about NEOLink was moving toward a paperless document management system.
NEOLink’s experience in handling letters of credit also played a role. NEOLink has received several compliments for handling letters of credit for customer. NEOLink processes documents so quickly that helped customer to get paid faster than before.Customer has an aggressive transition plan. NEOLink’s ability to go through a systematic transition across different business units and region by region was very positive. In approximately six months, the entire global transactions were switched over. While there were inevitable issues to be resolved in some regions, over 80 percent of customer’s business was transitioned over a very aggressive timeline.
During the transition, NEOLink did a very good job in accommodating customer’s requirements, facilitating interaction between IT and business groups and providing necessary resources.
Customer also made a huge improvement in its metrics, developed jointly with NEOLink and which were monitored on a monthly and quarterly basis against the company’s KPIs. This ensured that both customer and NEOLink have the same KPIs and would all report the same nonconformances. NEOLink has solid experience in developing metrics.
While NEOLink’s deliverables for the customer differ from one country to another, overall services were primarily export freight forwarding, inland transport management, import clearance, and NVOCC operations in a number of trade lanes. Services also depended on resources and shipping volumes customer have in each location. In countries where customer has a larger presence, the company maintained its own transport contracts—NEOLink executed the bookings and generated documents, and other processes. In areas where the customer did not have in-house expertise, NEOLink planned and arranged transportation using its own contracts.
The advantage of NEOLink’s knowledge of the markets, industry trends, while collaborating proactively to manage changes.
The emphasized-on data visibility and consistency in handling international transactions from export through import as beneficial elements of the relationship. The visibility of completed transactions—primarily for intercompany moves—from origin through customs clearance and receipt at the destination location as efficiencies NEOLink provided.
With diverse business platforms, there was a need to identify a freight forwarder that was flexible enough to accommodate its different ERP systems and business needs.
Overall, the customer was pleased with what they have accomplished with NEOLink. The infrastructure was there. Customer made a huge improvement in global visibility with a global platform—anyone can log into NEOLink (online customer portal) and look at a shipment anytime, anywhere in the world. Customer wanted a freight forwarder with a good technology platform, which could handle the complexities of their business as they worked toward a single global platform.
Benefits from working
NEOLink worked with our order processing system. It did not replace them or try to force a square peg solution into a round hole. It was what NEOLink did better than the others in the market—their system flexed to match our system. NEOLink did not go in and say, “This is what we have, like it or not.”
We made a huge improvement in global visibility with a global platform—anyone can log into NEOLink and look at a shipment anytime, anywhere in the world. We wanted a freight forwarder with a good technology platform, which could handle the complexities of our business and we found NEOLink!
My suppliers have less or zero experience with international logistics. Thus, not able to create proper documentation which leads to tremendous delay. Thanks to NEOLink who provide training to all suppliers and work with us to build up a consolidation hub to reduce transportation costs significantly.