Over the past 100 years, Kaufman Container has been a leader in providing quality and innovation to the packaging industry. It has proven that ingenuity, exemplary customer service and hard work go a long way in the success of the shipping side of its business.
Performing almost as a logistics specialist for its customers, Kaufman directs freight movement globally. Company growth has included the ability to manage freight carriers to and from both coasts and offer complete warehousing services. The company has strategic locations in Cleveland, Ohio and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“We do just about anything a customer would request,” said Freight Manager, Greg Keys adding, “it’s our mission to deliver a cost-effective, prompt shipment to our customer.”
Kaufman’s ability to honor customer shipping requests of local parcel or multiple long haul carrier services is supported by their companywide use of a real-time freight management software from Banyan Technology.
Like many freight shipping services departments that experience rapid growth, Kaufman eventually needed to boost its existing operations software.
“The big challenge for us was not being able to better control shipping costs and directly communicate with our carriers. Our only pricing resource was industry published static tables. We also needed real visibility and control of our freight movement and audit reporting capabilities in one single system,” said Keys. In addition, the company wasn’t where it wanted to be when it came to measuring and monitoring productivity. To keep its competitive edge, Kaufman needed to update its technology.
According to Keys, the goal was to find a web-based solution that also incorporated general business rules. While they wanted a system with transportation-specific design, Kaufman also required the flexibility to accommodate the multiple service types they offer and configurability to apply the terminology they commonly used. “We compared Banyan to three other TMS systems in the selection process.”
Based on the platform’s functionality and Banyan’s reputation, there was a consensus among executives and staff. Kaufman Container chose Banyan Technology.
Banyan integrates all of the features and services required to cover an end-to-end freight management process. The carrier neutral webbased system creates and maintains direct and instantaneous connections between customers and their freight carriers for better informed decisions, manage risk and increase profitability.
Upon a straightforward implementation, Kaufman leveraged Banyan’s workflow into the daily functions across all departments. By adding the new features to the existing Kaufman system, Banyan brought in the power of a real-time platform, configurable for diverse freight management operations. The system provided comprehensive core capabilities from quoting new business, booking loads, dispatching, tracking status and final invoice reconciliation.
“I’m able to collaborate with my carriers to align our shipments where they are competitive and also pinpoint where they need to improve their cost and service levels to be competitive.”
Kaufman makes use of Banyan to manage their high-volume freight business, which guides appropriate carrier selection and captures the best rate, costs and carrier performance data in a single system – and all on one screen. “We’re benefiting from the best information available,” said Keys. “Once we started with Banyan, we saw a 20% ROI within six months. We recognized immediate cost savings from Banyan’s ability to compare our carrier rates for each shipment and the real-time rating information has completely eliminated RFP’s.” Keyes continued “We have substantially improved our efficiency by selecting the best carrier option for each shipment, with Banyan completely automating our workflow processes from booking, tracking, and management of all our freight bill settlements.”
“My finger is completely on the pulse of what’s going on with a shipment,” said Keys, “and, it’s all on one screen.”
The integrated nature of Banyan’s design, which includes being embedded in most existing workflows critical to efficient transportation operations, has enabled total visibility along with efficiencies. “This system forces my staff to use it correctly, with a reduced amount of errors. I can run a report with a few clicks and know exactly where all of my shipments are–exactly,” he emphasized.
Kaufman uses the extensive reporting functionality in Banyan, which drills down into day-to-day activity and operations that greatly improve business visibility.
Keys continues discussing the ongoing annual financial benefits from implementing Banyan, “I know our costs and revenue to the penny. I see where we stand and how we are performing across all of our carrier relationships. I’m able to collaborate with my carriers to align our shipments where they are competitive and also pinpoint where they need to improve their cost and service levels to be competitive. We know what’s going on with our carriers. I never had this visibility before. As our transportation needs change, I work with my carriers so that everyone wins.” Keyes added, “We do not need RFPs because Banyan enables us to optimize our carrier pricing and performance on a monthly basis.”
A critical part of Banyan’s solution for Kaufman is the dedicated customer support team assigned to assist Kaufman in exploiting all of Banyan’s capability. Banyan blends industry and product expertise in the staffers who make up the support teams charged with the ongoing care of a named set of customers. The breadth of knowledge and team-approach to supporting customers assures a high level of availability and business problem solving when Kaufman calls with a question. “Commercial shippers have their own set of complicated issues,” noted Keys. “When I call the 800 number a real person answers the phone. They are very good and very responsive.”
Change may mark today’s business environment, but with the history of success and market diversification that Kaufman enables, Keys’ outlook remains optimistic and focused on growing Kaufman’s capabilities.