Imagine making 160,000 deliveries every week to customers in seven countries. For most companies, that would be a daunting assignment, but for Solistica, one of Latin America’s top third-party logistics (3PL) companies, it’s business as usual. Solistica, new value proposal for the logistics industry, has gathered experience and capacities from the most successful logistics operations in Latin America and has brought them under a single brand and a shared vocation: connecting people.Now deploying a fleet of 6,000 trucks, the company transports goods worth billions of dollars a year to over 4,000 business customers in industries ranging from consumer goods to automotive. Between providing B2B distribution to wholesale networks around the region and servicing its thousands of other business clients, Solistica makes about 1.9 million trips per year, keeping its 800,000 square meters of warehouses humming with activity.
Not long ago, Solistica challenged themselves to optimize their logistics. They wanted to do basic tasks like connecting orders to transportation options and figuring out how many pallets of goods could fit inside a truck with ease. Their goal was to keep deliveries on track, without having logistics managers switch between multiple systems and falling back on time-consuming manual processes.
One of the biggest challenges for a supply chain of their size is the lack of visibility. Think about it: If you don’t have line of sight into your operations in real-time, you can never fully understand your current constraints or engage others to help solve them. For example, fuel consumption – a significant operational expense – is almost impossible to control if poor operational visibility prevents you from optimizing truck loads. The company’s patchwork legacy systems also impacted service consistency. To strengthen its brand and grow the business, the company needed to maintain a predictable standard of customer service and contract performance.
Digging deeper, the company started identifying inefficiencies that were keeping transportation costs high and hurting the bottom line. The lack of automation, for example, meant workers spent too much time on low-value tasks when they could be better engaged in boosting delivery efficiency and customer service. Crucially, the company needed to start analyzing and harnessing all the operational data it had available, allowing it to make better decisions for improving the business.
Technologies like Oracle Cloud Transportation Management (OTM) have radically changed the logistics industry, optimizing every step of the product’s journey from the factory floor to the customer shelves. Solistica started its own journey by adopting OTM as part of a larger suite of Oracle cloud solutions, including Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). As a leader in their industry, Solistica was very proud to be the first logistics service provider in Latin America to adopt OTM. Oracle provided Solistica with a single set of standard processes and tools that it needed to more efficiently handle the thousands of orders it receives every day. Seamless data integration between the Oracle ERP and OTM helped drive the efficiency boost.
Since implementing Oracle and changing some other internal processes, Solistica has seen big operational improvements. OTM Cloud is helping the company smoothly dovetail truck schedules with maintenance activities, increasing asset utilization. And today the company can automatically factor in its customers’ preferred delivery windows, helping control costs and boosting customer service. After all, arriving too early at a destination – when loading docks and workers may be unavailable – can be just as costly as arriving late.
Solistica’s performance metrics speak for themselves. After implementing OTM and changing their processes, on-time deliveries have improved up to 20%. More efficient truck loading has added 3% to 5% in overall capacity, helping the company squeeze in more shipments. Altogether, the combination of fuel savings and better asset utilization has translated into an overall 20% to 30% reduction in transportation costs. Meanwhile, by moving its logistics platform to the cloud with OTM, the company has boosted system availability and reliability.
Company executives say that developing and deploying innovations like this are part of Solistica’s DNA and central to future success. “When I look ahead, I see tremendous potential in leading-edge technologies like IoT and machine learning to help drive even more improvements for our customers,” says David Orellana, Global CIO for Solistica. “The way I see, we are really only at the beginning of our journey, but with Oracle we're on the road to a better world.”