Molex: TMS Brings New Levels of Logistics Efficiency

The Molex slogan, "bringing people and technology together, worldwide," has a special meaning for this manufacturer's logistics managers. They are in charge of the "bringing" part, managing an incredibly complex global pipeline of raw materials and finished products moving to and from Molex facilities and customers.

The company had been using CTSI-Global's freight bill payment and audit services for 12 years, and needed to elevate supply chain visibility and centralize cost controls. CTSI-Global was able to fill a gap within Molex's existing SAP resource planning system by offering its "la carte" TMS modules.

"CTSI-Global has reduced paperwork here to almost nothing. This improves Molex's relationships with carriers because they don't have to create paper invoices and wait for them to be delivered, hand processed, and then paid."

"We decided to make CTSI-Global a partner in managing our supply chain logistics," said Mark Slick, Import/Export Manager, "and the initial challenge was to get control of domestic distribution and negotiate with carriers."

Best Practice Makes Perfect

Molex used the Carrier/Mode Selection module to select and negotiate with appropriate carriers. But a special rate with a preferred carrier ultimately saves a company nothing if its buyers continue to post loads with less cost-efficient carriers. That's where CTSI-Global's TMS compliance-monitoring functionality showed especially dramatic results.

"We can flag shipments not in compliance with our best practices," said Jim Kicher, Logistics Manager. As a result, the carrier compliance rate among Molex operating units rose from 22 to 90 percent. "We have seen a substantial savings in overall freight costs," Kicher said.

In addition to monitoring the Molex supply-chain, Slick and Kicher also use TMS to make their own operations more transparent to the rest of the company.

"We can push out a lot of information to our corporate organization without burying someone with responsibility for generating reports," Slick said, "and many more people in our group have ready access to current data."

These Molex TMS users have many different job titles: shipping supervisors, warehouse managers, logistics specialists, finance directors, plant controllers, freight buyers, and even inside sales representatives who use TMS for detailed customer reporting.

"We have accountants at all our sites using TMS to generate their reports," Slick said. "They can drill down to metrics like cost per pound, cost per hundredweight, and now cost per kilo. This helps people in the field see the peaks and valleys on transportation costs."

"Paperwork Reduced to Almost Nothing"

Cost benefits aside, Slick and Kicher describe more streamlined operations within their own employee teams, especially in managing freight bill payment and audits. Any transaction that falls outside Molex's criteria for rates, address validation, or general ledger cost account coding, among others, is automatically flagged into the Electronic Freight Bill Resolution (EFBR) system for review. What was once a paper-dependent three-week cycle of resolving disputed bills is now resolved immediately, online.

"That benefits everybody," Slick said. "People have time to work on more important things than getting buried in paperwork. Now we can focus on our job: managing logistics."

The outlook for Molex's logistics organization delivering on the promise of "bringing people and technology together, worldwide" seems secure enough, according to Kicher, "CTSI-Global has helped us to move light years ahead."