Case Study: June 2009 to Present of Parts Distribution Model
For Louisiana Machinery and its customers, a day without a part is a day without a working machine to complete a construction project, an engine or generator to power a work boat or cruise ship or to keep an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico safe and operational. For Louisiana’s statewide Caterpillar dealer, the parts distribution process must be efficient, cost effective, reliable and most importantly on time. In early 2008, Caterpillar announced a change in the CAT supply chain and a new parts distribution center in Waco, Texas, forcing Louisiana Machinery to consider an overhaul with its parts distribution process.
Prior to the change, Louisiana machinery utilized a combination of internal resources and third-party providers to move parts from Dallas, TX and Morton, IL, to their individual locations throughout Louisiana. It was obvious that the existing process would be unable to accommodate the change in CAT’s distribution system so, in late 2008, with the impending change in sight Louisiana Machinery began searching for a partner who could assist them in developing a management and distribution process that was reliable, efficient and, most importantly, safe. As a result of that search a partnership with Dupre’ Logistics was developed.
The specific needs of Louisiana Machinery’s “new” supply chain were identified utilizing Dupré’s Results-Based Supply Chain Management Process. Working hand-in-hand, the partnership mapped projected routes and times resulting in a route schedule that included 10 dedicated drivers moving parts nightly from Waco, TX to Lafayette, La., and ultimately into each of Louisiana Machinery’s individual locations throughout the state.
“With the overhauled system we gained clear lines of communication,” said Troy Matherne, General Parts Manager, of Louisiana Machinery. “We have had fewer mistakes and occurrences, thus streamlining the process into just a few points of contact.”
The revised plan created not only efficiencies in driver time but in communication. The new system eliminated additional groups of drivers, which created one centralized point of contact. Additionally, Dupré brought technology to the table that allows Louisiana Machinery to view — in real time — the location and progress of the trucks and thus the parts as they move through the new logistical system.
“From the top down, we were committed to making this work as effectively as possible,” said Reggie Dupre’, CEO of Dupré Logistics. “Our goal was to truly learn their business and build efficiencies that serve their specific needs.”
One such efficiency that Dupré Logistics brought to the table was a Web portal specific to Louisiana Machinery trucks. This portal provides real time data and allows for adjustments if there are system limitations outside of the control of the driver (such as a major accident causing traffic).
In the end, Louisiana Machinery has an effective and efficient parts supply chain process and has become a mentor to other CAT dealers interested in modeling this parts distribution process.
Louisiana Machinery Co. is the statewide dealer for CAT engines and equipment in Louisiana with 21 locations across Louisiana. Established in 1928 as Louisiana Tractor and Machinery Company, they are now headquartered in Reserve, La., outside of New Orleans.
Dupré Logistics LLC is a team of professionals who design and deliver safe, diversified solutions and services for quality-focused clients committed to increasing their competitive advantage. Dupré has more than 1,000 team members and is headquartered in Lafayette, La. For more information, visit www.duprelogistics.com.