Guest Commentary: American Hotel Register Makes Every Load and Mile Count

As a frequent guest in hotels across the country, I have many more idiosyncrasies about things like linens, shampoos, coffee and ice buckets than the normal traveler. By no means do I express the eccentric behavior of Mr. Bean, rather I’m more curious about where these items came from and how many trucks it took to get them here. Typically, hotels use suppliers to fill rooms with everything from teeny tiny soaps to bed frames and box springs.

American Hotel Register is one of the premier suppliers to the hospitality industry for more than 145 years. The family-owned company offers hotels the broadest product selection, ranging from sheets and towels to amenities and equipment to fixtures and furniture. With seven domestic and four international DCs, American Hotel Register provides next day delivery service by private fleet, small parcel, LTL, and other modes of transportation.

The company previously used a paper routing guide to manage its entire transportation process. With more than 34,000 SKUs and 500 overall suppliers, American Hotel Register saw an immediate need to reduce transportation spend. Like many companies lacking a proper transportation management system (TMS), American Hotel Register lacked visibility into its procedures; therefore, it was wasting a significant amount of time and money every year.

American Hotel Register evaluated TMS solutions available on many different delivery platforms, from installed to hosted to software-as-a-service (SaaS). The company ultimately selected a SaaS TMS because it offered the quickest ROI, while meeting its objectives for enhanced visibility, process automation, and inbound shipment optimization (among other things).

After an 8-week implementation, the company achieved net transportation savings of 13 percent, a 60 percent reduction in non-compliance issues, and consolidation loads increased from an average of 2 per month to 27 per month. Most importantly, the company received complete ROI within 2 months. Now American Hotel Register is able to analyze metrics such as lead times for suppliers, tender acceptance to better manage carriers, and track weekly/monthly freight savings.

“Our goal was to save $2,000 per day right out of the gate, with the first two months exceeding $100,000,” said the Vice President of Distribution and Logistics of American Register Hotel. “We’re currently well above those numbers, which doesn’t even include the results of our procurement event yet.”

So, what is the key takeaway here?

Companies that are still using manual or legacy systems are blindfolding themselves to the cost savings and transportation process optimization that a software-as-a-service TMS platform can provide. The benefits of SaaS solutions include:

  • Visibility: SaaS TMS solutions give shippers, carriers, suppliers, consignees and other trading partners the ability to conduct business on the same software instance, on the same platform. As a result, users have visibility across the entire network of members, as well as into their own supply chain, to determine best moves.
  • Collaboration: A SaaS TMS enables multiple parties to leverage technologies through a common platform and gain access to a collaborative network. It also provides opportunities to connect with other network members for additional capacity.
  • Scalability & Flexibility: Having control of your transportation process on one platform allows you to continuously integrate and easily access data resulting in an efficient and cohesive supply chain. With a SaaS TMS, companies can scale infrastructure to proactively react to shifts in the supply chain and quickly adapt technology based on changing business needs.
  • Cost Structure: Companies can better manage their bottom line with SaaS TMS solutions while seeing greater savings at a faster rate. SaaS-based TMS lack the large up-front investments usually required by installed solutions and typical implementation is 10-12 weeks.

The bottom line: By gaining visibility into the process, transportation professionals can make every load and every mile count. Even the simplest item, such as teeny tiny hotel soap, is impacted by technology available in the transportation industry.

Chris Timmer is Chief Operations Officer at LeanLogistics. Chris is responsible for overall strategy, positioning and growth of the LeanLogistics solutions, including SaaS platform development and deployment and the expansion of the company’s service footprint internationally. Chris has over 20 years of experience in transportation and logistics management and he regularly speaks at industry events and has been recognized as a leader in the SaaS solution space.