For millions of high school students, earning a varsity letter jacket is a crowning scholastic achievement they'll remember for a lifetime. But streamlining the time between earning that letter and actually receiving it comes down to logistics speed and agility. Something we know a little about.
Since 1949, Neff® has been a leading supplier of varsity letter jackets, custom apparel and awards. Based in Greenville, OH, Neff partners with more than half of U.S. high schools, serving millions of students. Not only is a custom letter jacket a symbol of hard work, sacrifice and success, it’s a lifetime keepsake. So getting them to schools fast for fall and spring award ceremonies is critical. That’s why Neff turned to an award-winning logistics company for an assist.
"UPS Trade Direct has been a strategic solution for us. It helps us provide the most consistent, dependable and cost-effective delivery option from plant to customer. We’re now a one-stop shop in the Dominican Republic. And the day after product ships from there, it’s on a brown truck headed to a customer in the U.S."
Jeff Loos, Director of Offshore Manufacturing, Neff
Raw materials from all over the world flowed into Neff’s factory in the Dominican Republic. From there products were manufactured and customized, and time-sensitive orders from all over the U.S. were fulfilled daily. Given the criticality of these orders, Neff wondered if they could find ways to cut days and cost from their global supply chain, while still maintaining the customer satisfaction for which they were known.
Neff knew UPS’s domestic capabilities from working with them for more than 60 years. Now they needed global logistics expertise, too. First, UPS streamlined the raw-material supply chain, consolidating LCL shipments to twice-a-month departure via ocean freight. Then they introduced UPS Trade Direct® Air shipping, providing the economy of a freight carrier and the expedited delivery of a package carrier. Daily packages are consolidated into one bulk shipment at the Dominican factory. They quickly clear customs as one air freight shipment (at freight rates) and fly to Miami. There, UPS deconsolidates shipments and labels each package for final delivery to schools. Packages are out for delivery by the next day. Visibility was also dramatically improved with UPS Flex® Global View software, a supply chain event management and visibility tool that enables Neff to keep track of everything from dock to door.
By compressing its entire order-to-delivery cycle, Neff earned a varsity letter in supply chain streamlining. Duplicate operations were eliminated, multiple handling steps removed and turn times made faster and cheaper. UPS Trade Direct enabled consistent, cost-effective delivery to customers, and allowed Neff to take single-unit online orders they couldn’t before. With visibility improved, Neff could also keep customers in the loop, strengthening their competitive position and further enhancing customer service.
With UPS's help managing warehousing, kitting, distribution, returns and redeployment, this K-12 course materials provider advanced to the head of the supply chain class.
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