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Going The Distance With Flexible Freight Solutions

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 6:28am

Chr. Hansen is a leading global supplier of bioscience-based ingredients for the food, health and animal feed industries. On-time delivery of these high-value, time-sensitive ingredients is expected. And, if expectations are unmet, customer relationships hinge on the quick and complete resolution of any issues.

“Our enzymes, cultures and colors are crucial components in the value chain of our customers’ products,” says David R. Carpenter, president of Chr. Hansen NA. “With Evans Transportation Services, we don’t worry about shipping. No matter how complex the shipment, their deep knowledge and experience in all modes of transportation delivers ROI.”

For 15 years, Chr. Hansen has partnered with Evans, a third-party logistics company, to handle all outbound and inbound freight. The ongoing relationship is based on Evans’ proven ability to generate efficiencies within the supply chain, flexibility in responding to short-lead customer requests, and significant negotiating power to generate cost savings.

Many companies focus solely on outbound freight, because these shipments are most visible in producing end-user customer satisfaction. Working with Evans, however, Chr. Hansen also recognized an opportunity to gain more control over its inbound transportation of raw materials.

“When we manage inbound freight for a customer, they can save at least an additional 10 percent in shipping-related costs,” says Dennis Beaudry, Evans’ vice president of key accounts. “If the raw materials do not arrive on time and in receivable order to meet production schedules, it’s difficult to deliver anything to the end-user customer, much less on time and in good working order.”

Chr. Hansen’s experience with Evans on both sides of the freight equation demonstrates the 3PL’s commitment to partnering with a company at all levels. Beyond shipping and receiving, Evans works with accounting, production, customer service and many others to ensure efficiencies are realized throughout a company.

“Evans saves us time, money and headaches because they know all the rules and the little nuances of shipping in the food industry,” says Besnik Hidri, Chr. Hansen NA customer service manager. “Evans goes to bat for us when issues arise. We don’t experience much damage to our shipments, but when Evans handles carrier claims, nearly 100 percent of our claims are reimbursed at a level to cover the cost of the production of goods.”

From determining cost of freight to specific value-added reporting, Evans’ industry-leading proprietary software provides complete client transparency throughout the supply chain and plays a significant role in improving Chr. Hansen’s profitability.

“We access instantaneous price quotes we can trust,” Hidri says, “and we work closely with Evans to reduce the number of times a person handles data and subsequent errors. Fewer corrections and less time spent auditing and reconciling generates significant, positive impact to our cash position and cash management.”

Chr. Hansen’s cultures, dairy enzymes, probiotics and natural colors require specialized handling. Damage is always a concern when transporting these sensitive ingredients. When the rare damage incident occurs, the process requires significant resources, experience and expertise to quickly resolve any issues.

“Our business is built on accommodating the customer and we could not cost-effectively maintain the service levels our customers demand without Evans’ flexible freight solutions,” Hidri says. “Our confidence level is definitely high with Evans, because I know we can deliver on just about any request for our customers.”

Hidri frequently reflects on what he describes as a defining moment in the history of Evans relationship with Chr. Hansen. That moment came over a Christmas holiday when a Canadian cheese manufacturer wanted to take advantage of unusually low milk prices. Most U.S. operations were shuttered for the holiday. Hidri took the customer call for a shipment of cultures. He did not make any promises, but said he would see what he could do to get this mission critical shipment from Milwaukee, Wis., to Canada during the holiday.

“I was shocked at Evans’ ability to find a carrier to haul the shipment on such short notice over a holiday,” Hidri says. “This is the level of service that has created considerable loyalty among Chr. Hansen customers.”

For Chr. Hansen, Evans’ wealth of experience in all modes of transportation also stands up to scrutiny when benchmarked against ROI of other third-party logistics providers.

“We’ve benchmarked Evans against the rest of the industry and even issued an RFP to ensure they are doing a good job by industry standards,” Carpenter says. “They are competitive and responsive to our needs as our business model changes. For these and many other reasons, Evans consistently finishes on top when the dust clears.”

Evans’ CEO Don Cox attributes his company’s success to a hands-on approach and Evans’ proprietary software used in creating an efficient transportation process.

“We’re a company that uses 25 years in this business to understand the efficiencies, needs and challenges involved in transportation,” Cox says. “For us, it’s about focusing on customer needs and then using our deep industry experience to acquire quality data to efficiently determine the optimal carrier based on cost, service and specific client requirements.”

For more information, visit www.evanstrans.com.

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