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An Alcohol Distribution Center

The Situation

A large alcohol distribution company that provides services across the United States was having issues with their organization on many levels. One of the most critical priorities was to remedy the electronic data interchange (EDI) Chain Orders. With the expansion of several new facilities in different states, there were challenges with unique state laws, software inventory issues, and the desire to continue to provide excellent customer service. These difficulties resulted in low fill rates and customer dissatisfaction. Consequently, there was high turnover in operations, resulting in an inexperienced labor force. Moreover, the lack of effective communication had negative repercussions across the company, leaving it on the verge of losing its biggest accounts.

The Solution

MLC & Associates listened to the client’s challenges and worked closely with the company at every level in every department. First MLC translated the MLC Standard Operations Procedures from the initial corporate location to fit all current state requirements. Next, MLC continued to write quick ‘how to’ guides as we assessed, observed, interviewed different departments, and provided training to address gaps across the organization’s processes.

MLC worked with the executive team and several other departments, taking a hands-on approach in the warehouse. After identifying the root cause to several issues, MLC suggested implementing a company “Chains Task Force” group that would work collaboratively for a week to track orders in real time from beginning to end to identify and resolve any problems. This created better communication throughout the company and allowed the company to put plans in place to address gaps in the ordering and fulfillment process.

In addition to the Chains Task Force being implemented, MLC also recorded all inbound EDI purchase order reports, allowing them to capture inaccuracies and highlight the root cause of low fill rates. Using the recorded data MLC created a dashboard to track and monitor performance. MLC conducted weekly reporting for the dashboard, including KPIs such as fill rates, issues fixed, and types of issues per customer.

Here were the specific outcomes after implementation in a period of 9 weeks:

  • Delivered high fill rates
  • Satisfied customers significantly
  • More streamlined communication throughout the company to combat any number of issues quickly and efficiently
  • A unified company awareness of roles and responsibilities resulting in confident employees
  • Restored trust in the distribution company with their customers, resulting in increased sales and profitability

The Benefits

With this project’s success, the company was able to meet its goal and consequently solve many other problems that arose along the way. MLC was able to create an extensive number of evergreen SOPs and guides to help train and educate sales, customer service, and warehouse employees. Most importantly, they can efficiently manage this project internally and continue to maintain their excellent fill rates and satisfied customers.