Smooth Moves in International Logistics

Frontier Logistics Services, Inc., a licensed Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) and freight forwarder located in Compton, CA, operates a full-service US Customs-approved container freight station, warehousing facility, and trucking fleet. As one of the largest third-party distributors of Samsung Electronics America, Frontier houses and distributes Samsung inventory to major retailers throughout the US.
Because of their strong partnership, Samsung turned to Frontier to help them capitalize on the rapid growth of the electronics market in the US. Samsung wanted Frontier to integrate their warehouse tracking system with Samsung’s own supplier SAP system to synch logistics operations and have instant access to tracking data, including inventory quantities and serial numbers.

Demand for Deep Detail

The opportunity to expand their relationship with Samsung came at a good time. Frontier executives were well aware of the limits of their homegrown legacy systems, which simply would not deliver the level of detail they required. Additionally, it was clear that the systems they had would not scale to support their future growth goals.
A cost-benefit analysis revealed a clear course of action: To meet the increasing demands of current business with Samsung – and to develop capabilities that would attract new customers – Frontier would need to move forward with a new best-in-class solution from SAP. “We knew that capturing, managing, and reporting far more specific information would be profitable to Samsung and our other customers, and it would make Frontier a better logistics partner,” recalls Jeff Woo, Frontier’s IT Manager.
Global Enterprise Management Solutions (GEMS) out of Irving, TX, a leading provider of mySAP All-in-One solutions to the small and midsize business (SMB) market, showed Frontier how to achieve both of their major goals: Improving current business by setting new standards for logistics and inventory management, and attracting new customers. “GEMS is focused on empowering clients with the ability to meet revenue goals, expand markets and respond quickly to customer demands,” says Suresh Ketha, GEMS’ CEO. “We know SMBs like Frontier don’t have the time to devote to long implementation cycles. The pre-packaged, turnkey mySAP All-in-One mService solution implemented by GEMS made it easy for Frontier to quickly gain the benefits of a new solution without taking time or energy away from their business.”

Capabilities Unique in the Logistics Industry

Designed specifically for the logistics service provider industry and incorporating industry best practices, GEMS’ mService includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship (CRM) functionality that enables Frontier to manage operations across the whole delivery cycle, from receipt of order to customer billing. GEMS delivered the solution for Frontier in 90 days, from start to finish, at a fixed cost and fixed timeline that mapped to Frontier’s budget.
The solution leverages SAP’s new Warehouse Control Systems (WM-LSR) module that provides the ability to manage and track inventory by bin and individual handling unit, for both inbound and outbound processes.
The result is a high degree of intelligence in movement of inventory. In fact, the solution is capable of handling unit tracking by serial number in real time, a capability unique in the industry. “Other solutions can track the number of items, say TVs or appliances, but they can’t track to the serialization level. This is a distinct efficiency advantage for Frontier and Samsung’s current business. It is also attracting attention in the industry, and with it additional customers, just as we had hoped,” comments Daniel Park, Frontier’s General Manager.

Processes internally have taken a quantum leap into real efficiency and accuracy, as well. For instance, warehouse workers, formerly saddled with a cumbersome warehousing process that required paper-based writeups and repetitive data entry, now use radio frequency guns. The warehouse transactions are RF-enabled, with real-time SAP IDOC interfaces back to Samsung.
The ability to handle this level of data management positively impacts on capacity planning. Samsung and Frontier both have visibility to the lot and bin location level so they can be far more proactive in planning and utilizing space and labor, and in meeting commitments to retail outlets. These capabilities truly add value to the services Frontier is providing to Samsung.
“We now have far greater confidence in our forecasting and planning because we can base decisions on solid real-time information,” says Brian Chung, Frontier’s President and CEO.
GEMS also created a real-time supplier interface, which allows Frontier to communicate through the entire order process directly with Samsung. And the solution contains SAP’s powerful and flexible customer billing capability for effectively managing the entire customer process from first customer contact through financial settlement.

Solution is Even Better than Frontier Expected

Since the GEMS implementation of the mySAP All-in-One Solution, Frontier is now experiencing significant improvements in the metrics on which Samsung and other customers measure third-party logistics suppliers (3PLs): Inventory accuracy, shipping accuracy, and speed/on-time shipping. And they required no additional labor and minimal training to become fully functional.
According to IT Manager Jeff Woo, the data conversion from Frontier’s legacy systems to the new mySAP All-in-One solution, a process that can make many IT managers nervous, was easy. “It’s very difficult to imagine how we could have achieved so much without GEMS. I heard from a lot of people that SAP solutions were good, and they’re even better than I thought. Now I can go home at 6:00 every evening and not worry about my systems. This was unheard of before the GEMS mService solution.”
Building on this positive experience, President Chung says, “I anticipate smooth implementation of Phase II, in which GEMS will deliver one of the first North American deployments of the SAP Global Tracking Solution, providing us with additional support for managing the complexities of global trade and regulatory compliance. Our operations just keep getting better and smoother all the time.”

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Christine Macfarlane
Christine Macfarlane