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Pep Boys

Better Planning Gets More Products To Stores Faster

Pep Boys

With five distributions centres (DCs) each handling from 50 to 150 trailers daily at each DC, Pep Boys needed greater visibility into just what was in those trailers, as well as where each trailer was at any given moment. But that kind of transparency and visibility just wasn't possible by manually reviewing Excel spreadsheets, because they don't provide actionable real-time information.

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The Challenge

  • Visibility into trailer traffic and inventory
  • Increasing inbound and outbound flow efficiency
  • Manual, paper based, trailer tracking processes

Pep Boys ships everything under the hood for everyone, from the enthusiastic do-it-yourself mechanic to the average car owner. The Philadelphia-based company distributes automobile parts and accessories, from polish to turbo mufflers, to its 562 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico.

With five distributions centres (DCs) each handling from 50 to 150 trailers daily at each DC, Pep Boys needed greater visibility into just what was in those trailers, as well as where each trailer was at any given moment. But that kind of transparency and visibility just wasn't possible by manually reviewing Excel spreadsheets, because they don't provide actionable real-time information needed to make Pep Boys' operation more efficient.

"Some of our distribution centres have 10 receiving doors, some have 30 receiving doors," explained Gary Derrick, logistics manager for Pep Boys. "We need to make sure the right trailer with the right inventory gets to the right receiving door. That's a complicated process. So anything that can reduce the amount of time your trucks are idling and the amount of time it takes to get a truck in and to the right receiving door, helps your

The Solution

Real-time Scheduler Delivers Greater Efficiency
Navis Yard Solutions help companies such as Pep Boys take charge of its DCs by providing real-time visibility of inventory, centralized management of transportation assets and Scheduler, reporting and performance monitoring. Being able to book appointments into a distribution centre allows for a steady flow of inventory moving in and out of the yard, alleviating bottlenecks of trailers stocked with inventory. Or even worse, trailers sit stagnant in the yard while operations tries to figure out which trailer needs to go where. Any successful retail business - such as Pep Boys - that relies on a steady flow of products into its stores needs greater efficiency and inventory at every touch point in its supply chain.

"Navis Yard is such a robust system," added Derrick. "All three components (Yard, Scheduler and Visibility) provide us with the real-time information and insight that we need to reduce the time trailers spend at the DCs. We have much better visibility into what is out there, whether it's parts, tires or accessories."

The suite of Navis Yard solutions goes beyond what is just happening at Pep Boys' five DCs. Because the Scheduler is accessible via a user-friendly Webbrowser, shippers, truckers and suppliers can schedule their own drop-offs, reviewing available times online, which prevents too many trailers from coming in at the same time, or lulls in activity. Scheduler automatically looks at Pep Boys' appointments to determine optimal yard capacity, giving the yard hostler real-time information.

This has minimized idle time at the DCs, streamlining inbound and outbound flows and increasing trailer utilization. And since the yard hostler can access real-time information about which trailers are coming to the yard, Pep Boys distribution centres has been better able to prioritize inbound and outbound flows, thereby eliminating unpredictable peaks and valleys in trailer traffic at the DCs.

"This has really freed up the hostlers to do their job," said Derrick. "Instead of flipping through spreadsheets trying to figure out what is where, they have the information ready at their fingertips. This has streamlined our receiving, shipping and returns processes. We're not blindly picking and choosing which trucks to bring to the door. We always know which trailers have been out there the longest, and which ones are priorities."

Results

Real-time Visibility Improves Logistics
Navis Yard solutions have given Pep Boys a competitive edge. The Company now knows where one truck or one hundred trucks are located at any given moment. Since some carriers leave empty trailers in Pep Boys' yards, the Company can now tell which ones those are, and then get them out of the yard, keeping the yard clean and the trucks with inventory close to the DCs.

"We never had this kind of visibility before," said Derrick. "Yard checks had to be done physically in the yard looking at spreadsheets, and then confirming inventory by pulling trailers to the door. This is about improving distribution, and we finally found something that has made us more efficient. Not only has Navis Yard made it easier to see what's out there, it's made us more proactive than reactive, and has helped us plan better. Ultimately, that means getting more products to our stores faster."