CASE STUDY

Automation of Decisions Delivers Hard Dollar Savings

THE COMPANY

As a publicly traded company, UniFirst is one of North America’s largest workwear and textile service companies, providing managed uniform, protective clothing, and custom corporate image apparel programs to businesses in diverse industries.

In addition to outfitting nearly 2 million workers in clean uniforms each workday, they also have a hand in keeping businesses clean, safe, and healthy through their Facility Service programs making UniFirst a single-source solution for a variety of needs.

THE CHALLENGE

UniFirst had numerous challenges with inbound shipping to their Owensboro, KY based Distribution Center. These included: supplier compliance, lack of supplier visibility, carrier routing, provider tendering and location based cost coding.

THE SOLUTION

UniFirst implemented SwanLeap’s Supplier Portal and best in class freight payment and auditing platform. This provided a number of improvements to the current process as outsourced to another company.

The Supplier Portal gave all providers a centralized website to create shipments going to UniFirst’s distribution center (Inbound). Suppliers now enter all shipment details into the Unifirst branded portal, which is a direct port to SwanLeap’s leading Transportation Management System. Once the supplier completes the details, SwanLeap’s Artificial Intelligence then optimizes the mode, provider and tender to ensure the transit times are met at the lowest cost provider.

Location based cost coding was also solved by providing complex costing logic which ensured that all location managers at UniFirst had real-time visibility into all costs deemed applicable to their individual location’s profitability report.

THE RESULTS

Overall UniFirst saved 13.3% in annual freight costs simply by utilizing SwanLeap’s AI to optimize shipments. This result was a surprise to UniFirst who had previously implemented a best in class procurement process for frequent pricing review and quality standards with providers. In addition, SwanLeap enabled individual locations to see the costs for individual shipments billed to their location without calling the distribution center to question every freight charge. This was a tremendous reduction in time and confidence between departments.

“SwanLeap is our trusted guide down the path of growth.”

Dave Roberts
General Manager of Distribution, UniFirst Corporation