TOTAL Logistics Management Solutions
St. Louis, Missouri USA
January 19, 2010
By
Richard Armstrong

Key Personnel:
Dennis Schoemehl, President & CEO
Scott Hunt, Chief Financial Officer
Jim Simon, Chief Operating Officer
Tracy Meetre, Vice President of Supply Chain Solutions
Jeff Brasier, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Greg Umstead, Vice President of Operations
Kerry Carey, Marketing Manager

Logistics Management Solutions (LMS) is a high quality transportation manager with an emphasis on transportation execution. The core of LMS’ approach is its TOTAL software solution. The standard operating processes of the 140 LMS employees are highly integrated with TOTAL. TOTAL is a robust, yet easy to use, web based system which runs step by step from order receipt through delivery and payment.

TOTAL runs on a Microsoft Solutions Framework (.NET) with an underlying SQL 2000 database. It is integrated with Great Plains for accounting and financial tasks. To date, TOTAL has been integrated with multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems including: SAP, Oracle, J.D. Edwards, and PeopleSoft and has been deployed for customers in less than 90 days.

TOTAL has three major systems components:

  1. “TOTALOptimization”: Order Management, Shipment Optimization, Automated Load Planning, Continuous Move Programs, Collaborative Networks
  2. “TOTALExecution”: Planning, Load Tendering, Customer/Carrier Communication, Shipment Verification, Shipment Tracking and Tracing
  3. “TOTALVision”: eRoute Guides, Vendor Compliance Programs, Rate Management, Freight Payment Integration, On-line Reporting

TOTAL has been very well thought out and designed. It is competitive with major transportation management system (TMS) vendor products including i2 Transportation Manager and Oracle Transportation Management (G-Log GC3) for domestic transportation management.

Denny Schoemehl started LMS in 1996 to meet the needs of Monsanto who was looking for fresh approach to their over-the-road operations. Schoemehl had a background in less-than-truckload (LTL) trucking and an earnest interest in designing a transportation execution solution that eliminated “surprises”. With Monsanto supporting him, Schoemehl began to build LMS.

LMS is currently managing inbound and outbound truckload and LTL for multiple divisions of Monsanto. These shipments include: packaged chemicals, packaged seed, expedited shipments, distribution center stock transfers and customer deliveries.

LMS personnel also provide freight bill processing services to Monsanto.

Schoemehl’s success at Monsanto led to LMS’ winning and expanding TMS services for BASF. Along the way, LMS developed a unique capacity for managing liquid and dry bulk transportation. LMS now handles about 100,000 bulk loads per year. In addition, LMS has 37 employees embedded in BASF transportation management. LMS provides daily transportation execution and planning for North American domestic and bulk shipments. For BASF, LMS has two analysts at its Edison, New Jersey control center who work on continuous improvement and design projects. LMS’ activities not only pay for themselves, they have saved BASF millions over the years.

A piece of the thoroughness of LMS’ transportation execution is its 14 person call center which continually tracks shipments. Whenever there is a failure to provide major event information (pickup/completed, delivery/completed, delay in transit, etc.), call center personnel phone the carrier and often the driver to get the latest information. This service is part of the LMS “no surprises” solution for its customers. The “no surprises” solution is a good example of LMS as a unique, routinely proactive transportation manager.

LMS also accommodates non-EDI, smaller carriers better than most 3PL transportation managers. LMS gets this accommodation back in service and better pricing.

Optimizations and routing plans are run the day before shipment pickup as soon as all orders are received from customers. Running totals of savings are maintained. After optimization, tender notices are sent to carriers who have 20 minutes to respond indicating their agreement to handle shipments. LMS uses 50 truckload and 20 LTL carriers to handle the majority of shipments. TOTAL provides information on each step of the process – including tracking and tracing. Four teams manage and monitor all planning and execution steps for their individual accounts. To ensure that problems are limited, the 14 person event management control group watches closely, especially in off hours, and starts making calls whenever TOTAL indicates a need for a particular shipment.

LMS has expanded its transportation management activities to inbound and export containers. Schoemehl and his team will be expanding LMS’ international capability over the next few years.

Unlike many of its competitors, LMS has continued to grow in 2009. Gross revenues will be about $100 million. Gross margins are in the C. H. Robinson range and profits are strong enough to sustain significant organic growth.

 

Sources: A&A Primary Research, https://www.transplace.com

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