December 7, 2018
How American Metalcraft serves up digital transformation with Flexport
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Maker of the first deep-dish pizza pan, American Metalcraft is a leading wholesale producer of kitchen and restaurant-ware. Based in Franklin, IL, they sell over 3000 trend-focused bar, kitchen, table-top, and buffet supply products to wholesale buyers nationwide.
For this almost 100-year-old company, a focus on product development meant that upgrading its supply chain processes took a back seat. Legacy logistics processes made it difficult for American Metalcraft to efficiently manage its in-transit inventory and accurately measure its total product cost.
American Metalcraft sought a digital upgrade to the freight forwarding portion of their supply chain. In Flexport they found a technology-based solution, giving their buying and finance teams more visibility and control over shipments in their supply chain and enabling them to make smarter and quicker decisions.
In the 1940s, American Metalcraft got their start producing hubcaps for automobiles. Fast-forward to today, and they're a major national wholesaler of kitchen and restaurant-ware. With reinvention in its company DNA, it's no surprise that they still continue this type of transformation ‒ only today with their supply chain.
At the time when Patrick Lindemann, chief financial officer, joined the company, they had been working with the same forwarder for over a decade. "Our relationship was quintessentially legacy," says Lindemann. "Our team was always waiting a few days for updates on our shipments."
And for a company with thousands of simultaneously moving pieces of inventory, every day counts.
After looking in the market for new forwarders, Lindemann says the choice was obvious. "Flexport came in with such energy and exuberance," he says. "Yes, the technology was very attractive, but it was their spirit that broke the mold of what you traditionally think of a freight forwarder ‒ and that excited me."
With Flexport, American Metalcraft's buying team has found the greater transparency into their in-transit inventory they were looking for, enabling them to move quicker ‒ and smarter. "Today with Flexport's platform, our buyers are notified of delays the moment they occur. They can immediately focus their attention on resolving the issue at hand, and notifying teammates downstream," says Lindemann.
The added visibility and real-time notifications have also been game-changers for their finance team, who is able to pull timely financial data to assess the financial health of their supply chain. "Having invoice data available on the Flexport platform allows us to accurately calculate the product cost across shipments. I can also efficiently reconcile what's in-transit with what's on my balance sheet. The visibility Flexport provides from a financial standpoint can't be overstated."
Partners in change
For American Metalcraft, a new digital solution hasn't just meant more transparency and an updated workflow. "Since switching to Flexport, our team had this aha moment. There's a change in mindset and culture that comes with digitally transforming your processes and challenging the notion of 'Well, that's how we've always done things,'" says Lindemann.
What advice does Lindemann have for other companies looking to invest in digital solutions? "Change is scary, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Flexport worked with us each step of the way to make sure we were getting the most out of their platform and our partnership. And at the end of the day, that's what we have in Flexport: a true partner for our supply chain."
For more information as to how Flexport can bring visibility to your supply chain, contact us here or at (855) FLEX-123.