Case Study

Implementing Our Future State Solution

Client Profile

Founded more than 100 years ago and headquartered in the United States, our client is a large independent distributor of thousands of products servicing more than 10,000 retail locations across Canada and the US.


As the company entered the 21st century, our client was experiencing difficulty using supply chain technology to streamline their processes, maintain communications, and consolidate their entire operating structure. As a result, they had numerous pain points affecting their ability to efficiently control costs, manage their freight carriers, and be more profitable.


Carrier Costs were increasing YOY with no projected savings

  • Lack of strong relationships with current logistics service providers who are invested in the same vision of continuous improvement

Quality Performance 

  • Due to the product’s characteristics, there was a high number of over, short, and damaged goods (OS&Ds) at the time of delivery

Poor Account Management with their current provider and indirectly with carriers, resulting in little improvement on achieving strategic goals.

  • Lack of meaningful supply chain metrics
  • Lack of proactive approach to daily operational requirements (i.e., fully utilizing client equipment, holiday schedules, peak requirements, etc.)
  • Strategic collaborative goals (i.e., minimizing damages or improving on-time service to the east coast)
  • Real-time visibility on tracking updates
  • No regular meeting cadence with current provider

Complicated transportation network making identifying a suitable partner carrier difficult

  • Hazardous material shipped on every delivery route, therefore all carriers and drivers must be fit to haul and handle dangerous goods
  • Sourcing suitable providers that have capabilities to provide service for all transportation requirements, such as:
    • Dangerous Goods
    • Heat (Winter Months)
    • LCV capabilities
    • Cross-dock (depending on regional coverage)
    • Dedicated “DSD” service
    • LTL capabilities
  • Lack of diversification in transportation network to mitigate risk
  • No proactive sourcing of providers to diversify carrier pool and provide national coverage for network


Carrier Costs

  • Anticipated a 10% increase by incumbent in transportation costs for next term
  • Incumbent has not presented initiatives to reduce costs or aid in backhaul opportunities
  • Inadequate driver pay structure resulting in driver dissatisfaction and high turnover
  • High cost to rent equipment that supports peak fleet volumes
  • Inability to maximize equipment utilization for every backhaul shipment

Inability to capitalize on additional backhaul opportunities to increase revenue streams


  • Client was using out-of-date supply chain technology, relying heavily on driver relationship and consistency
  • No innovation in technology as needs changed

Quality Performance

  • End customer delivery experience impacted by high driver turnover and inconsistency in service and load recovery
  • OS&D issues, such as delivering a product to the incorrect stop or lack of careful handling, due to product characteristics
  • Incumbent provider struggled with peak volumes and seasonality
  • Substandard maintenance of trailer and equipment leading to High occurrences of repair issues
  • Lack of standardization and/or SOP documentation to support drivers

Account Management

  • Lack of business review framework, no regular cadence to meetings
  • Lack of meaningful supply chain metrics and reporting
  • No service level agreements (SLA) in place
  • No innovation or continuous improvement initiatives brought forward

Transportation network

  • One national provider managing multiple regional areas within Canada out of a single distribution centre
  • High priority placed on delivery experience and consistency
  • Rigid shipping and delivery schedule combined with short order lead times
  • Concerns with having one large fleet provider in comparison to regional SME’s

“At Cedric Millar, we love complex supply chains. It’s an opportunity for our team to showcase the scalability and flexibility of our solutions, while helping our clients solve their most pressing pain points.” – Brian Ware, Managing Director, Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions


Our initial discovery meetings are among the most critical parts of developing a customized solution. These meetings provide the opportunity to fully understand every detail of our client’s business and lay out a roadmap that will take our clients where they want to be.

It’s the only way to design fully customized logistics solutions – because we believe out-of-the-box solutions should stay in the box.


  • Discussion of the current state of the client network and the pain points they were currently experiencing
  • Explanation of Cedric Millar’s unique approach and our solution development process
  • Alignment on the client’s interest in moving forward with a Cedric Millar solution and confirmation of next steps
  • Execution of NDA
  • Circulation of data requirements to begin current state development

Subsequent steps to developing the client solution included:

  • Received data sets for 3PL Carrier and Dedicated Fleet activity
  • Data summaries and current state business profiles created and validated
  • Site visit and detailed follow up of current processes and tools
  • Launched RFQ’s for both Fleet and 3PL Carrier activity
  • Carrier introduction meetings for 3PL Carriers
  • Carrier introductions meetings for Dedicated Fleet
  • Ongoing communication to understand details and operational procedures

At this point, our team began creating a customized solution that would put our client’s pain points to rest.


Our team, including our skilled engineers, developed our Future State solution which included our “Lift, Shift, and Uplift” model. This integrated solution included a structured, multi-phase onboarding that would transform the client’s business without affecting service levels to their customers.

The Cedric Millar “Lift, Shift, and Uplift” model included the following onboarding phases:

  • Transition Plan developed collaboratively by the client and Cedric Millar team
  • Client Communication advising incumbent suppliers of Cedric Millar’s new role within the system
  • Supplier Re-engagement step to renew incumbent supplier relationships to properly onboard them and manage performance
  • Driver Assessment that empowered our client to replace underperforming drivers and add high-performing drivers
  • Equipment Rationalization to determine the need for additional or replacement equipment for trailers and tractors
  • Business Intelligence & Reporting that help us identify and highlight KPIs
  • Benchmark current OS&D & fines and establish future goals
  • Continuous improvement that defined CI Opportunities and a plan to achieve them

Our team diligently kept our client in the loop during every phase of Cedric Millar’s “Lift, Shift, and Uplift” model, so they were fully informed on how our solution was helping solve their pain points now and into the future.

We also implemented two tech-based solutions to streamline the client’s process:

Cedric Millar Lighthouse® TMS: Our fully-integrated Transportation Management System that integrates every aspect of their supply chain into one view, including route and load optimization, delivery visibility/track & trace, and much more

Cedric Millar Quest™ Driver Delivery App: Mobile technology that facilitates paperless driver management by capturing delivery signatures, arrival date & time, photos, driver’s notes, OS&D notes, and more, as well as instant communication between driver and manager

“We always make sure to involve the client at every step without distracting them from their day-to-day operations. Our solutions are developed to make the transition and integration as seamless and efficient as possible.” – Sejal Sheth, Senior Director of Technology & Integration.


The design and implementation of Cedric Millar’s Future State solution process integrated seamlessly with their existing systems and quickly brought several tangible results, including:

  • Significant Year 1 costs savings of >8% that will grow incrementally year over year
  • Improvements in customer service and satisfaction
  • Elevated delivery performance and reliability
  • Increase long combination vehicle usage
  • Improved carrier stability and risk mitigation by using high-performing carriers
  • Regular cadence of communication with customer, supported by a robust business review framework.
  • Diversified supplier base to add more coverage, support, and stability in the network.

“It’s very gratifying to see our solutions solve our clients’ supply chain pain points. However, it’s even more gratifying to identify areas of improvement as time goes on to ensure that our solution will bring sustainable and incremental cost savings long into the future.” – Lisa Molinaro, Director 4PL Operations


After our team successfully deployed the Cedric Millar Future State solution and brought the client to a “steady state”, the client approached us to expand the scope of our services to them.

We expanded our solution to include managing our client’s internal fleet, including complete route execution and management and a fully customized and managed customer portal. We also recruited, and trained a Cedric Millar employee to manage the day-to-day operations of the solution at the customer’s head office.

The management of our client’s fleet led to Cedric Millar’s development of our Quest™ Driver Delivery App. This app is designed for drivers to better understand their route details and manage their day-to-day deliveries to optimize the customer delivery experience. The app supports better management and tracking of drivers and equipment right at the user’s fingertips.

Additional client service opportunities identified:

  • Introduce tech-based solutions with common carriers
  • Pursue Long Combination Vehicle (LCV) opportunities
  • Optimized Carrier Backhauls
  • Ongoing “Cost to Serve” analysis reporting supported by our single source TMS
  • Small package solution using Cedric Millar’s ShipTime application
  • Leverage the client’s capacity with Cedric Millar customers/carriers
  • Leverage co-mingling opportunities

“We enjoy creating success stories for our clients with solutions that bring success. This client was no exception. They were a pleasure to work with from day one, and we’re proud to be their valued partner in profit sustainability and growth for years to come” – Brian Ware, Managing Director, Cedric Millar Integrated Solutions


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