Office Depot is the leading consumer and business-to-business retailer and distributor of office products serving small, medium and enterprise companies through more than 1,300 brick-and-mortar stores and a robust eCommerce site. Both store and online orders are fulfilled through a system of distribution centers that receive scheduled shipments. Navigating these shipments from port of entry to the end user is essential to the company’s success.
For years, Office Depot’s products arrived through a single port of entry in thousands of containers, which were then railed to 15 distribution centers. It was crucial that the containers move through the supply chain within 48 to 72 hours, or they would begin to incur demurrage (holding) fees. Unfortunately, workers had no way to determine the contents of each container, which consistently slowed down the process and which resulted in the accrual of millions of dollars in demurrage fees each year. To make matters worse, Office Depot shipped the same quantity of product to each distribution center, regardless of market needs. Some distribution centers were overstocked, while others faced out-of-stocks, contributing to unrealized sales.