CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Harris Teeter here is making data from a variety of its supply chain systems available via a wide-ranging, Web-based, collaborative logistics network to suppliers and transportation carriers also subscribing to the network.
In a recent conference call, Larry Cooper, Harris Teeter's vice president of distribution, discussed the chain's use of the collaborative network, which is hosted by Nistevo, Eden Prairie, Minn. Harris Teeter joined the Nistevo network through The Arthur Wells Group, St. Louis, its third-party logistics provider, which announced a partnership with Nistevo last October.
In addition to Cooper, other participants in the conference call, which took place on Jan. 14, were Gene Schaetten, vice president of transportation, Seneca Foods; Kevin Lynch, president and chief executive officer, Nistevo; and Hilton Kahn, principal, The Arthur Wells Group.
Harris Teeter's priority in participating in the network, Cooper explained in his presentation, is to provide suppliers and carriers with real-time visibility of logistics, procurement and merchandise information from stores and distribution centers. The chain also wants to be alerted to delayed shipments in time to secure alternative sourcing, especially for promotions.
So far, the chain has linked data from such systems as yard control, inbound logistics, appointment scheduling, purchasing, transportation, and dock and unloading systems to Nistevo's Web-based service, Cooper said. The ultimate goal is to integrate a warehouse management system.
In addition to Harris Teeter, Nistevo's network currently includes General Mills, Dial, HP Hood, Land O'Lakes, Georgia Pacific, Seneca Foods and over 1,400 carriers. As a result of the Arthur Wells partnership, another food retailer in the network is Food Lion, Salisbury, N.C. Nistevo also hosts its own transportation management system.
Cooper used Harris Teeter's yard system to illustrate how Nistevo's platform will interact with an existing system. Currently, Harris Teeter employs OMI International's Mobile Distribution System (MDS) to manage DC yards. Using the Nistevo platform, the chain can make information about trailers in the yards provided by MDS available to networked carriers, vendors, suppliers and anyone else with an interest in it.
"There are a great many other systems that will play the same way once we have the ability to be on one system and have this type of integration, certainly in the dock, in the yard, and in transit," Cooper added.
It was the merging and simplification of its systems that made this service appealing to Harris Teeter, Cooper said, adding that the chain tried for years to encourage providers to integrate their service offerings. He was concerned, he said, about maintaining too many partnerships.
"I see this as a giant step forward in integrating all the systems to really take advantage of the tools we have in the logistics business today," Cooper stated.
"Controlling inventories and streamlining our operations is the key to our being competitive," he said.