Acuitive Solutions: Simplified Complex Global Logistics Processes

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Phil Marlow, president and chief logistician
New York City-based manufacturer and retailer Ralph Lauren Corporation has been a household name in classy and highly sought-after luxury apparel for many years. However, their business was affected by a major predicament. Ralph Lauren didn’t have a way to obtain the best available options for routing shipments, and this resulted in inflated shipping costs. What’s more, split lanes had resulted in misaligned volume, capacity constraints, and confusion among vendors around the latest compliance terms. Global transportation management specialists, Acuitive Solutions stepped into the picture and collaborated with Ralph Lauren to help them solve these issues. A three-phase, on-boarding process was implemented to ensure a smooth transition to the new portal for more than 400 Ralph Lauren vendors, representing a retail supply chain community with diverse needs and capabilities. This process gave the project team early feedback—enabling them to make improvements and revisions. “Prior to this innovation, there was no way for a shipper to dynamically align the expedited service level being utilized with the needs of the merchandise,” says Phil Marlowe, the president and chief logistician of Acuitive Solutions. In the end, Ralph Lauren and Acuitive weren’t the only ones pleased with the results. A leading international apparel magazine recognized both Acuitive and Ralph Lauren as the “Top Innovators for 2012,” in an ending, which too was much sought-after and classy.

By assisting clients in fixing their inefficient and inflexible logistics processes, Acuitive has now created a distinguished reputation for itself. “Ultimately it is all about helping clients break down costs into a measurable unit; whether it is the total shipment cost or cost per unit. We excel at what we offer, providing tools to help our clients understand their costs and their options, broken down to a unit level," mentions Marlowe. Once the clients have made their decision based on the available data, Acuitive also helps them reconcile those decisions and apply those costs back to the unit cost basis. This helps the clients establish their actual landed cost.

We are not your typical transportation management system. We concentrate on large complicated customers with a high degree of pain and help them solve these international areas

At their core, Acuitive delivers a singular cloud-based platform, which replaces manual steps with rules-based workflows that dramatically reduce the time and cost of common shipping processes. The platform is modular, and can be configured to clients' specific needs. It delivers solutions that range from internal costing and workflow, dynamic routing, global shipping execution, freight audit, and sample shipping. Although the solutions are hosted on Azure, Acuitive integrates and implements them for the clients. “We don't get involved in the vendor selection—we simply help them integrate it such that the decision process can be accelerated,” says Marlowe. Once the vendor is selected, Acuitive can seamlessly move the available data to the providers, which reduces their cost to serve the client. This gives the client advance notice of the demand, which is faster than having to wait for the suppliers to reach out to the provider.

Acuitive is unique because of its focus on managing the complexity of “vastly underserved” air, ocean, and inbound small package shipments. “We are not your typical transportation management system as we concentrate on large customers with a high degree of complexity and help them solve these international areas,” comments Marlowe. In the future, the company will be focusing on adapting their skill sets to help integrate with small package carriers and generating labels to minimize their client’s costs.

Acuitive Solutions

Charlotte, NC

Phil Marlow, president and chief logistician

Offering cloud-based solution replaces emails and spreadsheets with rules-based workflows that allow supply chain partners to collaborate and manage shipments in real time