After years of navigating the volatile and ever-evolving freight landscape, the team at Ball Metalpack, a leading supplier of sustainable metal packaging and the largest aerosol manufacturer in North America, recognized an opportunity to change their approach to freight management. They saw that the traditional way of identifying, monitoring, and partnering with carriers was not nimble enough to meet the needs of their network, so they decided it was time for a change.
The team at Breakthrough helped initiate a Network Intelligence engagement to make their desire to establish a more stable contract freight network with better visibility a reality. What emerged after Network Intelligence went live was a strategic partnership that has continued to elevate their transportation goals.
Seeking Visibility to Incite Action and Communicate More Effectively
Ball Metalpack needed visibility into the unique aspects of their supply chain as they related to the wider freight network around them. They wanted more immediate feedback on what was happening week-to-week in their network so they could instigate solutions as needed, rather than waiting for an RFP. Their underlying goals were to:
Create a more reliable procurement strategy to establish stability in their transportation network.
Perform ongoing network monitoring to maintain or improve network performance on an ongoing basis.
Establish repeatable and accurate reporting to provide visibility into their initiatives to their executive management.
With Breakthrough’s robust dataset and wider industry expertise, the two teams were able to establish a weekly cadence of meetings that helped Ball Metalpack thoroughly understand their network footprint and the industry drivers affecting it.
According to Roy Blanco, Transportation & Logistics Manager at Ball Metalpack, “The weekly meetings we had with the Breakthrough team provided us with that immediate feedback we were looking for.”
This relationship took the value created by Network Intelligence beyond the data and reports but helped create an actionable strategy that drove measurable results.
Maximizing the Value of a Trusted Partnership
While the program has seen measurable results in terms of cost and service outcomes, the team at Ball Metalpack has maximized their relationship with Breakthrough by collaborating with them as a strategic partner.
“It’s really blossomed into other areas of my company” says Blanco, “They ask me what can Breakthrough do for us?”
As Blanco explains, he has seen the value of better data and market information amplify across his interactions at his organization. When his team can bring comprehensive market information to help drive, validate, and justify their strategy, he creates trust with his internal team as well as with external partners.
He says of his ongoing partnership with Breakthrough, “I’ve brought in a good supplier, who has done everything they said they were going to do to assist me – and they provided my organization with some additional visibility.”
"“I’ve brought in a good supplier, who has done everything they said they were going to do to assist me – and they provided my organization with some additional visibility.”"
Transportation & Logistics Manager
How Trust Created Actionable, Measurable Results
Establishing communication among the Breakthrough and Ball Metalpack teams paved the way for a successful operational relationship. Ball Metalpack used Breakthrough’s Network Intelligence solution to elevate their capacity procurement strategy and renovate their RFP process. Ball Metalpack started the program with a full network audit. They wanted to understand where they had carrier and lane misalignments so that they could identify carriers of best fit while maintaining as much incumbency as possible.
As Blanco calls it, Breakthrough helped the Ball Metalpack team “shuffle the deck” so that their incumbent carriers could be reassigned to lanes that better fit their own networks without losing out on that relationship. With Breakthrough’s help, Ball Metalpack maintained over 90% network incumbency during their RFP, but still obtained over 8.5% linehaul savings thanks to better carrier-lane alignments. This optimization led to an overall cost decrease in their network which led to a positive financial impact across the organization. Additionally, Ball Metalpack captured additional savings by implementing Breakthrough's Fuel Recovery program at the onset of their RFP to ensure their fuel reimbursements were fair and accurate.
Initial RFP Results that Lead to Ongoing Success
The initial engagement with Breakthrough gave Ball Metalpack a solid starting point for their year, but the value did not stop there. Despite the capacity crunch that occurred in early 2020, Ball Metalpack maintained over 80% carrier compliance in their network because of better carrier matches.
After the initial RFP, Breakthrough and Ball Metalpack have worked through a responsive sourcing strategy throughout the year as disruptions occurred in their network. They identified lanes that were consistently underperforming and realigned a new capacity contract on a lane-by-lane basis within Ball Metalpack’s network. This approach allows lanes that are meeting expectations to remain untouched and finds a more cost-effective solution immediately. Not only does this decrease Ball Metalpack’s reliance on an annual RFP, but it effectively eliminates the use of brokerage on lanes where contracted capacity is a better fit.
Reflecting on the volatile year brought on by the pandemic, Blanco says, “Don’t get me wrong, there have been a lot of challenges. But Breakthrough has been able to identify those challenges and provide me with some solutions to address them.”
The partnership shared between Breakthrough and Ball Metalpack started with transparent, data-based communication to create visibility into their network. This has evolved into a more strategic relationship that has created a more sophisticated and intuitive freight network for the team at Ball Metalpack that will continue to drive new value for years to come.