Case Study: North Star Windows & Doors
Since 1985, North Star Windows and Doors has been an industry leader in the manufacturing of attractive and energy-efficient vinyl windows and patio doors. North Star has an extensive range of quality, energy-efficient and full-featured windows that are not only beautiful, but offer exceptional value.
North Star is committed to best-in-class manufacturing technology to ensure all their products consistently exceed industry standards. This is supported by a network of dealers with a reputation for providing quality workmanship and attentive customer service.
In 2019, North Star began searching for a dedicated carrier for their plant-to-dealer deliveries of finished products. Their criteria for a carrier partner went beyond simply moving products from “Point A” to “Point B”; they wanted to find a carrier with sophisticated technology capabilities that would help improve customer satisfaction with both dealers and end-customers, and help reduce total costs.
North Star was also looking for a carrier that could provide additional drivers and trucks during their peak seasons. They struggled to meet seasonal demands, resulting in missed delivery commitments and rescheduling of customer deliveries.
After extensive research, North Star turned to Canada Cartage, a dedicated fleet outsourcing company to manage their deliveries, provide digital fleet technology, and help North Star to grow their business.
Canada Cartage provided a fully-integrated fleet outsourcing solution which included:
- Dedicated trucks and drivers: Canada Cartage provides a dedicated group of 14 drivers and helpers, 7 tractors, and 25 trailers. Drivers start and finish their day at North Star’s manufacturing facility, and the core fleet is parked there
- Dedicated customer service: a Canada Cartage supervisor works on-site at the North Star Windows and Doors office to work with drivers and North Star customer service staff to help ensure on-time deliveries, troubleshoot any issues that might arise, and manage continuous improvement efforts
- Delivery ETAs: through Canada Cartage’s Radius digital fleet system, North Star has real-time track-and-trace visibility to every truck in the fleet. This assists in communicating accurate delivery ETAs to dealers and job-sites
- Order accuracy: Drivers use the Radius app to scan all product components during off-loading. The data is transmitted in real-time to North Star’s order management system, and matched for accuracy. This allows North Star to immediately react to any product shortages, and start the process of back-filling any missing components
- Product damages and claims reconciliation: Using the Radius app, drivers can take photos and add text descriptions of any product damages that occur in-transit, or when off-loading products. Photos and damage descriptions are sent in real-time to North Star staff, who can immediately act to resolve the issue, this has reduced the time for repair or replacement turnaround and improved customer satisfaction. Damage KPI reporting includes details such as “broken prior to unload”, “strap not secure”, “damaged during unloading”, and “strap missing”. This data helps with continuous improvement, and also creates a more streamlined and effective claims process with full visibility
- Volume surge coverage: Canada Cartage’s unique hub and spoke terminal model deploys additional equipment and drivers on short notice for volume surge requirements, and allows North Star to maintain their high standard of service
- Data to drive continuous improvement: Canada Cartage provides data-rich logistics reporting with customizable Key Performance Indicators. These KPIs provide North Star with metrics on the number of items delivered per day, offloading verification, and detailed reporting when damages occur.
The Canada Cartage and North Star Doors and Windows partnership has resulted in numerous benefits that have improved their business operations:
- Immediate delivery status through Canada Cartage’s Radius scanning technology. Any damages or shortages are reported in real-time through a scan by the driver vs. having to wait 2 days when this information was compiled on paper. This has resulted in a 55% reduction in replacements for lost or damaged windows by scanning each item and knowing exactly where all customer products are at all times
- Increased surge support to 100% during peak periods through Canada Cartage’s hub and spoke model
- Customer service excellence with a responsive, on-site customer service team from Canada Cartage
- A seamless transition with a detailed plan, processes, and communication from Canada Cartage’s project team
- Continuous improvement through detailed KPI reporting has allowed North Star to drill down on granular reporting details to pinpoint reasons for claims, and rectify them immediately