Armstrong Brings Transportation Back In-House

After outsourcing its transportation functions to a 3PL in January 2007, the 150-year-old manufacturer brought it back under its own roof to tighten controls, establish carrier measurement, and rack up the savings. And that bold move earned Armstrong the 2010 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year Award.
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Marcus Smith, manager of transportation procurement

By John D. Schulz, Contributing Editor
October 08, 2010 - LM Editorial

Sometimes it’s best to control your own destiny. Just ask the transportation team at Armstrong World Industries, a 150-year-old flooring, ceiling, and cabinet manufacturer based in Lancaster, Pa.

After outsourcing its transportation functions to a major third-party logistics provider (3PL) in January 2007, the logistics department of the $2.8 billion company quickly realized—in less than a year—that the new partnership was not going to pan out. In short: The arrangement was not meeting Armstrong’s established cost and service goals.

“The biggest flaw was that our 3PL took a one-size-fitsall approach,” says Marcus Smith, Armstrong’s manager of transportation procurement. “We have specialized needs, especially in truck equipment. We use flatbeds, dry vans, driver-assisted vehicles, and short, straight trucks in and out of New York City. They didn’t appreciate the complexity of our business.”



About the Author

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John D. Schulz
Contributing Editor

John D. Schulz has been a transportation journalist for more than 20 years, specializing in the trucking industry. He is known to own the fattest Rolodex in the business, and is on a first-name basis with scores of top-level trucking executives who are able to give shippers their latest insights on the industry on a regular basis. This wise Washington owl has performed and produced at some of the highest levels of journalism in his 40-year career, mostly as a Washington newsman.


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