Anheuser-Busch seeks a special ingredient that would make its supply chain flow as smoothly and freely as lager from a tap: dynamic, real-time shipment data. To get that data, the brewer of Budweiser and more than 100 other brands of beer and ale is partnering with Convoy.com, a technology-enabled trucking marketplace that connects shippers to truckers.
Securing capacity is a priority for shippers today, but that is not Anheuser-Busch’s primary goal in this multi-year partnership with Convoy. “This was not a capacity play; this was an efficiency play,” said Ties Soeters, vice president of logistics procurement for the brewer. Anheuser-Busch wants greater supply chain efficiency and greater transparency among its partners.
The shipper can only get what it wants by better collecting and crunching data — a key goal of the Convoy partnership. “We’re looking at this from a multiyear perspective,” Soeters said. The relationship “will be data-driven, analytical, and help us gain insight into operations to drive efficiency on my end and create trust” between Anheuser-Busch and its transportation partners.
Convoy began beta-testing in and around Washington state two years ago and has expanded its network of carriers, which now includes more than 10,000 trucking companies across the United States. The Convoy platform generates unique pricing for loads that is guaranteed for shippers and carriers, and promises to pay drivers within 24 hours of completing a delivery.
The ability to obtain dynamic pricing, and pricing transparency, were factors that attracted Anheuser-Busch. “Over the last two years or so we’ve focused our attention on new innovation in technology within the trucking sphere, looking at areas such as dynamic pricing, price hedging,” Soeters said. “Transparency among drivers, brokers, and shippers, we believe in that.”
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