Logistics experts Inc (LEI) is a 3rd party logistics (3PL) provider. A 3PL is an organization that manages and executes a particular logistics function, using its own assets and resources, on behalf of another company (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0019-8501(02)00228-6).
LEI picks up freight from suppliers and delivers it to their clients. Multiple Toyota manufacturing businesses (e.g. TMMI – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, TMMK) are LEI clients. LEI is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and has a second major location in Toronto, ON. The Atlanta location houses the logistics design group as well as the executive team (total 1,750 people). The Toronto location houses administrative functions such as accounting, HR and corporate services (250 employees). LEI runs cross docks at 6 different locations, 2 in Canada and 4 in the US. The locations are Kitchener, ON, Toronto, ON, Detroit, MI, Atlanta, GA, Lexington, KY and Indianapolis, IN. Cross Docking is the transfer of inward deliveries from the point of reception directly to the point of delivery with limited or no interim storage (http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CIRA.2007.382928). Each cross dock location has administrative staff, cross dock workers and logistics experts (approximately 50 workers/cross dock). There is a leased line between the two major locations and each cross dock is connected back to the HQ through the internet using internet service provided by local ISPs. VPN technology is used to secure the connections over the internet.
LEI owns and or leases a large fleet of trucks (20,000 trucks, 30,000 trailers). 30,000 Truck drivers are on the company payroll. In order to provide process visibility to their customers, LEI must track the movement of each shipment from the moment they pick it up, to the time it is delivered to the customer. The trucks are equipped with GPS devices that communicate with a tracking server over the cellular network. LEI also uses RFID tags on all shipments to achieve process visibility and to provide tracking information to their customers.
LEI’s revenues are currently $2 billion. They expect to double the revenue in the next 5 years through aggressive growth by providing logistics services to more manufacturers in the US and by expanding into the Asian market, particularly China and India.
In order to meet the needs of the organization, the IT executives at LEI have implemented an enterprise solution that uses Oracle EBS (http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/ebusiness/overview/index.html) for financial management, the Oracle EBS Warehouse Management solution (https://www.oracle.com/applications/supply-chain-management/solutions/logistics/warehouse-management.html) and Trucking software from TMW systems (http://www.tmwsystems.com/). PeopleSoft (http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/peoplesoft-enterprise/hcm/index.html) is used for human resource management. Microsoft .net based custom developed systems are used for all public web, intranet and extranet systems. Microsoft Sharepoint is used as the collaboration platform. GPS equipment is provided by WebTech Wireless (http://www.webtechwireless.com/). WebTech solutions integrate with TMW’s trucking systems. RFID Technology is sourced from Motorola Solutions (http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?11706)
The IT infrastructure includes multiple load-balanced application servers, as well as load balanced web and intranet servers. Oracle Database 12c is the database server used for all ERP systems. Microsoft SQL server 2016 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-2016) is used for all custom developed systems. The Oracle database servers use failover clustering for high availability. Microsoft SQL servers use database mirroring for high availability.
Windows Server 2016 systems ( https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/windows-server) are used for directory services as well as for DNS and DHCP. All Microsoft Windows server systems are running on Intel based Dell servers (http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/poweredge-r730/pd).The database server uses Oracle Database 12c (https://www.oracle.com/database/index.html on an IBM System Z (http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/linux/index.html) running Linux. Dell OptiPlex desktops and Dell Latitude laptops are used for all client systems.
LEI expects 5 nine (99.999%) availability for their enterprise system. Availability of systems is critical since they provide JIT inventory services to their clients with significant liability clauses in their contracts with the clients.
LEI is moving to a new head quarter building in Atlanta soon to accommodate future growth. The datacenter will be housed in the basement of the new office location.
Cross-dock Layout (Similar for all locations)
New Office Location in Atlanta
* Class A Office Building
* 60,000 Square Feet
* 3-Story Grand Entryway
* Excellent Parking (Ratio 4.5 / 1000)
* 12 Acre Site with Great Visibility
* Surrounded by First Class Amenities
* Two means of Ingress / Egress
(One Served Via Stoplight)
*20,000 sqft unfinished space in the basement with 15ft ceiling
The Toronto office occupies one floor (20,000 sq ft) on the 5th floor of a shared office building in Mississauga, ON.