Excellence in customer collaboration and customization is making Tellworks a national leader in 3PL services
When it comes to supply chain excellence, Tellworks Logistics has an impressive story to tell. Founded in 2005, the 3PL innovator initially focused on reverse logistics in the telecom space, and soon thereafter added complementary forward logistics capabilities to provide more comprehensive inventory control and visibility throughout the supply chain. While the company set out to provide excellent customer service from the very beginning, the shift enabled them to expand their services and market reach considerably.
Today, in addition to reverse and forward logistics, they offer a comprehensive ecosystem of services, including warehousing and advanced materials management; transportation solutions and state-of-the-art warehouse management technology in conjunction with their affiliates Makt-Trans Freight & Brokerage and AIMSPlus Software.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Tellworks operates a national distribution center campus from Arlington, Texas, and as well as more than 50 warehouse locations across the nation.
Fiercely committed to ensuring the highest level of quality while driving down cycle times and costs, Tellworks applies technology and lean strategies to constantly improve their workforce and processes.
“As our business grows, we want to look at the entire ecosystem of our supply chain to minimize risk and improve visibility for our customers and our businesses,” said Tellworks’ Chief Compliance Officer, Daymond Cox, whose role incorporates oversight of internal and external audits, safety, and lean continuous improvement.
The company and its affiliates are early adopters of the System and Organization Control (SOC) management and reporting framework for supply chain, which enables them to manage risks across their entire supply ecosystem. SOC reports demonstrate the firm’s transparent and consistent approach to supply chain risk management and visibility, which is key to representing their commitment to integrity.
To continually improve all aspects of their supply chain, SOC enables Tellworks to maintain an effective control over the risks associated with those relationships on whom their business depends. “We expect SOC for supply chain to help us exceed KPIs and contractual metrics as customer and operational expectations tighten while balancing the interdependency and transparency of our customer and supplier relationships,” Cox said.
Grant Thornton, LLP, Tellworks’ chosen independent external auditors, recently completed an SOC 1 Type II audit, and found Tellworks’ compliance processes in risk assessment to be excellent. “Compliance continually leverages internal audits to cover the triad of risk assessment, internal controls, safety, and lean operations to identify and minimize risk to our organization,” Cox confirmed.
Technology has a significant role in their approach to supply chain leadership. Tellworks is currently exploring robotics, RFID, and other scanning solutions for feasibility and ROI. They have also made considerable investments in R&D, including the use of drones to improve inventory management, and have developed standards for automated sorting of outbound inventory.
“We are looking at this as the first step in a long-term process, our roadmap, to future automation that will assist our associates to deliver quality faster,” Cox stressed. Warehouse management system upgrades have also given their customers apps to integrate communications, orders, and deliveries quickly and seamlessly.
As a 3PL, they have also helped to drive packaging standardization and labeling across trading partners to reduce risks around inventory while utilizing their space as efficiently as possible. As Cox put it, “Our customers are benefitting from cost containment, to avoid unnecessary warehouse space increases in a tight warehouse market while improving inventory pick quality and speed.”
The Ultimate Collaborators
Deep relationships with customers, and their end customers, help Tellworks develop new technologies and implement process improvements to meet needs as precisely as possible. Extensive surveying and focus groups result in agile use cases, which are rapidly turned into new capabilities. Examples include smartphone apps for the customer’s end users to schedule, pick up, and deploy materials more efficiently or to return inventory at the end of its life cycle.
“Our customers want to remain focused on delivering network improvements, new products, and completing aggressive construction schedules rather than managing warehouses and related material flow,” he revealed. “We relieve them of that burden and make sure they have what they need, where they need it, on time, and with the highest quality.”
Frequent ongoing information sessions with their customers enable Tellworks to learn their priorities and reprioritize deliveries rapidly in response to a national or regional emergency. As an essential business that provides telecommunications equipment infrastructure, clear and consistent communication and planning with suppliers and customers is paramount.
Tellworks has a robust business continuity and disaster recovery plan to manage risk throughout their end-to-end ecosystem when natural or human-made disruptions strike. “Compliance has led the way in assessing risk to associates, suppliers, and customers, coordinating a cooperative approach to build rapid response teams and get equipment to disaster locations to rebuild essential infrastructure.”
Additionally, they include their customers in lean principal training to build better relationships and to help customers understand where processes intersect in the supply chain. The compliance office oversees these efforts, which helps integrate risk reduction into their day-to-day business activities.
As with most supply chain organizations, Tellworks continues to face headwinds related to warehouse labor, real estate availability, and inflation; all are expected to continue to impact logistics service providers into 2023. Warehouse vacancy rates are low, lease rates have been increasing, and the current imbalance between supply and demand for space will continue.
The competition for labor and surging transportation costs are also contributing to cost pressures within the industry. From a compliance perspective, it’s crucial to ensure that these challenges aren’t adding more risk to the organization and its people. “Leveraging our safety management, risk management, and internal controls, we continue to pursue technology enhancements, process improvements utilizing lean principles and training to increase the safety and productivity of our workforce,” Cox said.
Tellworks’ leading-edge approach to developing customized solutions that address all aspects of supply chain logistics in a completely visible ecosystem, coupled with their national reach is a terrific story for their customers – and there are volumes of happy endings to keep Tellworks at the top of the industry for years to come.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Tellworks Logistics began operations in 2005 to fill a logistics and warehousing need in the telecommunications industry for a reverse logistics solution that could handle surpluses of components and equipment. We soon discovered that by adding complementary forward logistics capabilities, we could provide complete inventory visibility and offer the highest quality services.
Our service offerings have expanded to include more robust warehouse operations, transportation management solutions through Makt-Trans Freight & Brokerage, proprietary warehouse management technology, AIMSPlus, and consulting services.
While Tellworks Logistics originated within the telecommunications industry, our capabilities grew quickly and now meet the needs of customers handling a variety of products in just about any industry.
3400 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone Number: 770.817.0245
Homepage Link: https://tellworks.com/