Learn how CEVA Logistics uses Cycle Labs to stress-test its systems in anticipation of seasonal wireless product launches — while operations continue to run smoothly, regardless of volume.
ABOUT CEVA LOGISTICS
CEVA Logistics is a leading global 3PL (third-party logistics) supply chain management company with more than 1,000 locations in 160 countries around the world. CEVA specializes in both freight management (air, ocean, ground, and rail freight) and contract logistics (warehousing, distribution, and transportation). To better serve its clients in the wireless industry, the company needed to be able to quickly, efficiently, and precisely test the capacities of its systems during seasonal product launches without disrupting its daily operations.
MEET THE CUSTOMER
Director, CLS Information Systems - NORTAM
As the director of IT for a global 3PL supply chain management company, Scott leads local and worldwide support teams, oversees SOX and PCI compliance, and manages a wide variety of tech infrastructure, including order management systems and warehouse management systems. A 33-year veteran of the field, he has held senior leadership positions in Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies, most recently at Ingram Micro Commerce and Lifecycle Services.
CEVA LOGISTICS' CHALLENGES
It was the most chaotic time of the year…
The wireless industry is all about the newest, coolest gear. Global original equipment manufacturers release new versions of their flagship products at least twice a year, which affects all aspects of the supply chain process. The challenge for CEVA Logistics? Meet and beat seasonal demand.
- Major product launches are typically accompanied by shipments that double or triple in size in limited timeframes due to increased demand.
- Ramp windows are shortened to days and sometimes hours instead of weeks.
- These launches can strain systems and operations at every level, from order management systems and warehouse management systems to parcel and less than truckload carrier pickup times.
A new solution required the capacity to meet seasonal demand — without straining resources during the ramp-up period.
- Testing must adequately gauge the performance, limits, and capacities of these systems during simulated peak times.
- During the testing period, the business needs to operate as usual.
CYCLE LABS' SOLUTION
Most testing solutions CEVA Logistics used in the past required “too many testers” to operate efficiently, and still “never got us even close” to simulating the volume it expects during major product launches, says Scott.
Cycle Labs provided tools with the flexibility the CEVA team needed to quickly scale volume influx up or down within each system component. This allowed them to test systems and processes prone to failing and correct them before peak-volume periods began.
With Cycle, CEVA can benchmark its normal-day processes to contrast with test simulations, such as sudden increases in order demand as well as receiving operations and other activities that strain the warehouse management systems and inventory systems. It can even scale higher-than-anticipated demand to discover breakpoints and allow for process changes or reconfigurations prior to seasonal launches.
CEVA LOGISTICS' RESULTS
Flawless, flexible, fast stress testing
Stress-testing fulfillment systems with Cycle allowed the CEVA team to:
- Prepare and execute a process plan and system changes prior to the seasonal rush
- Identify and alleviate bottlenecks before the busy periods began
- Execute “flawlessly” over the course of several launch events in which actual order volume rose 150 to 180% over projected forecasts
- Sustain performance when the demand lasted four weeks longer than expected
- Continue business as usual during testing
Cycle® allows us to quickly ramp up and down specific areas of our operations, which exposes stress points we can quickly correct. Our previous testing processes were never able to handle the scale and complexity of our models quickly enough for us to see the impacts and prepare the solutions. Before Cycle, the potential effects of updates or changes could only be seen in the production environment, when it’s too late to adjust. Cycle gives us the edge and advantage we need to perform our best and ensure successful events for our customers.