TransAxle Optimizes Inventory Management

About the Client

Drivetrain Component Remanufacturer With a Nationwide Presence

Founded in 1979, TransAxle was originally the local “parts guy” — a one-location, family-owned business providing components to support the booming trucking industry. Over time, the business expanded into different areas, and TransAxle is now the premier remanufacturer of drivetrain components. The company covers light to heavy duty applications for all makes and models in the On Highway and Off Highway markets.

The Situation 

In Need of Inventory Optimization and Increased Sales

When TransAxle decided to go nationwide, it did so because it wanted to make it easier for parts to travel from point A to point B. So when it was looking to fulfill its mission of providing remanufactured drivetrain components that keep trucks moving, it decided to add two large customers in a new geographic footprint. 

But there’s more to growth than adding new customers. Understanding how much inventory (and what type) should go where, when is key to a successful operation. That’s the situation that TransAxle found itself in.

It needed to nail down how to best optimize its inventory to support the addition of two new customers while ensuring that sales also received a boost in the process. To get to the bottom of this challenge, TransAxle wanted to analyze its finished goods inventory to ensure it had the correct goods in locations that would enhance sales. It also wanted to minimize non-value add transfers to obtain stock optimization. 

At the same time, it wanted to review component inventory assets and identify those assets that could be sold, discounted, returned, or disposed of. At the same time, it wanted to review component inventory assets and identify those assets that could be sold, discounted, returned, or disposed of. Because of the expedited time frame, TransAxle could not afford to undergo a time-intensive talent search for this role. 

So instead of going the full-time employee route, the company felt it was time to explore an alternative approach.

The Solution 

Sourcing an Immediately Available Inventory Analytics Expert

TransAxle knew exactly what they needed — a project champion who could run the task to completion — but it didn’t know where to find the right subject matter expert for the job. After conducting market research, the company learned about Graphite.  

As an on-demand talent acquisition platform that boosts over 8,700 independent subject matter experts, with over 800 of them having Big-Three consulting experience, TransAxle felt it could find the right candidate for the role on Graphite. 

TransAxle's project manager initiated the process by connecting with a Graphite Account Executive (AE). After an overview of the platform and learning about its capabilities, like paying and managing the expert through the platform, the project manager moved forward with a scooping call with the AE.

TransAxle sought a quick-thinker with excellent Microsoft Excel skills who could take large raw datasets before condensing them into manageable and actionable bites. They needed to possess a detailed understanding of ERP materials systems. APICS or ISM certification was a plus. Ideally, the expert would also have prior manufacturing procurement experience. 

After the scooping call, the AE posted the project description on the Graphite platform. At the same time, the AE used their knowledge of the platform to hand-select candidates that best met TransAxle's search criteria.  

Within 24 hours, 45 experts were identified that matched the project manager's criteria. Digging deeper, the AE shortlisted and presented the top three experts that best fit the TransAxle team. 

The project manager decided to onboard a manufacturing and supply chain expert with over a decade of experience. The chosen expert was well-versed in using data analytics to optimize manufacturing and supply chain performance and had recently led an $11M excess and obsolete (E&O) inventory reduction project across 23 sites for an Atlanta-based organization.

The Result 

Optimizing Nationwide Inventory and Increasing Sales

Before kicking off the project, Graphite met with TransAxle and the expert to set expectations, answer any lingering questions, and set a cadence for regular check-ins throughout the engagement. After completing this, the expert quickly hit the ground running. 

Having been briefed on the project’s requirements and KPIs, the expert set to work at TransAxle's Cinnaminson, NJ offices, diving into the company’s raw datasets to understand which inventory needed to go where, and when. 

The expert successfully leveraged their manufacturing procurement and supply chain expertise to optimize TransAxle's inventory management processes. In the meantime, TransAxle's core team focused on what they do best — ensuring a great customer experience and increasing sales.