UPS and Roush Enterprises Coordinate Both Off and On the Racetrack


After the racing industry startup had grown into a diverse international business, Roush Industries turned to a long-trusted logistics partner to help them streamline, optimize and get ahead of the competition.

NASCAR enthusiasts understand that racing is not an individual sport. A successful driver depends on a trusted team of experienced and efficient professionals to keep them in the race. These silent heroes work behind the scenes to make sure the driver is well-positioned to beat the competition, going relatively unnoticed as long as everything runs as it should.

In the world of business, carriers and logistics providers often serve as the pit crew for their customers, moving quickly and efficiently to make sure everything is as it should be, anticipating potential problems and appearing relatively invisible to the outside world. So, after the racing industry startup had grown into a diverse international business, Roush Industries turned to a long-trusted logistics partner to help them streamline, optimize and get ahead of the competition.

Assembling an enterprise

One of the most recognizable brands in the racing and performance industry got its start nearly 40 years ago when Roush left the corporate world to start his own engine-building and paint shop. Today, in addition to the company’s signature performance vehicles and online aftermarket parts business, companies under the Roush Industries umbrella offer a comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing, machining and parts fabrication services for automakers, aerospace, the mining industry and even movie studios and theme parks.

Roush Enterprises also offers automotive services ranging from motorsports management to product design, engineering, testing and manufacturing. The company prides itself on providing global customers the assurance of quality, value, and technical expertise and includes the divisions known as Roush Industries and Roush Fenway Racing.

The diversity of Roush ventures has resulted in a complex supply chain composed of various inbound and outbound shipments of raw materials, parts and finished vehicles. “The logistical challenges of our business are as varied as the products and services that need to be moved,” explained Jack Roush, chairman and CEO of Roush Industries. “In some cases we need to ship an urgent part next day to our racetrack in North Carolina, in other cases we have freight shipments of parts and raw materials coming from Europe or Asia, which require us to navigate customs and paperwork to avoid delays.”

UPS and Roush meet at the starting line

UPS and Roush Enterprises have enjoyed a longstanding relationship, previously for small package shipping services. When Roush Performance Group’s executive director of supply chain, Ron Poland, joined the company in 2010, he took a broader view of the logistical challenges and needs of the enterprise, and consulted with UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company and logistics provider.

“When I joined Roush Performance Group, we had agreements with two third-party logistics companies and maybe 15-20 carriers,” said Poland. “It was clear that this was too much effort to spend on supply chain operations when we should be focusing our resources on developing new products and delivering affordable solutions to our customers.”

Maintaining a global supply chain that draws services and parts from all over the world to a myriad of different divisions required a lot of coordination on the part of Roush Enterprises. In this instance, the company saw an opportunity to combine many of these activities under one company by utilizing the broader portfolio of UPS services including less-than-truckload (LTL) freight, supply chain planning and visibility solutions, finished vehicle logistics, ocean and air freight forwarding, customs brokerage and even high-value and cargo insurance for items in transit.

“Often times our customers don’t understand that we’re more than just a small package provider,” said Shannan Newsome, UPS account manager for Roush Enterprises. “So we sit down with our customers to understand their overall business goals and objectives, and we show them all the ways UPS can help them to leverage logistics to meet those goals.”

Through a series of supply chain mapping sessions with the Roush management team and UPS logistics professional, it became clear that Roush companies could save significant time, effort and money by consolidating all of its ground, air and ocean freight under the UPS umbrella.

According to Newsome, “During the meetings, there were many ‘a-ha’ moments where a Roush team member said, “Wow, you can do that?’ And we assembled a team that showed them that, indeed, we can do that.”

“We offer a lot of solutions, but we’re not a logistics company and I really don’t want to be in the freight business,” said Poland. “I don’t want to devote resources to developing in-house supply chain and freight experts. I’d much rather partner with one dependable company who can handle it for us while we focus on the business of developing new products and solutions for our customers.”


Improvements began on the first lap

“Prior to consolidating our freight operations with UPS, we put a lot of effort into reporting and trying to harness how much we paid for freight and where all of our routes were,” said Poland. “In one instance, we had one person shopping for quotes online. Every time we needed incoming or outbound freight service, he would get three quotes and then award the business. I estimate that by partnering with UPS, we freed up about 60 percent of that employee’s time alone.”

By consolidating all ground freight operations under UPS, Roush no longer required a competitive quoting process on every shipment. These process changes have resulted in a significant time-savings for a company with daily inbound and outbound LTL shipments between 20 facilities in Livonia, Michigan, and the racing headquarters in North Carolina. “There’s an overall freight savings from consolidating our shipments with UPS,” said Poland, “but there’s an administrative savings across the organization.”

“Before partnering with UPS Freight, Roush Enterprises had to do a lot of heavy lifting internally around freight management,” said Newsome. “They had to make multiple phone calls, and sometimes it was even unclear who to call when they had questions or problems. After partnering with UPS, we now handle their freight management for them. If something happens, or there is a problem, they only need to call me to resolve it.”

Roush Enterprises also saw opportunities to take advantage of UPS’s global expertise to help manage the import of supplies and raw materials, and the export of some products. “Our manufacturing facilities in Livonia receive shipments from Asia and Europe,” said Poland. “Many times we’re drawing from a new vendor in a country we’ve never done business with before. The UPS customs brokerage services help to minimize the load on our staff in these situations, where we may not have the expertise in these regions to anticipate and react to certain requirements.”

To further expand the relationship between UPS and Roush Enterprises, the team realized that they needed to protect their outbound freight shipments once they left one of the Livonia facilities. UPS Capital® came aboard to provide insurance services for those Roush shipments, providing them with ease of mind knowing that their shipments would arrive safely to their destination.

The reach of UPS services extends to the racetrack with a small package delivery service that delivers directly to every NASCAR Sprint Cup event in the United States. “If you miss something or if you have a last-minute unanticipated need, UPS can get it shipped overnight and delivered directly to you at the track,” said Roush. “It takes the logistics factor out of the equation when we’re problem solving.”

Visibility conditions impact supply chain performance

One of the greatest benefits Roush Enterprises experienced by partnering with UPS on their freight and supply chain operations is increased supply chain visibility. “We have a number of business units, so visibility into each of them is great. It gives us the ability to drive our freight costs down through the consolidation of invoicing,” said Poland. “Now that our suppliers use UPS Freight, we even have visibility into our inbound shipments. We can easily run reports of our inbound freight with UPS Quantum View. This solution allows us to manage and track our imports, allowing us to see the shipment documentation before the cargo even arrives at the port.”

In addition to visibility and tracking technologies, UPS has worked with Roush Enterprises to incorporate the OzLINK end-to-end fulfillment tool into their operations. OzLINK, a UPS Ready® partner, provides Roush with the key information needed to help quote shipping costs, ensure correct delivery options and confirms delivery dates for outbound shipments to their customers.

“One area where the OzLINK tool really helped their business was expanding into Canada, which is a growth market for Roush’s business,” said Newsome. “This tool enables Roush Enterprises to get rates, duties and taxes in place for the Canadian market prior to even shipping the product. Now they can get products to customers in Canada and have the confidence knowing that the shipment will clear customs in time to meet the customer’s needs.”

Sustainability a green flag for Roush and UPS

While the quality and dependability of UPS services are a top priority for customers, organizations such as Roush Enterprises also appreciate UPS’s sustainability efforts.

“UPS is a leader in sustainability for logistics companies and Roush shares those same sentiments on their end,” said Newsome. “One of the things we’ve been discussing is the UPS carbon neutral shipping program. Additionally, they are familiar with the sustainability efforts of our fleet and appreciate the new alternative fuel vehicles we’ve adopted for our delivery service in some regions.”

“At Roush Enterprises, we make every effort to incorporate available and reasonably priced sustainability technologies into our Roush Enterprises solutions and competitive activities,” said Roush. “Our NASCAR race cars are made from 98 percent recyclable materials – the steel, aluminum, copper, everything but the paint and some of the plastic is recycled. Also, we are engineering solutions that incorporate alternative fuels such as our CleanTech propane conversion and compressed natural gas (CNG) automotive technologies. Ultimately, for our business, these sustainability efforts are about being responsible for the generations that will follow.”

No finish line in sight for UPS and Roush partnership

In two businesses where timing and reliability are crucial, UPS and Roush Enterprises seem to have struck the ideal partnership between logistics provider and a growing business. “I think our relationship with Roush shows how important the power of one team really is when it comes to logistics,” said Newsome. “You could say we’re like one great pit crew for their supply chain.”

“We are looking to continue to expand our volume and grow the number of our facilities by 10 to 15 percent in the next five years, and we anticipate that UPS will be able to expand their services to meet those growing needs,” said Poland.

“There’s a saying in NASCAR that the first guy at the finish line wins, but you don’t want finish backward or upside down. This means handling things safely and correctly is really the key to winning. That is very similar to our partnership with UPS; we know we can depend on them to get us to the finish line right-side-up and looking forward.”


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