Collaboration is yielding supply chain results

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The benefits of supply chain collaboration are becoming increasingly apparent, Professor Alan Waller, chairman of ELUPEG, told delegates when he spoke at the Supply Chain Conference yesterday.

He argued that it will take horizontal collaboration to tackle some key problems. For example, there is a huge amount of empty running by vehicles in Europe. A World Economic Forum report from 2009 that found that 24 per cent of freight vehicles in EU are running empty. Not only that, average loading of the rest is 57 per cent.

While, individual elements of European supply chains are very efficient, overall there is a lot of inefficiency, he pointed out. But increasingly, businesses like Unilever and Mondelēz have been working on collaboration, including participation from outside organisations. And major logistics service providers, such as DHL, are also embracing collaboration.

But one project in particular is starting to show impressive results. Cool Running is a London-based pilot project run by NexTrust, a partner organisation of ELUPEG which has the objective to increase efficiency and sustainability in logistics by developing interconnected trusted collaborative networks along the entire supply chain.

In the Cool Running project, said Waller, NexTrust has been trialling a sustainable commercial delivery arrangement for chilled products and fresh produce in the centre of London.

The pilot aims to consolidate multiple deliveries of these products onto fully electric refrigerated (1 to 5◦C) vehicles to reduce congestion and toxic emissions in London.

Currently, chilled products and fresh produce are loaded onto large articulated diesel vehicles (often only partially filled) at Solstor’s depot in Crayford before being delivered to retailers or other food service establishments across London. In the pilot scenario the orders are consolidated from these under-used large vehicles into a smaller electric vehicle which makes multiple drops on its delivery route around central London.

The pilot has been running since October 2017, and initial results show that there is the potential to remove 30 per cent of commercial delivery vehicles from London’s roads.

In a presentation on supply chain planning, Tony Player, domain principal, supply chain at Anaplan, said that to maximise value it is essential to be connected in every dimension – within the supply chain, across the organisation and out to the wider network.

He pointed out that 70 per cent of companies still use spreadsheets for business critical applications – but spreadsheets commonly have errors in them so time is spent correcting and updating them.

Typically, he said, companies spend 70 per cent of time preparing data and only 30 per cent making decisions.

Anaplan is a connected planning solution that can take the challenges the business face and create a connected plan. Data is in one place and the model can be changed dynamically. The decision making process is streamlined. Less time is spent preparing data and more time spent on the decision making process.

Digitalising the supply chain is a hot topic at the moment. Debi Hamilton, senior supply manager at Arco, explained the impact of an 18 month digital transformation of the business, focusing on the benefits in terms of improving efficiency visibility and transparency in the supply chain.

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