Seed specialist KWS has successfully invested in the future of its transport logistics. With the implementation of a carrier management portal (CMP) based on AEB Transportation Management software, the company is setting new standards in the IT integration of transport service providers.
The global demand for seeds from KWS requires a flexible and efficient supply chain, as the company's customers place the highest demands on delivery performance. KWS not only deals in a great variety of seeds but also has to contend with different supply chains which, depending on the seeds, are organized both centrally and decentrally.
However, it was not only the differentiated supply chains that were proving challenging for the logistics experts at KWS, but also the system landscape. Customer orders are received via the SAP® system, the stock management system of the growers, an online dealer portal, and even manually. Previously, none of this was ever consolidated into transport orders in one centralized system, and there was never a single IT-based system for communicating with the carriers – with the exception of one specific forwarder.
The solution devised by KWS was to establish a carrier management portal (CMP) that would consolidate and harmonize the data flows between the KWS systems and the various carriers. Transport orders are sent from the CMP to the various carriers. The providers must then pick up the goods within the agreed planning window.
Once the pickup has occurred, the transporter sends a status update to the CMP. If no pickup is reported before the dispatch window closes, the CMP automatically generates a warning to the carrier’s dispatcher and to KWS. Each side then has time to clarify the reason for the delayed pickup and initiate the proper response early enough to ensure that the shipment reaches the customer on time.
The customer also receives an automated notification with the time of delivery. Once the goods have been successfully delivered to the customer, the carrier issues a delivery confirmation. If no delivery confirmation has been received by the promised delivery time, the CMP automatically generates a late delivery alert to both KWS and the carrier’s dispatcher.
Andreas Römmert, Logistics Manager, KWS
“We have standardized and optimized our transport processes. In doing so, we have avoided interruptions in the flow of business data to and from our internal systems,” Römmert concludes. The comprehensive tracking & tracing of both forwarders and parcel services has greatly enhanced transparency in the international supply chain. KWS can now measure dispatch and transport times for any carrier to ensure that they are complying with the agreed terms.
KWS is also using the data to establish transport-related key performance indicators (KPIs) as a basis for a continuous improvement process (CIP). KWS is already the benchmark among its customers for its lead times. Another benefit: The delivery confirmations can be used to document the receipt of shipments outside the EU for VAT purposes.
For KWS, the investment in the TMS with an integrated carrier management portal has paid for itself within a year. The lower process costs in transport management and the reduced IT workload underline the economic success of the project. By eliminating multiple interfaces, efficiency has been significantly increased, resulting in a much more economical way of working.
KWS, based in the northern German town of Einbeck, is a world leader in plant cultivation. The company distinguishes itself by developing innovative seed varieties in order to meet global challenges in agriculture. With a wide range of products and a focus on research, KWS contributes significantly to increasing agricultural productivity.
Industry: Foods and luxury foods
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