‘All Parties Should Have Access to All Information’
Complexity, cooperation and standardization
H. Kerstgens: The key to optimization of the supply chain is found in IT, because seamless communication between the various partners is a prerequisite for a secure, reliably functioning logistics chain. Special attention needs to be paid to the interfaces between the partners. In my view this task falls within the remit of the service provider, since we are specialists not only in the transportation of goods, but also in logistics and information.
In the chemical industry, unlike many other sectors, close cooperation between manufacturer and service provider cannot as yet be taken for granted. However, the logistics chain could be made even more efficient and effective by successful integration of the individual participants.
For this reason, all parties concerned should have access to all information. This applies to vertical cooperation as well as horizontal. Ideal would be a situation of total openness and transparency, as with open source programs, because only in this way all participants together can find the best solution.
The standardization of logistics processes is an important approach to rationalizing their complexity and thus working more efficiently. Nevertheless, logistics service providers should remain flexible enough to be able to respond to individual customer requirements and react to market fluctuations and other changes in background conditions.