Chemistry & Life Sciences

Production and Logistics: ‘Integrated Parts of a Whole’

07.05.2014 -

Complexity management

U. Willhaus: Ensuring the end-to-end flow of information is one of the major challenges facing logistics corporations and the chemical sector in the light of globalization and increasingly complex supply chains. The greater the number of participants involved in the supply chain, the less insight the individual partners have of the complete process. As a result, errors might occur - and this costs time and money.

Open communication on all sides and a common understanding of the problems are the only way to combat this trend. Logistics service providers and industry need to act as equal partners and develop joint solutions. Therefore, Lehnkering places great importance on shaping processes instead of simply handling individual orders.

Cooperation with logistics service providers

U. Willhaus: In my opinion, more cooperation arrangements among logistics service providers will not lead to reduced complexity. They are already very aware of this issue. Along the supply chain, they each have their specialist field of expertise but also cooperate where appropriate. Closer cooperation between the service providers and the industry is what is needed to shape supply chains that are more efficient and consistent. Production and logistics must be viewed as integrated parts of a whole in order to make processes stable and supply chains reliable. 

Standardization of logistics processes

U. Willhaus: Consequently, it is not possible to standardize logistics processes in every case. If standardization measures are effective, they make a great deal of sense. But particularly in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, there are limits to this process, because of the special requirements for products - especially in the field of dangerous goods. Regardless of the perspective used to view the challenges of globalization, high-quality performance along the complete supply chain can only be guaranteed by an open and transparent communication between service providers and industry.