The Road to Success
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Logistics Providers Define their Role in an Increasingly Complex World
Growing complexity, with a strong focus on digitalization and connectivity as megatrends for the whole industry, dictates the business world. Logistics has become an important factor with special relevance for the chemical as well as for the pharmaceutical industry. To get a closer look on the opinion of specialists in the logistics sector of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, CHEManager Distribution & Logistics asked corporate executives and industry experts to share their views and strategies with our readers including principals and customers. Among the questions we put up for discussion were:
- Looking at the coming five years, which are the major trends in your opinion shaping the logistics market in global acting industries like chemistry or Life Sciences?
- Which impact has the digitalization on the pharmaceutical respectively chemical logistics sector?
- Is by example standardization of logistics processes a way to reduce the complexity in the chemical respectively the pharmaceutical industry? What else is needed to be done?
Read here what the opinion leaders have told us:
Digitalization Has Many Faces
New technology, particularly prescriptive supply chain and business analytics, will increase end-to-end transparency with solutions that include data engineering, modeling and user interface solutions. At BASF for example, we successfully use predictive analytics in our “supply chain control tower”. We consolidate logistics information from carriers and various tracking solutions combine it with external information sources such as weather, news and social media feeds for a pro-active risk mitigation.
Digitalization will also lead to a more horizontal integration, connecting suppliers and customers in real-time to increase planning accuracy, speed and reduce cost. This also enables us to conduct advanced supply chain planning, for example predictive analytics for product demand.
Combining “smart” technology with our supply chain expertise enables us to implement new and innovative solutions which also increase our cost-effectiveness. For example, BASF has entered into a strategic partnership with Dutch start-up company Ahrma Holding to jointly approach the growing market for smart logistics solutions. Ahrma offers a “smart pallet” equipped with an active wireless transponder which provides users with complete insights on the position and movement of shipped goods, temperature fluctuations, load state and any possible impact or dropping.
Last but not least, digital technologies will significantly impact physical logistics: New tools for warehousing, transportation management, logistics handling and commissioning will come on the market together with intuitive and mobile-ready user interfaces. This will offer us a wide variety of opportunities for growth and innovation.
Ralf Busche, BASF
Turning Pure Data into Valuable Information
I believe, that those companies who are able to gain benefits from the new possibilities of the digital transformation will have a competitive advantage. Looking at the challenges in the logistics networks of those industries you can see an ever-growing complexity. Digitalization now opens new ways of turning pure data into valuable information which allows for more reliable planning and thus more efficient and cost-effective processes.
Digitalization helps manage the complexity of supply chains in those industries. With modern IT systems it controls the flow of information that accompanies the flow of physical goods.
In this digital era, cloud technology has a key role to play in streamlining logistical processes. As it allows for managing cross-enterprise logistical processes in a global network of various forwarders and sites and enable all the parties to collaborate smoothly along the transport chain.
Sven Durian, Axit
Creating Customer Value beyond Chemicals
While the growth story of the chemical industry in the past was mainly built around further diversification and tailoring of chemical products to individual customer needs, today´s focus is on efficiency gains and especially creating customer value beyond chemicals.
Chemical leaders drive the transformation of their supply chain into a source of competitive advantage instead of purely considering it a cost position that needs to be handled efficiently.
Accordingly, we observe that our clients strongly invest in four areas:
- end-to-end B2B2C value chain intelligence
- flexible, accelerated, self-learning and dynamic S&OP loops
- transparency and flexibilization of logistics operations
- smart customer interaction in a way we already know from B2C environments
Key requirement for the companies to achieve a competitive advantage in these areas is, to significantly enhance their technological and digital capabilities, too.
Michael Kirchbichler, Maex Partners