Smart delivery with service oriented logistics
In an interview, George Lawson with Chemical Today Magazine opines about how the definition of logistics has changed to become the package of logistics services wrapped around the product offering.
By Shivani Mody
Trends in the chemical logistics and supply chain landscape in India.
We see B-to-B (B2B) logistics becoming more service oriented and business customers demanding e-commerce-like experiences. Therefore, competitive advantage is no longer being determined by the product alone but more by the package of logistics services wrapped around the product offering.
Chemical companies who provide customers with differentiated logistics service solutions in addition to the products, could be tomorrow’s leaders of a global industry expected to be worth €5.6 trillion by 2035. This is also the conclusion of our recently published DHL Global Forwarding white paper Differentiated Logistics Services.
As this trend grows, responsive logistics solutions become not just ‘nice to have’ but a deciding differentiating characteristic. Chemical producers who can strategically and quickly change their traditional view and offer differentiated logistics services will create competitive advantages, build customer loyalty and increase their bottom-line. For example, Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Just in Time (JIT — Kanban) might not boost margins in the short term, but will build customer loyalty — an extremely valuable asset.
Trends in the storage, warehousing and distribution requirements.
Due to the sensitive nature of chemical warehousing, it’s important to focus on safety and compliance when storing and transporting both hazardous and non-hazardous materials. There are ever changing transportation (global) and environmental regulations, and hence it is necessary to ensure that chemical warehouses are well equipped to meet safety standards. There is a huge focus on training (of those who handle the cargo) to handle chemicals, lubricants, and hazardous materials. Chemical transportation requires hazardous material compliance, and drivers properly trained to handle emergencies.
Visibility of shipment in addition to robust systems and processes are necessary. Inventory management, online inventory visibility and automated management of min/max levels by SKU are important features necessary for transportation of chemicals. Additionally, we see an increased focus on Health, Safety and Environment.