We may have some well-deserved relieve for you.
The Chemical Industry is a complicated business. It’s a market dominated by demand and supply like no other. One quarter your production plants are running full flat and demand is booming, the next your supply dries up because of unforeseen circumstances (force majeur anyone?) or your sales decline because of lower-priced competition.
In this constant ebb and flow of things, you are not only balancing your supply, pricing and sales, but you are also pressured from the business and financial side of things. If you cannot serve your customers because of inefficiencies or hiccups in the supply chain, you’re usually the first one the business and financial management calls.
And those calls are usually anything but cheerful.
As a supply chain manager, you are therefore constantly under pressure to come up with creative solutions to honour contracts and serve customers, no matter what. Even if the disruptions are caused by forces outside of your control.
It’s a scenario known to most supply chain managers in the chemical industry know and one that, if not executed to perfection, has a direct negative impact on the bottom line of the business.
Add to that yet another hard to tame variable: logistics.
Lose control over it, and you’re practically walking on quicksand, heading towards the lion’s den.
Logistics challenges in a chemical company
Logistics is at the heart of every effective supply chain. After all, you can have the greatest product in the world but if it doesn’t reach your customers on time it is of no use.
In a chemical company, logistics is usually done by a separate logistics department that makes arrangements with carriers and suppliers. In many cases, it’s based on tenders, spot deals or longer-term contracts.
The problem with this approach is that, while it guarantees you a service level with your logistics supplier (e.g. your supplier can theoretically ship X.. number of containers for you per month, week etc.), it doesn’t guarantee you any availability of equipment when you need it most.
So what happens when you have a lot of material to ship and you need to ship it quickly?
You instruct your logistics department to call every other carrier and forwarder they know in the hope of finding someone who can help you.
But guess what: you’re not alone.
Most logistics- suppliers work with more than a few customers and in practice, it comes down to first come first serve. Especially in times of great demand.
If you’re lucky you can still serve your most important customers but all the others inevitably have to wait.
In practice, all the agreements and tenders that you made with your logistics suppliers mean nothing when the market is tight.
It’s a simple demand and supply equation.
But it still puts great pressure on your people and your supply chain.
And it’s a continuous loop that never stops. Until you approach it from a different perspective.
Shift your focus to equipment and availability instead of agreements.
Instead of contracting logistics suppliers based on “minimum”- service level agreements that cover everything and nothing (depending on the situation), focus your efforts on what really matters. Equipment and availability.
If you know where and when empty equipment is available, you no longer waste time on searching and shopping with your logistics suppliers.
No longer do you paralyse your logistics organization when the tides of the market turn against you. Instead, you go to the source directly and announce your shipments on a digital platform, where all the operators can quote on your business.
So instead of you (or your logistics department) chasing operators, it’s the operators that come to you with their offers. And all is visible to you with the click of a mouse.
Do you need to urgently ship 5 ISOtanks next week? Great!
You can see availability and prices in real time and negotiate spot deals immediately.
No more calling and emailing back and forth.
It is what the what the digital transformation in transportation and bulk logistics is all about.
It is something that we’ve been working on ever since we launched in 2017.
Especially for the chemical industry, we have created our digital booking platform which offers you all benefits for when you need to ship your cargoes:
● Find available tank containers
● Get instant quotations and negotiate with suppliers
● Compare prices and conditions
● Direct access to available tank containers from operators worldwide
● Generate new business and contacts.
We invite you to explore all the options here
Best of all: it’s completely FREE for all searchers like you.
and let us know what you think.
Moreover, we are interested in getting to know you.
What are your biggest challenges as a supply chain manager when it comes to logistics?
Let us know!