OPEN UP TO GAINS
Original publication: https://www.hcblive.com/platforms-open-up-for-gains/
By Sam Hearne, Deputy Editor HCB
ASSET OPTIMISATION • TANKCONTAINERFINDER IS ADAPTING ITS SYSTEMS AND TOOLS TO MAKE THE SUPPLY CHAIN COMFORTABLE WITH SHARING INFORMATION, WHICH IS VITAL TO REDUCE WASTE
Trust – or rather a lack of it – has been a sticking point in introducing digital services into the chemical supply chain, despite the obvious opportunities for increasing efficiency in asset utilisation.
TankContainerFinder.com (TCF) has had to face that issue head-on if it is to develop its matchmaking service for tank container operators and users. In particular, TCF has experienced a reluctance on the part of its users to share location-based data, specifically the location of empty tank containers.
To combat this, it has introduced an ‘availability module’, in which operators can share tank availability anonymously. “We have convinced many isotank operators to display their availability in an attempt to reduce the amount of empty repositioning worldwide,” says Léon de Bruin, co-founder of TCF.
Another concern that TCF faced is whether suppliers would feel comfortable displaying their prices on its platform. However, de Bruin notes, this has not been a barrier for most and a lot of industry players have been more than happy to display their prices. “I think it’s fair to say we have gained trust in the industry,” says de Bruin. “We are using that trust as a basis for future growth.”
WHERE TO NEXT
In the coming year, TCF aims to focus on more value-added services. "We are looking how to add extra value for our users on a day-to-day basis and are discussing with the team and partners how to place them on our roadmap,” says de Bruin. “We are looking at how implementing Blockchain technology and IoT/telematics can build a more sustainable, reliable and efficient supply chain. We are also working to provide a service where we connect depot cleaning and repair stations, work alongside transporting companies and provide insurance.
Additionally, we want to help customers with their tendering processes, but that's something for a further future.” Those types of service are a natural extension of TCF’s original remit when it launched in 2017. Rather than merely existing to put operators and users together, it has been growing into a booking platform and has concentrated on creating a worldwide supply and demand network.
By adapting its platform to allow users to see prices, availability, conditions and make bookings, TCF is becoming a one-stop shop in the tank container industry.
TCF is also working to optimise fleet utilisation as well as making use of continuous feedback loops where both the searcher and the tank container supplier help populate ‘jobs to be done’ on the company’s roadmap. “Our main focus here is to help create a more sustainable, transparent and efficient supply chain in the tank container industry,” says de Bruin.
The company is now focusing on optimisation of the booking process and consistently has the scaling up of development in mind. “We are also looking at ways to optimise the entire tank container supply chain by fulfilling our customers’ ‘jobs to be done’,” says de Bruin. Currently we are working with 2-3 weeks agile sprints with an aim to reduce these to 1-2 weeks burndown sprints.”
Published on 2018-09-19 at 13:15 by Sam Hearne (HCB)