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Clever idea for round logistics solution: The rolling pipeline

Chemion reduces the logistics complexity through integrated concepts


Logistics have increased substantially in complexity in the last twenty years. The most important driver of this development is the globalization which leads to the fact that procurement and distribution are carried out internationally, which extends the supply chains and logistics has become a strategic competitive factor. With these changes the demands from logistics service providers have also changed: Chemion sees it as a challenge to compile individualized service bundles for its customers which streamline the existing processes to a certain extent and make the logistics complexity controllable through integrated solution concepts.

Network service areas – create value added

More and more companies recognize the cooperation with external logistics specialists as a possibility to reduce the complexity of their logistics and thereby to create flexibility for themselves. Placing orders for single services with external companies however is no longer sufficient today. Rather the principle applies: The more complex the logistics process is which a service provider controls for its customers and the greater the leeway for design, which the logistics company has when creating the concept, the greater is the financial benefit for the customer’s company. For this reason Chemion pursues a holistic approach with the development of logistical solutions. If not just an individual process is considered when designing a logistics concept, but also the flows are taken into consideration which are carried out before or after this process, then the interaction of suppliers, the logistics of the customer and its distributors or customers can be improved substantially thereby. In an intensive exchange with the customer Chemion therefore looks into the single services, such as for example the transport, the storage or the transshipment and also looks in detail at interfaces and related processes. This way it can be determined how various service areas are linked with each other and can be integrated into a whole concept. Chemion is convinced: The quality of a logistics solution can be measured based on how high its level of individualization is and on how much it simplified and therefore makes a process chain controllable.

Lend good ideas

Sometimes a good idea from a field not related to logistics can also be used as a model for an innovative solution with the design of a comprehensive logistics concept. How this can look in practice – is illustrated by the following example:

A pipeline is a symbol for supply security. Chemion Logistik has applied this principle of the constant product flow from the field of „energy supply“ to the rail transport and therefore developed an innovative solution for the field of transport: One customer had contacted Chemion with the requirement to develop a model for its product deliveries via rail, with which the interests of the loaders and customer would be equally taken into account. For product deliveries, which were transported with individual boiler wagons and wagon groups the customer company was looking for an alternative, as to date between the order and delivery there were sometimes time spans of 2 to 3 days. The company needed however product quantities for its production, which can often only be determined at short notice from one day to the next. This short time span was not sufficient for the loader on the other site of the transport process in order to deliver the ordered quantities in time. Therefore, the objectives of production and customer company were at first glance diametric in comparison. However, Chemion brought these into line through the idea of the pipeline on rails.

Elastic process for planning and supply security

Synergies were created with the „rolling pipeline“, a process which was coordinated between production and consumption was defined and the transport between loading and receipt was kept elastic: Three times a week the service provider received the boiler wagons provided by the loader, however only delivered the product quantities and wagons daily to the customer which the company had called in the logistics center rail of Chemion on the previous day. This way Chemion acted more or less as a buffer between the two companies. The whole transport process was monitored from the logistics center so that all single steps were transparent and understandable and the individual flows could be controlled efficiently. As a consequence Chemion ensured with the pipeline model that planning security at the loader and supply security at the recipient went hand in hand.



 

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