11 February 2021Comments are off for this post.

How to develop a sustainable supply chain?

We are all familiar with the stereotype of large corporations ruthlessly seeking to increase their profits. Although this problem has not ceased to exist, there is no longer any room for short-termism in modern business. The largest players on the market are consistently building their powerhouses to the rhythm of sustainability, i.e. in such a way as to minimise their negative impact on the natural, social and economic environment in the long term.

Sustainability is a must

Not so long ago, sustainability in various sectors of business and industry was a novelty, a trend that was worth following for our company to be perceived as modern, responsible and conscious. Today, development in line with these standards is no longer a choice but a necessity. 

The widespread knowledge about the impact of large corporations on the degradation of the environment makes the largest corporations in the world very carefully select their partners and suppliers, and the criterion for selection is precisely the observance of appropriate procedures. 

Particular elements of the supply chain are not perceived individually, but each supplier becomes, in a way, the responsibility of the buyer, and on subsequent rungs of the business ladder, everyone follows the same schema, cooperating with companies that respect sustainable supply chain development standards. 

As a result, a network of conscious practices is created, and if we want to develop among the most important players on the market, there is nothing left to do but to implement modern solutions in our structures. But how to do it?

Sustainable Supply Chain

Luckily, catching up with standards of sustainability is becoming much easier, thanks to the advancements in digital technologies. 

Software helps supply chain companies deal with a number of issues. Take empty (or half-empty) runs as an example. Digital technologies, such as real-time visibility, allow transport companies to significantly reduce the amount of empty runs, which directly leads to the reduction of CO2 emissions. 

Green supply chain also means green logistics and warehouse management. But how can we actually make it green? Automation and digital analytics lead to shorter time spent by transport units at the docks, ports and distribution centers, which significantly contributes to the lower energy consumption. Again, software is essential to hit those sustainability targets and create sustainable supply chain tools.

There are countless examples of digital technologies allowing supply chain companies to become greener. At times we might think that a certain kind of innovation is not revolutionary enough and the resulting change is too small. But sometimes even the tiniest improvements can lead to massive savings, when you consider the scale of a company’s operations and its fleet size. 

A good example? Smart steaming! Smart steaming is a strategy by which the vessel speed is dynamically optimised based on the real-time state of the sea, weather and the situation at the destination port - all of it to reduce fuel consumption. And even though the amount of saved fuel by an individual vessel might not be spectacular, when this innovation is applied to a fleet of hundreds of thousands of vessels, it really makes an enormous difference. 

Hello technology 

When we already have knowledge and awareness of what a green supply chain can do and we want to implement these standards in our company, technology comes to our aid. 

Thanks to it, we can develop in the field of zero waste, constantly monitoring the indicators of raw materials used, control the emission of pollutants, reduce the amount of paper used, simplify administration, collect and analyse data on the entire supply chain and educate our suppliers and partners on responsible procedures. 

Digital solutions have a huge impact on optimising almost every stage in the supply chain, so it makes sense to use them as often as possible.

Knowledge is power

Yes, yes, this phrase sounds like a truism, but let's think about it - how can we streamline processes, make changes or improve the functioning of our company without relevant data about the current state of affairs? How can we look for solutions when we don't know the source of the problem? 

Thousands of elements interact in the supply chain. Every stage of transport and logistics involves a huge number of operations, each of which generates profits, but also losses, for example in the form of emissions or unnecessary tasks that reduce the efficiency and well-being of employees. 

It's frightening how many companies don't know the details of their supply chains, especially as today's organisations' operations are more extensive and global than ever before. Knowledge of the processes in a company is the basis and starting point for making improvements and with the help of digital solutions, we can obtain it in several ways. 

Audits, or how our company is doing

An audit is a basic tool of verification and control of processes in our organisation, giving us an overall view of its functioning. In an extended supply chain, each of the entities conducts or at least should conduct them. This allows us to accumulate tons of valuable knowledge, but the problem is its flow. 

Anyone who has watched films or series about serial killers in America in the 1960s or 1970s may have noticed a certain absurdity in the investigations carried out at that time. Namely, the police in different states did not exchange knowledge among themselves. As a result, a criminal only needed to cross a state border for the current investigation to practically cease, because law enforcement in another state had no access to the information gathered and developed by officers at the crime scene. 

Of course, in the case of more serious crimes, the case could be taken over by federal officers, but FBI agents did not always evoke positive feelings from local police, who were reluctant to share their knowledge with them. The stifling flow of information between the various units resulted in the case not being solved and further damage caused by the elusive criminal. 

LOOKING FOR A PARTNER IN BUILDING A SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTION?

Information flow

In the case of audits, the potential consequences may not be as dramatic, but the principle is similar - the subsequent companies in the chain do not share it with each other or with the buyer, and the faulty practices still exist and cause damage. 

Modern supply chain software allows you to greatly simplify the entire audit process and systematise the information, which can then be shared with partners. 

Is a company generating too much raw material waste? Are working conditions unsuitable for employees somewhere? Does a particular supplier emit too many greenhouse gases or make inefficient transports? Thanks to technology, we will know this as soon as possible so that we can react to potential risks.

Supply chain mapping

Supply chain mapping is not a new idea. Back in the 19th century, when the management of raw material transportation grew to unprecedented proportions due to colonisation, rulers, entrepreneurs and companies created such maps. 

They made it possible to determine the course of trade routes, the most important suppliers, the places of receipt and sale, and which raw materials were involved. The disadvantage of such maps was their comprehensive and static nature - the document showed the status of our chain only at the time of its creation; every change of route, a new partner or threat of pirate attack or armed conflict made the map outdated. 

Constantly correcting it was complicated because the flow of information was slow, and it was unfeasible to provide everyone involved with the latest version of the map at the same time. Ah, if only 19th-century entrepreneurs had the technology we have now.

After all, we don't live in the 19th century…

Today, the scale and complexity of the supply chain are incomparably greater. The vast amount of information we have to analyse and take into account would not be possible to process without appropriate digital solutions such as cloud based supply chain management software. 

We can create accurate maps, showing every supplier, every receiving and selling point, every process, every transport, in real-time, because we can update them in a highly automated way. What's more, everyone involved in our supply chain has access to the map and can follow the process they are interested in at any time, so they can see if there is a problem at any stage. 

At the same time, information about suppliers can also include whether they operate to sustainability standards, so we can support them in implementing appropriate practices. IoT (Internet of Things) technology is very often used to collect this data, i.e. devices that constantly monitor fuel consumption or emissions and transfer them to a database in real-time. 

Modern supply chain maps are important for optimising transport and logistics, increasing visibility and developing sustainable supply chain business.

Risk under control

Risk assessment in multi-component industries such as transport and logistics is an absolute must. Analysing factors such as the possibility of natural disasters, financial crises, social and political issues is essential to minimise damage and select the best solutions from a business, environmental and safety perspective. 

Processing the information coming from each partner at different stages of transport in supply chains as complex as today's would be impossible without the support of appropriate technology. Modern systems work with huge amounts of data and automation makes procedures simpler, clearer and, above all, effective. 

Supply chain information management programs can accurately predict which elements of an operation are most sensitive, allowing weaknesses to be identified and potential risks to be addressed at the earliest possible stage.

Carbon footprint, the main market antagonist

Reducing the carbon footprint, or the sum of greenhouse gases generated is one of the most important tasks facing companies aiming to aiming to create sustainable supply chain. Counting and reducing this indicator is key to stopping environmental degradation. 

Moreover, in today's business environment, the carbon footprint is one of the most important criteria for companies to join collaborations or tenders, as major companies strictly adhere to standards and restrictions in this area. 

Here again, technology comes to the rescue, as dedicated software can not only count the carbon footprint of the entire supply chain and each company but can also predict how much greenhouse gas will be generated in the future. Such solutions allow us to monitor the state of carbon emissions in real-time and react where necessary and develop preventative solutions. 

Support and cooperation

Owners or investors of large, modern companies today have all the knowledge and tools they need to grow their businesses in the most sustainable way. Technology companies are racing to develop the solutions needed to do this because in a time of climate change and social inequality it is not just about profit, but about creating a market. 

It is up to large organisations to ensure that their partners and suppliers operate to modern standards, but many of them are located in developing economies where these procedures are not yet as strongly implemented. 

Sharing knowledge and best practice, through educational platforms, training and instruction, which will enable smaller businesses to improve their businesses, is hugely important in this case. This education and knowledge sharing throughout the supply chain help to build an interconnected network of sustainable practices and shape a modern, responsible market.


24 January 2021Comments are off for this post.

Cargo securing: why intermodal transport needs digital solutions

Inadequate securing of cargo and the resulting damage is a constant, although undesirable element of any kind of transport, including intermodal transport. In an increasingly competitive business environment even a small optimization of costs can have a significant impact on the company's financial results. Improvement of the cargo securing process is therefore one of the factors that can have a large impact on building a competitive advantage.

Cargo securing - challenges of the current state of affairs

The cost of lost cargo, due to inadequate securing, can be enormous. Given the low margins that dominate the shipping industry, a single loss of shipment can represent a significant drop in revenue.

Statistics show that the damage rate in transport is found to be between 1 and 4%, depending on the type of transit. Globally, cargo damage losses amount to €4 billion each year. Most importantly - almost 70% of cargo damage in global transport is classified as avoidable.

Apart from the obvious, huge financial losses related to the destruction of the cargo, its improper securing carries another risk - the risk of receiving financial penalties. The EU Directive 2014/47 / EU on the technical roadside inspection of roadworthiness of commercial vehicles has been in force for more than a year, which imposes not only higher penalties, but also even the risk of revoking a license to operate, in case of repeated failure to secure cargo properly.

The COVID-19 pandemic also has an impact on cargo securing, potential damage and financial losses. The turmoil hit small and medium-sized players hardest, allowing global giants to take over an ever-larger piece of the transport market pie. Under these conditions, cost optimization becomes absolutely essential to be able to remain competitive on the market. Correct and efficient load securing is one of the most important elements of reducing operating costs.

Efficiency in cargo securing affects the competitiveness of any company from the very beginning of the fight for a customer. The valuation of transport and cargo securing costs has an enormous impact on the efficiency of catching new deals on a freight exchange.

It is also worth noting that in the case of intermodal transport, these estimates are particularly complex due to different requirements of cargo securing for different modes of transport. Intermodal transport is also often associated with intercontinental travel, through a large number of countries - which leads to the increased number of regulations and requirements that the cargo securing must meet.

So how do transport companies deal with minimizing the financial risk related to cargo damage? Insurance of cargo in case of damage is the main tool to transfer risks. However, insurance requires a cargo securing plan from the carrier, together with documentation confirming its implementation. This presents transport companies with another challenge.

cargo securing app

At Setapp we are working on solutions that make cargo securing much more efficient.

Cargo securing plan - how do transport companies deal with this task?

The cargo securing plan and documentation confirming its implementation is another factor that puts small and medium-sized companies under huge pressure. Large transport concerns do not have a problem with this task, as they use their extensive internal resources or hire expensive cargo securing companies. Smaller companies usually can’t afford these kinds of solutions. So they do either one of these two things:

Some companies secure their cargo intuitively, not relying on precise calculations or plans. This usually means they secure their cargo excessively, wasting material and time. This type of approach involves constant and significant financial losses - completely avoidable losses.

The second way to get a cargo securing plan is to have this type of calculation and documentation created by a person who creates them based on spreadsheets or autocad. This is a time consuming and inflexible approach. It often happens that the incoming load is packed or divided differently or with different parameters than set in the contract. In such a situation, a quick response and change of the security plan is required, and it is not always possible when a company relies on autocad calculations or spreadsheets.

These imperfect solutions create space for the use of digital solutions that would allow relatively cheap and quick creation of complete documentation necessary for the safe transport of cargo. The first digital products of this type are already appearing on the market. Most of them however, turn out to be inaccurate, which results in incorrect calculations and, consequently, potential penalties for the carrier. It is therefore important to take a look at conditions that we believe should be met by apps that would solve the problem of cargo securing and its documentation.

One of the most important thing for us is to create a tool that works with any kind of load

What criteria should a digital tool for building a cargo securing plan meet? 

One of the basic conditions for the success of any app is whether it will be a trusted tool that works with global standards. It must therefore be a tool that can easily comply with the most important cargo securing standards (CTU-Code 2014 and EN 12195-1: 2011). This type of app should allow for quick and standardized calculations to create a cargo securing plan.

Another of the key requirements is the flexibility of the app and the ability to adjust its tools to specific needs of any kind of client. The apps available on the market generate an automatic proposal of cargo securing, but do not allow the use of expert knowledge and optimal matching, which means that their calculations do not work for more complicated loads. 

A good example here is, for example, an oversized transport, which the currently available apps are not able to handle. The goal should therefore be to create an application that covers all the needs of a transport company, regardless of the complexity of their orders.

Moving cargo securing to the digital world should also mean that the entire process should not require extensive expert knowledge. The app should allow you to enter the input data easily. In such a case, you don’t need to engage any experts, because the planner in the company, without deep knowledge of the standards, will be able to design cargo securing, and the app will provide calculations and verify their compliance with global standards.

 

Digitization also significantly increases the accessibility of documentation. Right now, it is common to use technical drawing that requires experience in reading. Moving the experience to the digital world, we can show everything on 3D objects, which are much easier to understand. This benefit is absolutely crucial as it ensures cargo securing documentation is available and easy to read at all stages of transport - for the planner, packing team, driver, forwarder, cargo controlling services, insurer, etc.

Increasing the availability through digitization also means, for example, the ease of downloading the report anywhere in the world. This is especially crucial for the intermodal transport industry. All you need is a QR code and full documentation can follow the cargo all over the world.

The main advantage of digitization is cost optimization. The goal is to properly secure the cargo at the lowest possible cost. The digital app should be able to recalculate each binding or blockage on the fly, informing the user that the requirements specified by the standards are met, so that there is no waste of materials for securing the load excessively.

Cost optimization is also associated with the optimization of time spent by employees on cargo securing. The time to build a cargo securing plan thanks to digital solutions is around 15-30 minutes, instead of the standard 1-2 days. As a result, transport companies don’t need to hire as many experts as before.

The app we are creating focuses on user-friendliness.

Our project at Setapp

Responding to the challenges mentioned in this post and the lack of efficient tools on the market, we at Setapp conduct research and development work aimed at creating a digital solution that meets the requirements of the market. We create this app in cooperation with Dr. Jarosław Soliwoda from the Department of Ship’s Operation at Gdynia Maritime University,

The main goal of our project is to create an app that allows companies to quickly and repeatedly build industrial cargo security plans, for a fraction of the price of the traditional approach.

Thanks to special algorithms, each cargo securing plan will (amongst other things) verify loads mass, forces and moments affecting the load to ensure its compliance with world standards. To learn more about this project, leave your e-mail below and we will contact you with all the details!

The original (Polish) version of this article was first published on IntermodalNews.


OUR OFFICE

Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

OUR OFFICES

POL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICES

PL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICE

Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

 COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICES

POL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.
VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICES

PL: Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

ISR: 220 Hertzel Street, 7630003 Israel

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

OUR OFFICE

Wojskowa 6, 60-792 Poznań, Poland
+48 506 798 998
office@setapp.pl

COMPANY DATA

Setapp Sp. z o.o.

VAT ID: PL7781465185
REGON: 301183743
KRS: 0000334616

PRIVACY POLICY

klacz
Clutch award badge
topdizajn
svg-image
svg-image
svg-image
svg-image
Instagram Icon
svg-image
svg-image
smart-growth
european-union

©2020 Setapp. All rights reserved.