Less communication with partners
Reduction of internal queries
Transparency in delivery coordination
The ebm-papst Group is the world's leading manufacturer of fans and drives. Since its founding in 1963, the technology leader has set international market standards with its core competencies of motor technology, electronics, digitalization and aerodynamics. In fiscal year 2021/22, the hidden champion generated a turnover of 2.288 billion EUR and employs nearly 15,000 people at 29 production sites and 51 sales locations worldwide.
ebm-papst Landshut is part of the ebm-papst Group as the Heating Technology Division. Accordingly, the company is the world market leader in the development and manufacture of innovative gas-air systems. These technologies also use green and synthetic gases, as well as hydrogen or biogases. Furthermore, ebm-papst Landshut is working on future-oriented (system) solutions in the field of heat pumps and distribution.
Coordinating the loading and unloading processes can be challenging when handling 1,250 pallets a day at inbound and 1,150 pallets a day at outbound. Until 2021, a traditional Time slot management supported the company in coordinating their deliveries. However, the desire for progress and transparency was great.
The aim was to optimize capacities through the use of AI and to achieve transparency by making all data available in a single system. The goal was to find a platform that offers a person-free check-in and a modern and clear Time slot management . In addition, there should be the possibility of empties management and personnel deployment planning on the platform. The close cooperation with the forwarding agents should always be in focus, which is why it was clear that a collaboration software is needed that extends the classic Time slot management even further.
An effective Time slot management can make the work of both the manufacturing industry and the logistics service providers and forwarders involved easier. The best possible coordination of loading and unloading processes is necessary to ensure timely supply of production and thus punctual delivery of finished products to end customers.
In order to make logistics more collaborative and efficient, TradeLink has set itself the task of filling the gaps in the existing systems. Since the handling of the conventional Time slot management systems is sometimes an obstacle for employees and partners, TradeLink was developed in such a way that the operation of the tool is very simple and self-explanatory. In addition, care is taken to ensure that the settlement process is also as simple as possible for partners, helping them to work more efficiently. A high-performance bidirectional API connection supports this.
You can read more about the differences to conventional Time slot management systems here: https://www.tradelink.co/tradelink-versus-time slot
Once contact was established between ebm-papst Landshut and TradeLink, the set-up was designed to create results as quickly as possible. The focus was also on the development of the platform and the input of Landshut's employees.
ebm-papst Landshut defined their requirements for the new platform. In collaboration with TradeLink's Customer Success Team and the project team, these were specified and implemented.
The TradeLink Check-In Terminal was created with ebm-papst Landshut and used directly at ebm-papst Landshut. In cooperation, the person-free check-in was developed in 21 languages for the Drivers . This represents an enormous relief for the information exchange with the Drivers from the most different countries of origin. In addition, a pager system was used to inform the Drivers specifically about information such as ramp assignment.
Emons, a globally operating company in the transport and logistics sector with over 121 locations and 3700 employees, stands for services in the fields of transport, contract logistics, air and sea freight, customs, rail freight and digital logistics. Represented in 16 countries, Emons serves over 7000 customers and operates a transport network comprising more than 30 partner companies.
In 2022, Emons identified goods-in transparency as one of its top priorities for digitizing contract logistics. After a market screening and trade-offs between internal solution development in its own Emons | DIGITAL incubator and an external service procurement, Emons came across TradeLink. The first talks immediately revealed the same understanding with regard to digitalization in logistics and opened the discussion around joint synergies. In November 2022, both sides decided to launch a collaborative initiative to jointly drive logistics collaboration. After all, this is how both companies complement each other in their business areas and expertise.
This includes, in particular, the exchange of know-how between logistics, forwarding and digitization experts for achieving better efficiency and transparency over the movement of goods at all Emons locations, as well as improving digital collaboration with all customers and stakeholders in the supply chain.
Head Marketing & Digitalization | Emons
"This is a necessary collaboration between traditional and new companies in the logistics industry and beyond. This collaborative approach brings together many benefits and promises data-driven advancement of products and services on both sides."
The first, operational focus was on the introduction of the TradeLink platform at two different locations. The two warehouse locations in Markgröningen and Thurnau were selected. Both sites are typical multi-user warehouses, but with different starting points in terms of processes. Markgröningen already had an existing notification obligation for all suppliers, while Thurnau operated as a new site without a notification process.
The start with these two locations combined different advantages. Each local warehouse logistics has its own processes and peculiarities, so one forced the direct comparability in a more complex initial situation. In addition to the common denominator, the measurement basis for recognizing the added value was created. On the other hand, Emons thus reduced the operational costs for the project management.
Under the leadership of Julian Bausch, Logistics Manager Markgröningen, the platform solution was rolled out at both sites. In the first step, we started by setting up the site and created user accounts. This can be realized within 24 hours and lays the foundation for a successful roll-out.
In the first joint workshop, we started to define a common goal and a success plan. In doing so, we defined the clients' key delivery partners and agreed on a fixed deadline by which they should be live. Operational goals included increasing the number of pre-delivery documents by 40% by June 2023, halving truck wait times by April 2023, and reducing peaks in deliveries.
In the second step, we focused on internal adaptation. In a one-hour training session with all key operational staff, all stakeholders were introduced to the platform and how easy it is to use. This was recorded to be shared later within the organization. The key users also took on the role of trainers to pass on the knowledge internally.
In the third step, we created a communication plan for the joint partner onboarding starting in the second week. One responsible person per site was named for the roll-out and processes and milestones were agreed with TradeLink. The top 20 partners were invited within 2 weeks. Templates for the approach were personalized and sent out, followed by the appropriate invitations. We monitored the success of the invitations in a regular check-in.
With the rapid partner go-live, the platform could already be used operationally without any problems with the most important supply partners from the 4th week. From now on, open topics and observations will be discussed in regular check-ins until we reach the routine phase, in which a comparison with the initial objective follows every 3-6 months and new objectives are defined.
Logistics Manager Markgröningen | Emons
"Thanks to the support of the project participants from Thurnau and Markgröningen, the involved delivery partners as well as the TradeLink team, above all Lucian Berkmüller, we were always one step ahead of the defined success plan. As a result, we were able to implement a delivery reconciliation solution at our Thurnau site for the first time in record time and completely replace the previously used tool with TradeLink at the Markgröningen logistics center at an early stage."
Thanks to the successful and efficient project management, all relevant delivery partners in Markgröningen were connected to the TradeLink platform in less than 8 weeks. This quickly led to the desired reduction in internal inquiries about delivery information and the processing time for each incoming and outgoing goods.
In Thurnau, all relevant supply partners were also connected in the same time despite the lack of notification processes. In addition, a successful notification system for supply partners was introduced for the first time, which improved capacity utilization and smoothed out delivery peaks.
Logistics Manager Thurnau | Emons
"Even in the first workshop, you could sense that everyone involved wanted to go in the same direction. TradeLink and Emons benefited from each other's know-how and practical relevance. In the end, this was also the basis for the rapid implementation.
Despite increasing order volumes at the site, waiting times per ramp contact were significantly minimized and processes streamlined. The tool's ease of use across virtually the entire transport chain met with a very high level of acceptance among suppliers, freight carriers and our customers."
The implementation of the TradeLink platform also provided real-time visibility into the current delivery, yard, and ramp situation, as well as increased availability of digital delivery documents prior to delivery.
Tracking and reporting of delivery quality has been improved and the processing time in inbound and outbound has been reduced by 30 minutes per day per site. In addition to the operational improvement, more than 10 potentials for improving coordination in the logistics centers were identified, one of which has already been implemented on the TradeLink platform.
At the Thurnau site, the partner roll-out for Emons customers in Hall B will now follow. An important step here is the introduction of a mandatory document upload for all partners before the actual announcement. This will make it possible to holistically increase transparency in advance and achieve valuable time savings in work preparation. In addition, one will now be able to measure and compare important key figures such as the measurement and optimization of the processing time in inbound for each delivery.
At the Markgröningen site, the focus is on the onboarding of clients. They are given their own view for transparency on incoming and outgoing goods at the outsourced logistics location. From now on, important key figures such as the aforementioned processing time will also be measured and optimized here for the first time at inbound .
As soon as empties management is available on the TradeLink platform, we plan to digitally simplify and automate this process as well.
The successful roll-out at the first two sites can be chalked up as a successful first step towards a uniform toolbox and the path to structured logistics data around delivery movements at Emons. In addition to the optimization and coverage of further use cases at both pilot sites, a rapid roll-out at the other Emons sites is planned.
The fact that cooperation does not have to end at Sites was shown, among other things, by the extensive double interview with DVZ in April 2023, which addressed how logistics companies and startups can work together without threatening each other at the same time. We were much more pleased about the joint panel appearance at the Emons Demo Days in Cologne in the same month.
The initiative continues to thrive on regular exchanges and workshops between the two sides in order to build on what has already been achieved and identify and promote further mutual potential. We support each other not only in finding ideas, but also in implementing them through the targeted exchange of information.
First, ebm-papst Landshut's partners tested the platform's functions. Three in-house forwarding agents were brought on board for this purpose. The feedback was very positive:
- The forwarders were satisfied
- Communication to forwarding agents was reduced -> more efficient communication
- Better coordination with subcontractors
- A fast, efficient and transparent platform
- Very good and fast support for questions
Good collaboration is a prerequisite for a promising switch between two systems and an increase in satisfaction along the entire supply chain. That is why the positive feedback from the partners was so important for further collaboration.
In January 2022, the complete switch to TradeLink took place, in which all other freight forwarders were also included. Internal departments such as sales, purchasing and material planning were also quickly familiarized with the platform in order to be able to extract information from it independently.
By using TradeLink, the logistic processes in inbound and outbound have been made more transparent. Among other things, it is now possible to track how long the loading of the trucks takes on average. Processes such as load securing protocols or the storage of external driver instruction are handled via TradeLink. In addition, supplier reporting is possible and personnel deployment planning can be simplified.
"TradeLink has helped us not only in the logistical processes. Thanks to the platform, our processes have become leaner and more efficient, greatly reducing internal communication. The new system not only maps our requirements, but also those of our partners."
- Christian Stamp (Logistics Manager, ebm-papst Landshut)
Communication with the forwarding agents could be reduced by approx. 80 % through TradeLink, since, for example, a change in a delivery can be corrected directly on the platform and the information is automatically communicated to the correspondingly stored delivery partners.
According to ebm-papst Landshut, internal communication between departments has been minimized by using TradeLink. In addition, all stored data can be called up and processed by internal Users , which has led to a reduction in queries regarding deliveries and collections by around 50%.
TradeLink provides ebm-papst Landshut with a central communication platform that can be used to map a wide range of logistics requirements. Forwarders and partners appreciate the free use of the portal and can carry out bookings independently. Functions requested by ebm-papst Landshut are, for example, an SAP connection, track & trace and the adjustment of status points. Connections for other ebm-papst Heating locations are being planned.
TradeLink stands for further development and the whole team is working daily to use the platform to make cooperation in logistics more collaborative and transparent
Every day, 1,250 pallets are handled at inbound and 1,150 at outbound at ebm-papst Landshut. With this mass, there were repeated difficulties in coordinating the loading and unloading processes. Optimal utilization of the warehouse capacity was thus not possible.
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