As a specialist shipper, it is impossible for us to maintain contacts with all kinds of carriers. The IDS Control Tower turned out to be the best solution.
DSM’s logistics network has grown in size and complexity and the company decided to review its European road transport activities. IDS was chosen to rationalize DSM’s distribution activities and implement a transport management solution.
Interview with Han Koolen, DSM Sourcing Department
Industrial giant DSM has emerged from a supplier of basic chemicals to a global science-based company. The geographical spread has increased and DSM customers order smaller quantities.
Both the number of shipments as well as the network of carriers have increased enormously. Category Manager of Regional Distribution Han Koolen: “We look after all transport, mainly to DSM customers, in mainland Europe and the UK. This includes most modalities, but mainly road transport and intermodal.”
The company increasingly has to work with smaller and more specialized carriers. “Our local production facilities and warehouses noticed that their carrier network was becoming increasingly complex. They had to work with new and different carriers to new destinations,” Han continues.
“They were losing control of the transport operation and it was becoming very time-consuming for them. In terms of scheduling pick-up and loading times, checking invoices, handling any complaints and so on.”
“It is an advantage that IDS itself does not have transport services” – Han Koolen
One of the advantages of IDS is its 100% neutrality. “Some other Control Tower solution providers also offer their own transportation services. To handle our goods flows, we need smaller and more specialized carriers.
Some of those carriers may be reluctant to cooperate with other carriers because there is a greater risk of conflict of interest.
DSM signed 150 contracts with logistics and supply chain partners. “From there, IDS takes care of the management of all operational transport activities – starting with entering our contract data into IDS’ TMS. We book all customer orders in SAP. Details are sent electronically to IDS’s TMS and then it is up to IDS to plan, arrange and manage the transport.”
In addition to easing the workload for DSM in the field of transport planning, IDS also takes care of the invoices. “The carriers send their invoices directly to IDS, where they are checked. This takes a lot of work off our hands, as checking invoices can be very complex and time-consuming. Price mistakes are easy to make and all kinds of surcharges apply, such as for waiting times and urgent jobs.
IDS even pays the carriers on our behalf. I receive one invoice at the end of each month.”
Focus on more efficiency
In addition to easing operational pressure on DSM, IDS offers strategic advantages. Han: “The TMS application gives us more insight into all our transport movements
IDS analyzes the data in the system and helps us identify unusual cases and identify where efficiency benefits can be achieved.”