"Our efforts have been rewarded in our Ocean Freight division and we have seen strong growth in our operations on a global scale," says Frank Hercksen, Panalpina's Global Head of Ocean Freight. "We keep enhancing our services along key trade lanes. Our focus is on supporting customers more strategically along the entire supply chain. MyPananlpina+ will help us expand our customer base and become an even more integral part of their complex supply chains. This system facilitates the consolidation of cargo flows and the efficient management of orders, vendors and carriers."
Panalpina's Ocean Freight division handled almost 1.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and generated nearly a third of the company's gross profit in 2012. The first quarter of 2013 showed continued growth, well ahead of the market.
Improving visibility in the supply chain
"Supply chains are becoming ever more complex and customers increasingly call on us to help improve transparency and visibility within their supply chains," says Hercksen. "It is a collaborative approach demanding a high level of trust and commitment in terms of resources and deployed technologies. You have to invest in people, processes and software."
Rod Angwin, Panalpina's Chief Information Officer, explains: "To improve visibility you need advanced information management. Our services for customers entail complex information sharing and a high level of coordination between several parties. Thus our IT systems need to be able to speak directly with those of our customers - and with those of the suppliers, and other third-party-logistics providers. You have to make sure that the systems are perfectly calibrated to optimize the outcome for our customers."
Add-on tool to SAP TM
Panalpina's most important IT initiative is the full implementation of SAP TM across the globe by 2015. The roll-out of this global IT platform for Ocean and Air Freight has begun. SAP TM standardizes and automates core business processes and facilitates electronic data interchange with carriers on a shipment level.
The newly licensed LOG-NET, which MyPanalpina+ is based on, is a customer facing add-on tool to SAP-TM that manages the movement of goods on a purchase order level. The latest version (7.0) of this software, not only enhances Panalpina's and its customers' ability to manage purchase orders, but also to optimize inventory, integrate suppliers and drive key performance indicators via dashboards on cloud-based and mobile devices. The application also includes automated exception management, to alert customers to delays or deviations, plus it can forecast expected arrival times of shipped goods.
With MyPanalpina+ Panalpina is stepping up its order and freight management services and supporting the customers supply chain operations and improvement programs. "Workflows can be better managed. The system makes it easier for us to communicate and collaborate with customers and suppliers. It improves the flow of data throughout the supply chain and increases end-to-end visibility of inventory," says Henrik Kofod-Hansen, who works for Panalpina's Ocean Freight division and is globally responsible for the company's product Managed Solutions.
"At the end of the day it is all about adding value for our global, small and medium-sized customers: building more efficient supply chains, reducing costs and hassle," adds Kofod-Hansen. "Panalpina is taking over work from customers that they typically would have done themselves in the past. We are increasingly being integrated into our customers' supply chains and the new system acts as a powerful collaboration platform." Panalpina plans to fully implement MyPanalpina+ in the fourth quarter of 2013.