March 18, 2023

Our Supply Chain Director explains how to embrace digitalization in logistics

When it comes to logistics, our customers need fast delivery and increased visibility throughout the ordering process – and Engineered Papers has found a digital solution that meets these needs more efficiently. Giuliano Scilio (Director of Supply Chain, Engineered Papers at SWM) explains:

At Engineered Papers, we’re currently implementing a supply chain digitization platform, Elemica, that delivers significant efficiency improvements in key supply chain processes. This exciting development will enhance the customer experience wherever we operate and strengthen our logistical operations in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

How does it work for a customer order?

When we receive a customer order, Elemica’s Transport Management System (TMS) analyses it to determine the specific logistics requirements: the number of pallets, trucks, and so on. With this information, we can use the platform to reach out directly to our forwarders, or to transport companies, and manage the entire logistics process.

Once a delivery leaves the warehouse, Elemica allows our customer service teams to track the location of goods via GPS – and they also confirm delivery the order arrives at its destination. All these activities take place within a single platform, streamlining the entire process for everyone involved.

What other benefits does it offer?

As an end-to-end platform, Elemica greatly enhances the efficiency of our logistics network. We can use it to speed up the order confirmation process with transport companies, ensuring our goods are moved from A to B quicker than ever before and increasing customer satisfaction.

What’s more, Elemica allows us to work with a wider range of carriers, who submit competing bids via the platform. This increased competition, together with Elemica’s freight cost auditing tools, allows us to secure better rates and provide greater value for our customers.

Elemica is also highly useful for customers who manage their own freight. They can use the platform to schedule shipping from our warehouse at the most convenient time, which increases their flexibility and enables them to organize their shipping operations more effectively.

What’s the status of the implementation?

We’ve been making good progress with the introduction of Elemica across our network, with implementation taking place across several phases. Phase 1 focused on the order entry process – putting customer orders in our system so we can start the planning and logistics processes. Having finished the implementation of this phase at the end of last year by rolling out a complete system integration, we’re currently stepping up the onboarding process, bringing more and more customers into the system.

In Phase 2, which started in November 2022, we’re extending our use of Elemica to the domain of logistics and transportation. This has meant looking closely at our logistics process and scenario management – for example, analyzing situations like cancelled orders, dates getting changed, or when a different route or forwarder is chosen – to ensure as much automation as possible in the interaction with our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) environment. As we ramp up our use of the software, we’ve been holding regular internal review sessions, alongside collaborating closely with our partners at Elemica.

Progress will continue with a strict timeline toward go-live milestones: by June 2023, we plan to be live for outbound shipments in France and Poland. By the end of the year, we expect to go live in other regions, including Brazil and the US. As we reach 2024 and beyond, we’ll also begin using Elemica to coordinate the delivery of raw materials for our inbound shipments.

What’s the key to maximizing the success of the platform?

Our major logistics partners are already using Elemica – but reaping the full benefits of the platform requires a critical mass of users. I like to think of it as “the more, the merrier”: the more value chain players that use Elemica, the greater the positive impact on the whole ecosystem; that’s the beauty of economies of scale in the network. To reach this critical mass, we need to engage our whole value chain and make it clear that Elemica represents the future of logistics. I’m confident we can do that and reach even higher levels of customer centricity in the years to come!