Pulling all the strings

The outsourcing of logistics is key of Syngenta’s strategy. The leading global agricultural group with headquarters in Basel relies on fourth-party logistics providers (4PL). And that’s where DHL comes into play. It took only four months up to the rollout, and the first part of the new Syngenta 4PL infrastructure for Europe and Russia was ready. The real launch took place in October 2015, after DHL had been awarded the contract as new European 4PL provider in mid-May. The reason for the rush: It was crucial for Syngenta to to have the complete solution in place before the agricultural peak season. “Syngenta’s logistics strategy is designed to leverage the logistics expertise of our partners, I believe through working in partnership with DHL, both companies will benefit from this relationship” said Marion Matthewman, Head of Syngenta Global Logistics. “Syngenta had a very clear vision on what they wanted to achieve: outsourcing logistics and establishing it as a differentiating factor in a highly competitive market,” said Thomas Weins, Managing Director Agheera GmbH / Head of LLP DHL Freight. “We have developed a comprehensive end-to-end solution that addresses all of Syngenta’s needs, such as logistics sourcing, monitoring, analytics and transport planning.” As Syngenta’s fourth party logistics provider, DHL Freight takes responsibility for the steering of transport activities – from defining transport demands, tendering and contracting, to on-boarding new logistics partners, monitoring the currently running operations and trade flows and above all driving continuous improvement in the supply chain.

DHL’s 4PL concept is based on four pillars:
  1. Logistics Sourcing: Procuring transport capacity by defining requirements with Syngenta, managing tenders and dealing with contracts, as well as the on-boarding of new partners
  2. Logistics Planning & Execution: This covers planning and tracking of shipments, exception and event management as well as auditing and processing invoices from carriers on behalf of Syngenta
  3. Monitoring: Monitoring of Syngenta’s flows is key to pro-active management of them. A seamless integration between DHL’s IT platform and Syngenta’s middleware ensures timely exchange of information
  4. Analytics: DHL uses state-of-the art analytics to support the management team in identifying problem areas and to drive continuous improvement through joint initiatives with carriers and with Syngenta teams

The implementation of this complex, 4PL solution entails multiple phases and will be completed by 2018. The first phase of the project was implemented in only four months and was successfully completed in October 2015. “Through close collaboration between Syngenta and DHL significant improvements in service and cost have already been identified and implemented “said Paul Lidbetter, Head of Syngenta European Logistics. DHL Freight is currently working on the second phase of the project which when fully complete will see DHL manage 150,000 shipments annually.

Author: Birgit Kupas

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