3PL Summit Day Three – The Morning

Time flies when you are having fun, even if you’re at the EyeforTransport European 3PL Summit, so before you know it you are at the start of Day Three. Well, Main Conference Day Two, but I covered that yesterday already, so Three it is. Traffic was much lighter coming in to Antwerp and the weather was still great, so everything was in place for a great day.

The day was supposed to start with a room full of round table discussion on topics such as S&OP, Commoditization, Consolidation, Negotiation, etc. Whether it is was the networking that took place yesterday evening, or the networking going on this morning, the round tables stayed empty. I suppose most topics were discussed in some form or other anyway.

The first regular session was presented by Georg Pross of Raben Germany together with their customer representative Lorenzo Fornaroli of Honeywell ECC. Their presentation was on the challenges and opportunities for 3PLs when working for customers with multiple strategic business units. Challenges? Different IT Systems, Global Client with Local P&Ls, and Different Cost Models. Opportunities? Best practice sharing, Synergies in space and resource allocation, Improved Communication, and Strategy Alignment.

The presentation was followed by a Panel Session: “Ease Pain Points in 3PL-Customer Relationships”. One thing that definitely can ease pain points in a 3PL-Customer relationship is Lean, if you ask me. Both Arthur van Gerven of Menlo Worldwide and Niall McDermott of CEVA stressed the importance of Lean in logistics operations. Van Gerven sited sitting down with your customer for a Value Stream Mapping of their complete supply chain as a definite way to pinpoint pains. McDermott emphasized a pro-active attitude towards clients and the importance of doing what you are,but also having the guts to say no.

There were three sessions to choose from before lunch and I chose to sit in on a session about Sustainability and “What you Actually Need to Do About it”. The session started with a presentation by Anke Kutzner, GeoPost. Her presentation focused mainly on what GeoPost is doing to offset their carbon footprint with their Total Zero Program. What you need? A credible offset partner, an accurate (as possible) carbon calculation methodology, but above all engaged management and employees. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the same subject with Sebastiaan Scholte, Jan de Rijk Logistics and Peder Winther, Kuhne + Nagel. Key takeaways? Peder: Sustainability needs to be part of a companies DNA. Sebastiaan: Let’s be honest, sustainability is also about image. The cost has to be paid, sometimes by the customer, sometimes by us.

I will write about the afternoon of Day Three in a separate post.

On a closing note I would like to thank the kind people of the Hilton Hotel Antwerp, for granting me access to their wifi.

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