In order to have a seamless flow of goods and information, the IT systems of customers and logistics providers must be able to exchange data using the same “language.” What role do interfaces play here?
Michael Schilling: The interfaces are where the big question gets decided—will data transmission cause data loss? Such data loss often means delays that can have dramatic effects on the process flow, resulting in poor order processing and slower throughput of orders, thus requiring higher inventories. This drives costs up, lowers efficiency, and makes life difficult for both customers and logistics experts. Therefore, DACHSER IT pays close attention to how to structure interfaces and system integration. All our experience and IT expertise has gone into Mikado, our warehouse management system; Domino (Road Logistics) and Othello (Air & Sea Logistics), our transport software; and our eLogistics applications. As a result, together with our customers we can manage the most demanding supply and procurement chains transparently, as needed and in real time.
To what extent are global flows of goods a particular challenge?
Thomas Reuter: Interlocking allows us to offer comprehensive intermodal supply chains for our customers, including customs clearance and warehousing. Our particular focus is on the export business, improvement of production costs, and comprehensively connected, intelligent logistics solutions that create real added value. But several other factors play a role in optimizing our customers’ logistics processes: personal support from experienced contacts on the ground, high delivery readiness thanks to high frequency and capacity, as well as flexible, tailored solutions. Customers appreciate and value this uncompromising focus on quality.
What role do the networks and the IT systems connected with them play here?
Thomas Reuter: We want to show our customers how they can implement and manage sophisticated intercontinental supply chains within our network that are consistent and standardized. Logistics is called upon to do two things: continue to reduce complexity and ensure transparency. Our objective is to make certain that both our customers and ourselves can access entirely homogeneous information.
And what do customers and service providers gain from this?
Michael Schilling: Customers and logistics providers benefit equally from homogeneous systems. First, simplifying and standardizing indirect processes—such as administration and tender management—allows them to realize significant cost reductions. And second, because Interlocking enables us and our colleagues from Air & Sea Logistics to provide sustainable supply chain management, in Europe and beyond. This means that we can build solid bridges to the world’s markets for and with our customers.