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9/4/2014
Tailormade warehousing solutions from DACHSER SA

The ability to offer end-to-end logistics solutions is fast becoming a prerequisite in South Africa as companies compete in the global market. According to Detlev Duve, managing director at Dachser South Africa, with only a handful of companies within South Africa able to offer a complete end-to-end supply chain solution, much effort has gone into their business to ensure the company is one of these players. “The distribution portion of the business has been one of the focal points for the last three years,” says Duve. “This has allowed us to grow our business extensively. “
Warehouse outside
Tailormade warehousing solutions from DACHSER SA

“Being able to provide solutions that fit the unique needs and requirements of a customer is the distinguishing factor and one cannot apply a one size fits all approach. The ability to do this does mean investing heavily in infrastructure and information technology,” says Duve.

Internationally,DACHSER warehouses are a core component of integral supply chain solutions and are used above all in the context of our DACHSER contract logistics. Warehouses, including the new facilities at DACHSER South Africa in Johannesburg, are equipped for various industries and customer-specific requirements. “DACHSER warehousing in the context of contract logistics saves on business costs for our clients as they avoid needless inventory and complex handling that is outside of their core competence,” says Duve. “As the logistics partner, we can then effectively use our warehousing capacities to the fullest through flexible consolidation of multiple customers' goods in our multi-user warehouses.”

Extensions to DACHSER South Africa’s facilities in Pomona in Gauteng have added an additional 3000 square meters of warehouse space offering 3900 pallet positions to industry in South Africa. Internationally, DACHSER offers an extensive warehouse network with more than 1,500,000 spaces for Euro pallets in global branches with warehouses in Europe, North Africa and China.

Duve says upgrading the distribution and warehouse management systems in South Africa has been key, as information technology plays a critical role in efficient logistics operations. “By upgrading the system we were able to improve and advance the service offering, allowing for detailed analysis, monitoring, reporting and tracking ability tailormade to the specific needs and requirements of our customers. Furthermore, we have equipped all the drivers with handheld devices which offer real time proof of delivery uploaded directly to our distribution system. It is a far more efficient system that maximizes our customers’ efficiencies and minimizes their long-term costs.”

Duve says there is a far greater demand for real time inventory management systems capable of proving the customer with a vast range of information now more than ever before. “This has become a general requirement in the market, rather than a value-added service offered by a handful of providers.”

According to Duve, warehouses have to be able to provide these solutions to be viable in the highly competitive warehousing sector. “While it is one of the big challenges facing the industry at the moment, providing these specific solutions can be done through the use of good warehouse management and reporting systems,” he says. “Customers are reducing the amount of surplus stock warehoused with the aim of reducing storage costs as well as freeing up cash flow. The key is to manage the customer’s inventory effectively. Accurate forecasting of stock movement must be ensured to avoid an out of stock situation, which would be detrimental to maintaining their market share and growth.”

A worrying trend, Duve says, is the move to opt for substandard packaging products to save additional fixed costs. “This logically creates challenges in terms of proving the end customer with presentable consignments, as the packaging deteriorates far more rapidly through general handling and transport,” he says. “Educating the customer of the various risks involved when using an inferior packaging product has become very important.”

“With a customized warehouse and process design that takes picking techniques and disbursement strategies into consideration, we can provide tailormade solutions for our customer needs.” says Duve. “The results are evident in cost and time savings that customers experience.”

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