14 June 1999 16:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Distribution methods used in the compact disc (CD) industry demonstrate some of the key elements the 'chemical supermarkets' need to address to drive down costs and support value-added strategies, delegates heard Monday at the annual conference of FECC, the European chemicals distribution trade body.
Chemical distributors should concentrate on integrating their logistics services and can learn from fast moving consumer goods industries, said Steven Holland, divisional managing director of UK logistics and distribution group Hays Chemicals.
Steps used in CD logistics, such as automatic order placing by computer on the regional supply centre and the picking of CDs in the order of customers display by automated 'dark' warehouses, show how chemical distributors can "strip out whole parts of the acquisition cost", he said.
Other "latest technology tools" used in the CD industry include programming despatches for the next vehicle using global positioning, sending customers advice notes when vehicles are 20 minutes from delivery point and, for very valuable cargo, programming the vehicle's security device to prevent unloading unless the vehicle has reached the correct location.
"What is certain is the increasing importance of logistics in the future and in particular how the distributor uses the extended involvement in logistics to capture 'shared values'," Holland said.
The International Congress on Chemical Distribution is taking place on 14-15 June in Dublin, Ireland.
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