Towards solution-focused inbound container planning – the story of Dille & Kamille
With around 40 shops in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, Dille & Kamille is a familiar face on the High Street in many cities. In these shops, and online too, they sell a wonderful mix of sustainable products for the home, garden, and kitchen. These products are imported from many different countries, so you have to be able to rely on accurate and concise inbound container planning. Up to about a year ago, planning was based on the ERP system, and communication happened mostly via e-mail. This meant keeping track everything was a difficult and time-consuming task. Better insight and overviews were needed to keep ahead of the pace. Harold Reusink, supply chain manager at Dille & Kamille, talks about the results they achieved thank to Ritra Cargo’s TRACOS.
Challenge: lack of insight and overview
Dille & Kamille’s supply chain has many stakeholders exchanging shipment information, like carriers, planners, and agents. They e-mail each other about the status of the shipment and the planning for the delivery of containers. Document related to shipments, such as purchase invoices and BOLs are also send back and forth. In the case of several inbound containers per week, it is difficult to maintain an overview.
Harold: “The visibility and traceability of shipments was insufficient. Much of it was done via e-mail. This made it difficult to respond to issues quickly, especially if a planner was out of office. We wanted insight into the status of our shipments at all times. What’s more, we needed a single system that all parties could use and view the same information.”
Harold had worked with Ritra Cargo and supply chain platform TRACOS for a long time at a previous employer. So, he knew that both would be a good fit with Dille & Kamille. Especially because Ritra Cargo keeps a keen eye on sustainability, just like them. It was therefore no surprise that the implementation of TRACOS was one of the first things he did when he started his job as a supply chain manager at Dille & Kamille.
Expectation: one platform to serve as a comprehensive solution
More insight and overview – Dille & Kamille’s most important wish. They wanted to be rid of the great avalanche of e-mails surrounding every shipment. TRACOS was the designated central communication platform to make this happen. One environment, where planners, agents, carriers, and forwarders can share and locate all the required information.
With so many users relying on this supply chain platform, user-friendliness was also an absolute must.
Harold: “The main thing is that everyone should be able to use the platform easily. Many supply chain platforms are too complicated, making it hard to find what you are looking for”.
In addition, there was a wish to transmit order data from Dille & Kamille’s ERP system to TRACOS automatically, allowing the planners to work faster and with fewer errors. In short, TRACOS had to offer a simple and yet comprehensive solution for Dille & Kamille’s inbound container planning.
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Approach: One size does not fit all
Which container does this relate to, and where is it coming from? That is basically what TRACOS had to provide answers to for Dille & Kamille. The Ritra Cargo ICT team got to work on this requirement.
Harold: “Larger forwarders often use a ‘one size fits all’ approach in the design of their supply chain platform. Ritra Cargo is different. The lines of communication with the ICT team are short. They structure the platform completely as required, and in a short time too”.
We linked all the shipment information to Dille & Kamille’s specific order numbers to create an overview of which items are involved and who the supplier is, for example. Customs documentation, purchase invoices, and BOLs can be uploaded to the order. In addition, options were added for indicating the desired delivery date, and scheduling the arrival of containers, among other things.
Harold: “I didn’t want to make it too large and complicated. TRACOS mostly had to provide insight into what is going well. Furthermore, personal contact about shipments with issues will always be needed. The great tjing about this is that Ritra Cargo doesn’t just look at the big picture, but also understands that a single container can be of utmost importance”.
Both the team at Ritra Cargo and the overseas agents make sure that the information in TRACOS is as accurate as possible. Is there a rush shipment or an issue? Then there is personal contact and an involved thought process that focuses on solutions.
Result: reliable shipment information is available – always and everywhere
Dille & Kamille has used Supply Chain Platform TRACOS since 2019. Which improvements has it brought them?
|Before TRACOS||With TRACOS||Result|
|Information about the location of containers is not immediately available to view for everyone||ETD, ETA, ATA and delays can be viewed in a central location by everyone.||Great insight into where containers are, faster response to deviations in the planning|
|Agents, carriers, planners, and forwarders share shipment-related documents via e-mail, information is scattered||Agents, carriers, planners, and forwarders share all shipment-related documents in the same environment||Shipment-related documents cannot be immediately accessed by all parties|
|Not all users are aware of (the same) information||All users can view the same information in one central location.||Uniformity in information, faster responses based on available information|
|Personal contact about all shipments||Personal contact limited to shipments requiring special attention||Less time spent on problem-free shipments, focus on shipments with issues|
|Order data is manually copied from ERP||Order data is automatically transmitted to TRACOS via an EDI connection||Faster and less error-prone working|
Since Dille & Kamille has been using TRACOS, they have needed to spend little time looking after the inbound container planning. There is concise insight into the status of shipments, and any problems are flagged in good time.
Harold: ”There have been major issues due to delays over the last two years. However, during the important seasons, our products were usually still at the right place at the right time. Thanks to insight into delays, we could intercept problems sooner”.
The planners in Waddinxveen, the colleagues in Amsterdam, and those working from home: everyone always has access to the same order information and documents. This to-ing and fro-ing with e-mails is no longer necessary.
Harold: “Working with TRACOS means less actions per person. This makes us equipped for growth. We now work with three planners, but this really would not have been enough otherwise”.
Conclusion: faultless inbound container planning
Thanks to supply chain platform TRACOS, the flow of information between the shipment and delivery of goods is now the best it could be. Dille & Kamille’s expectations have been met completely.
Harold: “Thanks to TRACOS, we now have a complete overview and insight into our inbound container movements. The container planning runs impeccably, and without much interference. If anything does need attention, I receive help from Ritra fast. The fact I can now also see the CO2 emissions for each shipment is genuine added value to me. It aligns very well with the great value Dille & Kamille places on sustainability”.