LogiCon validation-implementation workshop_1nd round
In May and July 2014 a number of meetings with stakeholders from outside the consortium were held in Interporto Bologna. The focus of the meetings was to discuss the state of the art of Logistic transport and possible solutions for improving the most relevant logistics subjects including consolidation, collaborative logistics and reverse logistics. IBI introduced the state-of-the-art of transports in regional area and asked for feedback and comments.
Reactions from stakeholders:
- At present there is strong competition among operators (LSPs), prices are lowering and there is no room for investments,
- Ex works practices from local shippers don’t help in finding new collaborations,
- There are several illegal practices that don’t help their work.
IBI presented an Electronic Logistics Marketplace SinergiBo that was under development within Logicon project. The stakeholders were asked to assess the solution from its individual perspective of needs:
- Some of them already used such systems that are good as far as the possibility to find new business are real. Therefore critical mass of users is important.
- Add-on services may improve usage and acceptance of these systems.
- It was agreed necessary to raise the awareness of transport demand (i.e. shippers) in order to increase volumes.
- The willingness to pay for the service was low, considering the low margins.
- Confidentiality was raised an issue, depending on how the system works.
- Geographical services should be added, in order to facilitate transport planning features.
- Notifications of insertions were mentioned interesting.
- Full Truck Load algorithm may be useful, but sometimes transport operators use their own tools/procedures for optimising transport. In any case at that time, with low transport volumes, this was not a priority.
Altogether 5 companies have been asked for initial validation of the developed solutions. Among them Logistics Service Providers and Freight Service Integrators. Some of the companies agreed to use SinergiBo and asked for further development of the system.
LogiCon validation-implementation workshop_2nd round
In November 2014 a meeting with companies representing manufacturing industries, meaning Logistics Service Clients were invited to Interporto Bologna to assess SinergiBo tool. A discussion about transport and logistics practices with manufacturing industries was held. The following responses were collected:
- SMEs do not always have optimal practices in managing logistics.
- There is no accounting system for logistics costs, per cost center. Everything is merged in general costs.
- In most cases, there is no logistic manager. Normally the supply chain manager deals with transports with recurring practices. The need for optimisations is low.
- Most of the practices are ex works, because of customers’ requirements and because the company only want to concentrate in core production. Nevertheless, if anything wrong happens during transport, the company must deal with exceptions, in order to avoid problems with customers.
- Sometimes transports are done with internal personnel (for short distances), with no clear cost allocation. The reason is because there is no appropriate planning of operations.
It is difficult to implement horizontal collaboration with close companies, because there is no coordination and nobody wants to lead this (time consuming) process.
IBI presented SinergiBo as electronic Logistics Marketplace and also a planning tool that in the future might be integrated for regular transport planning. The users seemed to be interested in considering these tools. Discussion about possible business models were held.
It was agreed that change in transport and logistics management is strongly needed, in order to introduce:
- Industrial accounting practices,
- Logistics planning operations,
- Collaborative practices,
Stakeholders agreed a training on the use of the solution would be appreciated. IBI would continue with the development of the marketplace would proceed with the presentation of final version of the tool and its validation among larger group of stakeholders.
LogiCon validation-implementation workshop_3rd round
During the first half of 2015 an extensive dissemination campaign has been conducted by IBI, in order to invite users in adopting the solution developed in the LogiCon italian Living Lab.
The dissemination activities were carried out during direct B2B meetings and at an event organized by the local industrial association on 29/01/2015, where SinergiBo marketplace was presented.
After the first phases that were focused mainly on Logistics Service Providers, two other categories of users were addressed during this stage:
- IT companies working in logistics domain. It aimed to investigate potential cooperation and to consider probable extensions of the logistics marketplace according to other IT services already present in the local market;
- Logistics Service Clients, mainly manufacturing companies acting as shippers. For this target group several logistics processes were analysed and horizontal collaboration was promoted, also exploiting the features of the SinergiBo marketplace.
As result of the workshop users recognized the potential of horizontal collaboration and tools such as SinergiBo enabling this collaboration. The main obstacle identified is the difficulty in coordinating actions among companies and in preserving sensible data while organizing consolidated shipping. As future enhancement of logistics services promoted by the hub, it has been suggested to implement aggregation and anonymization services, in order to increase the willingness of companies in sharing transports while avoiding commercial issues.
Among the companies addressed during the 3rd validation workshop phase there were mainly IT developers, then manufacturers, food&beverage producers and Business Development & Innovation organisations.