International groups seeking to globalize quality management of freight may now use a new, powerful integrated worldwide platform dedicated to continuous improvement.
One major challenge for the world’s increasingly international businesses has been transforming local or regional structures of administrative follow-through and quality management to their wider global operations and ambition. In order to facilitate that switch in the procurement and transport of their goods, many big companies are turning to outside partners to create tools helping them reach that globalized objective – and to freight forwarding specialists in particular.
The effort seeks to identify and resolve misdirection, mishandling, delay and other non-contractual consequences cargo may experience -- and resolve them quickly when they occur, in real time if possible. But it also strives to collect and use related information improve supply chains towards perfection by integrating remedial factors into constantly-improved operating procedures. The goal is to establish fast-reacting, dynamic communication tools spanning global networks capable of solving newly identified anomalies, and use those to constantly enhance quality management of cargo – and at term other activities as well.
As part of that, companies are urging freight forwarding partners to create IT platforms able to track their goods worldwide, and provide Key Performance Indicators reflecting punctuality, efficiency, cost and carbon footprint criteria among others. In order to observe, analyze and intervene in the global movement of clients’ goods, freight forwarding specialists must be able to assemble real time data from customers, transporters, logistics providers and all other actors in conveying cargo in the same control tower system. Then, all current nonconformity information has to be stored in accompanying databases to produce KPI feedback and longer-term quality management reporting.
The result is greatly enhanced visibility, service and quality management insight for customers.
That client imperative was a major factor behind one of the world’s largest logistics and transport groups, Bolloré Logistics, unveiling its new worldwide quality management data platform. The portal is dedicated to swiftly registering, resolving and storing information on internally- and externally-generated cargo non-conformities. As a dynamic and shared tool spanning worldwide operations, it represents the first truly global asset capable of its kind, capable of quickly solving arising claims and moving to solve their longer-term causes.
Known as PROGRESS, the platform features a collaborative worldwide database developed by Bolloré Logistics that records all data on cargo claims, and makes that information available to company employees worldwide. That unification and open-access of information enhances both immediate improvement action response, and the longer-term quality of managing freight.
“Because it is open to everyone, collaborative in nature, and based on workflow, the platform allows network employees anywhere in the world to facilitate resolution of anomaly claims, no matter where those or the cargo originated,” explains Christian Teillet, Corporate Quality, Health, Safety, Environment Director for Bolloré Logistics in Paris.
That differs dramatically from traditional structures many companies still rely on. Under those, local or regional offices assume responsibility for cargo requiring corrective intervention, then interface by phone or email with destination-end colleagues to work towards a resolution.
The global, open-access format of PROGRESS removes those local boundaries, and allows everyone, everywhere respond to and settle non-conformity claims filed within the network, or by clients.
“An inspector in Toronto, for example, can identify and intervene to resolve a complaint on a package originating from Singapore on the way to London,” Mr. Teillet notes. “It’s a global platform open to everyone and designed to facilitate a truly unified, global improvement action process. It’s what clients have been waiting for.”
In addition to creating an integrated worldwide quality management tool to sort out in-progress non-conformity claims, the platform’s open access and database structure are also designed to enhance continual improvement in standard operating procedures.
“Since it’s a database storing all information involved in claims, it acts a ‘lessons learned’ archive helping improve operational quality on a daily basis,” Mr. Teillet says. “Employees working on a client claim in one part of the world see how similar ones were previously resolved elsewhere – and how they were averted later on. That constantly improves procedural quality across our network.”
At the same time, the platform provides clients with both real-time quality management information on their goods, and consolidated reports across months, quarters and years. In offering that, Bolloré Logistics says it can extend its range of services to providing greater clarity to clients on their global quality management.
“This kind of tool exists internally in some companies or business units, but it’s never been offered on an unified, worldwide basis,” Mr. Teillet says. “As a consolidated QHSE tool, it allows us to provide each client not only better real-time visibility, but also personalized reports on their own quality management to improve their performance. It also helps us improve our own – and extend our service and value to customers beyond strict freight forwarding.”