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Need for Speed

Our company sells chemical products worldwide and buys raw materials from a lot of foreign companies. However, we experience many problems and lack of understanding during communication with our foreign partners. The issue is delays caused by on-site security checks. Not only is there a company interest to guard against theft or misuse, but especially sites of volatile materials, such as chemicals, need to assure safety. Because the need for site security is an understood requirement globally these days, both sides seem to accept the situation as a symptom of the global challenge for safety in all public sites. In my experience there is also the assumption that cultural differences are part of the problem. For example: Our functional employees are already used to these problems and don’t try to solve them. They simply say: “They are so far ahead of us”. At the same time, our partners say: “This is Russia! Anything can happen there”! However, cultural differences are neither the source, nor the solution to the problem. Instead, the dilemma is to find and establish a business model that ensures security, while still achieving seamless and timely delivery of product.

A Standardized Business Model is the Key

At first we thought that this was a different mentality problem that could not be solved. Early on, it could have been so. But today we see an instrument which permits us to build common partner thinking for companies in different countries. This instrument is called a business process. Let’s analyze. Logic and deep thinking create business processes, which are put to test at a company in one country. If these business> processes are applied by another enterprise in a different country, the way of thinking will shift towards the original way of thinking that was applied in the creation of these business processes.

In other words, a successful business model for this dilemma will find acceptance in any company, in any country, regardless of culture. The dilemma may be specific to certain industries, but the potential for improvement resides in the business model, not the mentality of the employees. Establishing a successful business process for this dilemma requires collaboration between customers and partners. An agreed, successful business process will lead to efficiency and be the common ground that bridges the gap between language and culture.

Hence, we came to conclusion that the unification of business processes leads to common understanding between business partners and increases the effectiveness through mutually beneficial collaboration. In light of the above observation, I would like to discuss the process and technology possibilities for increasing efficiency and speed of product dispatch at the terminal.

Indentification – On-Site Security Needs

We have already set up a business process for truck dispatch, but unfortunately, we don’t see how we can increase the speed of dispatching more. It is necessary to underline that our chemical enterprise, typical for the chemical industry, represents a hazard to the environment. That is why, on the one hand we need to closely monitor those who enter and their aims. On the other hand, our four-stage verification process creates long lines of trucks and effectively blocks our throughput capacity.

In the graphic below you can see the flow of transport, documents, and information. The main points of transport congestion are marked by numbers in the red circle. Congestion of transport arises in part, because employees of each checkpoint make sure that the incoming vehicle, driver, and person authorized to take the product are permitted for entry by Order and Registration form.

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As you see, the Order and Registration form are given by sales managers according to the contract or buyers information. Every employee of each of the four points compares:

  • Face of driver with photo in the driver license
  • Face of person empowered to take product with photo in the passport
  • Passport number of person empowered to take a product with passport number stated in the proxy of goods
  • Driver’s license number and number of proxy of goods with numbers stated in the R/3 system

As you see, even explaining this checking process takes up quite some time, not to mention the process itself. Does anyone else have experience with this dilemma? How could a redesign of the business process and a more optimal redesign of the IT archicture ensure both maximum site-access security through identification and maximum throughput speed?

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4 Comments

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  1. Anonymous
    your problem is how to speed up the person identification process.
    this is probably very similar to the problem faced by immigration officials at airports .
    could a biometric identification process expediate the process . something like a finger print  reader etc .
    The US immigrations officials are already deploying these tools at a lot of US airports
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    1. Aidar Gilemhanov Post author
      It is good idea!
      But it can be implemented between two points: Pass office and Entry check point. Because driver go thought these points.
      But Sales department cannot to take finger print and pass to Pass office, because driver never come to Sales department.
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      1. Anonymous
        but you could strike a balance .
        the first time the driver comes you take his finger prints at the pass office .
        I assume the same drivers would come over and over again . so only for the first time you actually increase the time taken for subsequent trips the system can identify the people .

        this is easier said than done . you probably have more  checks to comply with .

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        1. Aidar Gilemhanov Post author
          O! Yes, you are right! If driver comes to Pass office, we will take his finger print only one time. But sales department cannot give an inquiry to Pass office with driver’s finger print, because they don’t meet driver. They receive information about driver (name, number of licence and other) from Buyer by email or fax. Although, may be we should create master data for driver’s finger prints and use it before giving inqure by sales department? It is the idea to think. Thank you, anyway, for participation!
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