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 dont 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. Lets 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 dont 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.
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
- Drivers 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?