20 Oct We are launching a Lead Packaging Provider offering
Both a specialist in industrial packing and logistics, Soflog is now offering its major customers a service to steer and orchestrate packing solutions, in a global Supply Chain optimisation approach. Explanations from its CEO, Patrick Pépin.
Supply Chain Magazine: Why do you think that industrial packing plays a more important role in the Supply Chain today?
Patrick Pépin: Many companies have realised that the way in which a packing solution is designed could have a direct impact on elements of cost (transport, handling) and quality for their Supply Chains. Attention was previously focused on packing fundamentals – protection capability, resistance to transport constraints and its reusable aspect in order to minimise impact on the environment. This is because the Supply Chain was segmented – packing was designed to leave Point A and arrive at Point B under good conditions. We are beginning to notice that packing is an important lever for both logistics cost optimisation and customer satisfaction for our customers. For example, take the case of the transfer or creation of a factory, involving a wide variety of equipment of all kinds for a complex site that must converge at a given point in time. Over and above intrinsic product protection functions, should packing not also endeavour to facilitate the grouping together of these packages on the site? This involves a function consisting of steering information on these packages, orchestrating all the accessories and secondary equipment that may be delivered by our customer’s other operators or suppliers and making certain that it all arrives at its destination in a synchronised manner.
SCMag : What are the consequences of this trend as far as Soflog’s activity is concerned?
P.P. : We are working more and more on this part because we are convinced that this creates value within the Supply Chain. The vocation and strategic positioning of Soflog is to orchestrate the performance of the Supply Chain, in a historic sector of the company in particular – that of the design and production of tailored packing solutions for manufacturers – and also as a logistics player, in production and co-manufacturing operations (painting, material flow, handling of delicate parts, quality control, etc.). The design of packing can have positive consequences on handling operations, for example, which lends credence to the idea that we need to decompartmentalize and systematically think Supply Chain. This is why, with this logic in mind, we are currently working on an offering to steer procurement and packing solutions, called LPP – Lead Packaging Provider – similar to a service already in existence in logistics, called LLP (Lead Logistics Provider).
SCMag : What does Lead Packaging Provider consist of?
P.P. : The objective of this LPP function is to sustainably improve the product Supply Chain in relation to conditioning and packing and try to fully take on board all the processes that can help improve this chain, including conditioning, handling and transport. To put it plainly, avoid overstocking, standstill situations and waste and standardise and rationalise ranges, whether or not the packing is produced by Soflog or elsewhere. With a commitment to measurable cost, lead time and quality results. This involves actual steering work, backed by our experience and know-how as a manufacturer and designer of packing solutions, as well as an operator in the industrial logistics operation sector. We are implementing this offering in the early autumn for the Safran Group.
SCMag : How has being a packer in logistics or a logistics specialist in packing helped Soflog with this approach?
P.P. : It has helped us look at the design and production of our products and the production process from another standpoint. In the 2nd half of 2014, we introduced a “lean packing” approach with the setup of 2 pilot sites; we have now completed deployment. Our production and culture as a made-to-measure packing producer have undergone a minor revolution and this has not only had an effect on the production process but also the way in which packing solutions are designed. It is something quite new that we are going to deploy on all our packing production sites.