In these days of constantly changing demands, service providers have to offer solutions at an early stage
Four vital conditions for lasting success in the logistics business were named by Dr. Thomas C. Lieb, Chairman of the Management Board of Schenker AG, Essen, in Helsinki today. Speaking to around 1,000 delegates at the 24th Logistics Seminar of the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics, Lieb examined the factors required for success in times of changing demands.
‘We can assume that the trend towards globalization is here to stay. If the latest studies are to be believed, what globalization actually means is that certain industries will concentrate in selected regions,’ said Lieb. As an example of this trend he quoted Singapore, which is evolving into a focal point for biomedicine. As a consequence, logistics companies have to be present right there at the new industrial centers with the corresponding infrastructure and specialists.
‘What’s more, the requirements of the customers are constantly changing. There is increasing demand for tailor-made solutions,’ continued Lieb. He added that logistics services providers would only be able to negotiate with their customers on a level playing field if they could offer the necessary expertise in the product concerned combined with highly qualified human resources.
Referring to a study conducted by WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Lieb stated that even sharply rising oil prices would have only a negligible effect on the customers’ total procurement costs. Over the long term, the increases in wage and transportation costs facing the customers would not curb the international division of labor. What this means for logistics providers is that they have to come up with satisfactory solutions in response to steadily rising demand for worldwide supply chains.
Finally, Lieb dealt with the issue of sustainability: ‘The sensitivity of our customers for sustainability has grown over the years, visibly. We can expect the importance of green logistics to grow in future.’ He stated that it was vital to reduce CO2 emissions by offering an intelligent combination of all transport modes. ‘From the overall viewpoint, providers of logistics services have to be adaptable and expand their networks, invest in the right human resources and be able to offer solutions at an early stage,’ concluded Lieb.
For more than 20 years, this event has been organized jointly by the Finnish Association of Purchasing and Logistics, LOGY, and Establish Finland Oy. It ranks as one of the major forums for the exchange of information in the logistics business in Northern Europe.