Track & Trace and myDSV are excellent tools for showing whether a shipment of, say, 5,000 T-shirts, is on its way to the customer. But as some shipments can contain up to 50 different purchase orders or stock items, shipped in different containers, tracking at shipment level only may not suffice. Then we need to go one layer deeper.
What if one of the containers is delayed, undermining customer’s plans for a campaign the ensuing weekend? Or a specific container contains critical items that are on back-order? In this event, DSV Purchase Order Management provides visibility down to item level and makes it possible for the customer – or the DSV Flow Control – to take pre-emptive action, for example by giving higher priority to one container over another at the port of arrival. All to ensure that the required product availability is kept to support the production or sales plans.
"DSV Purchase Order Management is relevant to customers in all sectors. The crucial aspect is that customers have to manage an incoming flow of goods to a manufacturing, storage or retail facility. They need to know that the order will arrive on time – neither too late nor too early – and with the quantity of items they ordered. It’s about organising a perfect order flow," explains Daniel Terbille, product owner and a member of the Global Commercial Organisation team.
Two solutions merged into one
Purchase Order Management is the result of a successful splicing of two previous order-management solutions at DSV and UTi respectively.
DSV had just delivered a state-of-the-art in-house system called Electronic Distribution Centre (eDC), however still with a limited customer base. Whereas UTi had a sound customer base managed through global control tower operations, the underlying system platform itself needed upgrading. Combining the strengths of the two solutions gave DSV the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art set-up with clear product features and an easy-to-use on-boarding process.
Within the Purchase Order Management solution, customers can select from one of three different modules, depending on their needs:
• DSV Purchase Order Visibility: provides visibility at purchase order level by means of an online platform with event notifications;
• DSV Purchase Order Control: provides full control over inventory in-transit by matching purchase orders and SKUs with actually shipped quantities;
• DSV Purchase Order Manager: provides dynamic purchase order management with active interventions to ensure perfect order fulfilment
Three DSV Purchase Order Management flow control centres – in Manila, Shanghai and Warsaw – monitor the actual contents of customers’ shipments and notify customers of deviations and delays. When necessary, they can take pre-emptive action to secure perfect order fulfilment.
Additional value added services
"It’s a great product that is beneficial to many DSV customers," says Carsten Trolle, President, Air & Sea, who continues: "And it allows us to offer a value added service that should also attract new customers to DSV, in addition to offering something unique in the market. Purchase Order Management is not a new product in itself, but the various levels we offer are, and the ease of use for customers is undoubtedly unique. We have already seen quite a bit of customer interest," he says.
Michael D. Hansen, Chief Commercial Officer of Air & Sea and Managing Director of DSV Air &Sea in the United Kingdom, supplements him:
"Exception alerting, bespoke reporting, online container delivery booking and EDI integration are just some of the features being used by our customers. For those with more complex purchase order and vendor management needs, we have regional teams dedicated to ensuring that suppliers are on-boarded and that data is accurate and up to date, so our customers always have a clear picture of where their orders are," he says, adding:
"We regularly receive positive comments from our many customers now using our Purchase Order Management applications; they all comment that they like the look, feel and ease of use of the system."
To Daniel Terbille, who is the product owner, it is essential that DSV – as one of the five biggest transport and logistics companies in the world – can offer its customers the enhanced visibility and delivery reliability provided by Purchase Order Management.
"We need these value-added services to remain competitive. We are currently training the sales organisations, so they can bring the product with them to sales meetings and incorporate it into tendering processes"” says Daniel Terbille, who has organised a network of superusers throughout the organisation. "One of the unique selling points of our product is the low entry level, however. This means that small and medium-sized enterprises can also reap the benefits of getting closer to perfect order fulfilment."
Quickly pays for itself
The entry ticket to Purchase Order Management is having more than 150 shipments a year required to set up the entry-level service module called DSV Purchase Order Visibility. Benefits are a direct result of having the increased visibility and control. For example, customers save on their product inventory and storage costs by preventing early shipping by the supplier. Or customers can reduce the cost of non-performance caused by last minute rescheduling of sales and production plans due to unexpected deviations in product supply. So there are obvious benefits of the Purchase Order Management solution, particularly in supply chains where time is critical. These benefits directly appear on the bottom line, because not having clear visibility at product level of the actual incoming shipments comes with a cost.
Read more about DSV Purchase Order Management