Supply Chain Visibility Success Story

with BASF Corporation


BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $16.2 billion in 2016. BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future, and combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. BASF’s portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil &
Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS).


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The Challenge:


To eliminate the calls from frustrated customers inquiring about the status of their BASF shipments, which didn’t arrive at the requested time.


Driven by customer demand for increased visibility and proactive notification for off-schedule shipments, BASF sought an automated freight tracking solution that would provide real-time updates of their bulk truck shipments. This information is essential to their customers’ operations due to the tight delivery schedules for multiple products in their shipping and receiving departments. Both BASF and its customers grew increasingly frustrated that they were unable to predict late deliveries. Developing a proactive notification system for late deliveries was essential such that customers could adjust their shipping and receiving schedules in order to maintain efficient day-to-day operations.


To enhance productivity and delivery reliability with the trucking companies.


There was no solution in place to provide real-time transparency and visibility to BASF’s transportation providers. Before having the ability to automatically track shipments with the MacroPoint technology, BASF needed to make multiple time-consuming calls with carriers to determine truck locations. Thus, the concept of DataTRACK, a web-based system using Descartes MacroPoint’s sophisticated visibility platform with patented algorithms that are able to identify potential delays in the delivery schedule to BASF customers and provide automated email notifications proactively to a broad distribution list, was born.

“By tracking our loads with the Descartes MacroPoint platform, multiple BASF functions (Supply Chain, Customer Care, Sales, Logistics), as well as many customers, can proactively determine which shipments are at risk for late delivery, and take appropriate actions to maintain smooth shipping and receiving operations.”

 

Bill Wehrle
Director of Supply Chain
BASF Corporation

The Solution:


BASF initially considered developing their own internal solution, but quickly realized how time-consuming and expensive it would be to design and bring such a sophisticated system to fruition.

 

With Descartes MacroPoint, several key elements were outlined as requirements for the project:

  • Dashboard “Control Tower,” easily viewable on laptops, tablets and smart phones.
  • Automatically generated email alerts to BASF, trucking companies and customers with no human
    intervention required.
  • Separate MacroPoint portals for individual BASF business units, trucking companies and customers.
  • Program management for support and sustainability.

By choosing MacroPoint, BASF realized this would be a simple, yet cost-effective and technologically-sound solution. DataTRACK would also differentiate BASF from its competition, as other chemical companies did not offer this level of transparency within their supply chain. At the time of its inception, it was precedent-setting in the industry.

 

The pilot project was an overwhelming success. Through a collaborative optimization methodology with its
transportation providers, known as the innovative “Bulk Trucking Symposium,” BASF has now utilized MacroPoint in most of its business units in North America, and the MacroPoint connected carriers represent approximately 90 percent of BASF’s bulk truck shipping volume. Global recognition came in 2016 when DataTRACK-powered by MacroPoint-was recognized with BASF’s “Supply Chain Project of the Year” award.

 

The level of shipment transparency provided by DataTRACK now gives BASF a competitive advantage in the chemical industry. With continued revisions and enhancements to DataTRACK, BASF can remain ahead of the curve and maintain its status as an innovative leader within the chemical industry.

“Since its inception, MacroPoint has been dramatically scaled in terms of its scope and will be used by nearly 100 percent of the BASF business units in North America by the end of the third quarter this year. Carriers from the United States, Canada and Mexico have been on-boarded. The participation of the trucking companies in the MacroPoint process is a win-win scenario. BASF manages the process optimization with its carriers through spirit of collaboration in the form of an annual bulk trucking symposium. This spirit of collaboration, along with a robust, continuous improvement process with its transportation suppliers will ensure BASF remains customer-focused using the best technology tools available.”

 

David Bazzetta
Business Advisor, Process Optimization
RGP/BASF

The Result:


Enhanced customer satisfaction through a more robust, proactive communication method & Actionable visibility data to increase productivity and efficiency.


Utilizing MacroPoint’s technology, BASF now has an automated freight tracking solution integrated into its TMS tendering process platform, and providing monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. DataTRACK provides proactive GPS-based email alerts informing a wide distribution of users whenever a shipment is off-schedule and at risk of delivering late to the customer. The enhanced visibility provides users a visual real-time location of each shipment, and includes the ability to overlay weather and traffic conditions for additional insight into the delivery. This exciting technology provides BASF a true competitive advantage.


Enhanced Operational Efficiency

By using the MacroPoint visibility platform, BASF DataTRACK has now eliminated the cumbersome and time-consuming manual step of continuously communicating with carriers to determine truck and delivery information.


Improved Productivity

Shipping point and customer arrival information is now gathered automatically using MacroPoint’s geo-fence GPS technology, allowing BASF to more accurately evaluate delivery reliability information, and implement optimization measures.


Automated Communication

After developing a proactive notification system for late deliveries, an essential customer need was solved by allowing the ability to adjust their shipping and receiving schedules in order to maintain efficient day-to-day operations.


Reduced Costs

By creating a real-time visibility ecosystem with automated communication, the ability to a create savings opportunities and optimize resources allowed for the best use of talent, technology and budget within our transportation operations.