Discover Germany, Issue 52, July 2017

Page 76

Discover Germany  |  Special Theme  |  Germany’s Consulting Experts

Hidden champions of Automated Disposition

Masters of the global flow of goods To ensure that goods always arrive where they are needed, complex processes must be regulated and new decisions must be continually made. In today’s world, that means automated disposition is necessary to optimally control the stream of goods. Abels & Kemmner Group just happen to be the hidden champions of the trend towards the digitalisation of disposition. TEXT: JAIME HEATHER SCHWARTZ

The digitalisation of the world is progressing ever more quickly. Behind the development, which reaches the end user in the form of intelligent search engines, social networks or simplified ordering processes on the internet, is the automation of complex sequences and decisions. The digitalisation of supply chains and industrial production, often referred to as Industry 4.0, is the new economic megatrend. Machines collaborate in so-called cyber-physical systems and thus are increasingly able to produce goods more efficiently. Automated moving conveyors and seeing robots 76  |  Issue 52  |  July 2017

are just some aspects of these connected networks. But how do systems know where things should be delivered and what should be done when production capacity is limited? Or what has priority? How does one reach a high delivery capacity with a small amount of inventory and within reasonable costs? How does a company find the optimal balance? Typically, these sorts of high-level decisions are the responsibility of a company’s disposition manager. However, as supply chains become more complex, fragmented

and global, the only way to efficiently control the flow of goods is by relying on an automatised planning schedule and corresponding ordering process. As in many sectors, the emerging automated disposition market has its own ‘Hidden Champions’. That is to say, the medium-sized companies who are the technology and / or market leaders of the niche. In Germany, that would be the corporate A & K Group, comprised of the consulting firm Abels & Kemmner, the software company SCT and the training and seminar provider AWF. The latter recently developed an accredited course of study for disposition managers, the first of its kind to ever exist. Together, the A & K Group can provide all the necessary services for companies to optimise their supply chains in a sustainable manner. Despite the fact the A & K Group is not