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MHD Supply Chain Solutions JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

SHOW ME THE MONEY The role of finance in IBP


Spotlight on the 7 key WH processes


Innovation + flexibility

Crown brings new MH ideas to APAC



AGVS DELIVER THE GOODS FOR BICKFORD’S GROUP Bickford’s Group Warehouse Manager, Rhett Glanville, says he would be lost without his AGVs. For the past five years, the Adelaide-based manufacturer has been using a fleet of AGVs to distribute its iconic beverages. Working around the clock, the AGVs collect finished goods from production and then transport, store and stage loads for despatch in the DC. The AGVs communicate with each other to optimise efficiency, charge themselves when batteries run low, facilitate a rolling stocktake, have virtually eliminated damage to stock and storage systems, provide a safe working environment, and delivered an ROI of just 2.5 years.

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CONTACT MHD Supply Chain Solutions is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd ABN 940 025 836 82 41 Bridge Road, Glebe NSW 2037 Telephone: (+61) 02 9660 2113 Fax: (+61) 02 9660 4419 Email:

THE TEAM Managing Director: Simon Grover Editor: Charles Pauka Sales: Ralph Merry Production Manager: Jacqui Cooper Graphic Designer: Alyssa Coundouris Head of Circulation: Chris Blacklock


SUBSCRIBE Australian Subscription Rates (inc GST) 1yr (6 issues) for $78.00 2yrs (12 issues) for $120.00 – Saving 20% 3yrs (18 issues) for $157.50 – Saving 30% To subscribe and to view other overseas rates visit: or Call: 1800 651 422 (Mon – Fri 8:30-5pm AEST) Email:

DISTRIBUTION Average Total Distribution: 6,924 AMAA/CAB Publisher Statement Period ending 30 Sept 2017.

CONTRIBUTORS MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine is recognised by the Australian Production and Inventory Control Society, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia, the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia and the Singapore Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society.


fter many years of wearing the comfortable old look, we decided that as MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine is the only publication remaining in Australia to represent what is fast becoming (has become?) a vibrant, dynamic and essential industry, the magazine could do with some refreshing to reflect the vibrant liveliness of its subject matter. Content-wise I have always made a conscious effort to report on and reflect the latest innovations and developments in the supply chain world. I do so by encouraging the leading thinkers, practitioners and researchers of industry best practice and theory to put pen to paper, to explain and expand on the latest knowledge and information. This way I hope to bring you the vibrancy and variety that will encourage you to, in your scarce free time, pick up the magazine and catch up with the latest on the logistics front. We hope that the new look will inspire you to do so just that little bit more. Let me know what you think!

FORKLIFT SURVEY: CELEBRATING WITH A BIGGER, BETTER PRIZE Our bi-annual Forklift Survey is on again, and to celebrate its fifth instance, we have decided to boost the prize to encourage more of our readers to enter and give us your valued opinions. The MHD/Transport and Logistics News Forklift Survey is an important facilitator of practical information between those who invest in and use the materials handling equipment and the suppliers of said equipment. Your purchasing and usage patterns allow suppliers to fine-tune their machines, services and supply options, which will inevitably result in benefitting those who matter most: you. We are also keen to reflect the important contribution the materials handling industry makes to those less fortunate than ourselves, and so decided to split the new, generous prize money two ways. The winner will not only get a $1,000 travel voucher to spend as they wish, but we will also donate $1,000 cash to the charity of the (same) winner’s choice. The winner will be drawn at random from the list of those who have completed the survey and elected to take part in the draw. So enter now! Visit and click on one of the Forklift Survey ads.

Charles Pauka Editor

DISCLAIMER: This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the “Publisher“). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher's endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information.

All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. Copyright (c) 2018 - The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd.


*AITA Statistics Ytd December 2016.


At Toyota Material Handling we recognise that choosing the right supplier is just as important as choosing the forklifts and warehouse equipment that will meet your needs. That’s why we’re dedicated to delivering:



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Lower lifetime cost of ownership Tailored business solutions As Australia’s number one forklift company,* it doesn’t matter whether we are supplying you with a single spare part, a rental forklift, or helping you manage your entire fleet, our objective and commitment remains the same – adding value to your operation. That’s the Toyota Advantage.

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06 Best of the best: the 2017 ASCLA winners 08 The 2018 MHD Forklift Survey is on!

COMMENT 12 e-commerce – a review & preview 14 How to prepare your fleet for 2018


16 32

20 Spotlight on the 7 key warehouse processes 23 The 93 myth 24 Security! 26 ‘Make it’ in I4.0 28 The future is robots 30 Revolution! 32 AI into the future 34 Grow with tech

SUPPLY CHAIN 36 Show me the money 40 The City of 2050

MATERIALS HANDLING & MANAGEMENT 42 Bargain? Maybe not… 45 Handling ice with a Toyota 46 The refurbished Linde forklift that is a pools winner

THE LAST WORD 47 Australia’s voice in global freight policy

DEPARTMENTS AND REGULARS 48 ASCI – contacts, courses, news. 50 From the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia. 51 Subscription information.

ON THE COVER Crown engineers are bringing innovation and flexibility to AsiaPacific customers. See page 16





he Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia, in conjunction with Dematic, LMA, Xtreme Freight and Australian Border Force Program, celebrated the winners of the 2017 Australian Supply Chain & Logistics Awards at the usual fun and lavish ceremony. These awards have been held annually for the last 57 years by the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA).

2017 ASCL AWARD WINNERS 2017 Environmental Excellence Award

The Environmental Excellence Award recognises corporate leadership contributing to environmental sustainability within our industry through performance and action. The winner of the 2017 Environmental Excellence award was Kathmandu.

2017 Training, Education & Development Award This award is presented to a company that can best demonstrate their commitment/ application and results of providing training, education and development of their people. The winner of the 2017 Training, Education and Development Award was eStore Logistics.

2017 Information Technology and Management Award Nominees for this award demonstrate where their use of existing or new 6 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

The finalists of the 2017 Future Leaders Award celebrating their achievement. technology has provided significant improvements to their management of information and/or their supply chain processes.

their entire supply chain. Nominees should be able to clearly state the design and achieved results of the project or process that was envisaged and then implemented.

The joint winners of the 2017 Information Technology and Management Award were IFC Global Logistics Pty Ltd and Northern Co-operative Meat Company Ltd.

The Winner of the 2017 Supply Chain Management Award was National Mailing & Marketing.

2017 Industry Excellence Award

2017 Logistics Management Award

This award remains a cornerstone of SCLAA’s commitment to recognising and promoting the importance of the supply chain industry and its people to continuously improving organisational strength and growth.

Recipients may stem from nominees for any of the other SCLAA awards at the judges’ discretion, or from a direct application, where the demonstrated achievement, improvement or results have required a logistical approach to their change management.

The winner of the 2017 Industry Excellence Award was Mark Srzypiec, Miele ANZ.

2017 International Supply Chain Award The ASCL International Supply Chain Award is given to a company, association or an individual that/ who may operate internationally and is able demonstrate their capability, commitment and achievements across any spectrum of the sciences, practices, disciplines or efforts to promote and improve the knowledge and acceptance of the importance of the supply chain. The winner of the 2017 International Supply Chain Award was Saigon Coop and XAct Solutions.

2017 Supply Chain Management Award This award recognises an organisation that can demonstrate significant achievement within a section or across

The winner of the 2017 Logistics Management Award was Dematic.

2017 Future Leaders Award The purpose of this award is to provide incentive and recognition to young supply chain professionals who are both currently working in and wish to continue their career path. Nominees for this award should be able to demonstrate their passion and commitment to taking the supply chain toward tomorrow. The winner of the 2017 Future Leaders Award was Primo Danieletto.

BE THERE NEXT YEAR! Don’t miss your opportunity in 2018 to nominate an individual or company for these awards recognised industry-wide. To join this national association contact the SCLAA national secretariat on 1300 364 160 or email ■

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THE FORKLIFT SURVEY TURNS FIVE And we are celebrating with a $2,000 prize package!


his year for the fifth time, MHD magazine in conjunction with Transport and Logistics News ( will be conducting our now iconic forklift survey. The results have helped major suppliers such as Crown Equipment, and Toyota Material Handling Australia to better gauge the needs and wants of Australia’s forklift users. We are once again asking you, our readers, to give us your opinions and insights into what you look for when you decide on a new forklift, what you need, what is important for you. All forklift users will benefit from your responses, as the responses will no doubt result in better forklifts in years to come. And to celebrate our fifth Forklift Survey, we have an amazing $2,000 prize package for one randomly selected winner from the respondents. The lucky winner will not only receive a travel voucher package worth $1,000, but will also have the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice, to which we will donate the other $1,000 of the prize package. 8 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

That’s right, by entering the survey, you will have the chance to win $1,000 for the charity of your choice plus a $1,000 travel voucher! The 2018 Forklift Survey is open now. Simply visit www.TandLnews. and click on the forklift survey button to participate.

WHAT WILL 2018 BRING FOR THE FORKLIFT USER? We have asked the two leading forklift suppliers to give us their views on what we can expect from the year ahead. For 2018, Crown Equipment is building upon the success of the past year with a focus on technology and new products to help it celebrate a significant milestone. “As it has been for more than 50 years, Crown’s focus remains on providing our customers with products that are productive, safer, more efficient and cost-effective,” Crown Australia managing director Greg Simmonds said. “However, technology is constantly changing and the ways we’re achieving these objectives are becoming more advanced.

“Our philosophy is about placing our customers at the centre of our activities; we aim to provide them with an equitable return on investment with the sale of any material handling product, whether it be a hand pallet truck or a turret stock picker. “In addition to our hallmark quality products, we are placing more emphasis on semi-automated solutions capable of substantially increasing the productivity of a company’s existing workforce.” Crown has developed technology that allows users to extract more performance and efficiency from manual lift trucks, such as Auto Positioning System (APS) which can be built in to the Crown TSP Series VNA trucks, and Quick Pick Remote (QPR) order picking technology which works with our MPC, GPC and TSP Series lift trucks. The Auto Positioning System combines with TSP Series turret trucks to power them to the next racking location using the most efficient route. It has the potential to improve productivity by up to 25 per cent depending on the application.

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The forklift is often just the starting point to solving the customer’s problem.

Crown is also celebrating its 20th year of selling internal-combustion forklifts by updating its CG and CD Series models in 2.0 to 4.5-tonne capacities. “Our Pro 5 Series CG and CD models have an enviable reputation across the industry for uptime, operator-focused ergonomics and safety,” Mr Simmonds said. “The new Pro 7 Series is an evolution of the Pro 5 Series, incorporating features that have helped it deliver reliability – such as oil-cooled disc brakes and a heavy-duty transmission – along with refinements such as a redesigned counterbalance with improved airflow for better cooling capacity. “It also features an improved operator interface with upgraded instruments and more.”

CHANGE IS CONSTANT In recent years, Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has adapted itself to both deal with industry change and take positive advantage of the changing environment. One of the most challenging issues is the rapid change in product technology being requested by corporate account clients, who equal close to half of TMHA’s new MHE volume. “The forklift is often just the starting point to solving the customer’s problem of needing to move goods,” said TMHA EVP and COO Steve Takacs. “In today’s environment, the end user doesn’t just need a forklift, they are looking for ‘Quicker, Smarter & Safer’ forklifts that can integrate and communicate with warehouse management systems to reduce length of travel distance, forklifts that can choose


their operators and set function speeds based upon the operator’s skill set, or driverless forklifts. “I’m sure there is massive amounts of game-changing technology in front of us still to come, so we at TMHA accept and recognise that we must continue to heavily invest in our ability to smoothly supply and professionally service the equipment we offer. “TMHA’s business direction is to continue to invest in the training of existing service technicians whilst also continuing our apprentice program. We are also focused on the expansion of our branch locations within regional towns.” Looking ahead, TMHA has some exciting new products due for release in 2018 including a new range of warehouse equipment, new battery electric counterbalance forklifts, plus a range of new reach trucks. Another exciting milestone is that TMHA will this year celebrate a century of forklift sales in Australia with a series of events commencing in April. “This ‘golden anniversary’ celebration is testament to the continued success of Toyota, where we have delivered more than 50,000 forklifts nationally since commencing local operations in 1968,” Mr Takacs said. “Toyota is the current market in leader in the Australian forklift market, and has also enjoyed 30 consecutive years of leadership in engine-powered counterbalance forklifts.”

DON’T DELAY Visit and click on one of the Forklift Survey ads to enter the survey. Do it today! ■




017 has been a fascinating year for eCommerce, with the launch of Amazon Australia the biggest news. As we commence calendar 2018, I thought I would pen a few notes in review and preview. The Amazon Australia launch predictably failed to live up to the hype that had surrounded it, for some years. But I was quick to point out to the media that while we have clearly overestimated Amazon and its impact in the short term, we should not underestimate its impact in the long term. The Amazon launch will change the landscape forever. The most interesting shift for me and the readers of this publication will be in supply chain and logistics. Some argue that Amazon’s retail arm is a technology business. I would argue that it is a supply chain and logistics business. (Very few argue that it is a retail business, which is interesting in itself). But if we assume that Amazon’s success will hinge on a logistics play, and the full ambit of end-to-end delivery, then we are in for interesting times. Many have argued that Australia, with its sizeable land mass and small population – albeit concentrated on the east coast – is not suited to a consumer-direct revolution. This has been reflected in the fast adoption of click-and-collect and the relatively low percentage of e-commerce vs. total retail. Of course, Amazon is betting on cracking the code. But in the short and medium term has opted not to roll out its own fulfilment service, FBA or Fulfilment by Amazon. Rather, it partnered with the Australia Post Group for its end-mile delivery. Some retailers are not happy about this, but we should keep in mind that the extra volume that Amazon generates, hopefully a lot of it incremental, should drive more scale, volume and efficiencies, which should flow through to the broader ecosystem. Also, a lot of Amazon’s focus will be on its marketplace solution, and in that regard, we should all be beneficiaries of a growing pie. Amazon’s arrival has been a catalyst for significant local innovation. The Catch Group launched its own marketplace a good few months prior to Amazon’s arrival, and its 12 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

I have enjoyed seeing the ‘disruptors’ step up to the plate.

sales volumes have been significant. My sense is that it will well exceed Amazon’s volume over the Christmas trade period. Woolworths is implementing ‘dark stores’ – replicas of the supermarkets from which pickers can pick and dispatch. Clearly a response to Amazon. eBay Australia has reinvigorated its leadership and has a number of dynamic initiatives in play, including delivering Australia-specific innovation. And in the supply chain and logistics arenas, there has been a robust response from Toll, also keen to capitalise on the consumer-direct opportunity. DHL, Singapore Post via Couriers Please, Fastway and others are also rising to the opportunity. I have enjoyed seeing the ‘disruptors’ step up to the plate. A shout must go to Shippit, Sendle, ADSone/iCumulus and Zoom2U for their nimble and agile response to a changing landscape. Australia Post has also responded to the possibility of Amazon Prime with its own Shipster model, a subscriptionbased offer to Australian customers.

LOOK AHEAD! I remain bullish about 2018 and disappointed about Amazon’s lack of transparency and industry engagement. I am also aware that some of our retailers have had a very tough calendar year in 2017, and indeed some have gone into administration. But I hold my view that retail is a dynamic environment and there have been many winners, too. Disruption and opportunity go hand-inhand, no doubt about that, and this will be a time for many fast-growing and emerging brands, both in retail and in the solution provider space, to have their place in the sun. Remember, in the new digital economy, it is often not the big eating the small, it’s the fast eating the slow. Lastly, the year-that-was has seen NORA pivot. We have moved from an association to a for-purpose business network. Our members and support base have told us in no uncertain terms that they view NORA as a crucial catalyst for collaboration and alliances – we are truly the ‘dot connectors’ in this exciting ecosystem. We have partnered with the NRA to ensure that those in the NORA Network who require the levers of government advocacy, legal and HR, have access to that. We are grateful for the support we have received, and continue to receive, from key stakeholders, including this publication. Paul Greenberg is the founder and executive director of ■

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With the ability to take quick action, fleet managers can target repeat offenders to curb unsafe driving habits, before they lead to more serious incidents.


ngoing fuel costs, driver safety and keeping tabs on a fleet of vehicles continue to present challenges for any transport business. As the new year begins, these are our top predictions for what will best prepare fleet managers for 2018.

1/ COLLECTING AND ANALYSING DATA Modern developments in technology, such as telematics systems and fuel cards, mean that tremendous amounts of data relating to driver and vehicle behaviour is available to transport managers. The next big challenge – or opportunity – is not only capturing the data from vehicle tracking technology, but truly understanding how to harness it and respond to data-driven insights, to make effective fleet management decisions and drive business profitability.

2/ REDUCE DOWNTIME The ability to accurately record vehicle idling time has been a challenge for fleet managers. Excessive idling wastes a significant amount of fuel and diminishes a fleet’s productivity. A driver might sit in the vehicle with the engine and airconditioning running if they arrive early to a job, which means valuable fuel, and time, are wasted. Drivers practicing poor habits, such as speeding and harsh braking, are also burning fuel unnecessarily. Vehicle tracking enables fleet managers to make informed decisions based on driver performance. This information can help continuously improve efficiency. With the ability to track exactly when vehicles are arriving and departing from sites, fleet managers are able to identify areas of wasted time and where fuel dollars are being wasted on needless kilometres. This helps enable drivers to take the most efficient route to the job, saving time and reducing unnecessary costs.

3/ RISING FUEL COSTS 75 per cent of Australian fleet businesses cite fuel reduction as their key priority, according to a new report commissioned by Fleetmatics. And the price of fuel is set to increase. Transport businesses require a way to reduce fuel wastage. Fuel costs can get out of hand very quickly if not monitored effectively. Again, looking at modern advancements in technology, companies with a fuel card expect their employees to only purchase 14 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

fuel for the company vehicle. But this isn’t always the case. Employees may be filling up their personal car or a mate’s car with the company fuel card. This means the company is paying for the employee’s personal fuel. This is also the case if a driver uses a company vehicle to run personal errands after hours. Not only does this waste fuel, it adds wear and tear to the company vehicle. The key to overcoming fuel budget blowouts could be vehicle tracking, both today and in the future. Businesses with fuel card integration, which integrates fuel card usage data with a vehicle tracking system, can identify when the vehicle was not at the pump when its assigned fleet card was used. For example, a fuel purchased report provides transaction activity for each vehicle on demand without digging through your monthly fuel card bill. This report serves as a baseline for fuel usage improvements, and fleet managers can use this data to pinpoint fuel-wasting driving behaviours and inefficient vehicles.

4/ SAFETY Driving a truck has been identified as one of the most dangerous occupations in Australia, with one out of every three workplace deaths last year involving a transport worker. With risks this high, it’s clear that driver safety needs to be an ongoing priority for fleet managers – today and in five years’ time. They need to take advantage of the latest in technology and safety features. Keeping track of how vehicles are being driven is only half the battle when it comes to having a safe work environment. The most critical step is encouraging drivers to maintain a high calibre of driving style at all times. We’re seeing Australian organisations invest in vehicle tracking technology. Near real-time access to data on how individual drivers are behaving on the road provides visibility into who is driving too fast, braking harshly or taking corners too hard. The software sends configurable alerts back to base when safety thresholds are crossed. With the ability to take quick action, fleet managers can target repeat offenders to curb unsafe driving habits, before they lead to more serious incidents. Todd Ewing is the director of product marketing at Fleetmatics. For more information visit ■

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= CROWN ABOVE: Rao Harohalli, engineering manager, Regional Product Support and Engineering; Michael Croxford, product development manager, Regional Product Support & Engineering; Rodrigo MolinaBachmann, IC product support specialist (L-R).


Crown engineers bring innovation and flexibility to Asia-Pacific customers


rown Equipment is integrating the needs of customers in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia into its current and future products through the work of its dedicated Asia-Pacific design and engineering team. The company’s Product Engineering Development and Support Division, located at Crown’s regional head office in Smithfield, New South Wales, Australia, adds value for customers by providing modified lift trucks to suit specific needs. It also acts as a platform for ongoing change to Crown’s product line by giving recommendations to lead designers, helping make equipment that better meets the needs of customers in the region. Additionally, the division has provided fully developed designs and has tested information for a number of global products currently in production. Crown Equipment vice president Paul Jackson said Crown’s in-house engineering capabilities are an important part of

delivering on the company’s promise of placing the customer at the centre of its business activities. “Our position at Crown has always been about delivering full material handling solutions,” Mr Jackson said. “This was born out of a commitment to manufacturing in Australia for the better part of the last 50 years. “Whilst our product line-up is vast and well known for its durability, we’re always interested in finding ways to make things work better for our customers.”

HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE The capabilities of the Asia-Pacific engineering division can be seen in a number of the company’s products and ongoing innovations, which are completing specialised tasks on warehouse floors around the region. Product engineering development and support manager Michael Croxford said Crown Asia-Pacific gained considerable insight into the fundamentals of forklift production through its experience in manufacturing in Australia in the early 1970s. “The knowledge we gained from local manufacturing carries through today in

MHD COVER STORY our ability to innovate, better serving our customers by making our products more specialised and able to fit with their requirements,” Mr Croxford said. “We work with our highly experienced sales staff to help find the best solutions to customer needs, and work closely with them to make sure the solutions meet their needs while fulfilling regulatory requirements. “Feedback we receive from customers in the region often results in feature changes to existing Crown designs.” The Asia-Pacific engineering team has also contributed to the current Crown line-up with designs such as the wellregarded SHR Series heavy-duty walkie reach truck. It has also added to the design of the newly released MPC 3000 Series lift truck through field research and testing. “The Asia-Pacific engineering team has contributed significantly to Crown’s development of semi-automated material handling products, which include geofencing and radio-frequency identification technologies,” Mr Croxford said.

MPC 3000 SERIES The Australian-developed MPC 3000 Series lift truck is the direct result of customer engagement and feedback playing a role in Crown equipment design. Adapted from the Crown GPC 3000 Series order picker developed by Crown’s European design team, the MPC 3000 Series’ proven effectiveness and popularity with Australia customers has led to a global roll-out. The MPC 3000 Series’ development was spurred by enquiries for a more effective solution in environments where both stockpickers and counterbalance forklifts are

The knowledge we gained from local manufacturing carries through today in our ability to innovate, better serving our customers by making our products more specialised and able to fit with their requirements.

used for ‘rainbow’ or ‘layer picking’ work, a common task for third-party logistics providers servicing high-volume end users with mixed picking orders. Crown initially developed four prototypes and passed them to high-profile customers in Sydney for evaluation. During more than 50,000 hours of field-testing, the product’s configuration was refined to combine a high-lift, clear-view mast with an outrigger-free counterbalance design. The combination created a versatile, multi-purpose stock-picker capable of performing tasks previously requiring an additional counterbalance forklift. The MPC 3000 Series’ height-adjustable layout has been designed specifically for order picking as well as replenishing lowlevel pick slots from high-level storage. The omission of outriggers allows closer proximity to machinery, sandwich-stacking four-way pallets and manoeuvring in tight or congested areas. The result is a machine capable of streamlining equipment fleets, taking on multiple roles and maximising shift productivity. In addition to increasing efficiency for multi-layer stacking, it offers an ergonomic advantage. Its adjustable height allows operators to set pallets at their ideal picking height. This minimises stretching and bending, resulting in a reduction in fatigue and injury potential while improving operator productivity. “The MPC 3000 came about as a result of our engagement with our customers and trying to better understand the specifics of their businesses,” Michael Croxford said. ▶ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 17

Crown Equipment’s Blue Giant specialist, Hamish McGregor.


Crown offers ‘Giant’ warehouse equipment range Crown Equipment has partnered with a global leader in warehouse fittings and equipment to boost the product line-up of its warehouse solutions division. Blue Giant, which specialises in the development, manufacturing and distribution of equipment including dock levellers, groundlevel lifts, vehicle restraints, touch controls, dock and door guards, door seals, shelters and HVLS fans, has selected Crown as its primary partner in Australia. The alliance adds to the capabilities of Crown Warehouse Solutions (CWS), which specialises in static warehouse fitments including racking and shelving, wrapping machines, cabinets, tools and other equipment. To support Blue Giant products, Crown has set up dedicated service vans with specialised tools for servicing the range. Crown Warehouse Solutions general manager Brett Stewart said Crown and Blue Giant are a perfect fit to create the ultimate one-stop shop for warehouse fit-outs. “Blue Giant is a market leader in its field worldwide, just like Crown Equipment,” Mr Stewart said. “Blue Giant has gained significant market share by identifying trends in material handling and developing the right product mix for the market. “The company was founded in 1963 and has grown with locations and manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including the


Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. “Since Crown began its Warehouse Solutions Division in 2010, our team of dedicated professionals has been providing racking, shelving and all warehouse fittings and infrastructure from Australia’s number-one electric lift truck company. “It is a successful venture that has helped Crown material handling equipment reach new customers while providing an invaluable service to existing Crown lift truck users looking for more convenient ways to fit-out warehouses. “Our partnership with Blue Giant is another step in boosting the capabilities of CWS, which is all about providing the easiest way to turn an empty space into a fully functional warehouse. “We help our customers achieve a completely integrated warehouse set-up complete with the right selection of Crown’s reliable, innovative lift trucks and fleet management technologies if required, at highly competitive prices. “With the backing of Crown and its network of branches in capital cities and regional centres, customers can be assured of access to required stock levels and support for Blue Giant products around the country.” For more information on Blue Giant and CWS’s product lines, please contact your nearest Crown Equipment branch.

“It is capable of performing multiple warehousing tasks such as order-picking and sandwich-stacking multiple pallets while reducing the amount of equipment required. “In certain applications it is also able to simplify the put-away process at the receiving facility. Combined with its ergonomic refinement, it brings the reliability, durability and operator safety features expected of Crown equipment.” The MPC 3000 Series is also compatible with Crown’s exclusive QuickPick Remote (QPR) semi-automated order picking technology, which enables the operator to remotely advance to the next picking location without having to climb on and off the truck. Testing has revealed that QPR is capable of reducing operator fatigue while boosting order-picking productivity by saving the operator up to five seconds per pick.

GALVANISED WP SERIES Crown’s WP Series electric pallet jack is a staple of numerous businesses in the Asia-Pacific region due to its time-saving capabilities, safety benefits, strength and dependability. Clean, hygienic equipment is a mandate of many of Crown’s food manufacturing, medical and primary industry customers, so compliance with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and other bacteria-elimination protocols necessitates regular cleaning with harsh substances. Customers in these industries cited short lifespans for material handling equipment as a major issue. Operating near corrosive chemicals, in high pH environments and within constant wet or damp working situations, resulted in the working life of the equipment being cut short. In response, Crown’s Australian engineering division began developing a galvanised version of the WP Series pallet jack. Prototypes featured a protective zinctreated body with stainless steel roller bearings replacing the standard items. Additional parts were modified to prevent water and chemical ingress to help prevent premature corrosion. Testing the galvanised WP Series in corrosive work environments with a number of customers has shown almost zero corrosion. “The galvanised units have proven themselves able to stand up to the harsh conditions. Day-in and day-out, the galvanised WP Series trucks are supporting operations and offering the extended lifespan that customers expect from Crown equipment,” Michael Croxford said.


“The demands of our customers across these regulated industries were foremost as we developed the galvanised WP pallet truck.” The galvanised WP pallet jack has been adopted globally and is now more versatile and longer-lasting thanks to this customer interaction.

FUTURE FORWARD At Crown Equipment, as well as the lift truck industry in general, there is currently an increased focus on improving the capabilities of lift trucks through trends such as big data, mobile technology, the ‘Internet of Things’ and robotics. However, according to Paul Jackson, Crown products incorporating these technologies will not be at the expense of ongoing research and development aimed at delivering better product hardware.

Without reliable, useful products that can cope with the needs of customers in the environments in which they work, the efficiencies gained by cuttingedge technology are meaningless.

“The technology wave is building here at Crown,” he said. “We pioneered lift truck fleet management technology and we are further developing our InfoLink system alongside other forward thinking solutions that will provide real value for customers. “However, without reliable, useful products that can cope with the needs of customers in the environments in which they work, the efficiencies gained by cutting-edge technology are meaningless. “Our Asia-Pacific engineering division will continue with development projects that offer these types of improvements because our customers really are at the centre of everything we do.” For more information visit ■









NOW HERE IS THE ‘DIFFERENT’ PART. There is a plethora of nuances in how each process is physically conducted and electronically controlled. For example, two competitors with the same products will often have different ways of doing things. Idiosyncrasies across industries adds further diversity. Even third-party logistics companies do things differently. The SCOR model and companies such as GS1 have blueprints of key processes using barcoding and radio frequency controls, which offer standard ways of reading and recording data, but the physical materials handling logistics and ways of doing things in each warehouse are somewhat unique to each business. This is driven 20 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018







re all warehouses the same? Short answer: no, but yes! This contradiction in terms is probably best explained by the Thai phrase; ‘Same same, but different’. This phrase is used widely in Thailand to explain to naïve tourists (such as myself) the similarities between one product and another. Let me explain. Yes, warehouses are the same in 7 key respects. They share 7 key processes. Two relate to inwards flow, (yellow), three to outwards flow (green), plus returns and value adding. Same same!




by factors including magnitude of the warehouse operation, storage capacity, temperature, order profiles, legislative requirements, company culture, and volume of goods moving through the facility. So, what are the key processes and how are they handled?

1. RECEIVING The act of handling products into a warehouse and onto a system. Receipts may be for single products, objects, litres, cartons, packets, crates, kilograms or full pallets. Items maybe large such as pallets, or as small as a split pin. The best way to receive products is via an Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) from a supplier. With this information on system, operators can scan consignment barcodes to bring up the ASN. If the delivery matches the ASN, then goods can be system-received. But at this point they are still at staging, albeit ready for put-away. Some systems allow for goods to be received into inventory at this point, whereas others require the goods to be delivered to a specific stock location before inventory is updated. This depends entirely on the customer requirements and how the system is set up. Lesson: Organise ASN on your system for automatic receiving and put-away. Ideally, use RF equipment for scanning and updating your management systems.

2. PUT-AWAY A good system will prompt put-away staff with a note indicating that stock is in staging waiting to be transported to a storage location. The process commences when operators accept the put-away task from the Enterprise Resource Program (ERP) or Warehouse Management System (WMS), and then scanning the relevant barcode of goods to be put away. If there is no barcode, then a manual entry can confirm that the goods have been identified. At this point the system will be directing the put-away staff to deliver goods to the relevant storage location. Once at the location, the operator will either scan the relevant stock location barcode, or manually confirm that the correct location has been found, then place the goods into the slot before confirming that the put-away process is complete. Lesson: Use a system that can direct put-away to vacant slots according to demand of the goods.

3. PICKING There are two main types of picking. Primary. This is the first picking of goods. In some cases, the first picking is delivered directly to a staging area or packing bench for finalisation, consigning and dispatching, thus the first picking becomes the last picking. Secondary: This is a second picking process. Some primary picks are subject to a second picking process, particularly where picked goods must

MHD FEATURE be allocated to clustered orders (bunch of orders), or discrete orders (single orders) via a sortation process or system. With the boom in online sales across many industries, far more companies are conducting secondary picking processes than ever before. Once orders are received, it is common for orders to be released ‘real-time’ or in ‘waves’. Real-time orders are downloaded as they are received. Orders accumulated for specific picking times and transport routes are called ‘waves’. Waves can be released at the discretion of the DC manager according to criteria that they determine. As alluded to above, picking may be discrete, i.e. one order at a time, clustered, i.e. multiple orders at a time, or batched, i.e. picking all the goods at once to sort to specific customer orders. Often, companies may use all three types of picking. With increasing online orders, companies are increasingly installing picking apparatus such as put walls, put-tolight systems, goods-to-person systems and cross-belt sortation systems, to cope with the larger volume of small orders. What about accuracy of picking? This is one of the most common questions asked by warehouse managers. Should you scan the product or location, or both during picking?

The unrelenting technology improvement and complexity of modern-day business dictates that companies invest in appropriate ERP and WMS systems to remain competitive.

This depends largely on the degree of accuracy required. If both are scanned accuracy increases, but picking velocity will be lower compared to simply scanning the location. Where voice systems are used, no scanning will be used, but check digits at the location serve to ensure the operator is at the correct location. Voice picking obviates the need to scan at all, but with a touch of risk. The risk lies in the operator achieving the right count, upon picking, without making a mistake. While companies worry about the accuracy issue, evidence suggests that voice picking and/or scanning the location only, gives a surprisingly high level of accuracy, without impeding picking velocity. For ‘accuracy intensive’ warehouses, accuracy can be enhanced by a statistical sample of QA checks, normally around 10 to 20% of orders. Lesson: Picking uses a large amount of resources, and can reflect around 60% or more of warehouse staff. Smart picking systems and WMS are a must for increasingly complex businesses.

4. PACKING There are scores of ways that goods are packed within distribution centres. Rather than delve into the specific details of packing processes, it’s suffice to follow five rules for successful packing: 1/ Goods picked must be traceable in terms of location from wh ich they are picked, plus relevant ‘use-by’ dates and/or ‘batch’ dates and codes. 2/ Accuracy and QA checks must be built into the process. 3/ Goods picking from different zones within the warehouse must be easily ‘combined’ and system-managed to ensure order completeness. 4/ Goods must be packed according to their size, quantity, temperature, toxicity, value, fragility, hygiene and legislative requirements. 5/ Consignments must always be systemtraceable to documents and/or invoice numbers for future traceability. Lesson: Packing is an extension of the picking process and must be systemmanaged and treated with care to ensure that orders are complete, and accurate.

5. DISPATCHING The successful art of dispatch lies in the operation’s ability to have goods ready for departure, just in time for carriers to load their trucks. The DC manager must therefore balance and forecast packing and dispatching according to carrier pick-up times. Goods ▶ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 21

4/ All credits must be system-recorded together with reasons why the goods are returned. 5/ Inventory must be updated where goods are returned to stock, or held for further action. Lesson: Returns is a complex part of any business. A defined process must be in place that accurately and reliably records the whole transaction and credit process.


that are ready too early, for example, will clutter staging areas, while dispatches that are late, will delay loading and potentially cause late deliveries. As indicated earlier, many firms resort to using their systems to release orders, for picking and packing in waves, aligned to specific delivery routes or carrier types. Lesson: Avoid jambs and late deliveries by scheduling picking waves to align with carrier picking up times.

6. RETURNS This is something most companies wish will just disappear! However, returns are an intricate part of most businesses, and alas, the volume of returns is growing for many organisations - mainly due to the e-commerce revolution. Alarmingly, much of returns for many firms is for just one item at a time. The complexity around handling returns mandates the following rules: 1/ When customers return goods, they should seek, and be given Return Management Authorisation, which outlines what is being returned and why. 2/ All returns must be traceable, to their order, document and invoice. 3/ Companies must have a pre-determined returns process that delineates what is to be done with the goods once received back into the warehouse, e.g. return to stock, repair, destroy, discard, recycle, return to manufacturer, etc. 22 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

Review your value-adding processes and make sure that your system can handle the requisite activities and transactions.

This is the part of the business where products are produced, kitted, assembled, relabelled, modified, ‘burnt-in’, or subject to some other value adding process. The value adding part is about performing work on the product to make it ‘ready for sale’. This process of value-adding can be complex, particularly when many different items are combined to form a new product. Complexity around handling value-adding processes and the changing nature of component products in and out of shelf locations can be daunting. Over the years, systems have evolved to assist, yet there are many companies that find recording of value-adding inputs and outputs a significant challenge, as the value-adding components may be incompatible with how the logistics system or conventional ERP or WMS have been set up. Lesson: Review your value-adding processes and make sure that your system can handle the requisite activities and transactions.

TO CONCLUDE… So, there you have it, 7 key processes that are ‘same same’, yet ‘different’ for each organisation. From the above, you will realise that modern distribution centre supply chains are a complex mass of processes, activities and transactions. All of which must be individually crafted by humans to make your warehouse operate effectively The days of using a pad and pencil or even a spreadsheet to manage warehouse functions don’t seem very long ago, yet the unrelenting technology improvement and complexity of modern-day business dictates that companies invest in appropriate ERP and WMS systems to remain competitive. Equally important is that they are correctly configured to the ‘different’ aspects of your business. Mal Walker is the manager, consulting, at the Logistics Bureau. For more information contact Mal on 0412 271 503 or email ■


THE 93 MYTH Debunking the urban myth about GS1 barcodes: what do the first two or three digits really mean?


n 1979, Australian retailers adopted the GS1 system of numbering and barcoding as their preferred standard of trade. This means that all products that are sold to, and by, a retailer, need to be uniquely identified with a GS1 barcode that has a unique product identification number called a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). The GTIN is printed below the black and white stripes of a typical barcode. GS1 Australia, a not-for-profit organisation administers and issues authorised GS1 barcode numbers (GTIN) for Australian businesses beginning with 93. Although barcodes have been around on a global scale for over 40 years, there still appears to be some confusion about the humble symbol, what the numbers mean and that familiar beep that is heard approximately six billion times around the world every day.

DEBUNKING THE URBAN MYTH To debunk the many urban myths that have surrounded barcoding since its inception, here is all you need to know about GS1 barcodes. Since 2008, a story originating from the US has been shared across international borders about the product scares involving melamine-tainted pet foods, lead-tainted toys, and melamine-tainted milk products – all originating in China. This started a chain reaction amongst consumers about the country of origin of any product, which is still on trend today. It re-emerges every few months through social media and other communication channels. Consumers were led to believe that the first two to three digits of a product’s barcode would tell them where the product was made. This presumption was, and still is, fiction and completely incorrect. The country of origin has nothing to do with any of the digits of a GS1 barcode.

THE GS1 BARCODE IS ALL ABOUT UNIQUE PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION A GS1 barcode uniquely identifies a product using a product identification number called a GTIN. Businesses put GS1 barcodes on their products to sell them locally and globally in multiple industry sectors.

The barcode number is read by a scanner, processed into a number and is simply an access key to a database record that describes details of the product. To ensure barcode numbers are globally unique and that the correct, standardsbased implementation support is provided to local GS1 user companies, the GS1 global office, based in Brussels, has authorised GS1 member organisations in countries around the world to manage the GS1 system in that country under exclusive licences.

THE GS1 PREFIX DOES NOT REPRESENT COUNTRY OF ORIGIN GS1 is present in 112 countries around the world and each member organisation has been allocated a two or three-digit GS1 prefix, from which they can allocate barcode numbers to their subscriber members. GS1 Australia has been allocated and authorised to issue numbers with the GS1 prefix 93. GS1 Australia is the only official source for GS1 barcode numbers and standards in Australia. The GS1 barcode numbers allocated to member companies by GS1 Australia begin with the GS1 prefix 93. GS1 members can manufacture products anywhere in the world and source raw materials on a local or international basis. GS1 prefixes do not identify the country of origin for a given product. They identify the country and the GS1 member organisation from which the GS1 barcode number was sourced. GS1 barcodes beginning with 93 simply mean that the barcode number was sourced from GS1 Australia. It is important to also note that government regulators such as Food Standard Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) dictate labelling requirements for all food products in Australia. These regulations are totally independent of the GS1 barcodes and are intended to provide the consumer with all the information they need to make an informed purchasing decision. GS1 barcodes allow companies all over the world to trade with each other using a common identification system and derive the benefits associated with the GS1 system. For more information visit or call 1300 BARCODE. ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 23

SECURITY! Tackling digital security threats to the supply chain MARK ATWOOD


ompanies of all shapes and sizes, across different industries and regions, are marching inexorably toward becoming digital businesses. Revenue, growth and efficiency are optimised by exploiting digital technology across sales and marketing channels, manufacturing, supply chain, products and services. This progress, of course, carries many benefits — efficiencies in productivity, cost savings, better customer experience and connections, as well as competitive advantages. But it also comes with risk. As one of the operational areas integral to digital business, supply chain is at the forefront of managing the inherent risks. One of the largest risks right now is the security risk to the supply chain’s ‘information’ components, which includes a mix of data and IT infrastructure, product and operational elements. Gartner recently asked supply chain leaders what the greatest challenges placed by digital business were to them and the results were loud and clear: • Internal digital IT security: security of internet-connected facilities and assets was the leading challenge, according to 50 per cent of respondents. • External digital IT security: security of digital products came in second place, with 49 percent saying it was the biggest challenge. This ‘internal/external’ delineation becomes crucial in demonstrating the way forward for supply chain, and indeed the many customers, suppliers and distribution partners


who collaborate in it. Creating more complexity is the fact that several companies have supplier portals where technologies are integrated. The stakes are high. A digitally vulnerable supply chain can lead to disruption of its actual operation, with the associated rise in costs and reduction of service levels that can devastate a company’s financial results. It can also lead to significant damage to brand and reputation, product safety and integrity issues, privacy violations, trade and compliance implications, loss or theft of intellectual property, and substantial fines and fees.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT? If you’re responsible for digital innovation, there are five areas you should focus on:

1/ TAKE AN INTEGRATED DIGITAL SECURITY APPROACH The complex and highly fragmented topic of supply chain information security risk can and should be looked at via an integrated digital security approach — thinking holistically about data and IT, product and operations. Data and IT refers to IT in the traditional sense: data, applications, servers, networks and end-user devices that you use in your supply chain operations. Customer data, supplier data, bills of materials, transportation management systems, planning systems and so on. In terms of product, many more are becoming ‘smart’ — containing embedded code, logic bearing components, and more. This is business as usual in high tech, consumer electronics and industrial manufacturing, but we’re increasingly seeing this trend in medical devices, healthcare products and even some sectors of consumer products. The last category is technology for operations — Internet of Things (IoT),

operational technology (OT), and physical technology. For supply chain, IoT includes the connected assets, machines and equipment you use, especially in manufacturing and logistics, and increasingly in demand sensing. All of these components are susceptible to security breaches, so how you secure them? First, you must understand the current challenges.

2/ ADDRESS MAJOR DIGITAL SECURITY CHALLENGES The first challenge is governance. A cross-section of teams can often look after product security — supply chain, R&D, engineering and product management. In many cases, IT is responsible for both IT and operations security, but not product. Good coordination between IT and supply chain is needed to ensure proper security is in place for products. Other challenges include: • Lack of technical talent – much has been written about supply chain’s overall need for talent acquisition and development, and it’s even more pronounced in this critical area. • Time constraints – the typical supply chain organisation is perpetually challenged with trying to balance a portfolio of improvement and/or innovation initiatives. • The pace of threat expansion is picking up – the number of threats and the ability of these attacks to spread quickly is proving difficult to keep up with, as demonstrated by ransomware attacks in this past year alone. • Change management – supply chains must understand that security isn’t someone else’s problem – only a collaborative effort with IT can properly address the problem. Often it can be a bigger problem with suppliers, as some lag in the proper know-how to combat this threat.


• Operations, such as dedicated track-andtrace, end-to-end supply chain visibility, asset and inventory management, etc. Supply chain and IT need to collaborate, since some of the approaches used on the operations side are also being looked at on the product side. This way, supply chain can understand what approaches work best and what to deploy on the product side.

With the focus on traditional information security and the emerging work around IoT and OT, all too often the product itself gets lost. Product security isn’t something IT security leaders hold as a priority; instead, it falls on supply chain and other teams (R&D, product management and marketing) to put this in place. Product security is vital given how high the stakes are in brand, product safety, product quality and compliance. With smart products proliferating across all industries, products of all shapes and sizes now include embedded code and logic-bearing components, which are all susceptible to malfeasance. According to Gartner, 65 per cent of smart products will be proven ‘hackable’ by 2019, compelling chief supply chain officers to collaborate more closely with the CIO, CTO and CISO, as well as all engineering functions, on digital security.


Go beyond concerns about protecting customer data to understand all of their digital security requirements.

4/ PROTECT WITH A SUPERSET OF APPROACHES With limited time and resources, it’s important to cut through the complexity of all the tools and techniques available to wage the digital security battle. A variety of tools are being deployed to mitigate risks: • Data and IT, such as security monitoring, vulnerability management, cloud security, etc. • Product, such as risk management, working with standards bodies, product lifecycle management, etc.

Looking at supply chain security through a digital security lens helps provide companies with a sense of timing. Arrange a timeline of sorts — securing IT first, then product next, and finally, the IoT/ OT/physical technology components of the supply chain as a ‘future state’. As you advance along this timeline, focus intently on your customers. Go beyond concerns about protecting customer data to understand all of their digital security requirements and how you can ensure their smart product arrives unhacked and remains un-hackable over the course of its lifecycle. Finally, address the extended value chain — the network of partners with whom all supply chain organisations work, first, second and third-tier suppliers, manufacturing partners and distribution partners. Mark Atwood is a managing vice president at Gartner, who guides the agenda, content strategy and execution of supply chain coverage specific to the healthcare provider, life sciences, consumer packaged goods, retail, high-tech and industrial manufacturing sectors. For more information visit ■

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Technology helps manufacturers ‘make it’ in the age of Industry 4.0 JASON LOW


ou snooze, you lose! That’s probably the best phrase to sum up what manufacturers across the world are experiencing in today’s highly competitive landscape. Manufacturers can no longer take a ‘wait and see’ approach as they are met with the opportunities and challenges posed by the concept of Industry 4.0. Well, it’s actually not just a concept, but a reality, that defines how manufacturers automate and adopt technologies that make them smarter. A nation’s economy is tightly intertwined with its manufacturing output. According to the World Trade Organisation, 80% of the global trade activity between all regions is classified as manufactured goods,


versus 20% as services. It is no wonder, then, that countries around the world are locked in a competitive race to become the next manufacturing hub. And many nations in the Asia Pacific are strong contenders. For the last 20 years, China has been a steadfast superfactory for low-cost, low-value manufacturing, supplying the world with everyday commodities from food to apparel. As China moves into high-value manufacturing, a vacancy for low-value manufacturing has opened up. With its huge local market of 1.2 billion consumers, a large base of university graduates and engineers, and a friendly policy environment, India exhibits the potential to take over China to become the powerhouse for low-value manufacturing in the near future. Comparatively developed countries like Australia, Japan, Korea, and Singapore are already in the business of manufacturing complex, innovative products. Singapore has sustained

strong manufacturing growth for the last 12 months as of August, painting a bright picture for the future economy. Thailand retains a strong foothold in high-value manufacturing, enjoying a stable production in the automotive, electronics, food, and chemical-related industries. Indonesia’s manufacturing sector continues to be the nation’s biggest GDP contributor, despite a decline in the past three years. Although these APAC countries are at different stages of transformation, and they all have their eyes on technology adoption to boost their manufacturing sector. Their intentions are telling from the findings in Zebra Technologies’ Manufacturing Vision Study.

INDUSTRY 4.0 WILL SHAKE THINGS UP FOR MANUFACTURERS One key insight from the study is the rise of Industry 4.0 in the region. This refers to the creation of smart factories that give manufacturers actionable visibility of their operations at every stage. Manufacturers will be able to gain visibility of their goods at every stage of production, and the status of their assets through both proactive and reactive services to minimise downtime. In addition, the increased operational visibility will allow these manufacturers to ensure that its people are accounted for and optimise their productivity on the plant floor. With smart technologies, smart factories can ensure that enterprise processes and regulatory compliance are met throughout the manufacturing cycle. Finally, smart factories also benefit from increased security and safety. To accomplish that, employees and plant floors are equipped with a range of technologies such as wearable technologies, Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, radiofrequency identification (RFID) solutions, and real-time location systems (RTLS) to achieve visibility over every aspect of their operations, including goods, assets, and processes. The study estimates the number of manufacturers in the region supporting fully connected factories would nearly triple over the next five years to reach 46 per cent by 2022, significantly ahead of the worldwide average.

MHD FEATURE TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION IS NON-NEGOTIABLE While there are lingering concerns that automation and robotics will eventually displace the low-skill jobs on the factory floor, many industry experts and economists concede that it will be an irreversible trend. The earlier the manufacturers shore up technology and start upskilling the workers, the less painful the transition will be later. In today’s vast and busy factories, it can be daunting to do everything manually, not to mention it is extremely slow, inefficient, and prone to mistakes. Increasingly, factory workers are offloading tasks to their technological helpers. The Zebra survey shows that in 2022, 72% of factories will arm their workers with mobile technology such as handheld computers, printers, and scanners. These mobile devices can assist the workers in looking up and recording information, and generating and inputting product labels. Wearable and voice-directed technology are on the rise too, with 65% and 51% of respondents planning to implement them for the workers. While wearable technology is relatively new, it unlocks potential for monitoring worker safety and locations in the factory, therefore allowing operation managers to quickly attend to workplace safety events and more effectively allocate manpower in different stages, leading to improved productivity. Voice-directed technology, on the other hand, is proving to be popular for large companies managing immense factories. Voice technology allows workers to carry out a task with both hands and receive or give instructions at the same time, elevating efficiency and productivity. What’s more, many of the big manufacturers also rely on voice technology to efficiently coordinate for just-in-time (JIT) shipments, which are typically hectic and labour intensive. RFID, a cousin to barcode technology and a building block for IoT, is also playing a key role in connecting the factories from point to point, corner to corner, by giving the goods a digital voice and allowing them to be ‘heard’ and, therefore, tracked in real time. An RFID tag can contain much more information than what is traditionally printed on a pallet, including detailed work instructions, bill of materials, and tracking numbers, helping workers better move the goods through a production line. Today, RFID is used to vastly improve order accuracy and traceability of an item. By 2022, only 9% of the factories will be devoid of RFID.

The Zebra survey shows that in 2022, 72% of factories will arm their workers with mobile technology such as handheld computers, printers, and scanners.

Finally, RTLS are becoming popular among manufacturers, too. In the past, manufacturers only tracked their products at the goods-in and goods-out stages of the process, making it extremely challenging to accurately locate the source of a quality issue should one occur. This has contributed to unnecessary spending on rectifying the issue. RTLS comes to the rescue by illuminating the typically dark, obscure production process and monitoring quality issues. That is not the only benefit. Manufacturers can also deploy RTLS to collect critical data about assets including location, stage, and condition – actionable information for factory managers to make better business decisions. These data can also be sent quickly to internal and external suppliers, so they can respond to restocking requests or demand surge swiftly. Unsurprisingly, by 2022, more than 55% of factories will be furnished with RTLS.

CONCLUSION Manufacturing is no longer about simply making things. It will be about making high-quality things in the precise moment when they are needed – and even where they are needed (with 3D printing). Manufacturers also need to increasingly diversify their product variants, adding to the complexity in production. With trends such as mobility, robotics, automation, and IoT, the competition is heating up in the manufacturing industry. By 2022, half of the manufacturers in APAC will have smart factories, compared to one third as the global average. Are you ready to make it big by turning your operations into an intelligent enterprise, or will you choose to stay behind? Jason Low is the APAC lead for Specialty Printing Group, Zebra Technologies Asia Pacific. For more information visit ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 27

Many of the goods-torobot picking problems have been solved.

THE FUTURE IS ROBOTS The future of robotic picking in distribution PAS TOMASIELLO


he biggest problems facing distributors in many parts of the world, including Australia and New Zealand, is the fact that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find people who want to work in a distribution centre. Even in the best of circumstances, it’s a challenge to find workers for your DC who can do the job properly for wages within your budget. DC work can be physically demanding and mentally tedious. Some people take DC jobs because they need the work. But as soon as a better option comes along — one that may not require walking many kilometres per shift — they are likely to quit. Robots don’t quit. Robots don’t get tired, don’t get sick and don’t get injured. Robots have been used in manufacturing – especially in the automotive industry – for decades, but the features that make robots ideal for that environment — the capacity to perform the same task over and over, handling the same kind of item in the same location — often don’t work in distribution where tasks and item types vary greatly. A good example of this is that, until now, robotic picking systems have struggled to perform the most common task in most DC and warehouses: piece picking for discrete orders.

THE GOOD NEWS The good news is that new technology solutions to adapt robots for use in distribution are now available. One such 28 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

technology – vision systems – uses sophisticated software to allow robots to ‘see’ items — for example, to differentiate between upright items and those lying on their sides. By being able to identify item types, robots can be programmed to know what to do with each. Another technology increasing the versatility of robots in distribution applications is flexible gripping devices that help robots grasp a wide range of items with different levels of dexterity. Most robot gripping devices (also known as end effectors) can grip only a narrow range of items. But piece pickers in DC need to hold and lift a variety of items with the same hand, from the most delicate crystal glass to the heaviest case of beer. In the recent past, robots required a variety of gripping devices to accommodate different items, and the process to exchange different gripping devices between each pick run was timeconsuming. Today the functionality of robot gripping device technology has advanced, and we are developing it further by creating both goods-to-robot and robot-to-goods picking systems.

ROBOTS SUIT LABOURINTENSIVE, REPETITIVE TASKS Robotic systems can automate the most labour-intensive, repetitive tasks to improve efficiency, accuracy and flexibility. The good news is that goods-to-robot picking is available today, although somewhat limited to DC that handle a fairly

MHD FEATURE narrow range of product types, dimensions, weights, delicacy and sizes. These solutions include robots that are stationary, which makes them safe, fast and efficient, and able to improve productivity dramatically for a highly automated operation. We have solved many of the goods-torobot picking problems. The next challenge is robot-to-goods picking. Imagine a DC where you have robots working next to your human pickers. The robots are fast, accurate and safe. In areas where it is hard to find and retain reliable staff, robots can take over the physically demanding task of picking, and will do it reliably every single day, all day long. At Dematic, we are meeting this challenge by leveraging our deep development experience in materials handling automation. We are exploring the latest in multi-axis robot arms, end-of-arm tooling designs and 2D and 3D vision systems, and we are understanding how to combine them with the safe navigation systems we have already developed for our automated guided vehicles (AGV), to make robot-to-goods picking a reality.

Easy with

Schematic of a goodsto-robot system.


It’s time to consider how robots can make your DC more efficient – now and in the future.

You can now use robots for the tedious and exhausting tasks in your DC so you can save human labour for work that requires thinking and creativity. It’s time to consider how robots can make your DC more efficient – now and in the future. Pas Tomasiello is Dematic’s director of integrated systems. For more information visit ■


Peacock Bros DRIVE inventory solution has been developed with operator ease-of-use in mind. The intuitive interface and inbuilt automation will improve productivity and report on all inventory movement. Compatible with most ERP environments and data capture scanning equipment, DRIVE inventory is ideal for managing the complete operations of one warehouse to multiple storage locations, and can be customised to suit your specific needs.

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MHD FEATURE optimal utilisation, companies can make their operations flexible enough to expand and shrink capabilities to align with demands within the supply chain model at a given time. 2018 is expected to be a year driven by elastic logistics.


Supply chain trends to watch out for in 2018


ustralian e-commerce logistics will see a rise in new-age technologies revolutionising modern-age logistics. Digital disruption caused by cloud computing, mobility, AI and analytics is enabling breakthrough innovation in the supply chain industry. An interesting observation about the Australian market is that, with a population of just 23 million, e-commerce is largely fuelled by a stronger economy and infrastructure, rather than the number of consumers. 85% people of Australia have internet access, and the number of users is increasing at a rate of 1.7%. Compared globally, this is a very high proportion and ensures that e-commerce websites are able to easily reach a large audience. Changing consumer preferences and the level of internet penetration have fuelled the e-commerce growth and created the need for digital logistics. CxO are mulling over ways to gain 360-degree visibility of the logistics processes, driving productivity and creating new revenue streams. With companies around the world experimenting with digital technologies such as AI and Blockchain, supply chain and crossborder growth is spurred on with technological progression that is aimed at improving the speed of deliveries, enhancing delivery satisfaction scores and perfect order scores. Another important aspect to note is that visibility is no longer about ‘where is my truck?’, it is now about ‘where is my parcel?’. It is being drilled down to 30 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

SKU level and, coupled with predictive analytics, is changing the game. Together, blending the study on the technology advancements and the emerging logistics models we predict supply chain and logistics will shape up in 2018 the following way.


4/ ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND BLOCKCHAIN Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence have hit the logistics industry early this year, and they are expected to become an automatic choice for logistics companies for the impenetrable way they store and share transactional data and improve credibility with secure transactions. For example, a customer’s proof of identity is available digitally through a blockchain-based structure, so there is no way it can be fudged by the driver at the time of delivery.



With automation and mobility being the support system to survive competition, integration with smart glasses will make deliveries easier by hands-free route searches, face recognition for error-free deliveries and personalised deliveries. With the rise in unmanned aerial vehicles and adoption of smart glasses, the operational efficiencies of first- and last-mile logistics is expected to increase, along with flexibility and speed of deliveries in completed and congested cities. Alongside adapting digital operations, logistics companies globally are trying to set up and meet their sustainability goals - mainly by reducing their carbon footprints. With an objective to reduce their carbon footprints, logistics companies are expected to aggressively adopt industry-best practices by 2020. As organisations become increasingly conscious of their efforts towards environmental sustainability, businesses will cut down their carbon footprints by automating their endto-end logistics operations and by eliminating manual repetitive tasks.

CxO plan their operations in order to meet demand fluctuations. Flexible automation solutions increase the agility and elasticity of the logistics infrastructure to meet market fluctuations, cost-effectively. With

Kushal Nahata is the co-founder of FarEye, a carrier-agnostic SaaS platform that digitises logistics by integrating and optimising business processes. For more information visit ■

In the ever-changing logistics business, companies will continue to adopt big-data algorithms, datavisualisation techniques and smarter analytics to boost process efficiency and shorten delivery times. However, the big change in 2018 will be that companies are expected to use geography-specific data to anticipate demand of certain products in a region and ship in advance.

2/ PERFECT ORDER DELIVERIES Perfect orders are the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction. Perfect orders are the percentage of orders delivered to the right place, with the right product, at the right time, in the right condition, in the right package, in the right quantity, with the right documentation, to the right customer, with the correct invoice. According to a recent survey, only 84% of all orders can be termed as perfect orders. In order to reduce losses, companies will take the aid of technology to help achieve the perfect order mark.


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How Australian businesses can harness artificial intelligence in their supply chains of the future



ay the words artificial intelligence and we immediately conjure up images of robots, much like the scenes we saw in movies like Star Wars or Blade Runner all those years ago. Fast forward to now and there are several examples of companies around the world harnessing artificial intelligence in clever ways we thought only existed in movies. In the US, Amazon recently announced their warehouses are now being outfitted with the latest in robotics technology (see http://nyti. ms/2xplKyt). Tasks such as stacking bins full of merchandise are now being carried out with automated robotic arms, under the watchful eye of a human supervisor. Amazon is one of the largest employers in the United States, and far from replacing human jobs, they offer an example of how humans and robots can work well alongside each other to enhance efficiency and, ultimately, improve business performance. At JDA Software’s Supply Chain Lab in Montreal, we’re carrying out innovative research in machine-based learning for the retail industry. We know through our research that many of our retail customers feel disconnected from their customers, and artificial intelligence provides a means to better understand the customer. At the labs, we’re investigating how accessing data through artificial intelligence can lead to more personalised and tailored customer service. For example, the input

might be weather, the output might be sales, and it’s up to the machine to determine how weather has affected sales. A large tire manufacturer is already using a predictive analytics tool to figure out when someone needs new tires – before they do. And on the supply side, the experiment includes stocking individual stores appropriately according to 20 different streams of data the manufacturer is using to predict retail sales (weather, past sales, etc.). So when a customer walks in needing a new set, they already knew that was going to happen and have them in stock. In Australia, I believe we will see artificial intelligence starting to be used in two key areas, the supply chain and customer-facing activity. For example, we will see continued automation in warehousing; the evolution will be from a traditional fixed method to a more flexible approach. Examples of this technology in use include the use of Google glasses for assisted picking in warehouses, and virtual reality simulators for training new users. I believe insights from big data analytics will be used to optimise warehouses and make them more responsive to customer demand. On the customer-facing side of things, artificial intelligence will be used to help retailers differentiate themselves among increased competition. However, the adoption of this technology has been slow to date in this country. A number of retailers are trialling it, for example with assisted

MHD FEATURE shopping or magic mirrors, but otherwise it is limited in use so far. As the price of technology comes down and with acceptance from the customer, I believe we will start seeing it become more prevalent – but not for at least a couple of years. The story is different in Asia, where there is a culture of technology adoption. Millions of people will immediately try a new technology; for example, nine million people are trialling Ali Baba’s Hema stores, a new retail model where customers can shop both online or in store from the supermarket. China is leading the pack with the use of artificial intelligence – we’re seeing the use of robotics, big data analytics, purchasing assistance, and recommendations on mobile platforms in the retail space. So, what does this mean for Australia? When will we catch up? The first thing Australia is likely to adopt is leveraging machine learning data analytics for personalisation. JDA Software is currently working with retailers in Australia to help them localise their offering and better understand their customer through data analytics. This will enable tailoring of the

On the customerfacing side of things, artificial intelligence will be used to help retailers differentiate themselves among increased competition.

range and assortment along with inventory to match customer demand. Through optimising their inventory in the best way possible, we are able to help them avoid excess inventory and save costs. We are also working with companies to help them with optimising their stores through better execution of in-store processes. As the retail sector continues to mature in Australia and with big companies like Amazon entering the market, retailers will need to think of clever strategies to manage their tasks and workforce seamlessly. We also know that retailers are concerned about the price of goods here, so controlling labour and inventory costs will enable them to compete at a lower price point. Ultimately, we will work with retailers to use big data to optimise their supply chains and make them operate in a more efficient and profitable manner. Artificial intelligence will just continue to evolve quietly in the background, until we’re all ready to adopt and harness it to its full potential. Patrick Viney is the vice president of retail industry strategy APAC at JDA Software. ■


At Swisslog, our scalable future-ready automation systems and SynQ warehouse management software are designed to give you the insight and flexibility you need to meet your company’s changing demands. So they’ll make as much sense tomorrow as they do today.



How the manufacturing industry is using technology to drive growth


igital transformation in manufacturing cannot be regarded as a single entity. Rather, it should be considered a combination of different technologies, including big data, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and 3D printing. The use of these technologies has grown beyond their application in the manufacturing process alone. As the sector is moving away from a productselling model toward a service-led model, the technology it needs, and how it is using that technology, is changing and becoming more diverse. For example, a firm might be using cloud software or cloud options to help improve the efficiency of its maintenance schedules, or using IoT to get information fed back from products that are out in the field. Seeking to capture the current position, challenges and goals of companies, we commissioned the IFS Digital Change Survey. This assessed the maturity of digital transformation in 16 countries including Australia across 750 companies in the oil and gas, aviation, construction and contracting, manufacturing, and service industries. Within manufacturing, 150 respondents participated. They revealed that the industry is using a wide range of digital technologies to drive commercial growth as servitisation efforts take hold, but that skills shortages, aversion to change and reluctance to collaborate externally remain key challenges.


SERVITISATION DRIVES CHANGE The strategic shift from manufacturing products towards creating new services through ‘servitisation’ is a key factor behind the imperative for digital transformation. 68 per cent of survey respondents claim that servitisation is either ‘well-established and is already paying dividends’ or ‘in progress and is receiving appropriate executive attention and support’. However, almost one in three manufacturing companies are still to derive value from servitisation. The servitisation of the manufacturing sector is being driven partly by competitive pressures, but also from customers who are demanding more and wanting everything faster. The manufacturers that have not yet adopted a servicecentric business model are missing out on revenue streams and new ways to develop their offerings. To be successful in their response to customer needs and increasing demands, manufacturers must compress time to market, taking an idea through from design to a saleable item as quickly as possible. New digital technologies can help with this. Unlike those in other sectors, who view digital change primarily as an efficiency play, manufacturers see it as a key to unlocking commercial growth. Some 37 per cent identified ‘accelerating innovation’ as a driver for change – more than in any other industry – while competitive differentiation (32 per cent) was also a top five factor. In fact, these two can be seen as almost comparable with

more common organisational drivers: ‘internal process efficiencies’ (40 per cent) and ‘cost savings’ (33 per cent).

A DIGITALLY MATURE SECTOR The manufacturing sector is taking full advantage of a range of new technologies to accelerate growth, with 83 per cent of respondents identifying themselves as ‘enabled’, ‘exploratory’ or ‘enhanced’ and not a single one in the ‘nascent’ stages of digital maturity. North American firms are at the vanguard, with 55 per cent identifying as ‘enhanced’ or ‘optimised’; much higher than EMEA (29 per cent) and Asia-Pacific region (21 per cent) respondents. The fact that so many manufacturers now consider themselves as advanced in leveraging digital transformation can only be positive for the future. This is not an accident. History shows that the manufacturing industry has a tendency to adopt new technology faster than other industries. For example, robots have been integrated into production processes for decades now. However, 84 per cent of manufacturers said they think funding is ‘adequate’ or ‘advantageous’, the lowest of any sector. Furthermore, 12 per cent described funding as ‘excessive’, something not seen in any other industry we surveyed. It seems that manufacturing firms are not always allocating budget effectively, or getting value for money. The survey also highlighted cultural challenges that may impede digital transformation efforts, especially

MHD FEATURE openness and willingness to share with external third parties. Almost a third (31 per cent) of respondents said they wanted to increase collaboration, identifying ‘aftermarket/estimating’, ‘supply chain’ and ‘sales/bid management’ as key areas. With 57 per cent reporting a very strong level of internal integration and cross-departmental work, external collaboration seems to be an area where there is room for improvement.

TALENT GAPS IN AI AND ROBOTICS Servitisation offers new job opportunities for manufacturing employees focused on production-only tasks. However, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents claimed that a lack of skills and talent present a barrier to change, with AI/robotics and business intelligence the two areas most deeply affected. Not surprising, 71 per cent of respondents are taking proactive steps to upskill their existing talent, while 29 per cent are also looking to hire externally. By far the greatest talent deficit was around artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Because of this, 47 per cent of companies said that this is where investment in staff will be made, which. But digital technology does not just affect IT. Manufacturers also reported that AI and robotics would substantially impact departments such as supply chain, procurement and human resources the most. In turn, this will bring new challenges to companies around integration as well as adoption, but the results will be worth the investment. In fact, there’s a sizeable opportunity for manufacturing organisations to better communicate the fact that servitisation and the proliferation of machines in the workplace can create new jobs: currently 49 per cent of workers cite aversion to change as the biggest barrier to digital transformation. If you take the cloud as an example, many IT staff will see this as a threat to their job. This needs to be handled carefully so that people understand that they can add business value and enhance their skills by integrating more technology into business processes.

LACKING DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHT When asked about where the next big investments were going to be made the survey results weren’t that surprising, as the response was around big data and analytics. With the advent of the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), companies can now get access to more data than they could wish for, so the trick now is how to get value from all that data.

As competition intensifies, manufacturers will need to take every advantage they can to get ahead.

Despite big data and analytics being identified as the number one digital technology for investment by respondents, just a quarter (26 per cent) are actually harnessing data-driven insight successfully to deliver faster time to innovation. It seems that most manufacturing firms have yet to work out how to derive value from their data. In fact, 58 per cent claimed they are only ‘beginning to utilise data-driven insight, which is starting to have a positive impact on time to innovation, but it is not yet a competitive advantage’.

ACCELERATING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION That said, there are signs that manufacturing firms are embracing automation – which was identified as the most disruptive force facing the industry – and new ways of using data to stay competitive and innovative. Over half of respondents (55 percent) have already transitioned to Smart Manufacturing, with a further 26 percent expecting to do so within two years. To stay ahead of the competition, firms will need to accelerate their adoption of digital transformation, and third parties can help here by bringing in much-needed skills and resources. Some 81 per cent of manufacturing respondents say ‘the company’s current third-party vendors are equipped to provide for future digital needs’. The report reveals that manufacturers see third parties playing key roles in ‘digital organisation and operations’, ‘performance analytics and reporting’, and ‘digital strategy’. To summarise, there is broad engagement with digital transformation in the manufacturing sector, but its depth varies widely between firms. As the industry is transformed, leaders have established digitalisation strategies for their tools and processes in order to bring their business into a more highly sustainable, less volatile revenue model. As competition intensifies, manufacturers will need to take every advantage they can to get ahead. That will mean an assessment of internal resource, a careful appraisal of third parties and a well-communicated, top-down approach that allows the best of current talent to be carried into the digital future. Antony Bourne is the global industry director of manufacturing, IFS. Mr Bourne has over 20 years’ experience in the IT and manufacturing industries. Before joining IFS, he implemented ERP applications and business process improvements at Ford Motor Company and AlliedSignal. For more information visit ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 35

SHOW ME THE MONEY The role of finance in integrated business planning


Having finance people embedded within the different departments of the company is extremely useful.


ne of the key differences between Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) and Integrated Business Planning (IBP), is that IBP includes far more robust financial integration. However, this not only requires careful thought but an entire re-evaluation of how the finance group interacts with the rest of the organisation. At Oliver Wight, we often see that those organisations that enjoy a successful IBP process, also integrate their finance community in a similar way. One of the most common attributes in these businesses is that finance has been reinvented from its traditional role as ‘a recorder of financial information’ to one of ‘finance business partnering’. This enables finance to become tightly incorporated into the IBP process, allowing the department to become highly involved in crucial decision-making processes, which substantially improves business opportunities.

FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNERING STRUCTURE There are, of course, many ways that finance can be structured within an organisation. However, having finance people embedded within the different departments of the company is extremely useful.

Figure 1. Monthly IBP Cycle. 36 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

A key advantage of this structure is that although the finance people still have the finance department as their home base, they are highly involved in individual departments, with their guidance sought day-to-day, by team members. They become more familiar with the detail of what is going on in the business and not seen simply as ‘the bean-counter’, who visits periodically and is often just a distraction for the rest of the team.

GETTING THE RIGHT APPROACH FOR SUCCESS The CFO at a leading company describes the core roles of finance in IBP as being ‘collaborator’, ‘enabler’ and ‘custodian’. 1. Finance collaborates with its business partners and process facilitators through the different elements of the IBP process to help develop and critique assumptions and translate these into financial terms. 2. As an enabler, finance ensures that all the financial implications are explored and understood, and built into the recommendations that lead to decisions being made within the IBP process. 3. As custodian, finance safeguards the integrity of the financial projections, making sure forecasts are credible, business cases are robust, performance measures are accurately reported and gaps to commitments are made visible and are understood across the planning horizon. It also ensures that the drivers for the 24-month financial forecast are correctly captured, including volume, sales, trade spending, costs and capital expenditure plans. Similarly, the CFO at a global manufacturing group, tells us two key principles must be observed by finance if it is to be successful in supporting IBP: 1. Be ‘roughly right’ rather than ‘precisely wrong’. She encourages her team to focus on the things that make the difference, rather than spending time trying for

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN perfection before they act. This may be a culture change for some, who perhaps have been more used to a high degree of precision in reporting. However, it is important to note that IBP is about the future and is based on assumptions. 2. Insist on one set of numbers to run the business, with finance driving the integrity of the financial projections. This means all areas of the business use the same ‘source numbers’ and questions are managed through the monthly IBP cycle, rather than off-line or in separate forums.

ANSWERING THE FIVE QUESTIONS IBP review meetings should be action oriented, not discovery sessions. Key assumptions supporting each part of the plan need to be understood, any changes from previously agreed plans acknowledged, and the implications of these changes identified. Finally, action plans need to be agreed to support the business over a 24-month horizon. A few years ago, Oliver Wight developed the concept of the ‘Five Key IBP Questions’ – simple ‘musthaves’ that can be applied in any organisation and that can be used in each of the IBP review meetings to ensure they address the key issues facing the business in a standardised way, so plans can be validated and the necessary decisions made. The finance team has a vital role to play in answering these five questions.


Figure 2. Product Management Review.

FINANCE’S ROLE IN THE REVIEW MEETINGS The monthly IBP cycle consists of five major elements as shown in Figure 1. These are the Product Management Review, Demand Management Review, and Supply Management Review, Integrated Reconciliation Review and finally, the Management Business Review Oliver Wight recommends that finance is included as a key participant in each of the review steps. It is important to define what role finance will play both in the lead-up to the meeting as well as in the meeting itself.

1/ The Product Management Review For those companies that have adopted a Finance Business Partnering model, the Commercial FBP is likely to be the finance team member at the Product


1/ How are we performing now?

• Report on current financial measures • Provide an understanding of where the measures indicate shortfalls to the plan assumptions made in previous months

2/ Is the new plan valid?

• Provide supporting analysis of key assumptions

3/ Is the plan enough?

• Provide financialisation of the new plan • Compare new plan outcomes to financial targets • Provide understanding of shortfalls

4/ Are there any Vulnerabilities or Opportunities?

• Provide “what-if” analysis and scenario modelling

5/ What is needed to deliver the plan that is not already in place?

• Provide financial support to enable fact-based decisions • Support teams in building business cases for decisions

Management Review (PMR). A typical preparation cycle for the PMR is shown in Figure 2. The commercial Financial Business Partner ensures that any financial information concerning planned changes to the portfolio (e.g. product rationalisations, cost reductions, product changes) have been properly incorporated. Updated information is based on any changes to portfolio plans since the last IBP cycle. The horizon for the product and portfolio plan must be a minimum of 24 months. In many companies, this horizon is considerably longer, and may be 36 or even 48 months depending on lead times for product innovation and development. Working with the Product Planning Manager (the facilitator of the PMR), finance ensures the resultant financial forecast has the correct assumptions, such as attrition through the funnel, which projects to include at which stage in the funnel, and ramp-up after launch. The Financial Business Partner also ensures that any financial measures being reported in the meeting (such as the percentage of sales from new products) are correctly captured and reported. Any financial updates to new product projects are also properly evaluated and included in the assumptions. These are drawn from latest information provided to the stage and gate process and from an understanding of recent performance of newly launched products. At the same time, Opportunities and Vulnerabilities are fleshed out, and financial implications understood. For the PMR, Vulnerabilities and ▶ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 37

through the various Opportunities and Vulnerabilities that arise and ensure that the focus is on the significant items identified. The objective is to find ways to exploit Opportunities and defend Vulnerabilities – not simply make a long list that is impossible to manage.

3/ The Supply Review

Figure 3. Demand Review. Opportunities are likely to arise from such circumstances as delays in a project, or the potential to bring a project forward. The Commercial Financial Business Partner ensures that the financial implications and impact on the business (the revenue and margin in particular) are understood. Decisions need to be made at the PMR, and potentially at other points in the cycle, so reliable information supporting those decisions is required.

2/ The Demand Review Depending on how finance is structured, it is likely that the Commercial Finance Business Partner also supports the Demand Review. The monthly demand review process will have been mapped out to describe in detail the various steps that are required to make the Demand Review successful. This includes all the activities that involve finance. Figure 3. illustrates the key steps in a typical demand preparation cycle. Finance is involved in many of these steps. Early in the month, reliable financial measures are captured and reports assembled. It is not simply a case of reporting the numbers. Rather, finance provides the analysis behind the numbers. How does the financial performance relate to the plans that were reviewed and approved in the previous IBP cycle? Which assumptions were proved wrong? This requires close coordination with the demand team to ensure that evaluation of the financial measures lines up with root cause analysis on measures such as aggregate demand plan performance and forecast 38 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

accuracy. Ultimately, there should not be two conflicting stories here. Modelling and Scenario Planning also require support from the finance team. The implications of the various scenarios on the financial outcomes predicted for the business need to be understood. Parameters used in any models and resultant assumptions and projections must be robust and agreed by the different functions involved. A true indicator of failure here is if someone in the Demand Review says, “Where has this number come from? It doesn’t match mine.” Opportunities and Vulnerabilities for demand are fleshed out and the financial implications determined. This should not simply be a case of finance listing all the Opportunities and Vulnerabilities, applying some sort of probability, adding them up and netting them off, as we have seen in some companies - this makes no sense. Finance must help sort

Again, the Supply Review process will have been mapped out with all inputs, outputs, roles and responsibilities identified, and shown in Figure 4. Where there are multiple manufacturing sites and/or more complex supply chains, the Supply Review process is typically broken up into Supply Point Reviews as well as an overall Supply Chain Review. Various FBP team members support the Supply Point Reviews as required. The finance team provides reliable financial measures as part of the overall set of performance measures for supply. This typically occurs quite early in the month. As with all performance measures, there is appropriate root cause analysis to understand which assumptions in the plan were not met. Finance also plays a part in scenario modelling for alternative supply plans, ensuring the financial implications are clear. Opportunities and Vulnerabilities are captured and financialised as appropriate, again focusing on the important few rather than the trivial many. Financial projections are developed so the financial outcome of the supply plan is understood; this includes material and labour costs, inventory, overhead recovery, plant performance and capital plans. Financial analysis is required for

Figure 4. Supply Review.

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN decision briefs, dealing with issues such as capacity, shift changes, pre-stocking and alternative sourcing models. Gaps to commitments are identified with gap closing plans proposed and the FBP monitors the profit improvement plans in the operations and supply functions.

4/ Integrated Reconciliation and The Reconciliation Review Integrated Reconciliation and Optimisation is a continuous monthly process lead by the IBP Process Leader and the facilitators for each of the three core process elements of IBP (Product Planning Manager, Demand Manager, Supply Chain Planning Manager) work as a team to ensure issues are captured and moved through the IBP process effectively. Here, finance works hand in hand with the IBP Leader and process facilitators to make sure that financial implications are clear and the financial picture builds accurately through the month. This is shown in Figure 5. Leading up to the Reconciliation Review finance pulls together the financial picture for the company ensuring the forecast reflects the metrics and assumptions from each of the three preceding reviews. So, the full ‘Gap to Commitments’ analysis is brought together for current and future fiscal years. Finance ensures that scenarios and alternative plans for presentation at the Management Business Review have the appropriate level of analysis for decision making by the executive team. In some organisations, the CFO may chair a Reconciliation Review, which is attended by the process facilitators and all the FBP. The purpose is to identify the decisions required for the Management Business Review and ensure that alternative plans and recommendations have been prepared and are ready for consideration. The focus is on understanding the current state of the business and having gap-closing recommendations on the table for decision.

5/ Management Business Review As a member of the executive team, the CFO attends the MBR. The CFO is the process owner for the financial appraisal component of the entire IBP process and in some companies also acts as the executive owner for Integrated Reconciliation. The CFO ensures that all financial plans have been properly evaluated. They may be the custodian of the business scorecard and will certainly provide the key financial metrics for the MBR (such as EBIT, ROIC performance and projections). The CFO

A key differentiator of Integrated Business Planning from S&OP is the inclusion of more robust financials.

Figure 5. Integrated Reconciliation. ensures that decision briefs are in place for the MBR to enable gap closing decisions, and that appropriate scenarios have been modelled for key Opportunities and Vulnerabilities. The CFO also helps the executive team understand what is at risk.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS A key differentiator of Integrated Business Planning from S&OP is the inclusion of more robust financials. This delivers much greater value to the company providing a company-wide focus on gap-identification and gap closure and maturing to continuous re-planning and re-optimisation. To achieve this, the finance community in the organisation needs to play a significant role in the IBP process. It may take a change in culture, moving from ‘keeping the score’ to a much more active role in driving the business. The financial forecast is taken from the same place as all other forecasts – one source of the truth. Properly done, this drives ownership of the numbers by the business, which begins to consistently deliver to forecast, month-in, month-out. The central role of finance in IBP is to provide a vital business partnership, enabling visibility and accountability for the financial outcome. Finance is pivotal in the development of successful IBP in all areas of the business. It must move to challenge and support the organisation and act as an enabler rather than compliance police. In this way, finance becomes part of leading the business not only in day-to-day activity but by engaging in commercial strategies and solutions that drive better results. Mike Reed is partner at Oliver Wight Asia Pacific. For more information call +61 3 9596 5830, email or visit ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 39

THE CITY OF 2050 Two paths for transport to follow



s the world rapidly urbanises, transport needs within cities are changing. In Australia, capital cities have experienced tremendous growth, with two thirds of the population currently residing in them. It is also estimated that Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney’s populations will be the largest growing among top industrial countries by 2050, so millions of additional people will need a way to get from point A to point B in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. In tackling this challenge, however, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. How we design and implement new transport solutions will depend on whether they’re being created from the ground up in new cities that offer a blank slate for development, or if they’re being integrated with current infrastructure and behaviour patterns in existing cities.

NEW CITIES: TAKING A GROUND-UP APPROACH Let’s start with new cities. Think of a master planned project like Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, or even a 40 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

new area being built from scratch like that planned for Greater Sydney. What type of transport will have the biggest impact, and how will they shape the development of the city? In the 20th century, cities were largely built to accommodate cars — specifically, cars that run on fossil fuels. In these new cities, there is a fantastic opportunity to take a more sustainable approach to automobiles by creating an environment specifically designed for electric vehicles (EV). This ranges from designing roads with EV infrastructure such as charging stations already in place — making them as common as petrol stations are today — to more adventurous ideas, like wireless charging, which is currently being tested in the City of Adelaide. According to noted urban design expert James Moore of Jacobs Advance Planning Group, an equally effective way to sustainably achieve a high degree of local accessibility and regional mobility right from the start is through transit-oriented development. This process starts by laying down an extensive regional public transport network, which can either be rail-based or some form of bus rapid transit. With a fixed route and

dedicated stations, this regional network will provide a framework for efficient development in the coming decades. The tallest buildings and most intense development can be placed within walking distance of the transit station, creating a dense activity centre of jobs, residences, shops, restaurants, and services. For a majority of residents, going to work or going shopping is as easy as walking a few blocks. Further away from the stations, you can have less dense development and single-family homes. For people in these less dense areas, an array of intriguing transport modes can step in and assist. On-demand shuttle buses, like those currently being tested by the NSW Government in Sydney and on the Central Coast, can dynamically route pick-ups and drop-offs based on users, who can hail a ride via their phones or online. This system improves operational efficiency and reduces carbon emissions by eliminating unnecessary stops. A German company called Floatility is tackling the last kilometre by developing connected electric scooters that can be accessed on demand. Since the scooters communicate in real time

MHD SUPPLY CHAIN to a back-end server that constantly tracks location, users need only launch an app on their phone to find one nearby, rent it, and take it for a ride. Floatility is not the only company bringing last kilometre transport to market. There are scores of electric bikes, skateboards, and hovercraft all vying to be your new mode of urban transport. Overall, the ground-up, blank-slate approach is a long-term play: it takes a large initial investment to build out an EV charging infrastructure or lay down a regional transport network, and decades to fully develop the areas around transit stations. But for cities that undertake it, and ensure the last kilometre is easily covered, the end result is an immensely accessible city with mobility baked into its very design.

EXISTING CITIES: FINE-TUNING WHAT’S ALREADY THERE Implementing vast new types of infrastructure might be a best practice for new cities being built from scratch. But what transport will work best in an area that’s already densely developed, be it Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Tokyo, or even Cairo? For these cities, a better bet is to find ways to improve the efficiency of what’s already in place. A good starting place is making more efficient use of their stretches of existing roads. Autonomous vehicles and vehicleto-vehicle (V2V) technologies that allow automobiles to ‘talk’ to each other provide the opportunity to improve street capacity by allowing more cars to safely be on the road at the same time. Meanwhile, financial and behavioural levers like congestion pricing tolls can limit the number of cars on the road during peak hours. IoT sensors have a role to play as well. Smart traffic lights, for example, can vary their signal in real time to improve traffic flow when they sense that several cars are stuck waiting at a red light while no cars are using the green light. Alternately, these smart traffic lights can sense when a bus, light rail, or some other form of public transport is approaching and make sure to give it signal priority. A best practice that existing cities implement is re-examining how much road space is dedicated to automobiles instead of pedestrians or cyclists. In cities like Portland, Oregon or Amsterdam, for example, many roads give bike lanes the same width as car lanes, while some roads are completely dedicated to cyclists.

There is a huge opportunity for planners and designers to... ensure that cities can continue to flourish as hubs of people and activity.

Additional space on the roads might be set aside for other emerging forms of mobility. VeloMetro, a Canadian start-up, is designing an enclosed electric cycle that provides car-like mobility for short urban trips. Meanwhile, Catapult Design is creating a new type of pedicab that will modernise the traditional tuk-tuks or rickshaws common to Southeast Asia. As they re-allocate road space to accommodate these alternate types of mobility, city planners will need to understand the trade-offs involved for the transit system as a whole. For example, if they put in a bike lane, they lose a lane for cars. Software from companies like Autodesk now exists to help urban designers model their systems in four dimensions – the three dimensions of space, as well as the dimension of time. As a result, planners can simulate how their proposed changes will impact street capacity and commute times before any changes are implemented. As a final step, existing cities should look at how they can modify the usage patterns of the millions of people already living there. One small way to make a big difference is simply by properly incentivising residents to use public transport rather than driving. Financial incentives have shown to be effective in this regard. They are just one more set of tools existing cities have at their disposal to help shape transport over the coming decades.

TWO PATHS, ONE DESTINATION While they might take different approaches, new cities and older cities will likely arrive at a similar destination in the year 2050: a cityscape where transport has specifically been designed to be more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and more enjoyable. In the case of new, blank-slate cities, this will largely be achieved through big infrastructure investments, augmented by last kilometre solutions. For older cities, it will mainly occur through a series of smaller refinements to the existing transport environment. Regardless of approach, there is a huge opportunity for planners and designers to use the proper software and other technologies to meet these challenges and ensure that cities can continue to flourish as hubs of people and activity in the 21st century and beyond. Andy Cunningham is regional director at Autodesk. For more information email or visit ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 41


Bargain basement lift trucks are bad for business

If the forklift blows a gearbox at 5,000 hours, then the business has blown the $10,000 it saved, because it has to rent a replacement lift truck.



veryone loves a bargain, but in the tough world of modern industry, where deadlines are critical and wriggle room for errors non-existent, some equipment-related ‘bargains’ can be disastrous. Freight movement demands a just-intime inventory system, a system that is constantly in motion. Stock comes in, stock moves out and the entire process works on the domino principle, with each phase of the job falling into place exactly. Should a domino fail to fall at a critical point, though, the supply chain breaks, causing a hold-up of unknown proportions that creates a bottleneck effect in any warehousing structure. Trucks sit idle because they cannot be loaded, and when they do finally move, they are late and the stock is delayed getting to the retailers, sometimes bringing penalties, sometimes causing contract cancellations. In many cases the most critical pieces of equipment are the forklifts used for unloading, racking and reloading the vital goods being shipped around the country. And the forklifts recording the highest failure rates also happen to be the cheapest: lift trucks made by independent enterprise companies and often built using inferior and sometimes counterfeited parts. Second-hand grey import forklifts, offered without Australian Standard compliance, also have the potential to cause headaches for owners and operators. Making it worse, these lift trucks are usually imported and sold by opportunistic entrepreneurs with little or no understanding of the lift truck industry at worst or a basic working knowledge at best.

Compounding problems, the trucks are promoted and sold in a “never mind the quality, feel the width” scenario reminiscent of the 1970s Gold Coast white shoe brigade. The equipment is cheap, usually nasty and the service back-up variable at best. In many cases the retailers – having sold their shipment of cheap lift trucks – leave independent service technicians to deal with the mechanical fallout. Industry experts say the sellers of the often strangely named lift trucks rarely have a servicing plan in place for ongoing support, and warranties, at best, often mean little more than supplying owners and operators with replacement parts and leaving it up to the owner to find a fitting service.

THE BIG PICTURE Currently there are more than 80 forklift manufacturers building lift trucks and other industrial equipment independent of the trusted brands that make up the Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA). The importation rate of vehicles from these companies into Australia is variable with trucks arriving in small batches, the numbers largely dependent on both the number of local businesses prepared to commit to establishing themselves (briefly, in many cases) as importers and distributors, and the number of companies prepared to commit to actually buying the cheap forklifts. In many cases, according to members of the AITA, those who do set themselves up to handle the non-mainstream imports are either existing second-hand industrial equipment retailers or opportunistic importers willing to take a punt on shifting the bargain basement equipment.

MHD MATERIALS HANDLING The biggest issue is that the cutprice forklifts are being bought by small business operators working to tight budgets: people who are generally unfamiliar with lift trucks, but in need of a unit to help with stock management. In almost every case the retailers are independents with no long-term business plans and the trucks sold without the backing of well-represented state or national dealer networks. In some cases there is not even any real shopfront scenario, and instead the lift trucks are advertised online or in the classified sections of newspapers and industry publications. “You can actually buy a brand new forklift off Gumtree, Ali Baba or eBay,” said Crown Equipment’s director of sales and marketing Craig Kenchington. “Rarely do they have sales experts checking the suitability of the vehicle for a customer’s application. “On top of that, many of the trucks – both new from non-AITA recognised brands and grey imports from wellknown companies – come with possible compliance issues.” Like all imported goods, from toys to toasters, imported industrial trucks are required to meet all the applicable Australian Standards before they can be sold. But there are problems. Because the industry is effectively self-regulated, there is no independent monitoring and the AITA has no real knowledge of the various brands coming in, the numbers or what proprietary systems they are running. “Without any formal inspection procedures in place there is a high risk of possible problems ranging from basic construction standards through to Workplace Health and Safety issues,” Mr Kenchington said. “It’s like lawn mowers, there are no real controls. There are no current emission standards, for example.” Cameron Paxton, director of sales at Toyota Material Handling Australia, said that inferior products from marginal manufacturers create headaches for buyers and the material handling equipment industry as a whole. “In many cases comprehensive site surveys are not completed during the sales process, resulting in inappropriate equipment being supplied,” Mr Paxton said.

“On this equipment, compliance plates often don’t meet Australian Standards. Sometimes lift trucks are supplied that aren’t capable of lifting to the required capacity. “Developments in technology, which are readily available from most mainstream specialist forklift manufacturers, are not fitted. “This results in Australian owners not providing the safest possible work environments for their people. “l don’t believe this is what our industry is about. We are all committed to providing fit-for-purpose material handling equipment, and the number one priority is to keep operators as safe as possible,” he said.

NO GUARANTEES According to managing director of Lencrow Materials Handling Ross Grassick, warranty is another area where non-mainstream lift trucks can cause headaches. “The problem we’ve seen with many customers buying these units is they are offered a warranty but when a problem arises they are told that it covers only parts,” Mr Grassick said. “To compound the problem, the part has to come from the country the unit originated from and it often takes seven to 10 days, leaving the customer with no forklift and having to find a repairer to do the work. “Many repairers are reluctant as they cannot be assured that the unit complies with Australian standards.

COMPLIANT TO THE CODE The AITA is providing peace of mind for consumers purchasing material handling equipment through its Code of Conduct. AITA member companies are required to implement, maintain and embrace the association’s principles, which state that their products must be compliant to Australian Standards, as well as having adequate warranty cover, parts availability and longevity. For more information on the AITA, including a list of its members and associates and the full Code of Conduct, visit

“In most cases these are small, single-unit companies, so breakdowns have a heavy impact on their ability to continue to work for the time that unit is out of action. “These costs are rarely measured, along with the four or five hours to diagnose and repair the unit, the cost of interruption of business, and the hire of replacement unit. “One or two of these events will erode the value of the cheaper option over well supported equipment.”

UNKNOWN QUANTITIES How many lift trucks are coming into the country? AITA cannot say because it is unable to scrutinise the import information, but evidence suggests the number of enterprise imports has jumped from an ‘almost nothing’ baseline in 2010 to around 2,000 units in 2016. By comparison, total Australian lift truck sales last year were around 15,000 units. AITA says buyers and operators of the non-mainstream trucks have often described after-sales service from importers and retailers as “generally hit and miss” and stories abound about owners and operators being sent replacement parts under warranty but having to organise and pay for their own repairs. Derek Gearing, proprietor of Our Town Forklift Service in Newcastle, describes the budget-priced forklifts as a “headache” when it comes to technical support, build quality and spare parts. “There are no manuals and you can’t identify parts to tell you where they might have come from. You have to find a bit (from another manufacturer) that looks about right and then try to modify it,” Mr Gearing said. “They’re built to last for a certain period of time – about two years – and then you have to get a new one. “If you are trying to get a lot of work out of them they just won’t do it. Maybe two or three hours a week will be okay but more than that is not good. A lot I’ve seen are poorly made, too, with mild steel chassis and the like.” Mr Gearing said much of the money saved by buyers on the initial purchase was spent on repairs and added maintenance time with the extra time and effort spent chasing-up parts and, ▶ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 43

The bottom line? The benefits of saving money upfront on the initial purchase soon evaporate.

in many cases, modifying them to fit, all of which adds to the cost of ownership. “I’d much rather work on product from any of the established brands,” he said. Mr Gearing’s claims support those of the AITA regarding the warranties being offered with the cheap trucks and the way those warranties are being honoured. The AITA says it is hard to determine whether or not the importers and retailers are meeting their obligations because some of them are reportedly not staying in business long enough for a proper audit to be conducted. Full service importers and retailers, on the other hand, warrant their new vehicles for service, parts and labour in a very different method to the ‘ship and fix’ system employed for many of the independent enterprise brands.

A hard bargain So is a bargain really a bargain? And how do the purchase prices compare between the ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ brands? In general terms, Komatsu Forklift Australia national business development manager Jack Socratous said the upfront price difference between a ‘brand name’ truck and a comparable low-cost import is about $6,000. “A six-grand difference over five years is about five dollars a day but if it breaks down and you’ve got a bunch of urgent orders to get out then it’s worth nothing. “And if the forklift blows a gearbox at 5,000 hours, then the business has blown the $10,000 it saved, because it has to rent a replacement lift truck whilst it is waiting for that new gearbox to turn up and get fitted,” he added. 44 | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018

Mr Socratous also questions vehicle longevity. The generally accepted working lifespan of a properly maintained new forklift from a recognised manufacturer, he says, would be about 10,000 hours – which is approximately the equivalent of travelling 200,000 kilometres – before major revitalisation work is needed. And while there is no solid data on the operational lifespans of the independent truck brands, information from operators suggests ‘equipment deterioration’ sets in at around 1,000 to 1,500 hours – as little as one-tenth of the proprietary brand’s working life prior to refurbishment. That has an obvious effect on the residual price of the equipment, Mr Socratous said, suggesting the retained value of a properly maintained mainstream lift truck would be ‘strong’ whilst an unknown brand would not enjoy anything close to the same sort of percentage value. He suggests, in fact, that after the same time period and even with an acceptable maintenance schedule, the unknown brand vehicles have almost no residual value. His view is supported by Damien Garvey, chief executive officer of Adelaide-based NTP Forklifts who said that, in his opinion, the budget enterprise imports have no real trade-in value whatsoever. “Honestly, I’d be reluctant to trade (them) at a fair market price. There is no real secondary market (for these lift trucks) and no back-up support. That lack of support has really come home to roost,” he said. Mr Garvey added that almost all purchases of the independent enterprise trucks were motivated by the price point with no thought given to the operating durability or maintenance needs of the vehicles. The bottom line? The benefits of saving money upfront on the initial purchase soon evaporate, disappearing in a cloud of smoke caused by unknown build quality, modest or non-existent warranties, lack of replacement parts, poor service back-up, higher maintenance costs, early onset deterioration, an almost-guaranteed lack of reliability and almost-zero retained value. A number of independent importers and retailers were approached for comment during the research for this story. All declined to be interviewed. For more information contact the Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA) on +61 2 6290 1505, email or visit ■



New kid on the (ice) block tools up with Toyota forklifts


major new entrant to the Australian cold-store industry, NewCold Melbourne, has partnered with Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) to equip two local state-of-the-art warehouses. Netherlands-based NewCold Advanced Cold Logistics will open the facilities in August and September, with 45 leased Toyota and BT forklifts. The decision was based on NewCold’s relations with Toyota in Europe, and TMHA’s ability to supply and service a full range of warehouse equipment. The 34-metre high warehouses have a combined 40,800 square metres of floor area, total storage for 213,428 Australian CHEP pallets, 39 loading docks and will operate around the clock. One will be a cold store at minus 23 degrees C and the other a chilled store with 2, 8 and 11 degrees C environments. NewCold’s director Oceania Ray Perry said the decision to equip with Toyota forklifts reflects the existing positive and valuable relations the company has with Toyota in other countries.

Above: Newcold site & implementation manager Luca Quaresima and site manager MB02 Shaun Micallef with Toyota forklifts at the new Melbourne facility.

TMHA’s flexibility in equipment supply and customer support was vital in the new partnership with NewCold.

“This makes Toyota our material handling partner of choice, while the comprehensive service is unique and cost-effective as well,” he said. “We appreciate that Toyota does not only supply the forklift (equipment) but will also service the equipment as and when we need it. “Toyota has proved to be a trusted material handling equipment agent, providing a wide range of forklifts and battery electric warehouse products that we may require from time to time. “Being a logistics and warehouse service provider, Toyota shares common customer values with NewCold. We trust that we will benefit from TMHA’s wealth of knowledge in the industry in Australia to increase our productivity, while staying ahead of our competition.” TMHA corporate account manager Jason Fennell said local discussions with NewCold began in October 2016 and a decision was made in May 2017. “We received a request to assist NewCold from our corporate division and worked from there,” he said. “NewCold uses a variety of suppliers and products in Europe. However, the core business is to be able to pick orders, replenish stock, load and unload required deliveries, and store required long-life stocks on a 24/7 basis.” Mr Fennell said TMHA’s flexibility in equipment supply and customer support was vital in the new partnership with NewCold. “This is the company’s first development in Australia, so we are committed to working with them to develop the relationship and ensure we cover all the material handling requirements, as well as making this process easy for the customer,” he said. NewCold currently has facilities in four countries, UK Wakefield, France, Poland and Germany, with construction sites in the USA and headquarters in Breda, The Netherlands. The initial equipment roster for NewCold’s facilities in Melbourne includes 21 BT electric pallet jacks, 10 Toyota 8-Series FBE18 threewheel electric forklifts, seven BT RRE140H reach trucks, four Toyota 32-8FG30 internal combustion forklifts, a pair of 32-8FG18 Toyota forklifts, a BT RRE250H reach truck and four battery chargers. For more information call 1800 425 438 or visit ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 45



This refurbished Linde forklift is a pools winner


n innovative Queensland company has become a textbook example of how to succeed by taking advantage of cost efficiencies created by using preowned assets. Shipping Container Pools proves the benefits of recycling and re-use right down to the certified refurbished Linde forklift at the heart of its operations. Millions of Australians saw the company’s approach demonstrated when the toprating TV program The Block featured one of its above-ground pools made from a repurposed shipping container. That marked the current high point for a family business that began as a joint project when Johannes Roux combined his pool building experience with architecture student son Jonavan’s exploration of shipping containers as building elements. “We’ve moved to larger premises three times and our output has grown from one shipping container pool per fortnight to now dispatching seven each week,” Jonavan Roux said. “We began with an old 2.5 tonne used forklift and a tilt-tray truck to handle the shipping containers we convert. Now we are using a gantry crane and a refurbished Linde H70D 396 7-tonne diesel forklift at our Coolum Beach factory. “The original method took a day per container, but now with our Linde forklift

We see this as an investment that will serve us well for several years to come.

CEO of Shipping Container Pools Jonavan Roux with Linde Material Handling account development manager Kyle Robberts.


one man can accomplish what we need to do in ten minutes, including lowering the access stairs and fibreglass shells into positions.” Shipping Container Pools contacted Linde with a view to acquiring a used forklift with 2.4 metre tynes and 7-tonne lift capacity after observing a neighbouring business’s successful use of Linde equipment. The company took delivery of the Linde 7-tonne diesel forklift sourced from the Silver level of Linde’s Certified Refurbished Forklift program. Its condition was covered by comprehensive pre-delivery preparation including forklift mast, carriage and hydraulics tested to forklift manufacturer’s specification, steer axle checked and set to forklift manufacturer’s specification, hour meter function tested and a complete repaint to the forklift’s original colours. The full forklift truck history was made available and the truck was also covered by a warranty of six months or 500 hours parts and labour. “The Linde has been in service with us for nine months,” Jonavan Roux said. “It is a perfect fit for our growing business. Obviously the purchase price was attractive, but it also has all the capability that we need. It is in use every day, constantly running up and down the production area and it has never let us down. “We couldn’t believe it when it arrived from Linde. It looked completely new throughout, and not just the paintwork. The handover was very professional and so we could put it to work immediately. “We see this as an investment that will serve us well for several years to come. At the rate we are growing we are probably going to need a similar one from Linde within the next year. Based on our experience we believe it has been a bargain.” Standard features of the Linde H70D 396 7-tonne diesel forklift that contribute to its popularity, whether new or refurbished, include hydrostatic drive, the Linde Protector Frame with an enclosed, robotwelded chassis for maximum durability and protection of components. Linde twin drive-pedals create fast and smooth travel direction changes without constantly moving feet from one pedal to the other, and short pedal travel eliminates strain on ankles or legs. Mini levers for all mast functions are mounted on an adjustable armrest, allowing precise and effortless fingertip control of all hydraulic functions for safe, efficient load handling. For more information call 1300 135 463 or visit ■




here are currently 15,000 lobbyists registered in Washington D.C. In 2011, for every congressman there were 23 registered lobbyists. Lucky for us, the political scene in Australia is very different. Politicians are accessible and many of them are, dare I say it, grounded. However, for the last number of years, there has been a major imbalance in Canberra. Infrastructure owners and operators have had the loudest voice in major policy decisions that affect the movement of freight. In the battlefield of political influence cargo owners, who bear the costs and are most affected by inefficiencies and supply chain failures, have been outgunned and outmanned. But this isn’t the result of some grand conspiracy. It is about visibility and branding. The large infrastructure owners can afford teams of lobbyists, hold grand events and hire PR firms to spread their message. The infrastructure users (cargo owners and freight forwarders) have not had the same level of political activity and, as a result, to some extent, we have become passengers in the development of freight and international supply chain policy. The good news is that things are changing. In the last few years, Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have significantly invested in our relationships with the executive branch of politics. We have formed relationships with all relevant ministers, shadow ministers, at both a state and federal level, and their advisors. We have several key supporters in Canberra, on both sides of the chamber, and we are enormously grateful for their support. We have been elected to the National Committee for Trade Facilitation (the national peak committee for trade affairs), as well being admitted

(L-R) James Hookham, Deputy CEO, Freight Transport Association of the UK; Sean Van Dort, Joint Apparel Association Forum; Travis Brooks-Garrett, FTA/APSA. to major committees facilitated by the border agencies - the Australian Border Force (ABF), the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), and the Office of Transport Security (OTS). Our partnership with the Australian Peak Shipper Association (APSA), the largest peak body of containerised exporters in Australia, has only strengthened that voice. Our political influence is growing but we have a long way to go. It is now up to us to ensure that our engagement with politicians is positive, collaborative and solutions-focused. But international supply chain affairs do not stop at the border. For real influence we need to establish an international voice. In October this year, FTA/APSA was proud to represent Australia at the Global Shippers Forum in the Canary Islands, joining major shipper bodies and UN agencies from around the world.

THE ROLE OF THE GLOBAL SHIPPERS FORUM (GSF) The GSF is the peak body for cargo owners globally, tasked with representing shippers to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the

United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and with official status at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) via a partnership with the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA). Members represent the world’s major trading nations including China, the UK, the U.S., Canada, Sri Lanka, Europe and beyond. Like FTA/APSA, their mission is to ensure that cargo owners have a voice in freight policy. Over the last few years the GSF has been involved in major advocacy activities that include challenging the concentration of market power in the liner shipping market, challenging unfair and spurious shipping line surcharges, and leading the way in supply chain environmental policy. APSA is proud to be Australia’s representative to the GSF and continues to be an active member of the forum.

GLOBAL SHIPPERS FORUM 2018 To strengthen our voice in international freight policy, FTA/APSA is proud to confirm that we will be hosting next year’s Global Shippers Forum annual conference in Melbourne from 8-11 May 2018. This event will cover trade facilitation, supply chain security and other emerging issues, and will be relevant to government stakeholders, importers, exporters and international freight service providers. We are also proud to be collaborating with the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA), who will be joining us for their international conference. If you would like to be more involved in the activities of the Global Shippers Forum or if you would like to provide input into any of these policy areas, please email me directly at Travis Brooks-Garrett is a director of the FTA and a member of the Secretariat of the APSA. ■ MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 47



et set to be graced with the presence of the top three retail giants in the world! Thought leaders from Amazon, Walmart and Kroger will visit our shores in May this year to share their successes and trends for digital supply chains. ASCI2018, to be held in Sydney in May 2018, is a conference with a difference. We must adapt or die. We must seek opportunity or suffer the consequences of disruption. As a supply chain community, it has never been as paramount a time as now to come together and learn from the best. It is our responsibility, as your professional industry body, to present the opportunities for you to grow. ASCI2018 will empower supply chain professionals to navigate a world where digital transformation is at the forefront

of businesses. This two-day conference presents a unique opportunity to engage with your organisation’s entire supply chain – operations, logistics, and supply teams. Walk away from this conference with: • Clarity around the supply chain implications of cutting-edge technologydriven business models • Insight into how to transform your supply chain operations to exceed customer expectations in the on-demand environment • Practical knowledge on how to devise cross-global expansion strategies • Skills and steps to prepare for the imminent shifts in the 24/7 supply chain May I encourage you all to step out of your comfort zone and register for this mustattend conference for supply chain.


Warm regards Dr Pieter Nagel, CEO, ASCI


GUIDED LEARNING If you have always wanted to upskill your team with an APICS certification, but trying to find the time to attend one full day of training was difficult, let alone several days. And then there is the frustration of travelling and traffic. Or perhaps your team is located where courses never seem to be offered or are spread across numerous locations! Yet, you can really see the benefits of your team upskilling with an APICS certification. ASCI has come up with the solution: two-hour interactive guided learning sessions online, at a time to suit everyone – whether you are in Western Australia, Queensland or anywhere in Australia. During these two-hour online sessions, expect to ask challenging and searching questions. The sessions are to be facilitated by the most experienced APICS instructor in Asia Pacific – John Marson.

HOW DOES GUIDED LEARNING WORK? Step 1: Purchase your staff’s APICS Learning Systems from ASCI for the best rates. (It is MANDATORY that students have purchased the relevant Learning System prior to attending the first session) Step 2: Register your staff to ASCI Guided

Learning sessions Step 3: Block out their schedules for the allocated learning time Step 4: Encourage them to ask questions and seek answers Step 5: Purchase your team’s exams through ASCI for the best rates

Selection from the following courses: • Certified in Production & Inventory Management (CPIM) • Certified in Transport, Logistics and Distribution (CLTD) • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) View more about these courses at:

So, what are you waiting for?

John Marson

Call the ASCI National Office today to find out when our next Guided Learning sessions commence! Phone: 1300 557 175 or email:

Join our community by registering to our newsletter via our website, to receive valuable content, webinars, news and participate in forums or networking events. 1300 557 175 | | MHD JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2018 | 49





On behalf of the SCLAA National Board, divisional committees and all the volunteers at the SCLAA, we look forward to working with you in 2018.


s we head into 2018, it is timely to reflect on what exhilarating year 2017 has been for the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia. The association has completed another successful financial year and indeed calendar year, with hard-working divisions in all states, each division consisting of a state president and committee. The principal activities of the association during the past financial year were to provide high-quality membership services and to advance the interests of supply chain and logistics professionals, industry and practitioners in Australia. The association held 76 events across Australia, which culminated in the annual Australian Supply Chain and Logistics Award – the only annual national supply chain and logistics awards run by an association. In its 57th year these prestigious awards are the most highly recognised in the industry and were held at the iconic Luna Park Sydney on 17 November. Congratulations to all the award winners and high commendation recipients. It was fantastic to receive so many submissions, particularly those from new, innovative companies. Our awards continue to grow in attendance and interest, and no doubt 2018 will be a major event that the supply chain industry will want to continue to support and be involved in. Membership numbers have continued to increase with new individual, national partner, corporate, regional, future leaders, students and overseas membership all ahead of budget. Our new national partners, as well as our longstanding ones who have shown tremendous support for the association during 2017, and after meetings with these companies are fully supportive of our initiatives leading into 2018. The Board and its committees have continued to work toward our long-term objectives to be the association of choice for the advancement of supply chain and logistics in Australia and earlier this year, as part of our growth strategy, the Board developed a new strategic plan to address the sustainable growth across multiple areas of competency with the goal of driving competitive advantage in the supply chain industry. The National Board continues to drive strategy, and is truly representative of all divisions across Australia and believes in inclusive, honest, transparent and open leadership.

During 2017, the SCLAA actively implemented ways to increase diversity amongst our ranks. This will be a major initiative leading into 2018. It is no surprise that the supply chain is adapting and changing globally, particularly in relation to technological advancements, speed and further trade lanes opening up, economies of scale expanding and regulatory requirements increasing. The need for expertise and diverse talent and skills in more areas than ever before has become increasingly evident and we will continue to pursue that talent in our association. The association is working towards ensuring women are encouraged to participate through education training and mentoring programs and continue to grow the numbers of talented young females pursuing male dominated fields in the supply chain industry. Our long-term valued partners and organisations that continue to contribute to SCLAA’s growing networks are greatly appreciated. A special thank you to our national partners Dematic and LMA, who have also been consistent supporters of ASCL Awards. To Curtin University, Datapel, Infront, Ivanti, Localz, inside FMCG, MHD, Oz Labourforce, SCAA, Strategix Training, Toyota, Trojan, Wisetech, WorldFirst, Zebra, Fingo, Anchanto, Adjuno, Cashflow Finance and Employsure, thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you in 2018. Also a special mention to Australian Border Force for supporting the awards and we look forward to working with you again in 2018. The Supply Chain & Logistics Association is looking forward to 2018 where initiatives and exciting developments will be announced. On a personal note it has been exceptionally challenging but rewarding year and I have had not only the opportunity to meet some incredible leaders in the industry but am humbled by the fact that I will be leading the association into 2018 so to all my supporters – thank you. On behalf of the SCLAA National Board, divisional committees and all the volunteers at the SCLAA, we look forward to working with you in 2018. Here is to continued success in 2018. Amanda O’Brien is the national chairwoman of the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia. Email ■

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For over 45 years, MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine has been bringing its readers leading-edge supply chain management information from the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners, together with in-depth case studies and the latest innovations in equipment and software.

To subscribe, simply call us toll free on 1800 651 422 and quote MHD18 *Available for delivery within Australia only.


It’s no trick. Far out is our standard. Jump with a technology partner that helps you grind the best path forward between “in demand” and “in stock.” Partnering with you to create seamless experiences that connect your store, your associates, your warehouse, your website, and your service center to the customer like only we can. Together, let’s deliver beyond the expected to push today, push tomorrow, and Push Possible™. – Operating in Australia for more than 17 years – All research, development, training, implementing and support done by experience in-house team, nothing outsourced. – Seamless Integration to any ERP

Air out your software at Email or call (02) 9454 5400 ©2017 Manhattan Associates, Inc.

MHD Supply Chain Solutions JAN-FEB 2018  

For over 40 years, MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine has been bringing its readers leading-edge supply chain management information from t...

MHD Supply Chain Solutions JAN-FEB 2018  

For over 40 years, MHD Supply Chain Solutions magazine has been bringing its readers leading-edge supply chain management information from t...