Carlsberg Group (Baltika): building transparent supply chain with 300+ 3rd party providers

  1. Challenge
    improve customer service, design a transparent ecosystem that monitors all internal and external business processes
  2. Solution
    assemble all logistics information into one accessible system
  3. Results
    98% of deliveries are visible in real time, more than 250 partners from around the globe now use the platform
About Baltika
Baltika Brewery, part of the Carlsberg Group, is a world-famous brand that sells its products in over 75 countries. In 43 of them, the company remains the only Russian brewing company. Baltika’s complex logistics scheme includes numerous drivers, distributing channels, and third-party logistics operators. Up to 80% of Baltika’s vehicles that facilitate around 97% of the company’s business are rented.
Relations with Customers

In contrast to other companies, Baltika treats its business as an all-encompassing ecosystem divided into several sections. This approach is known as the “360-degree feedback.”

Roughly speaking, the whole ecosystem consists of two integral layers – inner and outer. The inner layer deals with everything to do with the company’s internal processes. The outer layer deals with everything to do with the company’s outsourced personnel, distributors, and clients. Changes aimed at improving the company’s customer service began with optimizing the latter.

The company understood that a vast logistics system with multiple branches ultimately led to a lack of transparency and frequent miscommunications between the parties involved. Often, the distributors weren’t kept in the loop about the upcoming deliveries, and the retailers weren’t made aware of the exact delivery times. The management was often left to wonder about the exact whereabouts of the company’s vehicles, which became a major obstacle to further business development.

A lack of transparency and communication between producers of fast-moving consumer goods, outsourced personnel, and retailers leads to substantial commercial losses to all parties involved. On the one hand, the retail sector deals with hundreds of deliveries from different vendors every day. As a result, many retailers can’t always effectively plan ahead and allocate sufficient resources to promptly meet the supplier at their warehouses. On the other hand, many suppliers are often subjected to costly on-site waiting periods, or else they risk penalties for late arrivals imposed by the retailer.
Improvements in the External Component
To combat these problems, Baltika made a decision to switch to RouteQ. All of the participants in the supply chain were connected to the platform. Here’s how it works: data from every vehicle is collected through the mobile app or GPS navigation system and fed into the vendor’s account. From there, Baltika can see every delivery, no matter how big or small.

Every outsourced worker and distributor also has their own account. Every account allows each party to see their routes, as well as their ratings. This data forms a digitized distribution network with figures of the company’s overall ratings being displayed in real-time.

The platform can also accommodate the needs of those on the other side of the supply chain. Retailers can see estimated arrival times of their upcoming deliveries and plan their resources and schedules accordingly to quickly attend to delivery vehicles.

Naturally, when introduced at Baltika, the system required some training and fine-tuning, but it proved to be a big success early on. Because incoming data on the platform is synchronized across the whole supply chain and is accessible through individual accounts, the new strategy quickly paid off. Fewer miscommunications took place and transparency improved considerably. What’s more, now Baltika can see where exactly the company’s products end up and how well they’re handled.

This IT-powered approach to business allowed Baltika’s relations with its partners to reach new heights. The company’s associates have expressed their appreciation for Baltika’s initiative to implement a new, digitized monitoring mechanism that benefits all of its counterparts. What’s crucial is that the system is universal and leaves little to no grey area for confusion. Every participant of the supply chain can always track and see every delivery’s status, which means there can be no two ways about (mis)interpreting the results – either it’s a job done well or not.

Today, 98% of Baltika’s delivery routes and vehicles are visible online at any given time. The IT framework envelopes all of Baltika’s breweries and warehouses across Russia and Belarus. It includes over 300 partners, among them transportation companies, third-party logistics operators, and distributors.

This pivotal change that concerned the outer layer of the ecosystem became an incentive to also look for improvement in the company’s internal component. With the digitalization and tracking of the company’s delivery routes, the management decided to use this new data to assess the commercial efficiency of Baltika’s inner organization in a new way.
Optimization of Internal Processes

With the adoption of RouteQ, Baltika had new, modern tools at its disposal. This inadvertently allowed the company to see drawbacks and shortcomings pertaining to the inner layer of the ecosystem. Proactive steps were taken to optimize the work of logisticians, routing specialists, and even the sales team. This resulted in a substantial decrease of route-planning times (down to 15 minutes) and concurrently saw a 15% increase in the number of delivery points on a route. The system’s algorithms also allowed Baltika to minimize all manual corrections to 1%. 

Data from RouteQ was integrated into the mainframe that oversaw the day-to-day operations of Baltika’s warehouses and depots. Information on vehicle arrival times could now be used to determine in advance who exactly was needed for a particular pick-up or drop-off, and when. Knowing delivery intervals and working out how many forklift operators were needed for a task became commonplace. The new system also gave a way to see the urgency levels of each warehouse departure – Baltika’s personnel could prioritize loading and unloading jobs, while transportation companies could keep their drivers informed about the deadlines.

Today, all relevant information about incoming vehicles and their routes is laid out for Baltika’s warehouses in the system. As a result, personnel can prepare cargo in advance, which makes each warehouse, no matter how big or small, function much more efficiently. Vehicle attendance times (i.e. how long it takes to load/unload) have seen a 30% drop.

Baltika’s customer service team was also able to put the new system to good use. The company’s call centers now utilize available routing and delivery data to quickly resolve misunderstandings when dealing with Baltika’s business partners and clients. Without being present on-site, a call center operator can use information in the system to quickly assist cargo drivers. The same goes for the sales team, 60% of which use information about estimated arrival times and routing schedules to facilitate new business deals.

Adopting RouteQ also gave Baltika a chance to consider applying completely new and never-before-tried solutions to business. For instance, they plan to launch dynamic routing that will match the arrival times of Baltika’s representatives with the arrival times of cargo vehicles.  This dynamic model is expected to boost sales and improve customer service levels by making Baltika’s products available for purchase sooner.

Results of Switching to RouteQ
250+
partners in ecosystem
1% 
manual interventions
30%
less loading time 
  1. New transparency gave way to improved communications within the supply chain: 98% of deliveries are now visible in real time. Misunderstanding has been substantially reduced
  2. Route-planning times now average 15 minutes. Manual correction figures have fallen to 1%
  3. A 15% increase in the routing volume is seen compared to last year
  4. Using data from the new system led to a 30% drop in vehicle waiting periods at Baltika’s warehouses
  5. All call-center operators and 65% of the company’s sales representatives now use the new routing data to do their jobs
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Fri Jan 14 2022 16:54:03 GMT+0300 (Moscow Standard Time)