Smart data leads to smart growth

How a rise in production acted as a catalyst for a drop in CO2 emissions

Antwerp / Belgium / June 1st, 2017

The economic climate is improving and business is booming. Great news, but increasing your production volumes comes with great decisions. Especially when you are a company looking for a balance between environmental and economic interests. An industry leader in the development and manufacturing of specialty packaging based in Europe decided to ask our ASNIA team how they would be able to best preserve this balance.

ASNIA, the Ahlers Supply Network Innovation & Analytics team, works with one important goal in mind: the optimization of their customers’ supply networks. In this particular case, for example, they were asked to examine the impact of different expansion scenarios on the supply chain of the specialty packaging manufacturer.

 

For ASNIA to be able to give the right answers, they had to create a complete visualization of the ‘before situation’. Based on the client’s big data, they mapped out exactly what was produced where and to whom the products were delivered. In this particular case, the customer had two production facilities in Europe: one in Italy and one in Belgium.

With the customer’s current playing field laid out, the ASNIA team was able to dig into the next phase of the project. Backed-up by some very powerful software systems, our engineers were able to build several scenarios and integrate them into a platform that allowed the customer to see, in detail, the outcome of any of those scenarios. What would a production increase in Italy mean for the lead times? Or what about the carbon footprint when warehouses would be implemented nearer to customers in Spain and Portugal?

After thorough investigation, the client decided to expand its production facility in Belgium, which had an enormously positive impact on the network’s carbon footprint. By choosing Belgium as their operational base, they would be producing closer to their customers, thus reducing transport CO2 emissions by a staggering 18,05%.

In the meantime, the production increase has been implemented in Belgium, but for ASNIA it doesn’t have to end there. As they have noticed with other customers as well, the insights and quality recommendations from one positive business case often lead to new ideas or assignments. Horizontal collaboration or logistics bundling, for example, is a logical next step for any company that has optimized its individual supply chain. If one company can gain so much from an optimization exercise, imagine the possibilities for multiple companies working together.

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