The Henkel Company, which makes adhesives and consumer products, has worked with technology providers such as Microsoft, Databrick, and Snowflake to build best-in-class data processing capabilities on modern digital infrastructure—an operational data system called Track & Trace. This application gathers and analyzes data on more than 150 supply chain parameters to track the current location of its freight and provide accurate real-time reporting of goods in transit. It uses a dynamic estimated time of arrival (ETA) metric to optimize shipping dock utilization, reduce costs (by 12%), and minimize freight delays, thereby lowering customer penalties by 50% and increasing the rate of on-time delivery by 10 percentage points. Dashboards provide SKU-level visibility, and intelligent algorithms continuously optimize carrier and lane performance. (See the exhibit.)
Underlying this application is a set of technological enablers gathering data on more than 150 parameters from a wide variety of sources (such as GPS, weather, and traffic indicators), which it then analyzes and processes. A standardized model permits integration with ERP and warehouse management systems, and execution of subsequent activities such as invoicing and claims generation. Henkel has deployed Track & Trace in North America and Europe, covering nearly 75% of the company’s shipments.