Kuehne + Nagel working with customers to transform supply chains
Kuehne + Nagel is partnering with customers to accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies and advanced supply chain solutions.
The drive is being powered by the opening of two newly inaugurated Innovation Centres in Utrecht, Netherlands, and Singapore.
The Innovation Centre in Utrecht will primarily focus on major automation and innovative picking technologies. Kuehne + Nagel is among the first logistics providers to deploy collaborative robots in operations in line with a partnership with Universal Robots.
The Asia Pacific Innovation Centre in Singapore will research and deploy new solutions on connected warehouses, with a focus on data analytics and Internet of Things.
Both centres hold partnerships with universities, start-ups and organisations to develop innovative supply chain solutions. The centres are open to customers who will get a vivid impression of how new technologies and solutions will impact their supply chains.
The innovation centres will also serve as a ‘sandbox’ to test and rapidly introduce new technologies to the market.
Martin Kolbe, Chief Information Officer of Kuehne + Nagel: “We are working on seamless data exchange of different systems to drive automation and to minimise manual efforts.
“In addition we create new services and interfaces allowing customers to easily connect with Kuehne + Nagel. Applying Big Data and predictive analytics, supply chains can be managed more efficiently and effectively.”
Gianfranco Sgro, Member of the Managing Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics, said: “The innovation centres in Singapore and Utrecht will boost our digital road map by exploring, applying and deploying leading technologies to manage our customers’ supply chains even more efficiently and effectively.
“The market for contract logistics services is transforming substantially due to the effects of digitalisation. With the Innovation Centers we invest in research and new technologies to accelerate this transformation.”
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”