Mainfreight transport

Kawasaki: ‘Not all about wheels’

Problem consignments

All transport is therefore currently arranged through Vianen. The Wim Bosman Group has been transporting groupage consignments for seven years, and has now added Kawasaki’s problem consignments.

Patrick Hovius: "We’re talking about consignments of hazardous goods such as batteries and paint; and different shapes, like a 160 by 30 cm crate, and goods that are easily damaged, like a 250-kilo mule cab with glass windows. Because the package carriers wouldn’t wait around for these kinds of orders, we were outsourcing their transport to the importers in the eight big markets. The packages were all individually packed within the whole consignment, but it was up to the people in the different countries to arrange transport on to final destinations. We were generally sending goods off once a week, and customers often had to wait two weeks for their order. So SystemPlus has improved Kawasaki’s level of service enormously, and damage has become more or less a thing of the past. There used to be a lot of complaints, mostly about broken windows, and, needless to say, the extra transfer points didn’t help on that score."

These consignments are sent via SystemPlus, which means that orders placed by 11.00 am are guaranteed to be picked up the same day and – depending on the destination – usually arrive the next day. Kawasaki has its own ordering system on the internet, and the 2000 or so delivery addresses have all been put into the Wim Bosman database. Van Eden: "Everything is automated; all we have to do is put the address sticker on the package and use E-Shipment to indicate whether the consignment is to go via Wim Bosman or SystemPlus."

Goods handling in the Vianen warehouse involves much more manual work. Patrick Hovius explains the logic: "We’re talking about a huge number of products with a small number of picking movements, so outsourcing isn’t a viable option. And our thirty years of experience has resulted in a service level of over 95%. Our consignments are also fairly seasonal, so we use a lot of temporary staff. The way the work is organised, anyone can do it."

At the very last minute

The standard arrangement is that a Wim Bosman truck comes at around 4.00 pm and takes the groupage consignments as well as the SystemPlus items. Eric van Eden: "We don’t know exact quantities in advance, but we have three cubic metres reserved. There’s always one truck with a regular driver, which basically couldn’t be more convenient for us. Another advantage of the manual system in the warehouse is that we can always add something else at the last moment."

Track & Trace

These are consignments of parts and so usually consist of very small packages. Patrick Hovius: "Their small size makes them easy to lose, so Track & Trace is very important for us. It's good that we can see where a consignment is at any time, of course, but the main thing is for the service provider to be able to find out if something goes wrong. At SystemPlus we’re very happy about that. If something is damaged or lost, we’re actively mailed about it. If it gets to the dealer before it’s noticed, then you’re too late!"Kawasaki is considering giving customers the option of having Tracking & Tracing. Hovius: "Our ordering system makes this really easy to integrate through the intranet. It’s an extra aspect of service for our dealers and would improve our company’s efficiency."

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