In 2013 at TRANSLOG Gebrüder Weiss was honoured in the service provider category for developing its Control Tower Concept, a logistics system that provides better information which was established for HILTI CEE distribution.
We asked Mr. Alexander Horak, the Corporate Key Account Manager of Gebrüder Weiss about the project, which made them win the award.
Please introduce yourself, describe your position within the company!
My name is Alexander Horak. I am 37 and have been working at Gebrüder Weiss for 19 years. During my carrier at GW, I have been working in several departments such as Operations, Customer Care and Logistics Solutions. My focus has always been on Key Accounts, e.g. from operational assistance to conception and implementation of tailor made solutions within the Logistics Solutions division. In my current position as Key Account Manager in Corporate Key Account Management, I am responsible for the global Key Accounts.
Comapny profile Gebrüder Weiss
With about 6,000 employees, 150 company-owned locations and an annual turnover of 1.2 billion euros (in 2013), Gebrüder Weiss ranks among the leading transport and logistics companies in Europe. In addition to its core business of overland transport, air & sea freight and logistics, the company also operates a number of highly specialised industry solutions and subsidiaries under the umbrella of Gebrüder Weiss Holding AG, based in Lauterach, Austria. This includes logistics consultancy x|vise, tectraxx (industry specialist for hi-tech businesses), inet-logistics (software solutions for TMS transport management), Railcargo (railway transport) and the Gebrüder Weiss parcel service, GWP, a shareholder in the Austrian company DPD.
This bundling of services allows the Group to respond to customer needs quickly and flexibly. Having implemented a variety of ecological, economic and social initiatives, the family-owned company, which has a history going back 500 years, is considered a pioneer in terms of sustainable business.
Which improvements did you introduce for HILTI’s CEE distribution? How did this contribute to your client’s success?
With the implementation of the Control Tower for Hilti we have documented and actively analyzed existing processes. This allowed us to identify the reasons for propagation delays, which were not within our direct area of influence in a transparent way.
In addition we have analyzed these concerns and partially established new products or processes in order to make the delivery to the end costumer even more efficient. Furthermore, we have modified the communication structure together with Hilti which significantly reduced the processing time. Due to the new structure, we tripled the process improvements and established processes which are leaner, more transparent as well as more reliable.
What was the innovation within your project which made you win the award?
From my point of view it is the focus on the flow of information and the transparency of the processes, in other words the gathering of information in one place and the professional analysis of this collected data. One important aspect is certainly the granularity of the data, which allows for the identification of targeted points of action. This put us in the position to provide Hilti with transparent and real-time data in order to actively initiate changes.
How did the recognition help you to gain publicity?
On one hand we received large attention for our Control Tower Concept from the circle of experts within the course of the official award ceremony at the TRANSLOG 2013. On the other hand, we have been actively reporting about the award using our internal as well as external communication channels.
In your opinion, how is the award supporting the developments of logistics in the CEE region?
The award shows that we are not only able to establish the Control Tower in theory, but that we are also able to create important additional value for the customer in practice.
The official recognition of our expertise will certainly help us in the development of further logistics projects in the CEE region in the future.
From your perspective, which are the biggest challenges in the logistics field the CEE region is facing? How are you supporting your clients to overcome them?
I believe that the biggest challenge is the further integration of CEE as a region in the course of the EU enlargement. In the future, there should not be a difference between shipping goods within Austria or Bulgaria. That is why consistent quality standards and real-time available data are indispensible. Unfortunately, several areas within the CEE region still need to further improve their infrastructure – as for example the expansion of motorways.
On the other hand I believe that the CEE region will progressively take an active role as the link between Central Europe and Asia, similar to the Silk Road in the past.
At Gebrüder Weiss, we offer our customers a seamless network in this region with consistent quality standards, IT systems and logistics experts, who are familiar with the local circumstances. In addition, we will provide further attractive transportation and logistics services, e.g. air and sea freight as well as multimodal solutions.
Are you planning to apply for the award again in the future?
Yes, we are also planning to apply for the award with a new project in the future.