Real-time level monitoring with Nanolike and Holcim Greece

Today, it is still a problem to match concrete replenishment deliveries with customer demand. The process is done manually without any quantitative insight into the fill level of the silos. When a silo is estimated to approach a low fill level, new orders are placed over the phone based on existing customer orders. This can result in missed sales opportunities due to mismatches between production equipment and delivery terminals.

Holcim Greece saw great potential in automating these processes through the use of real-time data and sensors attached to the silos in a non-invasive way. With the help of the Holcim MAQER, the team in Greece launched a pilot project with French start-up Nanolike. Nanolike was founded in 2012 and focuses on supply chain optimization offering turnkey IoT solutions for real-time fill level monitoring of industrial silos. Together with Holcim Greece, the first successful KPIs were evaluated in October 2021 and currently, we evaluate the use of the technology in further plants.

Dynamic Demand Management

In many countries we experience a strong variation of daily volume due to demand from the market. This can lead to variations up to 100% within a week, with an obvious cost impact as a result.

In Kenya we have designed customer specific incentives in order to drive demand on slow days. After an intense testing period, we are now capable to move up to 23% of volume to slow days. As a matter of fact, the customer incentives have also led to an overall volume and margin increase.

The approach is 100% data driven allowing for an automated weekly update of the customer incentives. We are testing further data driven ideas ideas that will give us direct business impact.

Control the chaos of deliveries on jobsites | StruxHub

StruxHub was born walking jobsites around the world and seeing the pains of general contractors trying to orchestrate the constant flux of material deliveries on tight jobsites with whiteboards and paper.

So in 2019, we launched StruxHub Deliveries—an all-in-one, real-time site logistics management system that allows general contractors to coordinate their subcontractors materials deliveries, log quality & performance issues, and manage materials stocks.

Today, we’re being used daily on high-profile projects such as the Uber HQ in San Francisco and a new Facebook Office in Silicon Valley and looking to help other projects around the world.

Statistical demand forecasting

For Holcim Switzerland forecasting is a central need in order to set up logistics & production processes in the right manner. A good planning has a direct impact on optimization and cost reduction.

The planning process as we know it from decades, rely on the information sales employees provide manually. Every over or under forecasting has a negative impact on our business. In order to increase forecast accuracy and reduce uncertainty, Statistical Demand Forecasting has been implemented.

The Statistical Demand Forecasting (SDF) is an integrated machine learning solution to support optimization and the planning process. The SDF is a forecasting process of making predictions of the future demand based on past and present data. As a main difference to the manual process, the SDF can provide weekly/monthly automated planning and includes parameter like net working days and weather forecast.

The pilot project has successfully proven that SDF provides a higher accuracy with lower manual effort. Today 5 cement plants make use of the SDF as a main data source for short term planning (weekly planning).

Digital Freight Matching | Blackbuck

For ACC Limited, one of Holcim’s Indian operations, third-party transportation represents approx. 80% of distribution costs. The main challenges here are finding the right capacity at competitive rates and the time-consuming booking process, primarily based on calls, emails or faxes.

In order to evaluate a digital procurement provider for order placement and journey management, Holcim Startup MAQER set up a project with the startup BlackBuck, India’s largest trucking platform. The results are excellent so far: In July and August, more than 5000 tons were shipped via BlackBuck, resulting in savings within a few weeks. The fast and effective booking process, on-time pick-up & delivery as well as full H&S compliance led to the immediate need for follow-up projects.

Integrated Hauling Platform | HAULHUB

The Boston Asphalt market requires delivery from a network of plants to dozens of different construction sites. This network, served by a fleet of 100+ trucks, has traditionally been managed by phone and paper tickets. Field personnel did not have visibility of trucks and had to rely on phone calls for tracking. After completion of the job, drivers turned in paper logs requiring hours of manual processing.

The solution connects the delivery needs and trucking capacity through a web based platform.

Daily trucking requirements are scheduled through the platform, where qualified trucking companies can accept specific jobs. Dispatchers and field team monitor and communicate with trucks assigned to their job in real time through the field app. Digital connectivity allows trucking payments to be calculated based on the system and the management team receives advanced analytics on job performance.

Last-Mile Delivery | Afridelivery

Zambia has been rapidly growing in the past decades. As a matter of fact, it owns the highest population growth rate from Eastern African countries with 3%. In order to catch up with this increase, while at the same time the expected development, there is a need to deploy a broader offer of the logistics channels throughout the region. One of these solutions is envisioned to be Last-mile Delivery.

AfriDelivery is an e-commerce and food delivery platform that uses applications on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store to facilitate the delivery of products from major restaurants and retailers within Lusaka. During the collaboration with Lafarge Zambia, AfriDelivery enables B2B customers to purchase Holcim cement online and have it delivered directly to their premises or construction sites. This allows on the one hand to add value to the end user’s shopping experience and on the other hand respond to the situation of maintaining social distancing during the covid-19 pandemic.