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.
Worldwide USD500B is sent back home by overseas workers. Up to 15% of these remittances are used for home construction. Some of the top 10 remittance-receiving countries include India, Mexico, Egypt, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Counties in which Holcim has a strong presence.
One of the big worries of the overseas workers is that money sent back home is used for alternative purposes.
When partnering with tech companies such as BeamAndGo and MyCashOnline, we connect overseas workers with the Holcim retailer network in their home countries ensuring a simple, safe and reliable delivery of cement and other construction materials.
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.
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).
Route planning for sales representatives is often time consuming and transparency is missing. To support sales representatives in increasing profits and creating time savings, Holcim Startup MAQER together with Holcim Brazil kicked off a pilot project with the smart route planning algorithm startup MakeMyDay.
The results so far are impressive: sales representatives using the MakeMyDay solution could significantly outperform those who did not, ultimately increasing the number of visits by 46% in total. Furthermore, the participants in the pilot exceeded the planned number of visits by more than 30%. This led to an immediate follow-up project and the planning of the tool’s rollout in other regions.
In Colombia 96% of the companies are SMEs and out of them, only 28% have access to credit solutions due to high bureaucracy-processes and very strict requirements of the banking institutions. As most customers of Holcim are SMEs (as for example retailers), the need to solve this problem became increasingly relevant.
That’s why the Holcim Startup MAQER together with Holcim Colombia set up a pilot project with the startup Zinobe, offering revolving credit solutions to its clients through a simple digitized low-bureaucracy process. Zinobe’s solution enabled the retail stores to increase their working capital and expand their business further, as well as access valuable financing services during times of the COVID-19 crisis.
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.
In a country such as Kenya, more than 1’000 customers are placing orders on average several times per week. Traditionally, these orders are placed through phone calls, text messages or in-person with sales personnel. Any follow-up regarding their orders requires phone contact with the customer services department.
Smartphone penetration in emerging markets is increasing dramatically. The solution is a smartphone application allowing customers to communicate with Holcim.
Customers can now see product prices, place orders directly in the app and a seamless integration with our dispatching systems allows for a real time follow-up of orders, payments, invoices, rebates and trading balance.
In Uganda, B2C end-consumers buy cement products to start private construction projects (e.g. building family houses). However, often the necessary funds for financing such projects are not easily accessible. That’s why Holcim Startup MAQER together with Hima Cement kicked off a startup project with Xente, who offer an e-commerce platform with a pay-later option during the checkout.
This allows for a dual-purpose pilot project: Firstly, Holcim Startup MAQER is able to test the demand for Holcim products in an online environment. Secondly, a new consumer segment is addressed by enabling people to buy products on credit through an easy low-bureaucracy application process.
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.