Dachser South Africa perfects the art of picking and packing

Dachser South Africa perfects the art of picking and packing

  As a fundamental part of the supply chain, picking and packing is fast growing into a sophisticated, intelligent process. This is due to client demands that necessitate logistics companies in having detailed understanding of complex product specificities and requirements when storing and moving these goods across geographical distances. Managing Director of Dachser South Africa, Detlev Duve, says of this trend. “Logistics companies have become an extension of the client’s operations in terms of having specialist knowledge of the product and ensuring that delivery capabilities meet the client’s supply chain requirements. Many times, clients need tailor-made solutions which means that the logistics company’s warehousing capabilities, internal processes and technological platforms should be able to support diverse requirements. Situating staff onsite who have in-depth knowledge of the products is often a necessity, most critically with products that are sensitive to climate and movement.” Picking and packing is a surprisingly complex task. As an example, Duve points to one of Dachser South Africa’s long-standing clients, a supplier of medical equipment. Rigorous logistics management must ensure that their products reach medical rooms, hospitals and clinics in the perfect condition, and at the right time, in both urban centres and rural areas. This includes products from basic syringes to specialist cardiopulmonary equipment and patient monitoring systems. Dachser South Africa provides expert onsite knowledge at its warehouse where certain medical products must be correctly calibrated while in storage. In fact, says, Duve, Dachser teams’ partner with several of the medical equipment supplier’s staff who have been seconded to the Dachser warehouse.  “Having client employees operating in the warehouse illustrates how closely Dachser South Africa works...
VWSA employees join hands for hunger relief

VWSA employees join hands for hunger relief

  125 volunteers take part in Show of Hands 40 000 meals packed for children at Early Childhood Development centres Johannesburg – With 125 pairs of hands working together, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) contributed to the fight against hunger this past weekend. In the spirit of Mandela Day, 125 volunteers – consisting of VWSA employees based in Gauteng and their loved ones – gathered for the company’s annual Show of Hands initiative and packed 40 000 meals to help needy children. For this year’s Show of Hands event, VWSA partnered with the international hunger relief organisation Rise Against Hunger, with the aim of providing nutrition for children at 153 Early Childhood Development centres. The volunteers were tasked with packing 40 000 meals, which is enough to provide the children at these centres with five meals a week for an entire year. The beneficiary of this initiative is Ntataise, a non-profit organisation working to increase access to quality ECD education for children from disadvantaged communities across South Africa. “With 1,7 million households in South Africa facing hunger, the reality is that many children have to go to school hungry,” said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa. “This impacts on their education and their wellbeing. “It is inspiring to see how many of our employees were willing to give their time in order to make a difference. I believe the work that was done over this past weekend will have a significant impact in these children’s...
Isuzu Supports Drought Relief in Makhanda

Isuzu Supports Drought Relief in Makhanda

  ISUZU Motors South Africa last week delivered two water tank trucks to the disaster relief organisation, Gift of the Givers, to help with the water crisis in Makhanda (Grahamstown). Gift of the Givers Director of Strategic Planning Badr Kazi said the clean water will be trucked from boreholes drilled at various locations across the Makhanda municipal area to strategic points in the community, for use by residents. “The water tankers are playing a very strategic role in getting the clean water from the source, to the residents. Isuzu has made an invaluable contribution to our operations here in Makhanda and we are very grateful for the use of these trucks,” said Kazi. Gift of the Givers has been working tirelessly to relieve several drought-stricken parts of the country, including Beaufort-West and more recently Makhanda. The Gift of the Givers team arrived in Makhanda on February 12 and have since drilled 10 boreholes as a mid-term solution for the water crisis being experienced in the Eastern Cape town, mid-way between East London and Port Elizabeth. Isuzu Motors South Africa Corporate Communications Manager Gishma Johnson said the assistance to Gift of the Givers forms part of the company’s mandate to support the local community. “We leverage key partnerships to find sustainable solutions in the community. The water situation is dire, particularly in Makhanda. Gift of the Givers delivered donated Jojo tanks to the town. However, when these tanks run dry, they need to be filled. The two water trucks were used in Beaufort West earlier this year and were used last year in Cape Town during the city’s water crisis...
Customer-centricity hits the tyre industry

Customer-centricity hits the tyre industry

  Tyre manufacturers have to become more customer-centric in order to survive. Doing so will require massive investment—and new ways of doing business. By Dries Lottering, Manufacturing Renewal Executive, Bridgestone South Africa “Digital transformation” is one of the most used buzzwords in business today—quite rightly, in my view, though its exact significance changes from industry to industry, and even from company to company. Two forces are driving the dynamics of digital transformation. One is that the advent of the Digital Age has created new expectations amongst consumers while giving them more power via social media and access to information. The other is that digitalisation allows companies to work smarter and to service their customers more accurately. These two forces impact each other: as businesses get smarter, so consumer expectations rise—ad infinitum, presumably. Today’s business mantra is, as always, the customer is always right but the transparency enabled by a digital world makes it much more urgent than ever it was. Financial services companies and retailers are in the frontline of this business revolution, but the pressure to become more customer-centric is now being felt even in tyre manufacturing. It will prompt change on a large scale, and could ultimately lead to a complete realignment of the industry. What does customer-centricity actually mean when it comes to tyre manufacturing? In essence, tyre manufacturers have two sets of customers: the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who design and manufacture the vehicles on which the tyres are to be fitted, and the end-users, who purchase the vehicles. The vehicle OEMs are under the same pressure as everybody else to improve current offerings. Better...
Thomsons Towing built on the back of Tata Trucks

Thomsons Towing built on the back of Tata Trucks

  Thomson’s Towing and Panelbeaters, based in White River, Mpumalanga, owes much of its success to the hardworking Tata trucks in its growing fleet. An Automobile Association partner, the company currently operates six Tata trucks comprising Tata 713, 813 and 913 medium and heavy-duty LPT models. One of these, a Tata 713, stands out from the rest. Over the years, this 4-ton medium duty truck has completed in excess of 1.5 million trouble-free kilometres. The truck was bought second-hand several years ago, where it had already clocked up 500 000km serving the forestry industry in Mpumalanga. Tommie Thomson, owner of the business, recently decided to overhaul the engine himself to keep it in tip-top condition. “Parts are cheap and are readily available,” he says. “As a qualified diesel mechanic, I fit the parts myself and I know what to look out for when buying a truck. These Tata trucks are so cheap to maintain I can afford to buy more. There is nothing better.” He explains that he has a long history with the Tata brand, having opened a Tata dealership in Nelspruit several years ago. “I later moved on to towing and chose the Tata’s because I knew the brand very well,” he reasons. “Everyone here knows that I only drive Tata’s. I’m looking at buying more; I’d happily buy a Tata with 500 000km on the clock.” Tommie is particularly impressed with the 4-tonners in his fleet, which use 5.7-litre turbocharged Tata engines and five-speed manual gearboxes. These trucks have a GCM of just over 10-tonnes and a permissible body and payload of 4 990kg. They use...
Truck drivers test new digital vehicle systems in mobile simulator

Truck drivers test new digital vehicle systems in mobile simulator

  Involvement of truck drivers in the development of new digital operating menus and offered apps – based on the new Mercedes-Benz Actros Simulator is fitted in a Mercedes-Benz V-Class and stops at motorway rest areas in the Stuttgart area in July State-of-the-art technologies around virtual reality and sensor systems Stuttgart – For the first time, development engineers from Daimler Trucks will be on the road with a mobile vehicle simulator for user tests in the coming weeks. Truck drivers can test prototypes of future digital operating menus as well as new app offers in the simulator. The prototypes are based on the existing systems of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. Feedback from the testers goes directly into further development work at Daimler Trucks. The simulator is fitted in the rear of a Mercedes-Benz V-Class. The developers of Daimler Trucks will stop at motorway rest areas along major traffic routes in the Stuttgart area in July. The mobile simulator enables the Daimler experts to meet the drivers in their usual working environment. On the one hand, this ensures more reliable test results, and on the other hand, the developers can address more truck drivers for the tests in a shorter time. The simulation uses state-of-the-art virtual reality technology with 3D models and measurement sensors. Positive feedback from truck drivers after initial test runs Dr. Christian Ballarin, Head of Advanced Engineering Daimler Trucks for Active Safety, Autonomous Driving and Connectivity: “Feedback from truck drivers after initial test runs is very positive. The drivers are pleased that we actively involve them in the further development of the operating systems that they use every...