Award Winner Profile Re-engineering the wheel

This winner of the 2019 BIFA Supply Chain Management

Award, Zencargo, proved that effective use of digital tools can make a huge difference to the nuts and bolts of a customer’s business – and set the freight forwarder apart from its rivals

Besides helping customers to minimise their



“Freight forwarding is competitive, but what gives us an advantage is that we can show customers the numbers to demonstrate how we can strengthen margins, revenue and profitability,” according to Zencargo co-founder Richard Fattal. Zencargo achieved just that for Ribble Cycles,

a producer of specialised road cycles. Having internationalised its supply chain,

Ribble needed better visibility of lead times for the thousands of components involved in producing its popular bikes. Data was also siloed in the logistics team, creating difficulties in providing accurate information to customers.

Problem solving Of course, every supply chain is unique and has different requirements. But Fattal pointed out: “Our software is relevant to consumer retail businesses, and we see a lot of the same problems from one customer to the next. “With Ribble, we put its shipments through our

system to see the existing lead times and then built a supply chain specific to it. It was not a case of re-engineering our platform – rather, we re-engineered Ribble’s supply chain using our product.” That revamped supply chain relies on a

centralised data system with up-to-date lead- time data at stock keeping unit (SKU) level. This enabled the ordering team to place smaller, more frequent orders, significantly reducing inventory. Improved SKU data also revealed consolidation


Following the announcement of category winners in January, BIFAlink profiles the successful companies showcasing the service, innovation or attitude that caught the judges’ eyes. For your chance to shine start thinking about your submission for the 2020 BIFA Freight Service Awards (competition opens in summer 2020).

opportunities for smaller orders. Moreover, Ribble’s use of airfreight dropped

significantly; in fact, whereas the company had been moving as much as 78% of its products by air, that trend is reversed, with most shipments now shipped by sea. Given today’s concerns regarding climate

change, Fattal noted that many brands are focusing on sustainability. “Airfreight is much worse than seafreight in terms of emissions,” he said. “It is an important tool when used at the right

time, such as when an order is late or a product is selling much more quickly than expected. Good data allows retailers to make those decisions with confidence. But if you are blind to that data, then you are not going to be using airfreight appropriately.”

airfreight usage, Zencargo also participates in a carbon offsetting scheme, which it is able to extend to its customers. Fattal explained: “In a world of fulfilment

houses such as Amazon and Alibaba, the supply chain is the key place to differentiate both in terms of customer service and margins. We wanted to focus on our customers’ supply chain management, not just move their boxes from A to B. Of course, that is important – but the difference is the business value that we can derive from data.”

Real-time data There is often a lack of effective collaboration across the supply chain – a serious problem in a world that can change with each planning cycle, he pointed out. Zencargo provides a live view of real- time data in order to help all parties work together and make decisions about the supply chain. “Then we implement those decisions and work

flexibly to adapt to the real-time changes in the data,” he said. Crucially: “You get companies that provide

supply chain software, and then you get freight forwarders who tend to optimise routes with the bottom line in mind. We bring both of those elements together in one platform. “By driving value for our customers, we also

drive value for ourselves. We have the data to plan better, we bring people together – and we have the operational expertise to implement their decisions.” Zencargo is continuing to work with

Zencargo co- founder Richard Fattal

businesses to understand lead times, availability and disruptions. The more data is gathered, the more sophisticated and predictive the system becomes, Fattal said. The company also has its sights on international markets – particularly Europe and the US.

July 2020

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