Source: Knorr-Bremse announcement

MUNICH — Knorr-Bremse has won the Supply Chain Management Award 2022 for its transformative NextGen European Distribution Network project. The award, sponsored by LOGISTIK HEUTE (published by HUSS-VERLAG), PwC and Strategy&, was presented in Frankfurt am Main.

Knorr-Bremse actually launched the project prior to the coronavirus pandemic, with the aim of boosting efficiency, cutting costs, and reducing carbon emissions. The results are already paying off.

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“For us, winning the Supply Chain Management Award 2022 is a very special achievement, and we thank LOGISTIK HEUTE, as well as PwC and Strategy&, for this major accolade,” stated Harald Schneider, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “With our NextGen European Distribution Network, we are significantly boosting the efficiency and sustainability of our logistics and supply chains, while at the same time becoming even more resilient to future challenges.”

“We’re delighted that the jury and audience chose to honor our NextGen European Distribution Network with the Supply Chain Management Award 2022,” adds Thomas Rappl, Vice President Supply Chain & Service Operations at Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “This project represents a major step forward in the ongoing development of our logistics and supply chains in Europe. With the improvements and optimization we’ve achieved, we’re able to further strengthen Knorr-Bremse’s position in Europe and enhance the speed, flexibility and quality of our customer services.”

Efficiency up, expenditure down: Measurable successes and improvements

The project focused on optimizing both economic and ecological factors. The project team applied 11 clearly defined criteria in particular, including specific targets for logistical quality. As a result, logistics costs have fallen by 15 percent, carbon emissions have been significantly reduced due to a 20 percent drop in the number of ton-kilometers traveled, and the speed and flexibility of logistical services to customers have increased.

Knorr-Bremse used state-of-the-art digital applications to implement the project, among them the “Digital Twin” concept. This virtual, data-driven depiction of the company’s European logistics footprint has enabled Knorr-Bremse to, for example, significantly improve transparency across the network and thereby lay the foundations for future cost reductions. Deliveries worth more than €1 billion are made via the network every year.

Knorr-Bremse launched this ambitious project back in 2018, across multiple European countries, against a backdrop of constantly changing material flows and geopolitical factors, as well as increasingly stringent Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) requirements. During project implementation, the main challenges were to minimize operational disruption, satisfy the many different stakeholders, comply with regulatory requirements and, most recently, cope with the Covid pandemic. The company is now considering whether to roll out this successful model across other regions such as North America and Asia.