Reporting 2020

Customer Satisfaction

We support our customers’ business with innovation and efficiency. For them and with them, we shape sustainable logistics of the future.

With our customers, we often work in long-standing business relationships based on mutual trust. The benefits of this are particularly evident when developing large-scale projects or even completely new logistics centers, where we can bring our expertise to the table right from the start. Looking beyond the high-quality, efficient and innovative logistics services we provide every day, we see this as an opportunity to help shape the logistics of tomorrow. One aspect of this is being able to anticipate changes and actively respond when our customers shift their business focus, for example, by expanding our own infrastructure and portfolio to support the shift toward more e-mobility. Conversely, long-term contracts give us valuable scope to invest in energy efficiency measures, for instance, or to reduce the number of temporary employment contracts. It is, of course, equally important to us that our customers value what we do and choose us as their partner of choice time after time.

We therefore work closely with them to devise innovative and sustainable logistics processes and solutions. We have demonstrated our credentials in this area in a number of projects – such as at the new logistics center for our customer PUMA, which from the start was planned in line with sustainability criteria, or with the CI Factory for Engelbert Strauss. We are committed to meeting the growing demands for climate-friendly logistics. For example, our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also pays dividends for our customers’ carbon footprint; and what’s more, since this year we have been offering them climate-neutral services. We also firmly believe that our commitment differentiates us in the market and opens up new windows of opportunity. This mindset is reflected, among other things, in the plans for our new “C3 Bremen” industrial logistics center. The three Cs stand for Customers, Climate and Comfort – because this future-oriented project is designed to bring together customer requirements, sustainability and the needs of our employees in a unique way. In addition to carbon-neutral operation of the building, we are also striving for a Gold Sustainable Building Certificate from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. – DGNB. The project also focuses on the well-being of our employees at the workplace. Start of construction is in 2021.

Ensuring quality – with every contract, every day

We offer our customers an extensive and varied range of logistics services of a contractually specified quality that they can depend on. This includes continuously examining ways to reduce the loss ratios within our own processes.

Our central Quality Management departments are responsible for implementing, refining and overseeing certification of our quality management systems. The majority of our German and foreign locations – including all locations in the AUTOMOBILE Division – are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001, the automotive locations additionally to VDA 6.2. Furthermore, our customers regularly carry out quality audits at our car terminals. Despite the pandemic-related restrictions, quality management systems were rolled out and externally certified at new locations in 2020.

To optimize our transport logistics for finished vehicles, we request information about delivery quality from car dealers on site, where it is also verified. At our industrial logistics locations, we work directly alongside our customers’ production processes. And in retail logistics, our services are even linked to those of our customers. Here, we hold regular operational meetings and coordinate activities at management level.

A training campaign launched in the reporting year focused primarily on risk assessment and failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA). Both are elementary to ensuring process reliability and thus customer satisfaction. Following the successful implementation of a tool for demand and capacity planning in the AUTOMOBILE Division in the previous year, the system was expanded in 2020 to include cost and revenue planning. In this way, we aim to achieve an overall optimization of capacity utilization in line with demand, customer requirements and costs. Calculation of CO2 emissions is also integrated as a supplementary performance metric

Steadily improving efficiency

Focusing on and optimizing value-creating activities is an important success factor for us. In order to continuously improve our processes and systems as well as boost our performance, we systematically organize all workflows according to lean management criteria and use the Six Sigma management system for process optimization. This allows us to make the most of new solutions and improvements sustainably and across all company areas.

In the reporting year, our central Operational Excellence department developed and rolled out an integrated production system for the CONTRACT Division that serves to further optimize processes and services at our customers. In addition, through the Operational Training Center (OTC), we intensified the transfer of knowledge with respect to new processes – this enables us to ensure that the respective transition or start-up phase runs smoothly. Our lean management methods have been anchored successively, among other things through workshops. Responsibility is vested in three working groups with 29 decentralized contacts. We implemented a total of five lean qualification measures with 150 managers in 2020.

UN goal: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

We support our customers’ success by constantly further developing our own services. With digitalization projects and innovative approaches, we help shape more efficient and sustainable logistics while making our company fit for the future.

View SDG Story

Translating innovations into successful solutions

We are working continuously to offer our customers new services and thus support them in aligning their logistics processes with future requirements. In doing so, we are increasingly relying on new technologies. The innovations behind this are developed, managed and rolled out by the Sustainability and Digitalization department.

The focus in 2020 was on artificial intelligence (AI). Of eleven 100-day projects carried out to test potential new solutions and ten 6-month sprints for implementing and scaling up the results from promising 100-day projects, eight had an AI reference. Here, we place a focus on the application of machine learning with a view to deployment in human resources planning and in intelligent document management. Newly implemented projects included the use of chatbots in recruiting and the development of driverless transport vehicles at the Bremen site. In addition, numerous workshops on mapping out the digitalization roadmap were organized.

Three new research and development (R&D) projects with an AI reference were also initiated in 2020. The second round of the successful “ISABELLA” project for optimizing planning and management of terminal operations also got underway. This is again being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and has the goal to integrate processes for all means of transportation into the “ISABELLA” control algorithm. On the KITE sponsorship project, we are working together with partners to develop an AI-based forecasting method for predicting transportation volumes. It is hoped this will reduce the number of empty runs by up to 15 percent and in doing so help to lower CO2 emissions. “INSERT” is concerned with the development of an assistance system for drafting initial concepts for production and logistics planning, for which expert knowledge is transferred into an AI-based system. The aim is to enhance quality while shortening planning processes. Here, too, we have joined forces with partners.

In the reporting year, we participated in seven cooperation projects with a total volume of EUR 18.6 million. The three newly launched R&D projects account for a volume of EUR 5.8 million.

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

More about BLG’s fields of action, SDGs and sustainability strategy.

To SDG journey