Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain: Prysmian’s Partnership with project44

Digital Transformation in the Supply Chain: Prysmian’s Partnership with project44

Prysmian, the world leader in energy and telecom cable systems, recently signed an agreement with project44 for ocean freight visibility. Read the interview with the project manager, Antonino Arena.

Digital transformation is a priority for supply chain managers, regardless of industry. Today, businesses face growing pressures to optimize their operations, promptly meet customer demands, and navigate ever-changing market dynamics. Among these challenges, the key role digitalization plays in supply chains cannot be understated.

Digital technologies are revolutionizing traditional supply chain management practices, offering unprecedented opportunities to enhance efficiency, transparency, and resilience.

From real-time visibility to data-driven insights, digitalization is reshaping the way businesses manage their supply chains.

Prysmian To Digitalize Its Freight Tracking: The Agreement With project44

As a global leader in innovation and digital transformation, Prysmian is investing in the digital transformation of its supply chain by signing an agreement with project44 for ocean freight visibility. This partnership came at a moment in which, the coronavirus crisis first and overall need for the exploitation of Prysmian’s global manufacturing capacity then, led to a deeper understanding of ocean transportation.

It represents a wonderful example of digital transformation in the supply chain as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to leveraging digital technologies to enhance the efficiency, transparency, and resilience of its supply chain.

By adopting project44’s cutting-edge technology for digital monitoring of ocean shipments, Prysmian is taking a significant step towards unlocking new pathways for growth and success. But what led to the adoption of the p44 platform, and what were the Company’s main expectations in implementing this technology?

We sat down with Antonino Arena, Specialties BU Supply Chain Sr Manager at Prysmian and project manager for the implementation of the p44 Movement Platform, to help us answer these questions

What led Prysmian to choose project44?

Arena: For many years our sea freight was quite marginal, in terms of volumes, and we always relied on our freight forwarders to arrange the door-to-door or port-to-port shipments. It was in times where sea routes were quite well-established and stable.

Then, all of a sudden, things started happening: lack of containers, port congestion, lack of vessels on certain routes, known as blank sailing, the Suez Canal was blocked up, and freight costs started skyrocketing. It was clear that we had to assume more control over that part of our supply chain. And the first step was to get a clear picture of the events

What are the main benefits of implementing project44’s platform?

Arena: Implementing project44, a high-velocity and AI-powered supply chain platform, represents a real and incremental step forward in the digital transformation of our company. In particular, visibility into ocean freight through project44’s platform allows us to:

  • Know which route has been used and get the measurement of the actual transit time.
  • Get the latest estimated time of arrival (ETA) from the system intelligence and properly plan manufacturing and deliveries to customers.
  • Avoid hours of calls or emails to agents, forwarders, or anyone who can tell you where the ship is and when it will arrive at your port.
  • Understand whether your freight forwarder is selecting the most effective ocean carrier.
  • React to potential delays in real-time as they start showing up, not when the ship has already arrived late.
  • Run analytics and explore improvements in the supply chain.
  • Provide Customers with an extra service giving them access to their inbound ocean shipments from Prysmian.

Did you follow a complex process to get to this point?

Arena: Actually, it is the other way around: we managed to reduce the complexity. When you want to develop such a large-scale project in a big corporation you know that you must go through a complex pattern. Then I got inspiration from one of Prysmian’s mantras: simplify.

We found the way using a bottom-up, incremental approach. That meant saving a lot of time and resources in organizing the ​“structure” of the project but, at the same time, a very intense work to create the consensus in the organization and highlight the low-hanging fruits. It paid back.

In summary, the words that best describe this project are:

  • Lean thinking and lean team
  • Keep it simple
  • Deep knowledge of logistics
  • Identification of most interested clusters (geography, business, materials)
  • Onboarding of the main stakeholders, based in the affiliates and in HQ
  • Convergence and cooperation with the selected service provider

We have already benefited from using the system, especially during periods of instability on the global freight network. Getting a quick view of unpredicted events allowed us to immediately react to materials’ allocation and manufacturing optimizations. We brought our planning ability to a higher level.

Now we want to get more!

We are designing a strategy for bringing into Prysmian the benefits of the digital era. We have several open fronts and project44 is the clearest demonstration that using such tools will bring value to the Company. This is an important first step towards our Digital Supply Chain.

Luca Barilla
SVP Supply Chain, Prysmian