Yara International, one of the world’s biggest producers of fertilizers and base chemicals, has taken a step forward with future-proof site logistics processes by implementing SAP Yard Logistics. A global player in their field with operations in over 60 countries, Yara has replaced their current yard management solution with standardized and future-proof functionalities to further improve truck, rail and maritime handling in one of their largest production facilities.
Replace outdated yard management system. Create a future-proof platform for site logistics.
For their loading and site logistics processes, Yara has used an own developed tool called ALS (Administrative Loading System) which has been deployed in 28 sites globally. Lacking required functionality, as well as the fact that ALS will run out of lifecycle by 2025, Yara decided to replace ALS with SAP Yard Logistics as the tool for site logistic processes, with the additional goal of enabling Yara to leverage latest technologies and IoT in their yards in the future.
In 2019, Yara together with Westernacher started a Proof of Concept in Sluiskil, Netherlands, to proof the feasibility and process coverage of SAP YL by showcasing how SAP YL as well as Westernacher’s project accelerators for YL can cover truck, rail, maritime as well as integration scenarios. In December 2020, the Sluiskil pilot implementation kicked off a global rollout which is planned for all 28 sites using ALS until the end of 2024.
About the Sluiskil plant.
Yara Sluiskil handles a large number of shipments every day using various means of transport. With the implementation of SAP Yard Logistics, the process flows of the individual streams were transferred into the system in detail in order to keep transparency as visual as possible. With the help of the introduced logbook functionality in YL, the exact loading and unloading sequence in the maritime process can be tracked and entered in the system.
The existing on-site functionalities for integration to hardware for the truck stream were integrated into SAP YL to enable an automatic process flow in the system through the presentation of badges by drivers at various checkpoints. Furthermore, through the integration with a 3rd party slot management system, the booked time slots can be transferred directly into SAP YL. Also, inspection results are communicated to YL through integration to a 3rd party inspection tool.
For shipments by rail, SAP YL now covers the end-to-end execution process on-site with visibility on individual railcar level. Rail operators have digital access to rail specific information throughout the process (revision dates, material to be loaded, tare and gross weight, load limit grids, etc.) and log events like arrivals, inspections, weighing, loading data and departures directly in the system. Agile system operations are ensured by dynamic business rules for all three streams to allow the business to react to any change in the process.
Close collaboration throughout the pandemic.
The pilot implementation started in December 2020 with the design phase which was held fully remotely during the first months of 2021. By re-engaging the project team from the POC, confidence and trust was built with all relevant stakeholders since the project team was able to build on the experiences and learnings made during the POC. This, together with the close collaboration of the project team throughout the implementation, were cornerstones for the success of the pilot, which serves as a lighthouse for the YL program of Yara. User feedback was quickly adapted during various test cycles to chart the path towards successful go-lives of all process streams. During the implementation, the project team has managed to:
Improve visibility throughout all three streams.
Enhance transparency of barge and vessel loading/unloading with the implementation of the logbook functionality.
Achieve an automatic process flow in the system with connection to external hardware as well as 3rd party software.
Ensure agile functioning of the system through the use of decision tables.
Digitize the steering and documentation of the rail car processes.
Interconnect the shipments from rail transport planning from SAP ECC to the execution process in SAP YL, with live updates of train arrivals, shunting, filling of tank rail cars and train departures.
Improve the tank car revision/inspection process including automated reminders if an inspection date is due.
As an outcome of the implementation, it is expected that waiting times of trailers on the yard will be reduced to avoid demurrage.
Strong and trustful partnership to drive Yara’s strategic mission for future-proof yard processes.
In partnership with Westernacher, Yara has successfully built and rolled out SAP Yard Logistics to one of their biggest production sites, covering truck, rail and maritime processes. Going forward, the program continues with a rollout wave to 11 sites in the US and Canada which will go live from June 2022, as well as further deployments in Europe in 2022. Together, Yara and Westernacher have built a modern, long-term platform for all yard operations within the production sites, allowing for future process automation to increase overall supply chain efficiency for Yara.
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