IBM/Nedlloyd | Digital transformation en service design in supply chain management


IBM’s International Logistics Center (ILC) is a 3PL service provider operating in the EMEA market. From this role, I took the responsibility to optimize business operations in a split 50/50 role. Where IBM was the supply chain orchestrator and Nedlloyd responsible for physical execution.


Operational transparency

Accurate supply information is critical in supply chain management. And that demands transparency. Therefore, in my role as a supply & demand planner, I started to dig into database tables and experimented with queries. This eventually resulted in a Management Information System. Consequently, ILC management asked me to lead the ISO9001 certification project for my operational unit. Which was a unique opportunity to learn about the entire ILC operations and pinpoint the blank spots in our processes and procedures. This enabled us to define the necessary projects to solve these issues.

Cost reductions and increased efficiency

In parallel, I worked on creating transparency in the entire inbound and outbound supply chain. Revealing the poor performance of our suppliers, resulting in unreliable shipments to our clients. This enabled us to renegotiate Service Level Agreements with those suppliers. And enabled us to improve on the service levels vis-à-vis our clients. Another analysis I did was on inbound transportation costs, where it turned out – based on the dimensions/weight ratio – that it was possible to realize substantial inbound transportation cost reductions. So we did. And we were able to eliminate the root cause for excess expedited air shipment, implementing a ‘polluter-pays’ principle.

The end result: a stronger competitive position

In addition, I initiated and was one of the project managers for implementing projects aiming at creating increased efficiencies in outbound logistics. The result of it all was for IBM’s International Logistic Center to create a better competitive position in the market for 3PL supply chain services.


  • A ‘Management Information System’ enabling the organization to ‘manage by exception’.
  • Full transparency over the inbound supply chain, resulting in renegotiated Service Level Agreements and an increase in supply accuracy of app. 40%.
  • Structural reduction of inbound transportation costs, implementing a ‘polluter-pays’ principle of USD 10 mio/year.
  • Structural inventory reduction with app. 35% from USD 100 mio to USD 65 mio.
  • Full transparency over the outbound supply chain, enabling us to guarantee increased product delivery service levels of 35%+.
  • Full transparency in operational costs, enabling us to make well-informed harvest and divest decisions.
  • Improved competitive position in the market for 3PL logistics/supply chain management services.


  • Digital transformation
  • Service design/business process redesign
  • Business operations
  • Supply chain management
  • Customer service

Operating territory



1992 – 1995