Cemex wins Supply Chain Management Award 2018

Cemex, a global manufacturer of building materials including cement, ready-mixed concrete and mineral raw materials, won the Supply Chain Management Award 2018 at this year’s Exchainge event for its implementation of an integrated solution for the purchase-to-pay (P2P) process.

Jury member Harald Geimer (Partner at PwC Strategy&), commented: “One hallmark of the solution is how it puts the customer front and centre, adding value and bringing transparency to the ordering and supply chain process. Having a customer platform that provides information on material availability as you place your order and lets you track the delivery of cement to a construction site in real time is an outstanding innovation for the building materials industry.” Another jury member, Dr Patric Spethmann (COO of the previous year’s winner, Gries Deco Company) praised the winning supply chain solution as a “platform – designed and developed in-house as a highly collaborative, agile team effort – that revolutionizes the nature of the customer experience”.

Meanwhile, jury member Dr Petra Seebauer (Managing Director of EurExpo Messe- und Kongress-GmbH, publisher of the trade journal Logistik Heute), said: “The breadth of change that Cemex has introduced with its solution in an industry as conservative as construction is truly remarkable. The fact that digital hubs were set up here and employees were trained in Cemex universities had a significant impact on the success of the project. This underscores that systematic change management should be a core element of digital transformation.”

State-of-the-art agile methodologies

According to Cemex, which has its corporate head office in Monterrey, Mexico, this paradigm shift toward digital transformation coupled with consistent employee training has already yielded positive effects on sales and supply chain operations. Gerhard Uhl, initiator and driver of the international supply chain optimization activities at Cemex, described the supply chain as instrumental – both in the digital transformation of Cemex and in building material logistics as a whole. He commented: “Optimizing the coordination of all workflows noticeably enhances quality and slashes the process costs of all players. This is a key element of the faster, more affordable construction of the future. Our global, interdisciplinary team at Cemex achieved this using state-of-the-art agile methodologies.” Cemex fought off competition from companies including BASF and Schaeffler to secure the award. Previous winners include Gries Deco (2017), Peri (2016), Nokia Networks (2015), and GF Piping Systems (2014).

The award was presented at the 13th edition of Exchainge  – The Supply Chainers’ Community as part of the Hypermotion event platform held in Frankfurt, Germany, on 21 November. At the same event, Berlin-based digital freight forwarding company InstaFreight was honoured with the inaugural Smart Supply Chain Solution Award 2018 for its potential to transform traditional value chains. InstaFreight has developed an integrated solution that harnesses intelligent matching algorithms to help both shippers and freight companies drive down their logistics costs. Founded as a start-up in 2016, the company now has 60 employees at three locations in Germany.