Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Accenture building digital logistics for Syngenta

William Payne
January 19, 2017



Swiss agribusiness firm Syngenta has worked with Chicago based Accenture to build a new digital logistics operating model across all transportation modes, including sea and air freight globally and road freight in North America and Europe. The new digital logistics model is designed to allow Syngenta to manage increasingly complex logistics networks and operations more effectively and with lower costs and higher service performance.

Accenture Strategy together with Syngenta Global Logistics has designed a “4PL” global operating model. This features a network of control towers coordinating regional and global transport orchestrated by external fourth-party logistics providers (4PL). These providers manage all transportation activities on Syngenta’s behalf, leveraging their detailed logistics expertise and regional market knowledge.

“In the current business environment, dominated by disruption, organisations need an operating model strategy that can totally transform how they deliver value to customers and shareholders,” said Bernd Kreutzer, managing director, chemicals and natural resources, Accenture Strategy. “Taking advantage of an expanded ecosystem to bring in capabilities from partners, and employing a combination of cloud and analytics technologies to enable data-driven decisions in real-time, will help Syngenta drive innovation, efficiency and competitive advantage.”

The new digital logistics model is designed to allow greater visibility through dashboards, connected through a hybrid cloud. This aims to provide Syngenta with accurate, timely information about its logistics operations, with the aim of improving business insights, transport planning and delivery performance for its customers.

“This new solution allows us to capitalise on external expertise that is outside our core business, bringing agility, global scale, and simplification to our global logistics program,” said Marion Matthewman, Head of Global Logistics at Syngenta. “This will facilitate quick reactions to changing market conditions and enable future growth. In the process, it will reduce transport costs, contribute to our targets for carbon footprint reductions and help create a stronger customer experience.”

The model is built on a cloud-based supply chain collaboration platform, provided by GT Nexus. This network connects Syngenta’s Enterprise Resource Planning Systems with its external logistics partners, holds all relevant data worldwide in a secure shared environment, and enables data exchange and analysis. Syngenta will maintain the key logistics knowledge and data ownership for monitoring and governing these providers.

“Our collaboration with Syngenta to combine local expertise and centralised control brings the company one step closer towards having a world-class logistics organisation,” said Matthias Hégelé, managing director for Resources at Accenture in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. “The consolidated global data allows for greater application of analytics to help Syngenta achieve business insights for efficiencies and cost savings.”

The global implementation across Syngenta’s two business units follows a successful pilot in North America and Europe in October 2015.