Eurocopter deploys DDS Shipper at its European plants

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By the end of 2010 the three main European production sites of the world’s leading civil and military helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter group, a division of EADS, will be equipped with publisher DDS Logistics’ software solution. The goal is to improve the traceability of all flows (import and export) related to helicopter manufacturing.

The DDS Shipper solution (transport management software solution) is at the center of a project aimed at optimizing logistic flows in Eurocopter’s supply chain. It’s been up and running since the beginning of the year. The solution, which was first rolled out at the Marignane plant (Bouches-du-Rhône, France), will be implemented by the end of the year at the group’s other two main production sites in Europe, Donauwörth (Germany) and Albacete (Spain).

The objective of this DDS Logistics solution deployment is threefold: to make information directly accessible for every line personnel involved in an import (from suppliers to plants) and export (from plants to subcontractors, suppliers and remote assembly lines) consignment, to put in place a delay warning system and to provide the personnel in charge of the transport activity with statistics that enable them to supervise more efficiently Eurocopter’s transport partners.

“We wanted to deal with our flows proactively, to better anticipate unforeseen logistic events and provide our clients with reliable information” Marignane-based industrial flow transport manager Jérôme Brechet explains. “Up until now, the information we had about our flows came primarily from our carriers” he continues.

Improving the traceability of external flows
The idea of implementing a “tracing” system for all external supply chain flows originated in 2007. Rather than choosing a custom-made solution, Eurocopter turned to one that could easily interface with SAP, the management software currently in use. This is how DDS Logistics’ SaaS mode DDS Shipper solution was adopted.

Alert-based management
DDS Shipper’s practicality and ease of use are exceptional, but what attracted Eurocopter in the first place was its “warning” feature, with which flows can be managed by means of alerts. Depending on the settings that have been selected and the emergency level, early warning messages are sent to Eurocopter users so as to ward off possible errors. “We work with four major export carriers that are interfaced with DDS Shipper. With this solution we can trace the goods that each of them transports in real time” Jérôme Brechet comments.

In addition to the “tracing” feature, Eurocopter has implemented DDS Logistics’ “Transport Analytics” module, which by providing statistics facilitates quantity and quality business monitoring by provider and by transport operation.

“Deploying this utility at our European facilities will enable us to be more responsive, to optimize the quality of our information and to control our flows from start to finish” Jérôme Bréchet concludes.

Anticipating unforeseen logistic events that may occur and monitoring all import and export industrial flows on a global scale are the challenges that Eurocopter and DDS Logistics have decided to take up.