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Environmental and economic concerns force businesses to address supply chain inefficiencies


Fuel prices, interest rates, carbon footprints and long, complex supply chains are all playing a part in a new trend that is seeing more companies than ever turn their attention to supply chain inefficiencies. This trend is highlighted by supply chain experts Barloworld Optimus, who today announced impressive sales for the last quarter of 2006 as businesses realise the major benefits that can be achieved through effective supply chain planning and management.

Barloworld Optimus has blown apart its new business sales targets, recording the highest number of new deals closed in a single quarter during its 20 year history. The period (Sep06-Dec06) saw a 70% rise in closed deals in comparison to the same period last year. Significantly, there was also a notable increase in the number of small and medium sized firms looking to improve the efficiencies of their supply chains.

“A major factor in our record sales has been the realisation by organisations that simplistic approaches to a complex problem are not good enough any more. Efficient and effective supply chains create significant competitor advantage and more and more organisations are looking to improve the way they plan their supply chains,” comments Kevin Boake, Group Sales and Marketing Director of Barloworld Optimus.

According to Boake, this realisation has come about as a result of a number of economic and environmental factors that have added complexity to the supply chain.

Contributing factors include increases in global sourcing and inventory holding cost. Add this to the rising fuel prices and ’what was efficient last year is not efficient today’ and companies need to be able to react quickly and effectively to these changes or risk losing a lot of money.

An additional factor that is raising its head in a greener world is that companies also need to find ways of reducing the carbon emissions attributable to their organisations. Corporate Social Responsibility is a growing USP of businesses of all sizes and it is possible that in the future, organisations may use carbon footprints sizes as selection criteria when choosing corporate partners. A company with a very dedicated Social Responsibility strategy could think twice about associating itself with one that does not have it on their agenda at all.

The result of these changes has, and continues to be, a rapid market growth for supply chain planning tools which both simplifies the supply chain and helps optimize the many costs associated with a complex supply chain. The Barloworld Optimus product range addresses these factors. Its solutions cover both the high-end strategic consulting elements of supply chain planning, through to the day-to- day replenishment within an existing supply chain.

“In addition to outside factors, it is important to note that Barloworld Optimus has made considerable internal investment in resources and a dedicated workforce to ensure we offer a world class solution that drives value to our customers,” explains Boake. “What’s more, the recent integration of our network modelling and inventory optimization solutions has ensured that we can offer complete solutions to assist companies strategically and operationally within the majority of industries.”


Barloworld gained new clients across an impressive spectrum of industries, including Automotive, Aerospace, Trade Merchants, Healthcare, Retail and Consumer Products. Deals Secured in Q4 2006 include:

•Compania de Cervezas Nacionales C.A.
(Gruppo Bavaria – Ecuador)
•Continental Tyres Europe
•The Khalifa Juma Al Nabooda Group of Companies
•Backus y Johnston S.A.A (Gruppo Bavaria – Peru
•Findel Education
•HAVI Food Services (China)
•Martens Kunststoffen BV
•McDonalds Australia
•BAT Malaysia
•Coca-Cola GmbH
•Nokia India
•Civil & Marine
•COSCO (China)
•Office Depot Europe
•NHS Supply Chain
•Bunzl Retail Supplies
•Healthy Direct UK
•Mereway Kitchens
•Freddy Hirsch

About Barloworld Optimus
Part of Barloworld PLC, a multinational corporation with 25,000 employees and a turnover of $6.2 billion, Barloworld Optimus was formed over 20 years ago to optimise supply chains. The company now has more than 600 clients across the globe and boasts an impressive track record for success. Barloworld Optimus has offices in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific as well as a global network of Agents and Partners. For additional information, please refer to our website:

Our Software
Our specialised network modelling software CAST allows customers to design and configure the optimal supply chain infrastructure while Optimiza delivers the optimal inventory deployment strategy. Together, our software solutions offer huge depth in functionality backed up by robust implementation and a proven track record in delivering strong ROI. The combined approach is exceptionally powerful, allowing you to unlock maximum value from your supply chain strategy.

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