When companies actively work together along the supply chain, there can be more opportunities and positive outcomes for all of them—we call this "supply chain sustainability".
This case study features two companies in the chemical industry, Qenos and Toll, who have worked in collaboration to eliminate a shared health and safety risk. By working together, they are now work more effectively and efficiently “and the final outcome gave us an increase in payload”.
Who is this presentation for?
This presentation is for business leaders and work health and safety professionals who want to create high performance workplaces.
About the presenter
The Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) is the national body representing companies in the Australian chemistry industry. PACIA is a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and is grateful to ACCI for their nomination to present as part of the virtual seminar series.
Refer to PACIA for further information.
Australian Chemistry Industry
Driving work health and safety leadership and supply chain collaboration
Samantha Read, CEO, PACIA
Samantha Read: Hello. I'm Samantha Read, CEO of PACIA. PACIA is the peak body representing Australia's chemicals and plastics industry. We work to help create a dynamic, globally-competitive and highly valued chemistry industry in Australia. Because chemistry is all around us, embedded in so many everyday products, it can be easy to underestimate just how vital it is to Australia's economy and our quality of life.
In fact, the Australian chemistry industry is Australia's second largest manufacturing sector. This $40 billion industry contributes $11.6 billion to Australia's GDP and employs more than 60,000 people in highly skilled jobs.
The industry is a critical enabler, supplying inputs to 109 of Australia's 111 industries. This means that growth and innovation in the chemicals and plastics industry, has a multiplier effect in creating jobs and investment in supply chains across Australia.
This is an important role and the industry is proactive in driving business and sustainability leadership to ensure it can continue to make this significant contribution.
PACIA led the development of the strategic industry roadmap which documents the key actions required for a thriving Australian chemicals and plastics industry. This includes the fundamentals of maintaining our social license to operate and supporting a skilled and productive workforce.
PACIA provides tools, knowledge and research to enable leadership. We deliver programs such as the Sustainability Leadership Framework and Responsible Care as well as targeted business support programs. Importantly, over the last 10 years PACIA has also been driving improvement in health and safety outcomes. PACIA's Health and Safety Performance Report is a unique long-term initiative of our industry which reports performance against the National OH&S Strategy.
In 2013 we released the final report against the national targets. The report shows that the industry surpassed the 2012 target, reducing workplace injuries by more than 40%. This is an outstanding result and I commend all participating members.
The report also provides examples of excellence in health and safety management practices and cultural improvements implemented by companies in the industry. We believe sharing these stories is a critical factor in driving continuous improvement. Each participating company is also provided with the PACIA Health and Safety Benchmarking Report. This is a valuable business tool which allows companies to review the benchmarking data, see how their performance compares with industry peers and drive internal engagement around new health and safety initiatives.
We are now reporting against the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy. Through the report, we will continue to demonstrate leadership and support the positive health and safety culture that exists in the industry, addressing the key action areas of the Australian Strategy.
One of the key actions is improving health and safety throughout supply chains. We are very pleased to share a case study from our 8 Step Guide to Supply Chain Page 2 of 4
Sustainability which demonstrates how working collaboratively with supply chain partners can deliver mutual business benefits as well as improvements in health and safety.
This is especially important to us, being central to so many supply chains. PACIA highly values collaboration and building partnerships is one of our strengths. So please come and talk to us about your business, project or initiative and get involved in driving leadership in the chemicals and plastics industry.
Narrator: Every company represents one part of a supply chain. The whole chain includes manufacturers, suppliers, customers and service providers that play a part in making and delivering their product or service to market. When companies actively work together along the chain, the greater the opportunities and positive outcomes for each of those companies. This is what we call "supply chain sustainability". It can help reduce costs, deliver improvements in areas such as resource efficiency and health and safety, and create market advantage.
PACIA is pleased to bring you a practical and interactive tool, the 8 Step Guide to Supply Chain Sustainability which helps companies collaborate along the supply chain. Companies can use the 8 Step Guide to work on any area of sustainability, including environmental performance, financial impacts and social elements such as health and safety.
The following case study features polymer manufacturer Qenos and logistics provider Toll who have worked together following the 8 Step Guide process to improve the sustainability of their supply chain by eliminating a significant health and safety risk.
Rod Coughlin: Qenos and Toll have a long-term relationship. Toll is our logistics provider with Qenos product both for storage and distribution within Australia and for export.
Howard Haysom: Toll operate two facilities - one in Laverton, one in Botany which is in Sydney, and those facilities are dedicated almost 100% to the Qenos activity.
Rod Coughlin: Toll and Qenos have a strong working relationship, both at the operational and management level, and we have regular reviews of our operation and our improvement activities between the two partners.
Howard Haysom: Toll Intermodal and Qenos have been working together for over 25 years. There's never any hesitation when we've got an issue that we need to resolve.
Narrator: When a sales forecast review showed a significant peak in export demand, Qenos and Toll identified an increased health and safety risk in the manual handling of Qenos's product.
Murray Grieves: The project came about as a direct result of us wanting to eliminate 25kg bag manual handling from our export process.
Dexter Ireland: Qenos came to us and said that they were going to increase their volumes and we saw that there was a risk in manual handling in doing so. So we had to come up with a solution to try and reduce that manual handling task.
Howard Haysom: There's a strong relationship between health and safety and sustainability in the supply chain. We've got to make sure that we not only remain efficient and effective, but we've got to stay in business. If we're hurting people, people won't want to work here. If we're hurting people, our customers won't want to stay with us. Page 3 of 4
Murray Grieves: The decision was made jointly by Toll and Qenos Logistics that we didn't want to take the risk.
Narrator: Although Qenos and Toll have now switched to bulk deliveries for most domestic customers, 25kg palletised bags are still used for overseas exports. The problem was due to the pallet footprint, bags of product had to be manually stacked to maximise the payload per container.
Dexter Ireland: Initially we used to hand stack 630 bags. Then we went to a second stage where we stacked 14 tonne, but we still had 70 bags where we had to manually hand stack and that was still a problem.
Howard Haysom: Twenty-five kilo bags are not only heavy, but they're awkward because of the size of them, because of their bulk. So, the key components of that are lifting while you're twisting. So if you're loading a container full of 25 kilo bags, there's a lot of that activity.
Howard Haysom: We sat down and brainstormed. We talked about the risks and how we could engineer them out of the process.
Narrator: Qenos and Toll have always collaborated closely on health and safety issues, and working together on this supply chain sustainability project was an easy progression.
Murray Grieves: Toll and Qenos, especially Toll and Qenos Logistics, have a very good relationship. The meetings were very open and we were both working to the same goal.
Howard Haysom: Sustainability requires collaboration in the supply chain because sometimes we just can't solve these problems on our own.
Dexter Ireland: Toll places a very high value on health and safety. Our main aim here is to make sure that every worker goes home safely.
Murray Grieves: An injury at Toll is an injury at Qenos. If there's an injury on their site we record it, they record it. It becomes part of our figures. We steer with them. We help them put their safety plans into process for the year. It's a very close relationship.
Narrator: Qenos and Toll agreed that they would work to increase the container payload by trialling different bag sizes. There were difficulties in arriving at one solution for all products because they varied in bulk density. Different polyethylene products had to be tested in different bag sizes.
Murray Grieves: We actually made the hard decision and cut our payloads back to eliminate the manual handling and the project went from there.
Murray Grieves: There was extra wharf costs, extra freight costs, extra costs in dunnage to fill the void in the containers left by the manual handled bags not being there, but the focus was on eliminating the risk that the manual handling posed.
Dexter Ireland: We had to basically do a trial and error process. We had to run some bags and then basically measure them and see if they'd fit in the container. If the bags were too long, we had too much overhang and if they were too short, we wouldn't fit them into the container. They would hit the roof, so we had to do a bit of guesswork in the end and come up with an optimum size. Page 4 of 4
Narrator: The problem with changing the bag sizes was a mathematical one. As a result of the trials, a recommendation was made based on different bag sizes for different products, ensuring they could still be stacked evenly on each pallet.
Murray Grieves: Lengthening of the bag by I think, 60 to 80 mills, which gave us a flatter bag, that enabled us to put an extra layer of 25 kilo bags on the pallet and a bigger footprint for the container that customers were aligned with us on trying to drive safety performance and to eliminate the manual handling. The solution would flow onto them and they wouldn't have to manual handle the bags out of the container at the other end. So, hopefully they could see it was a win-win for everybody.
Narrator: Although the solution introduced a level of complexity in the packaging process, Qenos and Toll agreed it was necessary to achieve the outcome.
Dexter Ireland: By allowing us to lengthen the bag we got a bigger footprint. As you can see here, there's a 60 mill differential and this enabled us to get a flatter pack. That enabled us then to fill the container to its maximum, giving us an extra two tonne in the container.
Narrator: Qenos and Toll have not only improved health and safety but have achieved supply chain sustainability.
Murray Grieves: To get the outcome where we actually increased our payload and got rid of the manual handling was just a win-win. Not only do we save money by exporting an extra 250 kilos per container, we also save the money we would have lost if we remained at 14 tonne.
Dexter Ireland: By using the mechanical aid and eliminating manual handling, we've definitely improved our productivity.
Howard Haysom: We're now using our labour more effectively, more efficiently and the final outcome gave us an increase in payload from the starting position.
Rod Coughlin: The work we've done with Toll in this example really sets a platform for how we can address safety issues and delivery right through the supply chain in that regard - right to our end customers.
Narrator: Qenos and Toll continue to work together on other areas of supply chain sustainability.
Howard Haysom: Sustainability is important in supply chain. We're challenged all the time to find smarter ways of doing things in terms of how we operate our facilities, how we use electricity for instance, the type of trucks that we purchase, the technologies in those trucks, teaching our drivers how to drive smarter so they're using less fuel.
Rod Coughlin: PACIA's 8 Step Guide to Supply Chain Sustainability really sets us a framework to improve our distribution and operation in a safe but also, cost effective way.
Narrator: If you think your supply chain could become more sustainable, you can download PACIA's interactive 8 Step Guide here.
[End of Transcript]