Inside View

Zofingen: The Shipping ­Department Moves

The shipping department (from left): Marco Schenk, Sandra Fernandes, Lucia Pirrone, Pascale Weilenmann, Satil Adigüzel, Carmen von Burg, Susanne Bertschinger)

Barrels ready for dispatch

An organization with a global production structure such as Siegfried depends heavily on importing and exporting raw materials and intermediates. This implies that products have to arrive at the chosen location at the right time even if they have to travel around the globe. Satil Adigüzel and his team of six colleagues coordinate these routes and provide ­insight into their fascinating work. 

The Shipping department team consists of seven qualified members subordinated to Klaus Stingl. They organize the worldwide transportation of consignments from Zofingen, Minden, Malta and Nantong. Their work begins when they receive a customer order from the back office. The outbound delivery of the order triggers a retrieval request to colleagues in the warehouse. After provisioning, the shipping documents are prepared, transportation organized, the customer informed and, following the issuing of the goods, an invoice released to accounting and, thereby, generating sales. Their work includes returning product to suppliers should the ordered product not be satisfactory. 

As the shipping department represents the ultimate link in the product supply chain, it depends heavily on good cooperation with the other departments. This implies that they cooperate closely with forwarding agents and various internal departments. In terms of worldwide shipping, various modes of transport are taken into consideration to ship product, such as by air, sea or road, depending on time pressure. Documents for importation into the country of destination play a significant role as legal provisions vary widely, presenting new challenges every day. 

Internally, Shipping negotiates with various departments, such as the back office, sales, planning, Q, warehouse, finance, controlling and product management at each of the sites. Especially when product is released at short notice and the defined and confirmed date of delivery is at risk, procedures have to operate smoothly in order to satisfy customers. 

At Zofingen, the daily coordination meeting starts at 10 a.m. – it is therefore referred to as the ten o’clock meeting – when all of the involved representatives from the site‘s production meet to report on the current status of orders. This is important to coordinate the subsequent procedure, avoid idle capacities and ship consignments on time. Based on this information, Satil Adigüzel decides on the priority of preparing product for shipping. The shipping department is in daily phone or email contact with the sites in Minden and Malta to ensure that orders are dealt with smoothly. 

Ongoing processes and product shipments are recorded in SAP and the invoice released later for processing by Financial Accounting. The Shipping department’s uppermost aim is to ship product as soon as possible in order to generate sales. Satil Adigüzel summarizes the appeal of his work as follows: “A gratifying aspect of our work is to know that every click generates sales, making added value directly visible.” If processes deviate from the standard and cannot be entered into the system as usual, new approaches have to be found, keeping work interesting and varied. 

Although the Shipping team meets at regular intervals to update employees on the latest information, Satil ensures that information flows constantly, and he remains in close contact with his team. He attaches great importance to the exchange of information among his staff to ensure suitable substitution at all times. Thanks to the good mix of both long-standing and young team members, the employees can learn and benefit from each other and provide support when necessary. Satil was happy to know that the two apprentices trained by Siegfried wished to continue working for the company following completion of their apprenticeship, and that this was possible. They already know the company well as they worked in several departments during their training, and they can now benefit from their knowledge in their daily work with various interfaces.