Story | 08/02/2018 10:51:21

Full-hearted customer service

”The starting point for a reliable delivery is the capable sales person who sells the right product for the right place and a sales assistant team who takes care of it that the order will be put correctly into the systems”, says transportation assistant Mari Leppänen from the Seikku sawmill.

UPM Timber has crystallised its customer promise in the words “Grown to Sustain”. Reliable deliveries play a remarkable role in fulfilling the customer promise. Delivery reliability is often regarded as a logistics matter but delivery reliability requires seamless cooperation in the entire supply chain from forests to customers.

“We cooperate closely and openly throughout the entire production process from the log sorting to the dispatch department. Every one of us has the role of an internal quality controller when it comes to our own work. We all need to secure that the sawn timber that we produce is of high quality and exactly what has been ordered”, says Hanna Kotivuori who works as a production foreman and is responsible for the dispatch operations at the Korkeakoski sawmill.

Vuokko Piippolainen’s most important job as a log sorter is to remove the crocks from the load and keep the machinery clean. “I remove all the crocks, i.e. the crooked, the wrong tree species, the insect defects and the blue stained logs. To ensure quality, it is important that we carefully monitor that wrong quality sawn timber does not end up in the production stage,” stresses Vuokko.

The process will be completed in the dispatch department where, together with the sales assistant team, they monitor that deliveries are on time. In addition to own personnel, UPM Timber also needs good and reliable partners such as transportation companies, forklift suppliers and maintenance.

UPM Timber’s delivery reliability over 95%

”Last year we started to systematically measure our delivery reliability. This has further increased the number of timely deliveries with over 95% of the volume currently leaving our sawmills as promised”, comments Erkki Pietikäinen, Manager, Logistics of UPM Timber.

“Monitoring enables us to dig deeper into the reasons for the delays. This in turn gives us better chances to anticipate the delays and to avoid them in future.”

“Currently we monitor the deliveries from sawmills. However, in 2018 the plan is to develop indicators to measure the arrival time to customers which is naturally the most important issue to measure”, Erkki concludes.

Good feedback from customers

Customers are mainly very satisfied with UPM Timber’s delivery reliability. Some non-European customers have even wondered how it is possible that the deliveries are always on time and exactly what has been ordered.

“Reliable deliveries are very important for our customers as well as for us as a supplier. Deliveries are most crucial for those customers that manufacture their own products made of our sawn timber, and deliver the finished goods to their customers,” says Kevin Guthrie, who is responsible for UPM Timber’s shipping in the UK market.

”We have stocks at Tilbury and Hull, and we are able to offer 48 hour deliveries thanks to our close relationship with our haulage provider. We aim to be our customers’ first choice as a reliable partner, going the extra mile to fulfil their requirements,” Kevin concludes.

Read more:

Long-term co-operation between UPM and Steveco supports sawn timber deliveries