- American President Line: APL Sailing to Cost Reduction
How to improve process and reduce cost in the face of overcapacity and rising competition.
When APL (American President Lines), one of the top global container transportation companies, found itself fighting the two-headed sea monster of overcapacity and rising competition they realized that they had exhausted their ideas on how to improve processes and reduce costs.
“We got to the point where we had hit the wall…” says Bill Hamlin, President and CEO of APL’s Americas region.
Clearly, this global shipping line, which served more than 25,000 locations in 140 countries, needed a new rudder. So they turned to us.
Synecticsworld immediately recognized that the best source of novel ideas and revenue-driving new processes lay close at hand – APL’s employees! Working to harness that pool of ideas and experience, Synecticsworld designed and facilitated sessions for a wide cross-section of APL’s employees, including Material Handlers, Clerks, Maintenance Assistants, System Analysts and Department Managers. Synecticsworld was just the propeller, it was the employees of American President Lines (APL) who steered the company to safety.
Newly empowered and enthusiastic, APL’s employees dove into the task. Most of the ideas that flowed from the group addressed streamlining operations, although many focused on product improvements, cost reductions, asset management and revenue. In all, APL’s own employees generated dozens of ideas. But that wasn’t the end of our job. Synecticsworld is committed to sustainable organizational transformation so we also trained APL employees in our methodologies, thus ensuring the sustainability of the company’s rejuvenated flow of ideas and revenue.
To date, APL estimates that the ideas generated by the Synecticsworld-led initiative have generated more than $46 million in cost reductions, increased revenue and improved asset management. Does that come as a surprise? Not according to Hamil, who knows very well that
“If you create an environment where people don’t feel threatened by bring up an idea, you start to tap into a talent ‘oil well’ of creativity that all companies have.” Bill Hamlin, President and CEO of APL’s Americas region.
APL’s employees + Synecticsworld = another success story for the ship captain’s logbook.
APL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, a global transportation and logistics company engaged in shipping and related businesses. APL provides customers around the world with container transportation services through a network combining high-quality intermodal operations with state-of-the-art information technology. For more information see www.apl.com