Alliance in logistics

Lexmark and Kuehne + Nagel announced last week to have entered into an agreement in which Lexmark awards Kuehne + Nagel a 10 year contract covering the integrated management of its European logistics services. At first sight this may seem like a regular contract between a manufacturer and a freight forwarder. However, when diving a bit deeper into the announcement it appears that the two companies in fact signed up for a 10 year strategic alliance, whereby the two companies will work closely together to distribute Lexmark’s products. Besides focus on the logistics side Kuehne + Nagel will also drive common objectives of reduced total cost and improvement of service levels for Lexmark.

In the design of the alliance the Alliance Control Center is the central hub consisting of a team of supply chain specialists managing the Lexmark supply chain. The Alliance Control Center is in fact the continues governance body between the two partners that not only runs runs the alliance, but also is driving improvement and innovation. Solutions to improve the service levels of Lexmark will eb tailor-made, using the services of both Kuehne + Nagel and a variety of other Third Party Logistics providers.

This announcement is a nice example of the fact that an alliance can have many shapes or forms. The value proposition contains an innovative way to increase service levels for Lexmark to the benefit of their customers while continuously improving Kuehne + Nagels’ own business processes.