Savills Australia: crunching the numbers

Savills has implemented a new logistics management system to optimise last-mile challenges for its industrial clients

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Property agency Savills Australia has chosen Orcoda’s logistics management system (OLMS) to further support its industrial clients.

It will help interpret big data to understand demand and make supply chains more customer-centric, its supply chain director, Robert Quirk, says.

The company has chosen Orcoda’s software in order to optimise transport and distribution networks for manufacturers, distributors and third party logistics organisations.

It will provide Orcoda with an Australia-wide network connecting Savills’ clients with OLMS sales.

"With a comprehensive suite of capabilities, OLMS provides modelling, operational planning, fleet and load allocation, chain of responsibility reporting, in-field transparency and enhanced customer services," Quirk, pictured below, says.

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"OLMS brings the ultimate in planning and performance reporting to any logistics operation."

In Quirk’s view, the offering marks added value and usefulness for clients.

"Working with our clients, we look at historical versus optimised transport allocation to identify efficiency savings and find the right balance between strategy, compliance, cost and customer service," he adds.

Savills has selected OLMS software because it "meets the constraints of tailored supply chains".

"Through a comprehensive side-by-side look at historical versus optimised transport allocation, I’ve been able to identify efficiency savings and to find the right balance between strategy, location, compliance, cost and customer service.

"OLMS provides an ability to compare the costs and KPIs of alternative scenarios based on historical data, with detailed reports providing insights into potential improvements.

"It also provides the opportunity to create an integrated warehousing and distribution solution to last mile challenges."


Appointed to the new supply chain team last October, Quirk has more than 40 years’ experience in supply chain, logistics and project management.

Responsible for establishing, growing and delivering a new supply chain consulting capability within Savills Australia and New Zealand, his appointment is a strategic move for the business.

He’s one of six new members chosen for the supply chain consulting team created last September to meet client demand.

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With plans to grow the business steadily over the next five years, Savills’ focus is retaining existing clients.

"We believe that the market will continue to morph over the medium to long-term and we are well placed to assist clients as the market changes," Quirk says.

"The platform we have created, from a technology and personnel perspective will facilitate this growth and we will continue to invest in this platform.

"Our aim is, however, not to be the largest service provider in the market but to ensure we grow at a pace where quality of service is not compromised."


Designed to optimise last-mile challenges, OLMS will help identify efficiency savings.

Although he’s unable to reveal how many of his clients are in the warehousing sector, Quirk adds that their feedback about OLMS has been positive.


"The value for money and capabilities of the platform certainly surpass anything else on the market," he says.

"Working with our clients, we look at historical versus optimised transport allocation to identify efficiency savings and find the right balance between strategy, location, compliance, cost and customer service.

"We model alternative fleet configurations for actual deliveries taking into consideration vehicle capacity, the best route and transit time, service time [at origin and each destination depending on the amount of cargo and specifics of a location], delivery windows by destination, constraints by origin/destination and breaks required in accordance with chain of responsibility," he adds.

"Operationally, OLMS can replicate this on a daily basis to create, mobilise and monitor the optimised street level routing. Using an integrated planning approach across warehouse and transport planning also reduced real product handling and speeds the overall process."

The system was introduced last November, with Orcoda providing transport solutions for over 15 years.

Savills had previously used the current and previous software version of SmartTrans for both transport modelling and operations.

"It was a relatively quick decision [to take up OLMS] as there was not a tool in place at Savills for optimising transport operations," Quirk says.

"At Savills, we have the Savills NodeMaster platform built by the team at SA1 Property to compare locations for distributing centres but that did not aggregate the transport tasks operationally and allocate to a fleet."


Savills has also recently selected Opturion to support artificial intelligence (AI) for its industrial clients.

A dynamic optimisation engine, Opturion utilises AI to provide decision support for industrial clients. It will help interpret Savills’ "big data" to understand demand and make supply chains more customer centric.

"Instead of an organisation drowning in data and unable to act, AI can support leadership to fast-track action by considering the relationship of factors to speed complex decision-making and learning," Quirk says.

"By streamlining the analysis, it reduces the complexity and provides the ability to move faster in the high tempo marketplace of changing trends and customer needs.

"Examples include quickly reverse engineering from outcomes to relevant inputs so we learn to seek only those relevant inputs that count.

"[And] applications including predictive analytics for more accurate forecasting such as optimising employee rostering, dynamic transport optimisation, production scheduling and warehouse layout optimisation."

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Opturion managing direction Alan Dormer says the relationship with Savills will further leverage the use of Opturion to match supply of resources to demand, allowing Savills to assist clients to tailor their supply chains to make them more efficient and effective.

"At Opturion, we allow organisations to reach their full potential by using more of their data to rapidly solve complex problems and to adapt to evolving conditions," Dormer says.

"Examples include optimising employee rostering and resourcing, dynamic transport optimisation, production scheduling, warehouse layout optimisation and more accurate demand forecasting."


According to Savills, the demand for warehouse space has dampened in Australia compared to the previous years, with a "slight increase in vacancies and slower take up of space at speculative developments".

"The slowdown is, however, relative and there remain significant transactions and demand in the market," Quirk says.

"Warehouse design and operations are increasing in sophistication. Key drivers are global competition, consolidation, automation, ecommerce, increased customer expectations and land and space constraints.

"Australian supply chains now compete with global chains in terms of customer service and cost-to-serve, multinationals benchmarks of performance across continents, and online customers choose on a daily basis to buy from Australia or overseas."

Larger players with multiple sites are consolidating into larger purpose-built sites, he adds.

"These are delivering cost reductions with overheads and shared spaces, flexibility of multi-skilled labour and other procurement opportunities associated with economies of scale.

"The above complexities have resulted in more in-depth of potential real estate solutions as part of an overall supply chain solution.

"Occupiers are taking longer to commit to transactions given the significant cost, business disruption and management time consumed in assessing potential solutions available."

Some of the challenges that occupier clients face at the moment are navigating change, design complexity and staff.

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Due to the changing market, online sales have become an accepted form of retailing, Quirk explains.

"On top of that, this has spilled over from business to consumer into business to business interactions thanks to increased customer expectations," he says.

"This means that the warehouse is becoming the store and with omnichannel the store becomes the warehouse.

"Both it and transport need to operate and interact differently with many customers in term of speed, performance and visibility. ‘Set and forget’, which may have worked, is outdated."

Finding the best location, companies need to take into account inventory will flow and the inbound and outbound transport costs, including demographics, IT and operating costs.

"Integrated design must contemplate all the enablers plus massive amounts of data in a manageable roadmap to create change."

Finding and keeping people with the right skills to manage and adapt to change is difficult but organisations need to find external support with people equipped with the right skills and tools to work alongside staff to get the right mix, he adds.

"Using OLMS brings improved understanding of the transport task by placing it in a model.

"As it contemplates and articulates how long it takes to load and service at each facility it shows how that interactions affects time and resources required," Quirk says.

"If used in an end-to-end approach, it can support collaboration across departments and companies to achieve seriously improved effectiveness and efficiency while meeting chain of responsibility."


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