Tuesday 25th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

The disciplined route

Enterprise Transport Management provides a full cycle solution, from orders-to-cash, which has been linked into the customers’ SAP system. The solution offers a central repository of information that provides consistency and clarity of information. Key operational reports are generated automatically, reducing the risk of errors.

A graphics-based planning tool offers the planner speed and ease of use while mirroring the functions of the traffic office. “The implementation for S&N has provided much improved visibility of information which has greatly reduced phone calls between us, given the customer more confidence in the information produced, and has strengthened the partnership between our two companies,” says Ewan McGregor, business unit director at Kuehne & Nagel.

Another benefit of the system is the automation of the order process. The SAP system is updated every fifteen minutes with valuable order information and the next development of the project will see a real-time link between the transport management and SAP systems. “Not only are there now less errors, but productivity has been significantly improved leading to better efficiencies across the network,” says McGregor.

The solution provides a slicker planning operation. In practice, the planners can run the plan, check its efficiency then re-run it to further improve efficiency; evidenced by planners who previously finished between 7pm and 8pm now finishing between 4.30pm and 5.00pm. “The real-time visibility of resources, combined with more efficient planning, has lead to improvements in utilisation particularly in the areas of inter-depot trunking and reduced empty running,” says McGregor.

Furthermore, there is customer-wide visibility of the total plan rather than just a depot view. This enables planners from different depots to work together to improve the service to the customer. Planned versus actual information is produced in a timely way, providing better control enabling plans to be reviewed and changed from the actual information produced.

The solution, because it is logically process driven, instils a discipline into the users that drives best practice. A further benefit has been recognised in the improved ability to manage sub-contractors from a control, and cost, point of view. “The key to success has been the timely key performance information which can be extracted from the system,” says McGregor.