Paper maker ArjoWiggins Chartham is saving on average one container per month and one working day each week as a result of new load planning software – MaxLoad Pro.
The company has about five containers and six lorries leaving the factory each week and previously used a manual method for planning loads.
Mill planner Paul Weatherall, said: “One of our employees would manually work out whether customer orders would fit in a container. These methods included the use of coins to represent reels and templates drawn on paper to show the container size.
The process was taking about one and a half days each week to complete due to the complexity of the loads and the fact it could only be performed by an experienced member of staff with previous loading knowledge. We just didn’t have this amount of time to waste”.
“We knew we had to find some software that automated our load process and created efficiencies for us and our customers”.
After trials of different software products, ArjoWiggins opted for MaxLoad Pro software from AutoLogic Systems
Weatherall said: “MaxLoad Pro was the only software that catered for the reels and sheets of paper that we export. Others only offered cubes. The support we received from AutoLogic Systems to get the most out of the software and overcome any concerns we had also made us feel assured it was the right software for us. They have also engineered an interface to work with our current shop floor system which saves time when importing new products and orders”.
“On average we are saving one container each month, which as any manufacturer will know, can be thousands of pounds. Also by eliminating partial loads on lorries we estimate additional savings of around £1,000 each month.
“Our customers are also making significant savings because the number of containers has also been reduced. We are now proactive in helping them maximise their orders by informing them how many items they are able to fit into each load as opposed to just saying ‘yes, we can fit that order in’. We supply them with 3D print outs of their orders so if any exceed a load they can see why and amend their order accordingly. This has worked in our favour on more than one occasion due to the customer ordering more than they did originally to maximise the load and reduce the cost.
“On top of this, the load planning process now only takes half a day and so we have saved one whole day each week in man hours”.