How to keep an eye on incoming and outgoing shipments at all times
There are problems that we encounter in almost every client project. Difficulties in planning transports are actually always one of them. At peak times, trucks are backed up on or even in front of the factory premises, while at less busy times, shippers are up to their necks in traffic.
It is not uncommon to try to counteract this circumstance by optimizing handling at the door. However, the challenge and at the same time the solution is already in front of it, and is simpler than you think: efficient and effective time window planning!
The potentials of a time slot management system
In anticipation of stressful times, planning is key. With a time slot management solution like leogistics SLOT, you can allocate appointments according to your wishes and capacities. Increase planning reliability by allocating regular reservations of capacity to specific groups of process participants so that they can book part of the capacity exclusively.
In many cases, there are only a limited number of loading gates or entry quotas that must be adhered to. Limit your time slot offer to meet these restrictions. A time slot can also be determined by the availability of scarce loading equipment (pumps, lifts, etc.). In this case, it is not the door but the door and the loading equipment in combination that represents the capacity to be planned.
Do you also experience traffic jams in front of and on your plant premises? Here you will find an overview of our time slot management system.
Integration Into Upstream And Downstream Processes
The capacity of loading zones or loading columns “behind” the doors also offer potential for process improvements. Time slot management is integrated with documents from the upstream system. This is crucial for a correct overview of processes that are due for dispatch or receipt.
What other possibilities does exact slot planning offer you?
Detailed planning always requires feedback from reporting. Only through a constant target/actual comparison is it possible to make the results of planning measurable and to derive improvements.
Reassurance that the available capacity is correctly maintained at certain times can also be very helpful. Do you have too many resources on hand at certain times that could be doing other tasks during that time? Is there a regular shortfall despite planning?
Supply Chain Collaboration
The booking of time slots can save time and costs if the processes of the forwarder and the company are integrated: The time slot booking request can be sent automatically to the forwarder (for example, via EDI or e-mail). In particular, if additional information about the driver and vehicle is provided in addition to the booked time slot, this can lead to significant time savings during registration. A portal can also be set up with an overview of available gates and the option of jumping directly to the booking of time slots.
Who is allowed to change what?
In order to ensure a smooth process when booking and using time slots, rules of the game are indispensable: When may a time slot be booked and how long may it be changed?
It has proven advantageous if time slots can be changed several days in advance on the one hand, but only up to 12 or 24 hours in advance on the other. Only in this way can the shipper exploit the potential of time slot management and achieve increased planning reliability. After that, changes to the time slot are only permitted by the shipper.
User Management And Security
As soon as you integrate partners into your time slot booking process, the question of security arises. A sophisticated authorization concept must be set up to ensure that each partner only sees the information that is relevant to them.
We meet this challenge with integrated user management based on the SAP Business Partner Model.
But it is not only the unavailability of other information that should be taken into account: So-called Dark Data, which may be shared with outsiders by omitting certain information, should also be considered.
Our Conclusion: Planning Is Everything
The potential of a time window management solution can only be fully exploited if all parties involved pull together and the responsibility for the exact delivery and pickup time windows is borne equally by the forwarder, driver and client.
The possibilities offered by dovetailing processes and collaboration along the logistics chain represent an enormous potential for increasing efficiency (saving costs and time) and effectiveness (for example, in the use of resources and carrier selection).
For questions about this or other topics in the blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultants SAP Logistics