Covering all bases- transport management

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With Transwide solutions, the Paul Hartmann Group strives towards excellence in the way it manages its inbound and inter-company logistics in Europe.

A showcase for the 'zero defect' logistics strategy applied by a world-leading supplier of disposable medical devices, the Paul Hartmann platform at Belleville-sur-Saône in France opened in 2010 and chose to use Transwide transport management and planning solutions to optimise all of its arrivals from factories, suppliers and dealers.

Operational needs

The warehouse covers 48,000m² divided into 8 specialised units, and boasts 54 doors. It is at the cutting edge of logistics technology, with the "Pick to belt" system and automated preparation, and every day it has to manage the arrival and unloading of more than 30 vehicles. As Fabrice Mast, Paul Hartmann France's logistics project manager, explained: "With this volume, it was crucial for us to have a centralised, accurate overview of arrivals in order to make sure everything runs smoothly, to optimise carriers' schedules and guarantee unloading in under an hour."

To enhance its profile, reliability and operational efficiency, Paul Hartmann was looking for a software solution which could digitise and automate all aspects of inbound transport management for its French platform. To guarantee centralised information and ensure a comprehensive overview, it was vital for the TMS to interface in real time with the SAP ERP, which is listing carriers and creating transport orders. On top of this was the simplicity and flexibility of using the solution, which had to integrate a new carrier in under 48 hours, and be totally accessible to that carrier online.

"From the very beginning, we wanted every carrier or supplier, from the smallest to the biggest, to be able to embrace the planning solution in just a few minutes, without any extra material costs," Mast pointed out. Which is why they chose a SaaS-based product, which only needs Internet access, and Transwide solutions, which fulfilled all their industry-specific and technological requirements.

Another deciding factor in the choice of Transwide TMS solution was a survey of Paul Hartmann's 30 carriers, which highlighted the benefits of a free, user-friendly planning portal, already used by many of them.

"Drawing on their leadership of the market, which our carriers and suppliers confirmed, Transwide had a similar corporate culture to ours, where close relationships with clients and customer service is a priority," continued Mast.

The right choice

The Transwide solution chosen incorporates three modules: twCall-Off - dedicated to electronic communication of transport orders - twSlot, designed to manage carriers' schedules online. Operational in less than two months, the Transwide solution was fully integrated into the logistics processes when the new platform opened. "A small project within a major project, the launch of our automated logistics platform, the roll-out of Transwide solutions to our carriers and suppliers happened quickly, almost intuitively," clarified Mast, with a smile. "Transwide is a modular SaaS-based software platform that has already been tried and tested on the ground by shippers and carriers, and in no time at all has become an essential tool in our approach to optimising arrivals."

Improvement in efficiency and productivity

An integral part of Paul Hartmann France's upstream supply chain, Transwide's TMS solutions now manage 100 per cent of arrivals from factories, suppliers and dealers by road. As well as the fact that all low added value administrative tasks have been disposed of, it gives Paul Hartmann France a relevant, comprehensive overview of its actual traffic, so that it can anticipate and optimise the management of arrivals, in perfect harmony with the SAP ERP. Depending on the volume of supplies needed on a particular day, SAP prepares 20 or even 30 transport orders the previous day, which are automatically passed on to the carriers involved via twCall-Off.

These carriers log onto the web portal to schedule their day via twSlot according to the time slots available or requested (morning, afternoon, or specific time), and/or specific delivery requirements (designated building or bay). Once the carrier is onsite and the pallets have been scanned, the transport order is closed and the purchase order created in SAP, so the pre-invoicing process can be managed in real time. As well as this, the Transwide system manages dealers' remainders by offering the option to schedule deliveries for carriers not listed by Paul Hartmann.

The Transwide modules have met the demands of the French platform perfectly, by harmonising and facilitating arrivals. To such an extent that Paul Hartmann no longer has any penalties for failing to fulfil unloading deadlines. Mast added: "The schedule planning managed by Transwide is incredibly accurate. There are zero defects in terms of shortages or congestion."

With a view to taking the optimisation and management of arrivals even further using performance indicators, Paul Hartmann France has decided to add three new modules to its Transwide TMS solution: twData, dedicated to extracting data in Excel to generate KPIs; twControl, designed to send out notification emails about any issues; and twSelect for sequential or simultaneous 'cascaded' tendering and quota management. "With a transport budget of around 23 million Euros a year, we are always having to look for options for improving productivity in this area, at the moment focusing on inbound distribution, and in the near future for client deliveries," explained Mast.

European rollout

On the strength of the results achieved in terms of operational efficiency in France, the Paul Hartmann Group now uses Transwide's TMS solutions at all of its 40 European logistics centres to optimise the management of its inter-company traffic. Fabrice Mast summed up: "We are witnessing a rise in the use of Transwide TMS solutions within the Paul Hartmann Group. Over a hundred of our employees are now using them every day."

Fabrice Mast: “With a transport budget of around 23 million Euros a year, we are always having to look for options for improving productivity in this area, at the moment focusing on inbound distribution, and in the near future for client deliveries.”

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