BSH Group, manufacturer of domestic equipment, has strongly improved its transportation tendering and planning processes. Increased transparency, due to better data accuracy, has led to both cost savings and a reduction of the administration workload. The number of errors, as a result of human handling, is reduced as well. The project has been rolled out in several countries worldwide, which made it an interesting challenge for both BSH and Transporeon.
A solid company growth since the mid-1970s led to a complex international transport network with lots of carriers. The creation of tenders, keeping them up to date and processing them was time-consuming and required a lot of manual effort. Logistics contracts, freight rates and transport data were saved on several locations, which obviously didn't provide the right overview. So, things had to be changed and that's why BSH Group selected Transporeon for the implementation of several modules of its online transport platform which is developed to streamline transport related logistic processes and communication between industrial companies, trading companies, carriers, drivers and consignees.
Optimised tender processes
The first step in the worldwide optimisation project was the implementation of Ticontract, the tendering platform of the Transporeon group. It has been in use since 2005 for tendering road and rail transports throughout Europe and the US, and it is also used for setting up tendering processes of global freight contracts to Asia, Australia, Latin America and Africa. All this is done web-based. The Ticontract-solutions help in standardising processes, for example by offering templates for tendering. Once created, they can be used over and over again and offers can be compared in a standardised way. In addition, the history of the tender processes is visible, so transparency is created.
Besides this, BSH Group also rolled out Ticontract's Rate Management, which has been chosen as the preferred module to store all freight rates into a central database. The module provides an overview of current freight rates, the related validity and the corresponding tariffs. In addition the module has an archive function as rates of the past are stored. Ticontract makes sure that the BSH Group is able to manage all global freight in a centralised and transparent way. The interface between the Rate Management module and the ERP system of the BSH Group has made a switch possible in invoicing. While previously manufacturers advised the carriers directly, today they inform BSH and BSH advises the carriers. BSH now has all shipment data in their ERP-system and via interface receives the calculated freight costs from Ticontract rate management. This speeds up invoice clarification significantly.
Reduced workload by electronically allocating transport orders
The insight into all transport related activities has grown significantly, while the workload has been strongly reduced. One of the main drivers of this reduction is the change in assigning the transport orders. Previously this was done manually. The BSH Group checked the availability of freight forwarders by telephone and transferred the order by email. This process was very time consuming and error prone.
Therefore, BSH implemented the Transporeon platform for transport. The no-touch order module, is automating the transport assignment process, based on the contracts with trucking companies from Ticontract. When BSH users create a transport order in the ERP system the automatic carrier allocation module assigns this transport based on defined criteria such as transport lane or vehicle type. The transport allocation process is based on selected, predefined quota, as agreed upon in the contract. Previously, the BSH users were always confirming all details by email and telephone. Transparency is increased, because BSH-staff now can see which carrier currently has the transport order.
Capacity planning with time slot management
One of the benefits, as a result of the implementation of the Transporeon platform, was the link between the transport orders and time slot bookings for loading and unloading. Time Slot Management allows trucking companies to book a free time slot directly out of the transport order, and once carriers have booked their free time slot, the loading crew knows the arrival time of the truck in advance. Another advantage is the transparency on the carrier side, which allows them to manage slot booking without consulting BSH-staff.
Evaluation of KPI's and harmonisation of existing systems
IT-wise a lot has changed since the global use of one common system within the company. The original configurations have been completely replaced, standards were defined and site-specific features are implemented. These important changes have resulted into one harmonised system that demands of its users to follow stringent processes, it allows the evaluation of uniform KPIs and synergy effects. These are needed when international roll-out projects take place or when new interfaces are introduced. Measuring actual performance was difficult previously as e.g. transport order acceptance level of the carriers needed to be maintained manually. Important information which could help improving logistics processes was missing and the quality measurement of freight forwarders did not cover all aspects of the supply chain.
Therefore the final step in the implementation process was the roll-out of the reporting tool. BSH Group adopted the solution as soon as it was available because it directly provides access to the data from the transport orders and information on the time slot management. Users can execute detailed analysis, for example on punctuality of freight forwarders, waiting times and loading and unloading times. This information is now easily available and can be used to enhance quality competitions or as a decision help in bidding processes.
All these changes have improved the efficiency of BSH Group and their brands around the world. To name a few, the main brands are Bosch and Siemens. In addition, there are several other brands such as Gaggenau, Neff and Junker, that are focusing on fulfilling special customer demands. The company portfolio contains a few very strong regional brands as well, such as Balay in Spain, Pitsos in Greece and Profilo in Turkey. The product portfolio is diverse and manufactured all over the globe and offers all kind of domestic equipment. It ranges from stoves, ovens and dishwashers to dryers, refrigerators and freezers. But there are also small home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, coffee vending machines and hairdryers to be found in the portfolio.
Thorsten Schlette, corporate logistics/process management at the BSH Group, concluded: "A big advantage of freight transport assignment via no‐touch order is that it saves our dispatch staff a huge amount of time. In addition, time slot management creates transparency, both internally and externally. The flexibility of Transporeon allows us to also find goal‐oriented solutions for very specific processes. We therefore want to build on our good working relationships and further develop the Transporeon modules together."