When it comes to efficiency in transport and logistics companies, route optimisation is of decisive importance. This is because the organisation of journeys has a direct impact on the utilisation of the vehicle fleet and employees. But it is not only cost savings that can be optimised. Gustav Barth GmbH, for example, uses the route planning system from gts systems and consulting in combination with the telematics solution CarCube from Trimble to not only reduce the number of journeys, but also to improve employee satisfaction and customer service.
"In the past, overtime was part of everyday life in our scheduling department. Today, this is only the case in exceptional situations," says Andreas Votteler, Managing Director of Gustav Barth GmbH. The company with its headquarters in Renningen, Swabia, and five other branches in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony supplies craftsmen with metal goods and tools. The 35 company-owned trucks usually drive directly to a construction site or warehouse for this purpose. The route management programme that the company had been using until now still worked with a "rubbish collection function" as standard. According to this, an unloading point always had to be on the right, even if this meant that a significant diversions had to be accepted. Therefore, despite the existing route planning software, dispatching was done manually.
On average one tour less per day
Votteler began researching an alternative route planning system in 2018. At the same time, he was also looking for a new telematics solution to digitise the delivery process as well. After looking at various offers and testing some of them, he finally decided on the route planning system from gts and the telematics solution CarCube from Trimble. "The introduction has already paid off after a short time. Today, with a higher workload, we have one tour less per day on average and we have been able to reduce the time for planning considerably," explains Votteler.
Advantages for dispatching and drivers
The route suggestions are determined fully automatically. First, the order data from the ERP system is forwarded to the route planning solution from gts. This then calculates the fastest, most cost-effective and efficient route. In the process, a multitude of different parameters such as possible unloading time windows, vehicle and warehouse capacities are taken into account. If deviations occur, for example due to traffic jams or last-minute route changes, these are included in the ongoing planning. The main beneficiary of the automation is the scheduling department, which is noticeably relieved as a result. For Gustav Barth's drivers, the introduction of the CarCube telematics solution is particularly beneficial. The on-board computers replace the smartphones and separate monitors for the reversing camera that were previously used. "The drivers think it's great. They now only need one device and can be navigated to their destination simply by pressing a button or use the integrated telephone function in case of queries," says Votteler.
More service for customers
However, the improvements for dispatching and drivers are only one aspect of the changeover. Gustav Barth's customers will soon also benefit from the interaction between the route planning system and the telematics solution. In the future, they will receive a notification with the estimated time of arrival (ETA) as soon as the truck with their delivery leaves in the morning and a second message as soon as the customer is approached directly. In this way, the craftsmen will be able to better plan their next work steps. The information is automatically sent from the CarCube on-board computer to the gts route planning system, which then sends the message in the form of an e-mail.
Exemplary project realisation
The two companies involved in the project realisation, gts and Trimble, draw a positive balance. "The cooperation with Trimble has worked very well. The level of satisfaction is just as high today as it was three years ago," says Sascha Egener, Head of Partner Account at gts. And his sales colleague Dirk Tost adds: "The solution for Gustav Barth shows what is already feasible today. We also see it as a model for future projects and would be happy if we could deepen the cooperation even further." Lutz Siegert, Country Manager Germany at Trimble, also sees enormous potential: "The demands on transport and logistics companies will continue to increase in the future. Modern route planning, like the one we implemented at Gustav Barth, offers everyone involved the chance to benefit from the advantages of digitalisation today."