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Just-in-time or express deliveries define the day-to-day business of logistics in automotive spare parts and require reliable logistics partners, such as EF Logistik GmbH, a subsidiary of the Emil Frey Group. The company operates from twelve sites in Germany to supply car dealers and garages with spare parts. To optimise route planning and coordinate the processes between warehouses and road more effectively, EF Logistik chose the new transport management system (TMS) from EPG (the Ehrhardt + Partner Group). It can be purchased separately and used autonomously alongside other suite products. Integration into the Warehouse Management System (WMS) is no longer necessary. "We want to modernise our existing TMS extensively and focus more on trade and retail. We didn't have these features, until now", says EPG product manager Steffen Thron. The TMS is supported by the newly developed mobile app, which can be connected with ease and acts as the mobile interface between the dispatcher and the contracted forwarder. EF Logistik in Kassel is the first customer to test, develop and optimise the new TMS. After the pilot phase, it is scheduled to go live in August.
Across their 105,00 square foot site, EF Logistik GmbH in Kassel processes 600 orders each day and makes deliveries to up to 500 customers with 21 routes. These include dealers that need spare parts for repairs very urgently, as well as wholesalers who buy items for storage. Returns are also a key feature that must be included in route planning. The supply chains are complex, as they often involve consignments of small items that have to be delivered under time pressure. Routes, volumes and customers are constantly changing as well. "This requires intelligent route planning, which has to be faster and more agile than our current system. We approached EPG with these requirements", says Andreas Wuttke, Head of Decentralised Warehouse Logistics Germany at EF Logistik GmbH.
TMS offers greater transparency and a higher standard of quality
The new route management system gives the logistics service provider greater transparency, a significantly higher standard of quality and superior reliability. "What is important for us in this pilot phase is to be able to develop a transport management system with EPG that grows with us and meets the complex requirements of the Emil Frey Group specifically", says Wuttke. Elmar Ziegle, project manager at EF Logistik, adds that: "We were also very impressed by EPG's cloud-based solution".
Mobile app supports new transport management system
The newly developed app is the mobile interface to the Supply Chain Execution Suite and easily connects to the transport management system, doing away with paper checklists for the transport service provider. Taking into account all parameters, such as severe weather, traffic jams and road closures, it also navigates the driver to customers without any loss of time. "The most important thing for us at this point is to document the transfer of goods properly", says Ziegle. The new app as a mobile workflow task system now allows EF Logistik to digitalise all its work and documentation processes, increasing accuracy, while saving costs at the same time. Just as is the case for the new TMS, the mobile app will not stop evolving when it is launched in August. The app will continue to grow and be adapted to meet the specific requirements of EF Logistik GmbH. "Returns and pick-up orders are important areas that will be integrated into the app", says Ziegle. Thinking one step further, EPG product manager Thron states, “It is also possible to integrate other tools such as the Lydia® Voice smart voice assistant, so orders and checklists can be processed using intuitive voice control".