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Shorter standing times for lorries at the freight terminal and significantly less administrative effort? At its site in Valencia (Spain), the logistics service provider Discana S.L. has rapidly introduced and use the DOCK dock management system from the Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG) to optimise its entire process for incoming and outgoing transport at its logistics centre. Combined with the LFS warehouse management system, Discana is also managing the material flow end-to-end for its customers from a single system. Networking LFS and DOCK has allowed the logistics service provider to benefit from continuous and transparent processes.
At its Valencia site, Discana handles all the logistics for customers from the beverage industry, with Heineken among them. The range of services includes loading/unloading, picking and packing goods. Discana also takes care of returns and empties, as well as managing cancellations. The goods are stored in customs status. Full pallets or crates are picked, depending on the order. A range of value-added services, such as sorting empties and customer-specific packaging, are also provided, as a comprehensive portfolio of services that requires good organisation and perfect interaction between all the parties in the supply chain.
Everything from one source
The aim of introducing a software solution was to optimise the interaction between the processes in the warehouse and management of lorries at the freight terminal. The company also wanted the system to accurately represent the details of the process. Discana found out that EPG – as a partner with its range of solutions and Supply Chain Execution System (SES) – covers both requirements at once. The LFS warehouse management system responds precisely to the challenges facing the logistics service provider, while also having the necessary industry-specific functions to handle beverage crates and pallets, accept empties, manage returns and deliver value-added services in the beverage sector. The project also introduced shipping standards for value-added services. This means that the picker already knows in advance the customer's packaging requirements for ordered goods. Picking is then completed precisely according to those specifications, e.g. on a mono reference pallet, a block pallet, a plastic pallet or with shrink film. This increases quality, while significantly reducing picking times, and new employees and seasonal workers can be trained quickly.
A further bonus is that EPG also provides dock management, making the previous challenges of managing incoming and outgoing traffic at Discana's logistics centre much more efficient.
Reducing warehouse cycle times
"We really wanted to significantly reduce the administrative effort for our logistics," says Borja Segura, General Manager at Discana. "Dock management has done that for us, because all communication with the our lorry drivers runs exclusively through the system. For example, we have been able to digitalise the entire time slot management system via the web portal. On average, we now count up to 130 deliveries and collections per day". The Arrival Board allows everyone involved to see exactly which order has to be ready for collection and when. Gate Scheduling automates the gate scheduling process, significantly shortening the retrieval routes in the warehouse and the cycles times. Self-Check-in allows lorry drivers to plan their routes, log in independently at the warehouse site and see all the information about their orders at once. Warehouse employees can access the current status of the order at any time.
Dionisio Parralejo of Discana sums it all up: "By networking with LFS and DOCK, we are benefiting from precisely coordinated intralogistics and transport management processes. We have significantly shortened routes in the warehouse and the right goods are always ready for collection at the right time at the right loading gate. The solutions from EPG also give us a dashboard we can use to analyse our productivity, lorry idle times, current bin occupancy and potential bottlenecks at any time. So, we have more flexibility than ever before".