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Emil Frey optimises route planning and process management with solutions from EPG ONE™ Supply Chain Execution Suite

Just-in-time and express deliveries are everyday challenges in automotive spare  parts logistics. Reliable partners such as EF Logistik GmbH, an Emil Frey Group company, play a critical role in this respect. EF Logistik supplies car workshops and showrooms across Germany with spare parts from twelve locations. Assisted by digital process management, a customized route plan optimises the logistics processes across different item types, including those with short delivery times and high order volumes, thus ensuring efficient handling in the hub and punctual deliveries.

Efficient just-in-time deliveries thanks to intellignet logistics

With the aim of optimising route planning and designing the processes between warehouses and on the road more efficiently, EF Logistik decided to implement the EPG (Ehrhardt Partner Group) transportation management system Greenplan Execution back in summer 2021. Specifically adapted to the logistics service provider’s needs, the route planning system is enhanced by the multi-award-winning route planning algorithm Greenplan Engine. The EPG ONE app acts as a mobile interface between the dispatcher and the contracted carrier. It not only offers a digital solution for workflow design and process documentation but also provides automatic proof of delivery and intuitive driver assistance.

Software support for a complex route plan

Stuttgart-based EF Logistik GmbH handles more than 1,000 orders daily at its Kassel warehouse location spread over 10,000 square metres, serving up to 500 customers with a large number of different routes. These customers comprise car workshops which urgently require spare parts for repairs and wholesalers which need to replenish their warehouse stocks. Integrating returns in route planning also forms an increasingly important part of daily work. This leads to complex supply chains with strict schedules, which pose a real challenge for carriers and dispatchers, especially as distances, volumes and customer requirements are continually changing.

Greenplan Execution provides the automotive retailer with the best possible support for planning these daily routes thanks to its dynamic route planning. Dispatchers are able to define optimal route calculations themselves using weighted factors, such as available vehicles, routes and customer specifications. Road-specific traffic flow speeds dependent on the time of day are taken into account in conjunction with the multi-award-winning Greenplan Engine routing algorithm. Alessandro Fabris, Logistics Project Manager at Emil Frey, explains: “Introducing the Greenplan Execution all-inclusive solution has brought numerous advantages for our route planning, particularly with regard to transparency, reliability and compliance with quality standards. The system was specially designed for our express delivery service and specific enhancements are undergoing development. The transfer function allows goods to be loaded into other vehicles en route and this in particular will enable us to map out distribution to customers more effectively.”

Smart workflow design and meticulous documentation

The EPG ONE app assists the spare parts expert’s drivers and dispatchers extensively in handling the risk of incorrect deliveries, the increasing complexity of deliveries and the strict requirements for process documentation. The mobile app helps drivers with handling processes on site and offers dynamic, adjustable workflows. The direct feedback for the dispatchers concerned enhances operative transparency while also allowing flexible adjustment to route planning. “When the EPG ONE app was introduced, flawless documentation for goods handover was a priority,” explains Patrick Nierentz, Product Manager at EPG. “Here, the EPG ONE app provides high-performance support for carriers and drivers. Each movement is automatically documented and it is significantly easier to provide proof that the order is fulfilled from the departure check through to the delivery note thanks to our proof-of-delivery functions. Digital checklists in the driver app also help with full inspections of transported goods. Any damage or difficulties with the delivery can bedocumented on the spot.”

The systematic on-tour support and digitalisation of processes led to a large number of optimisation fields: “The biggest cost savings since the app’s introduction have been achieved in complaints,” summarises Fabris. “The increased quality and transparency that the EPG ONE app offers has helped to minimise complaints due to reasons such as incorrect deliveries. Documentation recording the handover of goods also benefits from the significantly streamlined communication channels. All information is available in real time in the hub. This provides a sense of security for EF Logistik, the carriers and the customers.”

Both the employees and the drivers are impressed by how simple this system is to handle. The Greenplan all-inclusive solution and the EPG ONE app have ensured an increase in the quality of deliveries and allowed processes in the Complaints Department to be designed more effectively.