Dinges Logistics uses Soloplan’s transport management system CarLo to plan and calculate tours for more than 100 tractor units. Information on all transactions is provided to the dispatchers on four screens.
A driver’s true desires: Those who understand them have one of the most important keys to rapid growth in the transport industry. A good example is the logistics provider Dinges Logistics. In the past two years, the company has tripled its fleet, which now consists of more than 100 tractor units. One of their secrets of success is the fact that the company founder Ingo Dinges used to be behind the wheel himself and that he knows the everyday life of a professional driver from his own experience. The same holds true for the executives of the medium-sized company. For example, the forwarding manager Rainer Wagner also worked as a driver for many years before he assumed his current role.
In 2017, the rapid development of the company, which specialises in the chemical industry and tank containers, made it necessary to introduce a modern transport management system (TMS) for planning and calculation. What followed was a multi-stage election process, at the end of which Soloplan and their TMS CarLo prevailed over two other providers.
“Multi-screen planning made easy!”
By the time the solution was introduced in May 2017, the dispatchers were still using paper and Excel lists for their daily planning tasks. Nowadays, this would be unimaginable. Each of the seven dispatchers at the company headquarters in Grünstadt works with four large screens that provide information on all new, planned, loaded and delivered orders. Planning takes place only via drag & drop across the individual screens.
While the first screen displays all messages sent between drivers and dispatchers as well as the available equipment, the second screen shows all of yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s loads. The graphic resource usage plan, which includes a timeline, can be found on the third screen, whereas the details of individual orders are available on the fourth screen. On which screens the individual content is displayed can of course be changed and extended as desired.
“Traffic light system – Ready, set, plan!”
An interface to the Trimble telematics solution used by Dinges allows the dispatchers, for example, to display the current locations of all trucks. CarLo then automatically compares these locations with the planned delivery dates. At the same time, the system checks whether sticking to the planned arrival times at the respective destinations is still possible. If any delays are to be expected, CarLo issues an automatic warning. Delayed orders are highlighted in red in the overview mask. Orders that are highlighted in green and yellow are on schedule. In this way, dispatchers can see at a glance to which driver they need to pay special attention. “Soloplan’s traffic light system has proven itself as it provides a quick overview,” explains Wagner.
Speaking of drivers: CarLo sends orders for drivers directly to the telematics devices installed in the vehicles. Transmission errors are now a thing of the past.
Once the driver confirms the receipt of the order, truck navigation starts automatically. Data on the current location is transmitted to CarLo permanently. At the touch of a button, the driver can enter the various consignment statuses, which are also returned to CarLo and then displayed to the dispatchers. “In this way, we have been able to reduce order-related phone calls with our drivers to a minimum. Now, we can focus on more important things.”
“Time and money saver!”
At Dinges, not only the seven dispatchers but also five employees responsible for calculation and two employees of the HR department use CarLo. The latter benefit, above all, from the automation of expense reports, which are created based on position and time data received from the telematics solution. “CarLo turns all the information into accurate expense reports that can be used for both national and international purposes and are also accepted by tax offices,” explains Wagner.
The automation of the invoicing process offers even greater advantages: The telematics solution transfers loading and unloading times, consignment weights required for calculation as well as delivery receipts to CarLo where all of this information is supplemented with the remaining order data. Thus, the invoicing process can be started with just one click, which not only saves time but also optimises the cash flow. “In the past, we had to call every single one of our drivers to obtain the necessary information as soon as possible,” says Wagner.
“Plenty of untapped potential!”
At present, manual effort is required only when consignments are entered. However, the company already receives as much as 60 percent of the approximately 150 daily orders electronically. Several major customers already use the Web-based logistics platform AXIT to connect to CarLo. In view of all this, Ingo Dinges is very satisfied with the new software: “We are really happy that we have decided to work with CarLo and that we have found a competent partner in Soloplan that will still be able to support us in thirty years’ time,” explains Dinges.
Rainer Wagner does not want to think that far ahead. As a forwarding manager, he prefers to concentrate on further improving processes in the near future. “We probably use only around 70 percent of the possibilities that the powerful CarLo tool offers,” says Wagner. To tap the full potential, the company wants to continue to work together with Soloplan in order to take further steps towards end-to-end digitisation.
We will gladly demonstrate to you the advantages of CarLo and CarLo inTOUCH at the IAA Hanover at our stand B60, hall 25, in Hanover. Convince yourself of our logistics software and register today for a consultation appointment at www.soloplan.com/trade-fair-meeting.