Planning – Definition
In economics, it is the task of planning to allocate the factors of production (labour, operating resources, materials and capital) to the operational processes. As a result, it can be found in almost all operational functions: procurement, production, human resources, finances, sales, administration, research/development and logistics. In general, it is the allocation and monitoring of services, tasks and goods.
What is planning in logistics?
In the transport and logistics sector, planning includes production, the flow of materials, transport, order picking, stock placement and removal, loading and unloading, as well as incoming and outgoing goods. In terms of a transport management system, planning involves the allocation of transport orders to times, vehicles and drivers–or in other words, the allocation of transport goods to means of transport. In addition, there are other processes related to planning, such as traffic calculations (height controls, traffic jams, etc.), customs clearance or the driving times of drivers. The concept of planning plays a central role in logistics companies such as forwarding companies, transport companies and the loading industry.
Why is it important?
Planning is the organisational basis for everyday logistics, because it provides an overview of resources and transport capacities that have already been planned and those that are still available. Good planning results in fewer shipping delays, a reduction of empty kilometres and, consequently, an increase in customer satisfaction and efficiency. It is therefore a matter of planning consignments and transports as economically as possible and keeping to schedules as much as possible. However, as there are numerous uncertain factors in road transport, good planning and scheduling is all the more important. The supply chain often consists of several involved companies and sound planning forms the connection between the individual links in the supply chain.
Sales: Here, for example, one can plan which employees approach which new customers.
Human resources: Here, for example, it is necessary to plan how many staff members must work a night shift in order to ensure timely production.
Finance department: Here, for example, one can plan how much capital will be used for the company’s vehicle fleet in the following year.
Research and development department: Here, for example, it is necessary to plan on which product how many new materials are to be tested in order to improve this product.
What is done in planning (logistics)?
The employee who carries out the planning is called a dispatcher and ensures that goods and commodities are transported from A to B. The dispatcher’s job is to decide how, when and with which resources the order can be handled at minimum cost and time and in compliance with traffic regulations. Planning can be implemented in Excel and PDF using templates and rules, or supported by software.
Software such as the transport management system CarLo from Soloplan can support and relieve employees in the area of planning through AI (artificial intelligence) and automation in day-to-day business. Using a map display, tours can be clearly planned via drag & drop.