Great common denominator
Bocholt, January 25, 2020
Digitization: Boll Logistik controls the mobile order management in local and long-distance traffic as well as in warehouse handling with the TISLOG solution and saves several interfaces.
As few interfaces as possible: When digitizing your own processes, this request is usually the top priority. This also applies to the multimodal logistics service provider Boll Logistik, which is involved in local and long-distance transport, among other things. Due to the different requirements, the dispatchers work here with two separate transport management systems. While CALtms is used in local transport, long-distance tours have been organized by Soloplan with CarLo since July 2019. To optimize inventory turnover, Boll also uses the CargoVIS video surveillance solution from DIVIS.
The various installations are connected by the TISLOG telematics system from TIS, which has been supporting mobile order management as well as fleet and damage management since 2011. The decisive factor at that time was the decision of the general cargo network Unitrans to use TISLOG as a data hub for all partner forwarding agencies. The main partner of the cooperation is DHL Freight, which makes it one of the largest users and reference customers of TISLOG. "As a founding member of Unitrans (see below), we spoke in favor of TIS at the time, because in addition to the actual solution, we were also impressed by the provider with its medium-sized structures and short decision-making processes," recalls the managing partner Ulrich Boll.
When the 100 mobile scanners used in local transport had to be replaced with new models in 2019, the choice fell again on TIS. "The TISLOG mobile Enterprise software now runs on the new Zebra TC75x Android scanners," reports Thomas Schwarz from Boll IT Service. The operation of the new devices is based on conventional smartphones, which minimized the training required for the 130 local drivers. "For some drivers, half an hour of instruction was enough," recalls Schwarz, who has established four key users at Boll as the first point of contact for technical questions of the drivers.
Boll replaced the Windows CE-based predecessor software PSV3 and the now eight-year-old handhelds of the Zebra MC95 type. The change was made noticeably easier by well-thought-out project management and the TISLOG MDM mobile device management offered by TIS. The solution enables the efficient and centralized management of all mobile telematics devices used and is an integral part of the TISLOG software family. "The personal support from TIS and our contact person Mike Ahlmann was excellent at all times," emphasizes Schwarz.
Three photos per damage
During the morning loading, the drivers work on the digital loading lists, which are sent directly from CALtms to the handhelds. An emulation solution installed on the devices ensures that the data is readable even without CAL software. Only after the planned shipments have actually been loaded onto the trucks in question are the data transferred to TISLOG mobile in order to generate the delivery run sheet. "In this way, we can also redistribute consignments during loading if, for example, they no longer fit on the originally intended truck," explains Schwarz.
Regardless of this, the driver can also start the TISLOG intra application at any time during loading, for example to document a damage on a shipment. The software specifies that three photos are taken of each damage. In addition to the actual damage, the shipping label and the entire shipment must be photographed. The photos assigned to the shipment number are then automatically archived and sent to the claims department.
"The procedure was quickly accepted by our drivers, because the simple process means that they can be relieved immediately if damage occurs," reports Schwarz. One of the special features of the damage app is the interface to the video surveillance solution from DIVIS: Each driver handheld was equipped with an RFID tag that activates the camera assigned to the corresponding hall section when scanning or taking pictures. This means that it can be quickly verified afterwards whether the damage has occurred at the Boll facility or has already occurred at the shipping agent's location.
Fortunately, while the damage app only rarely needs to be activated, the other functions always take action: As soon as the delivery run sheets have been transferred to the handhelds, TISLOG mobile guides the driver safely through the process. The software installed on the handhelds shows the driver every single step from pallet handling to the customer's signature. The same applies to pick-up orders arriving during the day. When assigning them to the appropriate driver, dispatchers benefit from the GPS location function integrated in the handhelds, which makes every truck visible on a digital map on the monitor. "Without using the phone, dispatchers immediately know which driver is the best choice for the pickup in question," emphasizes Schwarz.
If it is determined on site that the pickup is three instead of the two notified pallets, the driver can use his handheld to make the changes himself and transfer the new data to the control center. The actual data for further dispatching of the shipment is available there immediately. The GPS locating has the further effect that customer inquiries about certain consignments can be answered quickly without asking the driver.
TISLOG mobile has also been used in long-distance transport since July 2019. Boll had recently introduced the CarLo transport management system, to which there is also a proven interface. Instead of handhelds, the drivers were equipped with tablets on which the current tour data can be called up. They also serve as a message center and navigation system.
The fleet solution is supplemented by the TISPLUS telematicbox Truck installed in the trucks. Depending on requirements, the box provides comprehensive telematics data for dispatching and fleet management. The robust hardware is equipped with a powerful GPS receiver and its own SIM card. At Boll, the box is connected to the truck's CAN bus and digital tachograph via an FMS interface. "This means that our dispatchers are reliably provided with the current driving, working and rest times," reports Schwarz. The processing and analysis of the speedometer data is carried out permanently via the TISLOG office portal. The data from the scanners also flow in here and are automatically transferred from there to the forwarding software CAL or CarLo.
Conclusion: With TISLOG, Boll has a flexible telematics solution that can be integrated as a common denominator in the areas of local and long-distance transport as well as video-based damage management.
Unitrans Deutschland Gesellschaft für Terminverkehre mbH was founded in 1989 as a cooperation between medium-sized family businesses and one of the world's largest logistics groups, DHL Freight, and focuses on both the national and international general cargo area. Georg Boll GmbH & Co., based in Meppen, is one of the founding members of this network, which comprises a total of six shareholders and 35 franchisees. With more than 35 locations in Germany and numerous cooperation partnerships in other European countries, Unitrans has been offering a comprehensive transport service for three decades.
Background: Boll Logistik
Boll Logistik, registered as Georg Boll GmbH & Co. KG, is a multimodal logistics service provider based in Meppen and two other locations in Herzlake and Schüttorf. As a partner of various cooperations such as Unitrans and Elvis, the Emsland-based company has access to international logistics networks and offers solutions for all types of shipments, from parcels to overseas containers.
Boll employs 500 people who, with around 650 customers, generate annual sales of around EUR 40 million. In addition to warehouse management, the most important pillars include local and long-distance transport, for which the company operates its own fleet of 150 trucks. There are also around 50 vehicles from subcontractors. Boll Logistik thus transports an average of 3,000 consignments per day, or 450,000 tons per year.
The history of the owner-managed family company dates back to 1863. More information at www.boll-spedition.de.
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