Gypsum transports optimized

REINERT Logistic GmbH & Co. KG, was tasked with initiating a transport optimization program for its client, Lafarge Gypsum (part of the global Lafarge Group), and ordered the advanced vehicle routing and dispatch solution ORTEC Transport and Distribution (OTD) of ORTEC, a provider of logistics software from Bremen, Germany. Reinert takes care of the complete dispatch and vehicle routing for Lafarge (Fig. 1).

Optimization in real time

ORTEC Transport and Distribution is an advanced vehicle routing and dispatch solution for almost all logistic areas (Fig. 2). Planners can use the system to automatically assign incoming transport orders to routes and then re-optimize them in real time if necessary. The software should increase vehicle loading efficiency and determine optimal delivery sequences.

Of particular importance for Reinert Logistic was the ability to interface with the company’s existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, JD Edwards Enterprise One. There was also a requirement to feed back information to Lafarge’s customer service team regarding the status of the goods to be delivered, e.g. unassigned, loaded, unloaded etc. In addition, the new software had to be able to successfully take into account various planning constraints, i.e. maximum load capacity, available cargo space, loading location and load time, priority orders, and preferred delivery methods. Finally, it was important to ensure that the system could handle additional route optimization requests in order to incorporate indirect customer orders at a later stage.

Optimization of the route planning

After configuration and testing, ORTEC created a simulation model based on the working operations at REINERT Logistic - this model was tested, approved for release and users from the central order processing department received in-depth training on how to use the system; the final phase consisted of the go-live and post-implementation support.

Since go-live, the route planning and optimization process has been following a set pattern. Firstly, Lafarge’s transport orders are manually checked by REINERT Logistic. Then, when the goods are in the loading area and ready to be dispatched, OTD is used to categorize them according to vehicle type. With the software, multiple orders can be assigned to a single route; any additional deliveries can be registered using the route number for the deliveries already planned. This data processing is done automatically. As soon as ORTEC TD has completed the route planning calculations, the data is exported back to the JD Edwards ERP system. Thanks to this integration, JD Edwards can evaluate the loads for all planned routes in order to determine if any loading capacity is not fully utilized. The loading data is then transmitted back to ORTEC TD, and the loads are automatically assigned to these routes.

Higher vehicle occupancy andsmooth implementation

Ms. Kozik, REINERT Logistic’s Distribution Manager stated: “The implementation went smoothly because ORTEC’s structured implementation methodology made it easy for all parties to see the way that the project components correlated. A couple of months after go-live we are already able to see benefits such as increased planning transparency, efficiency gains and cost savings.”

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