For more than 20 years, the company INFORM in Aachen has been developing intelligent planning and optimization software. The software solution SyncroTESS has been specifically developed for the logistics sector. The system helps to optimize and synchronize the entire transport logistics in real time as well as strategic planning for future days.
Efficient logistics is of particular importance in the building material business. Transport costs and service quality are the decisive factors when it comes to the delivery of concrete, bulk materials, asphalt, cement etc. Suppliers of building materials have to always find the best possible way of adjusting their vehicle fleet according to customer orders and short-term changes or cancellations of orders. Traffic jams, absences of drivers or breakdowns of vehicles have also to be taken into account and to lead to an immediate rescheduling. SyncroTESS Road offers both real-time planning supported by effective optimization heuristics, as advance planning for the next days. Thus, an improvement in delivery performance together with a reduction of costs is achieved.
With SyncroTESS, a company can always find the appropriate balance between maximum service quality (high grade of punctuality by using many vehicles) and minimum costs (using as few vehicles as possible at the expense of punctuality).
The orders are taken in the customer's CRM or ERP system and are then transferred to SyncroTESS via an interface, where the planning and dispatching is done.
For a quick overview of the orders and the scheduled vehicles the optimized order schedule is put into graphs with VARCHART XGantt ActiveX. At a glance, the plan shows the trucks, their loading capacity and shift times, the depots they are heading for and the orders they are delivering. The colors of the bars show the current state: planned orders are green, getting blue when they are in process (i.e. loading and delivery), and finally getting grey when they have been delivered. Other characteristics strike the eye at once: breaks and empty runs are displayed in different shades of pink, cancellations in brown and a red bar shows when the opening hours of depots, building sites etc. can't be adhered to because of delays. Every delay is illustrated by a colored circle, the color showing the grade of delay (from yellow via orange to red).
The system continuously reschedules the order processing. Every 30 to 90 seconds, the planner receives a new transport plan that taking into account unforeseeable events such as traffic related delays, ad-hoc orders received at short notice or unplanned changes to orders. Manual changes and assignments per drag and drop can be carried out by the dispatcher at any time.
SyncroTESS supports the planning of FTL as well as of LTL. If LTL is displayed, the compact single-row display (including an indicator for combined loading) can be expanded for a detailed view.
Based on the order book, the optimized delivery schedule for the following days is calculated. The planners can analyze and prioritize existing orders as well as those that are "to be expected". At the same time they complete the data on the availability of the driver and vehicles for the following days. In the evening, the drivers receive the schedule for the next day.
An additional histogram shows the trucks' next day's work load, allowing the dispatcher to possibly save trucks or adjust a possible overload by ordering more trucks.
"Due to the clear and intuitive presentation of data, VARCHART XGantt has come to be an indispensable element of SyncroTESS Road. Moreover, the great flexibility and configurability allow fast and simple enhancements concerning colors, annotations or additional symbols."(Thomas Bergmans, Head of Road Solutions)
Apart from the described application, SyncroTESS is used for the optimization of intrafactory and interfactory transport, seaports and inland ports, Cargo and Regional Distribution Centres, transport of patients and goods in hospitals, transports in commerce as well as passive transport resources (including refillable containers and tank wagons).