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Supplier Management

Transparent and Flexible - Dock/Door Appointment Scheduling of Tomorrow

Robert Ibisch

Punctuality is a virtue - and a matter of individual interpretation. While a ten-minute delay is considered non-binding by some, for others the "academic quarter of an hour" is no cause for displeasure even outside university circles. In logistics, however, things are different: Correct timing and strict adherence to deadlines have become massively more important in recent years. Often, calculations are no longer made to the hour, but to the minute - time slots that are not taken up are forfeited, and high costs are incurred for downtimes. Where requirements grow, companies must come up with all the more dynamic and innovative logistics solutions. One example of this is the slot management of the Process-as-a-Service platform myleo / dsc. 

If you take a close look at the slot management of different companies, you will search in vain for a standardized solution. Many companies make do with Excel spreadsheets or handwritten records. Spreadsheets and paper-based planning offer a lot of potential for error, processes are often no longer traceable in retrospect, and analog systems are often unable to cope with increasing workloads.

The auction platform has also discovered that it is no longer enough to simply manage appointments and announce arrival times. Every year, the company sells items in over 65,000 auctions, sourced from over 300 international manufacturers and suppliers. Accurate delivery date forecasts are therefore essential to gain an overview of the overall process and to be able to plan better. Until now, delivery dates were managed at the docks of the logistics centers using simple digital calendars. In the past, supply management was carried out in a time-consuming manner by e-mail, fax or telephone. Moreover, this form of notification took up a lot of time and effort. As a teleshopping retailer, also has to ensure that the goods are available in the warehouse before broadcast, otherwise there will be delays in delivery to the end customers. In short: a new solution was needed.

Optimal resource utilization and flexibility

Information from the existing SCM solution was mirrored and processed in myleo / dsc. By using the supply platform and the slot management of the cloud solution, the suppliers now notify the (partial) orders independently. For, all process steps are thus traceable in real time, which ensures increased transparency and additional planning security. This is an advantage for all parties involved in the process: forwarders benefit from short downtimes and on-time processing, while's customers can look forward to short delivery times and prompt receipt of their goods.

Safer, faster, more accurate: modern slot management has only advantages
  • Real-time communication with drivers and freight forwarders
  • Reduction of throughput times thanks to precisely timed handling operations
  • Minimization of idle and waiting times thanks to precisely notified arrival times
  • Avoidance of workload peaks thanks to management of doors, ramps and loading equipment
  • Improved operational safety on the site thanks to fewer traffic jams
Planning instead of estimating

Short-term effects of modern slot management are particularly noticeable directly at the loading ramp; shorter waiting times and less chaos in front of or on the site are often recognizable as quick successes. However, slot management is also helpful for longer-term planning, as can be seen in the example of Dr. Wolff Group.

Before the introduction of myleo / dsc, the workload was difficult to calculate - there was simply a lack of transparency regarding concrete arrival times of suppliers. As a result, the workload for the next few days was difficult to predict and long waiting times at the loading point were not uncommon.

With the slot management of myleo / dsc, the duration of the required time slot is now calculated based on the delivery quantity and communicated to the freight forwarder. This not only simplifies the processes on the part of Dr. Wolff, but also improves the planning reliability of the forwarding companies in the long term - capacity utilization is thus already known in advance and action can be taken accordingly. The occupancy planning of the loading docks can now be individually adapted to the expected workload - the risk of stress or underload of the employees is thus minimized.

In the end, everyone should consider the question: Is poor slot management the only weakness in my supply chain? After all, problems that become apparent at the loading dock or in a traffic jam outside the site are often just the tip of the iceberg. Usually, the problems are more multi-layered. Often, other (sub)processes in the supply chain are not sufficiently digitalized and transparent. Therefore, it makes sense to take a look at the big picture. Are KPIs aligned? Are processes standardized? Have you checked your supply chain for resilience?

Asking the right questions at the right time is the first step to achieving sustainable process improvement. Feel free to contact us - and we will provide you with the right answers.

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