Building materials logistics

Transport needs to be timely and cost-efficient since price and service quality are crucial factors in construction materials logistics. If the manufacturer, or supplier, can systematically influence this it will improve cost-effectiveness and customer retention.

Overview

Optimized loading, agile transport plans, and flexibility payoff when delivering concrete, bulk goods, asphalt, cement and palletized goods during the planning stage and on day of delivery.

During the planning stage, numerous objectives, inputs, variables and constraints must be considered: different truck characteristics, alternative production and storage locations, loading queues, "ex-works" or "Franco" orders, and frequent delivery location changes.

On the day of delivery, unpredictable events must be accounted for, such as vehicle breakdowns, traffic holdups, and ad hoc orders - none of these things should be allowed to breach service level agreements (SLAs). In this context, agile optimization and flexibility offer distinct competitive advantages.

SyncroTESS, for construction materials logistics, optimizes transport scheduling and time slot management. INFORM's software offers manufacturers, and suppliers of construction materials, the capability to have the price and service quality factors work in their favor by providing effective support in the following areas:

  • Preliminary tactical planning,
  • Availability checks,
  • Time slot management,
  • Real-time scheduling,
  • Real-time optimization.

In each case, the system uses the best optimization algorithms available for the area concerned. The system benefits from INFORM's experience gathered over 20 successful years in construction materials logistics.

Contact

Katja Krämer

Katja Krämer
Consultant
Tel: +49 (0) 2408 / 9456 - 6000 K.Kraemer@informinform-software.com

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Dirk Schlemper

Dirk Schlemper
Consultant
Tel: +49 (0) 2408 / 9456 - 6000 D.Schlemper@informinform-software.com

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Jennifer Stead

Jennifer Stead
Consultant
Tel: +49 (0) 2408 / 9456 - 6000 J.Stead@informinform-software.com

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Information Material (17)

Optimized Cement Hauling
On-Demand Webinar
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Global Cement Magazine: Faster loading pit stops
Press Review
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World Cement: Narrowing down the numbers
Press Review
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Optimizing truck productivity and haulier payment schemes
On-Demand Webinar
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International Cement Review: The race for data
Press Review
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CemWeek Magazine: From race track to road
Press Review
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Reducing truck fleet costs and gate congestion
On-Demand Webinar
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World Cement: Transport planning in the fast lane
Press Review
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International Cement Review: Streamlining Supply
Press Review
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International Cement Review: A better deal for both
Press Review
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Intelligent distribution of construction material
Customer Magazine – 2 MB (pdf)
download directly

Events (2)

February17-20
March13-15
LogiMAT 2018
Trade Fair
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Solution for construction materials logistics Features

INFORM's software for construction materials logistics effectively supports transport scheduling, from simulation and preliminary tactical planning through to delivery.

  • Availability checks during order entry

    Even as orders are entered, the system takes demand and the availability of loading slots and transport capacities into account. The plans, updated in real-time, enable schedulers to negotiate a suitable delivery time while speaking to the customer.

  • Preliminary transport capacity planning

    Based on the known availability of drivers and vehicles, as well as existing orders, the software calculates an optimized delivery plan for the following days. Planners can make changes, assign priorities to orders, and choose whether the emphasis is to be on cost efficiency or service quality.

    As soon as an order is entered, the system automatically identifies if the order needs to be broken down into partial deliveries.

  • Real-time order process management

    The optimization system continuously reschedules order processing in real-time. This enables controllers to resolve bottlenecks and discrepancies successfully and respond rapidly to unforeseeable events.

    The tracking and tracing system monitors the progress of both orders and transportation providing a real-time view of the full order process.

  • Map-based overviews

    Schedulers always have a visual overview as the software displays the latest data about vehicles and orders in real-time, clearly, on a map. They can easily make changes within the map overview by using drag and drop functionalities.

  • Automated communication

    The use of GPS telematics systems enables automated, efficient communication between drivers and the system. Pressure on the scheduler is significantly reduced.

  • Integration into IT and the web

    The software can easily be integrated into any existing IT environment and thus linked to enterprise resource planning (ERP) or warehouse management systems (WMS). Processed data can be presented in Internet portals so that they are accessible anywhere, anytime.

  • Simulations and advanced analytics

    INFORM's software for transport scheduling makes it easy to generate “what-if” scenarios. The wide range of SyncroTESS data analysis options provides informative key figures and reports, giving management a sound basis for decision making.

  • Time slot management and gate management

    When loading capacity is limited, the combination of "ex-works" and "Franco" orders is optimized by the system, both in preliminary planning and on the day of delivery.

Benefits

INFORM's agile optimization software for construction materials logistics enables compliance with service level agreements while reducing costs. It quickly brings long-term improvements to the company's balance sheet.

  • Flexibility and speed

    The system updates transport plans for current operations and subsequent days – automatically and in real-time. It takes all known information about orders and transport resources into account. As a result, users benefit from stable transport plans allowing them to respond quickly and flexibly to unforeseeable events.

  • Cost and service quality control

    When planning, and during transport operations, the user can decide whether the focus is on the transport price or service quality.

  • Deliveries on time and in full

    Deliveries that are on time and complete improve customer retention

  • Material replenishment in real-time

    Because the system is embedded in the existing IT structure and data is processed continuously, the materials required can be procured automatically and in real-time based on Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Materials Requirements Planning (MRP).

  • Transparency

    Operational workflows are transparent because of the volumes of data that the system processes, and prepares for the user. The scenario planning function quickly delivers a basis for making decisions so that future changes can be efficiently managed.

  • Cost reduction

    Optimization in assigning orders and transport resources forms the basis for increasing transport efficiency and reducing associated costs.

  • Accessible from anywhere

    Processed data can be presented in Internet portals so that they are accessible anywhere, anytime.

  • Time slot management improves loading efficiency

    The optimized time slot management system, working with the real-time yard logistics management system, enables truck waiting and throughput times to be minimized and loading resources to be used more producivtely.

Time slot management

Time slot management

In construction materials logistics, trucks arrive at loading points unsystematically. There they encounter limited resources, such as personnel, product availability (storage capacity), loading points and loading equipment. Maintaining an overview of this and making loading efficient is a key challenge.

INFORM’s Agile Optimization Software for construction materials transport optimizes loading point management, both in preliminary planning and real-time processing. When assigning time slots, and during ongoing operations, it takes into account:

  • The availability of personnel,
  • Product availability,
  • Loading technology and equipment capacity restrictions,
  • Product-related restrictions (e. g. product A may not be loaded at the same time as product B).

When loading points are used efficiently they provide for the best possible delivery capacity allowing users to benefit from:

  • Maximized real loading capacity,
  • Minimized waiting and throughput times for supplies (clinker, alternative fuels, derived fuels) and collections,
  • Bottleneck avoidance in the plant, on congested roadways, and at entrances,
  • Maximized use of available products and storage capacity.

Strengthening one's own network

Strengthening one's network

Most manufacturers of construction materials have multiple sites, such as quarries, depots, or production plants. Each site often organizes their deliveries and warehouse inventories independently of one another. Additionally, each site maintains their transport resources and product inventory to be able to meet demand, even at peak times, and to be able to offset the effects of any unforeseeable events so as to prevent customers deserting to a competitor. This traditional approach is a costly undertaking.

INFORM’s agile optimization software enables the construction material manufacturers, and suppliers, to network their locations and vehicles allowing them to exploit synergies within their network. Based on real-time data, the system optimizes and manages the use of transport resources – with the objective of maximizing vehicle utilization and minimizing delays. At the same time, the software supports a demand-based material replenishment system which responds to demand in real-time continuously optimizing transport operations within the network.

As a result, construction material manufacturers, and suppliers, work more cost-efficiently and their customers SLAs can be improved. By strengthening one’s network with SyncroTESS, the software delivers two competitive advantages in one system.

Leading optimization algorithms

Leading optimization algorithms

Experience shows that a transport plan is never entirely finished; changes are constantly required. These changes are handled very quickly with INFORM’s agile optimization software using leading optimization algorithms. As a result, the objective of reducing transport costs and improving service quality can be achieved efficiently.

In its optimization core, the software includes algorithms that lead the scientific benchmarking for solving planning tasks. These algorithms enable extremely large, complex transport planning tasks to be resolved more quickly and efficiently than ever before. Developed by INFORM, the algorithms are the result of over 20 years of experience in construction materials logistics optimization.

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