Container and Pallet Management

Container and pallet management achieves a cost-efficient distribution of load carriers while focusing on actual demand. By mastering this balancing act, container management makes a significant contribution to corporate success.

Overview

Pallets, loading equipment, and containers vanish. Some locations have too many, while other locations require more. Understanding the big picture can be difficult as the associated data is often located on several systems or only available on paper.

Container and pallet management are most efficient when its four core topics - demand, tracking, distribution, and transport organization - are integrated into one process. INFORM's software for container management effectively links these four areas and controls the use of loading equipment for more efficiency.

Contact

Katja Krämer

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

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Solution for container and pallet management Features

A higher level of efficiency can be achieved much faster with INFORM's container management software, which plans and executes in real-time.

  • Automated inventory balancing

    The system has an eye on all accounts. It can autonomously balance demand and available inventories to distribute the required load carriers in due time. This prevents unnecessary buffer stocks and compensating transport runs.

    Load carriers must be moved to their target locations to achieve the planned account balances; the software generates transport requests and transmits them to an external system for execution (e.g., to INFORM's transport optimization system).

  • Alerts

    Alerts make the user aware of incorrect orders, rule violations, over or under inventories, infringement of geo-fences, and defective auto-ID hardware. INFORM's agile software is able to make use of the warnings to independently balance the accounts and initiate the required transport requests automatically.

  • Forecasts

    Using historical data the software recognizes demand trends and creates forecasts that are used to balance accounts proactively.

  • Simulations

    SyncroTESS is capable of running simulations based on actual data to assist management in benchmarking "what-if" scenarios.

  • Process orientated design

    The software's design is focused specifically on container management making it easy to control the flow of containers. Wherever there is a need for action, the system makes it clearly visible.

  • Advanced analytics

    Accruing stock and movement data are stored for analysis by the software. From this data, it creates meaningful reports, with configurable filters and KPIs (e.g., inventories, inventory ranges, orders, pick-up orders, cleaning times, downtimes and transport data).

  • Tracking and tracing in real-time

    Movements of load carriers can be detected at selected points in the circuit, providing tracking and tracing in real-time. This data forms the basis for the swift planning and execution of the container usage.

  • Single source of data

    Container movement data, such as status, orders and requested pick-ups of load carriers and other relevant data are collected from the container management system and can be provided to participants. As a result, everyone benefits from the same data basis for decision making. The system uses the joint data to control the container usage in real-time autonomously.

  • Account management and cost reporting

    A current and correct overview of the container accounts is a crucial factor for container management. Based on the load carrier movement data, INFORM's software can show accounts; the balances of which correspond to the current, physical inventory. Based on demand and account data, the required container supply is continuously shown and imminent excess inventories and bottlenecks are revealed in a timely fashion.

    Pool operators can use the data to calculate user fees and inventory compensation claims promptly and equitably.

Benefits

INFORM's software for container and pallet management offers reliable supply and lower costs in container management.

  • Container loss under control

    The location of each load carrier is known to the software. This creates a continuous transparency of the circuit and container loss is significantly reduced.

  • Lower logistics costs

    Thanks to the demand-driven distribution of the load carriers, less compensation transport is required.

  • Lower operating costs

    Due to reduced throughput and downtimes, container inventories can be reduced and the containers can be used more frequently. Lower circuit inventories release capital.

  • Improved supply reliability

    The parties involved can be supplied with load carriers on time. The containers are distributed on a demand basis even with seasonal fluctuations and short-term demand peaks.

  • Faster decision making

    Meaningful reports and targeted KPIs are available in real time. Advanced analytics support the decision-making process.

  • Reduced management costs

    Automated processes replace costly, error-prone data entry and time-consuming reconciliations. The planning of the container circuit is quicker and easier.

Load carrier demand

Load carrier demand

Which participant in the container pool needs which load carriers and how many when? These questions are quickly answered with INFORM’s software, SyncroTESS.

It determines the container demand of all participating locations using:

  • Historical data,
  • Current demand reportsfrom external systems,
  • Ad-hoc bookings.

When determining requirements the system also takes into account:

  • Seasonal fluctuations,
  • Statistical exceptions.

The software offers an online overview of all accounts providing both the current and the planned future situations for all participating partners.

Tracking load carriers

Tracking load carriers

The system detects container location and status changes by using the unique identification of reusable containers with bar codes, RFID, or GPS tracking. With this tracking and tracing, the route of every load carrier can be monitored and is traceable at all times creating transparency.

Demand-orientated distribution

Demand orientated distribution

Wirtschaft, Industrie, Arbeit, Palette, Kunststoffbox, Kisten, Plastik, Transport

The system has an overview of current locations and actual demand for containers. This information, combined with INFORM’s agile optimization technology enables the software to distribute containers according to actual demand successfully.

This target distribution, as well as current and future situations, can be seen by the participating partners in an online overview. They can also manage their container accounts online.

Integrated transport organization

Integrated transport organization

How do the pallets, containers, crates, or other load carriers get to their next destination? This could be cleaning, repair or maintenance, to be filled, emptied, or for interim storage.

The transport request for the appropriate containers can be autonomously generated and forwarded by the system to INFORM’s software for truck scheduling or existing route optimization solutions for third parties. The objective is for the container to arrive on time at its destination. The load carrier’s movement data flows seamlessly back into the container management system. INFORM’s software permits a flexible, appropriate reaction to the current transport demand. The gap between demand management and transport is closed, such that the container circuit can continue running smoothly.

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