Logistics — страница 3

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to customs compliance liability, and eliminating many manual processes.” Visibility into movement The goal, of course, is visibility in all areas of logistics. “Customers are demanding visibility into the status of their orders—when it's going to ship and when it leaves the door—they want a copy of the bill of lading and the packing list, and they want to go onto the Internet and click on a parcel number to know immediately what the status of the shipment is. This is all standard in a visibility solution,” says Ken Lewis, President and CEO of Provia. The warehouse manager wants to know if a problem is beginning to brew before being blind sided. Interestingly, logistics is probably one problem where throwing technology at it is good. “Just outsourcing the physical

processes of logistics is not going to give you the huge hits in logistics savings,” says Veneziale. “To move shipments and do it right, you've got to share [huge amounts of] logistics information with the right players at the right time, let certain players execute on that information, allow other players just to view that information, and let other players set up the business rules. “Till now, what was always lacking was the technology and automated workflows to bring that information to the players so they could all do the right thing—and the same thing. Companies did it with people in the past because they didn't have the technology to do it. Today the technology exists.” Information systems in logistics Automatic vehicle location (AVL) archiving systems bring a

variety of benefits to companies that operate trucking fleets. Businesses with other types of vehicles like buses, couriers, ambulances and many others benefit as well. AVL or “GPS” systems are among the most cost-effective, service and compliance enhancing investments companies can make. To derive maximum value from an AVL system it is advisable to identify the vendor with the best overall combination of leading-edge technology, price and fleet management expertise. While it may seem obvious, the ultimate purchase decision should be based not on price alone but value delivered. If it is determined that two vendors offer similar capabilities that deliver approximately the same value, emphasis can then shift to price making for an easier purchase decision. Executives with

responsibility for purchasing an AVL system should be confident they are selecting the vendor most capable of solving their particular needs. However functionality and cost vary considerably one vendor to another. An automated DOT driver logbook is a good example of functionality offered by relatively few vendors. Know which questions to ask and how precisely your company will benefit. Involve the right departments in the evaluation process. Besides executive management, appropriate personnel representing financial control, operations and safety and information technology should participate in the selection process. A determination needs to be made whether passive or real-time tracking makes sense for your company. A sensible approach for many first-time AVL buyers is to install

a passive system that can be inexpensively upgraded to a real-time system. If a passive system is purchased without a convertibility feature, the investment will be lost if the decision to go real-time is made. GATCO Technologies is one of a few companies with a passive system that can be upgraded to real-time (they also provide an automated DOT driver logbook). Qualcomm’s system has a DOT driver logbook too. What key benefits do real-time interactive AVL systems bring? Today, demanding customers almost expect to know where their carriers’ vehicles are throughout the course of delivery. Savvy fleet operators exploit real-timing tracking by granting their customers access to the delivery status of their vehicles. This unburdens fleet personnel from having to track down the

status of vehicles in transit so the morale and productivity of fleet operators is improved and customers are placated. Some companies like to monitor the mechanical performance and security of their vehicles in transit. Emergency alerts indicate malfunctioning refrigeration units, lock tampering and other applications that vary by operation. A comprehensive AVL system includes panic button functionality for 911 emergencies. An interactive system is necessary for fleets that utilize dynamic optimization-based vehicle routing and scheduling systems for managing complex trucking operations. Sophisticated decision support tools of this kind optimize assignment of vehicles and outstanding orders in real time taking into account vehicle locations, committed orders, vehicle