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12 okt 2020

Automating planning of livestock transport boosts profitability of loads, trips and vehicles

Practice shows: AMCS Livestock Planner reduces costs per vehicle with 5% to 25%

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Livestock transport companies automating their trips can plan both more efficiently and more cost-effectively. “With this, they profit from a series of benefits”, says Jan Tønder who has many years of experience in the industry of transport planning and optimisation. “It increases the profitability of loads, trips and vehicles due to cost savings of as much as 5% to 25%. On top of hard savings, companies will profit from soft benefits like less stress for their employees, improved customer service and more streamlined communication between the planner and driver.”

Time consuming manual processes and paper trails

Even nowadays, in the age of automation, a lot of livestock transporting companies worldwide are still using manual planning processes for their transport planning, dispatch and execution. Orders are entered into the system after which the dispatchers create manual transport plans in, for instance, Excel sheets and Google Maps and print copies of them for the drivers. During the execution of the orders, registrations such as arrival times, actual quantities for delivery/pick-up by the dispatchers and drivers are also done manually and entered later in the appropriate systems for the administrative follow-up like invoicing and reporting.

One of the negative consequences is that manual processes and the corresponding huge paper trail are very time-consuming. Additionally, this way of working can also cause users to make errors and mistakes, which take time and effort to correct – or could even result in missing data registrations, which causes revenue leakage due to potential surcharges. One of the other major disadvantages of manual processes is the lack of digitalisation which, as a result, leads to an insufficient overview of the company’s key performance indicators. Because of this, they miss out on the possibility to plan, dispatch and execute livestock transport orders more efficiently and more cost-effectively.

The future is about digitalisation

To overcome these negative consequences the answer is to replace manual processes and paper trails with a professional IT solution. An end-to-end system facilitates the automation of the entire operation from order-entry, planning, dispatching and execution of orders by the drivers, through to reporting and invoicing. Due to the real-time data exchange between the centralised system and driver's apps, information at any time is available, as well as for other stakeholders like management and finance and thereby giving them an up-to-date visibilty of the operations and the opportunity to act accordingly.

Such an end-to-end solution contributes to a series of positive business outcomes for livestock transport companies. Cost savings and accurate data registration are two of them, Jan Tønder mentions. “Automating the livestock transport process also gives them better control of profitability and margins on loads, trips and vehicles. Furthermore, it enables companies to manage pre-calculations and post-calculations of profitability on loads, trips and vehicles. And also important”, according to him, “the innovative end-to-end system provides them with the possibility to improve the information flow and communication between the various stakeholders.”

Livestock Planner, the AMCS solution

The solution, which Jan Tønder is referring to, is AMCS Livestock Planner. This state-of-the-art technology supports the planning process by enabling an automatic planning and optimisation methodology. Furthermore, it provides decision-makers like planners and dispatchers with a real-time overview of the operations. This enables them to take well-founded decisions. And thirdly, with driver's apps, it supports the drivers with automatic and paperless reporting of operations. At the same time, due to the real-time data exchange, it also improves the communication between the driver and the planner – and possibly also other stakeholders.”

From years of experience, he knows most livestock transport companies are aiming to improve the profitability and margin both on loads, trips and vehicles. “How successful AMCS Livestock Planner is will be measured on the most critical points such as cost savings as a result of better and more efficient plans resulting in reduced driving time and mileage, less empty driving, better utilisation of vehicle capacity, etc.”

According to him other critical points to measure are time savings on planning and dispatch, fewer errors and improved overview, which leads to less stress in the planning department and better user experience”, he says. “We know from the experience of our customers that typical cost savings are reported to be between 5% and 25%. And also of major importance, on top of the hard savings, companies will profit from the soft benefits like improved customer service.”

AMCS Platform

AMCS Intelligent Optimisation is one of the six solutions of AMCS Platform offering a fully integrated and end-to-end portfolio of solutions to manage the core business processes for companies in selected industries. These industry-specific solutions are developed to support the AMCS Platform strategy focussing on driving revenue growth, margin expansion, operational efficiency and sustainability.