At the Mercedes-Benz truck plant in Wörth, trucks now send out early status updates to announce their arrival – all without drivers lifting a finger.
To support this capability, the Inbound Logistics unit at the Wörth plant and Daimler’s IT unit, which are responsible for managing incoming trucks as well as the underlying IT system, have developed a new system: Spearheaded by the Daimler IT unit, project partners Inform and Fleetboard Logistics have implemented a process in line with VDA Recommendations 4945 and 4996. The key element is SyncroSupply – trucks control software from Inform that controls plant traffic using a time slot management system. This is where the freight forwarders’ vehicles register using Fleetboard Logistics’s HABBL app when they set out on a trip.
In addition, vehicles send out status updates of the estimated time of arrival (ETA) every 15 minutes and at predefined distances along the route. Well in advance of their destination, the trucks control software sends drivers a green light to drive directly into the plant. If all the docks are busy, the drivers are asked to wait outside the plant and take their scheduled break early. “These start-to-finish progress updates provides additional certainty for planning,” said Matthias Wurst, Director of Business Development Industrial Logistics at Inform.
HABBL offers drivers in-plant guidance
At the plant gate, drivers can use a barcode in the app to identify themselves and drive right in. Inform had already developed a highly specialised app for this registration process. Thanks to the joint project, SyncroSupply’s incoming traffic control feature is now also supported in HABBL, an off-the-shelf product for mobile order management that can be downloaded to a smartphone and used by carriers working for contracted freight forwarders. Schedulers and drivers can now digitally view the entire transport process, from the start of the trip to the delivery at the plant. This makes it easier to change the schedule on the fly in response to unforeseen problems and make maximum use of driving times. In addition, the HABBL app supports several languages, which greatly simplifies communication with drivers from other countries. The app is fully integrated in the multimedia cockpit of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros. It gives drivers information about their unloading points and guides them there using waypoints. To get off to a quick start with the HABBL app, Fleetboard Logistics provides Daimler Truck AG’s contract freight forwarders with the basic HABBL workflow as a template. The HABBL app and SyncroSupply lorry control system can already communicate fully with each other, eliminating the need for a special implementation.
Better scheduling options
By simplifying the trucks sign-in process, Daimler has taken the digitalisation of its inbound logistics processes to a new level. The new process will first be rolled out to other production sites in Germany. However, it is also suited to all inbound scenarios featuring time slot management and central trucks sign-in – exactly those points in the logistics chain where lorries and drivers often have to wait. “The automatic communication process illustrates how we, as a trucks manufacturer, can help our logistics customers employ their vehicles more easily and efficiently”, said Stefan Buchner, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG.