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Efficient Automation Provides Full Awareness – part two

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World Cement,

A partner portal as a problem-solving approach

A transparent and sustainable solution to these questions is to use a B2C or B2B platform, which is connected to a dispatch automation system. This system organises all technically relevant processes, such as data distribution by using web services or direct database communication and it regulates administrative functions such as planning and capturing KPI information to identify truck throughput bottlenecks. Stakeholder satisfaction is enhanced by utilising existing web security standards such as secured connections through HTTPS and firewalls to handle security concerns. External access to the applications is provided through a standard browser and authentication is secured by setting up password policies. It is SOX compliant, which means that each password has to conform to one of the highest safety standards.

Referring again to the existing semi-automatic mechanisms, further associated risks arise with respect to the limited ability of the stakeholders to act. It becomes clear that we need to scrutinise the haulier portal even more closely in order to find further approaches that solve the problems to the stakeholders´ satisfaction.

Besides the aforementioned technical and administrative benefits that a B2C or B2B platform offers to all internal and external stakeholders, using it also provides users with an accelerated accounting process, ensures that the user is no longer bound to the opening hours of a plant, and simplifies the entire planning and organisation of the availability and allocation of resources.

Apart from business-process oriented benefits, areas such as CRM and customer bonding are strengthened and are becoming even more important. With the help of defined and customised reports, customers who have not ordered for a long time can be identified. Additionally, companies are better able to impress prospective customers by offering 24/7 service.

The introduction of a web portal automatically reduces all processes that have so far taken time, money, and materials, such as contracting entities that are dependent upon the opening hours of the plant, slow or creeping accounting processes for suppliers, consignee and possibly third parties, and unnecessary paperwork.

Theft is unfortunately omnipresent

It may happen that deliveries do not arrive at the desired destination area and neither the customer, the carrier or the plant staff know where the bulk goods are. Because of that, let us face security questions such as stealing and tracking deliveries.

Investing in an electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) feature allows you to be fully aware of the delivery status, the current position of the shipment and the final delivery to protect yourself and all related stakeholders. The ePOD module enables dedicated individuals to monitor a shipment, after the truck has left the plant. By logging into a web browser, the user can access the dispatch automation system and is able to review the shipment details at any time from any place. The HTML5 based user interface allows access to th e application through mobile devices, tablets and desktop computers.

The truck driver is able to request a delivery signature on the screen of the mobile device, which is connected to the backend database and allocated to the concerned shipment. Furthermore, it is possible to pinpoint the geographical location of the shipment by including GPS data. The ePOD module enables two major advantages: the customer is fully informed of the shipment at any time and it increases the overall security within the supply chain management process. The accounting process is also accelerated. That the manufacturer receives an electronic confirmation immediately after the delivery is received by the customer enable the automatic and immediate generation of the invoice.

For Fritz & Macziol’s Industrial Application Services (IAS) group, the discussed issues arise on a regular basis when talking to clients. With the help of the backend database solution, including the mentioned components, customers come together with the company to provide a safer, more digital and more transparent future.

This is part two of a two-part article written for World Cement’s December issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full December issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the December 2016 issue here.

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