Tuesday, 19. August 2014

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Benz Uses OPHEO for Dispatching

Building Materials Distributor Increases Service Quality and Profitability

Neckarbischofsheim-based German trading company Benz Baustoffe controls and monitors its truck fleet with the transport management system OPHEO and the therein integrated telematics system OPHEO MOBILE from initions.By switching to this solution, Benz Baustoffe aims to improve its customer service, make work easier for the patching department and save on vehicle costs. The next step is to automate the remote reading of tachograph data. In addition, Benz wants to use telemetry data for an efficient driver evaluation and for optimizing wear and tear and consumption values.

Before introducing OPHEO, each of Benz’s seven branches was responsible for planning its own delivery tours. Quite often, this led to an inefficient use of the trucks. By using OPHEO, the owner-run family business can dispatch its fleet in a more centralized manner and exploit synergies between the sites.

“We provided our dispatchers’ workplaces with four screens each, three of which exclusively serve for fleet control and dispatching”, Benz CEO and Project Manager Christian Schieck explains. From left to right, the monitors show trucks and orders, street maps and a graphical tour plan. “The systematic layout of the information in OPHEO’s Dispatching Cockpit had us convinced from the very beginning”, Schieck remembers. Additionally, the IT expert liked the modern user interface as well as “initions’ young and creative team of developers”.

OPHEO receives the order data via an interface directly from the ERP system Unitrade. After dispatching, the dispatcher sends the tours and order data to the drivers, who are equipped with Samsung Galaxy tablets and the telematics app OPHEO MOBILE. The app manages the orders and guides the driver to his destinations. The current vehicle location, driving and rest times, and order statuses are reported back to the dispatching department in real time.

The forecasting feature checks whether a vehicle is still on schedule and applies any deviations to the rest of the current tour and to all subsequent tours. This means that OPHEO is able to indicate impending violations of delivery dates or EU social regulations at an early stage, without the dispatcher having to laboriously extrapolate times. “Thanks to these features, we were able to considerably improve punctuality and service quality”, Schieck states.

initions also developed a geofencing feature especially for Benz for an automated notification reminder: if desired by the customer, OPHEO generates a notification with the calculated arrival time shortly before the actual delivery. This function will be activated, for example, when the truck is only 25 kilometers or 30 minutes away from its destination. The reminder message pops up on the display of the driver tablet. It contains all the details for a telephone notification to the customer. “Shifting the notification process to the drivers led to a noticeable reduction in the dispatchers’ workload and to a higher quality of service”, Schieck notes.

Another goal of the IT project is cost-effective driving. For this, 18 trucks in total were equipped with truck boxes that are connected to the CAN bus systems. As of September, these boxes shall transfer the vehicles’ telemetry data which are then to be analyzed in the OPHEO PORTAL. On this basis, Benz will train the drivers in a targeted manner and wants to substantially reduce consumption values as well as wear and tear.

In the near future, Benz also plans to manage tachograph data using OPHEO. For this, the digital tachographs will then be automatically read out remotely on a regular basis. In compliance with regulations, the data will be archived and be available in OPHEO TACHOWEB at the same time. This gives the dispatchers access to the current driving and rest times. This enables an early detection and prevention of imminent violations of the Driver’s Working Hours.

Benz Baustoffe is an owner-managed medium-sized company with a wide range of products in the areas of building construction, garden, roof, insulation, civil engineering, tiles, drywall and construction elements. In addition, Benz offers comprehensive services from products training to logistics. A fleet of 32 trucks, including motor trucks with and without trailers, tippers and semitrailers, is available for customer deliveries. All vehicles have crane superstructures and a wide variety of unloading methods in order to meet the logistics challenges posed by the construction segment’s heterogeneous product portfolio and to provide a suitable solution for customers. Benz’s customers include both companies in the construction sector and private builders.

The delivery area covers the region south of Frankfurt to the north of Stuttgart and east of Kaiserslautern to the west of Würzburg. Online store customers at can order to Germany, Switzerland and France.

Founded in 1919 by Wilhelm Benz, the company counts more than 250 employees today. Alongside the company’s headquarters in Neckarbischofsheim, Benz operates six other sites in Eberbach, Beerfelden, Hockenheim, Hemsbach, Bensheim and Neckarsulm. In addition, its online store offers building materials and home improvement products. The company’s general managers are Roland Benz, Nina und Christian Schieck.
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