Thursday, 29. April 2021

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Truck Arrival Times: No Waiting Times at Henri Benthack

Construction materials specialist Henri Benthack GmbH & Co. KG from Northern Germany has now complemented its transport control center Opheo, which was introduced 10 years ago, with an arrival monitor that displays the return times of the trucks at the company’s locations to the minute. This arrival monitor works based on truck location data from Opheo. This information enables warehouse staff to prepare new loads for subsequent tours at an early stage, perform targeted picking, and minimize vehicle downtimes. Currently, four of the six Benthack locations are already working with the new solution. The remaining two branches are to follow within the next six months.

At Henri Benthack, the arrival monitor is installed in a primarily visible location of the warehouse area. The employees who are working there do not need any previous knowledge of Opheo to recognize which vehicle returns to the location at which time. “Thanks to the arrival monitor, we were able to drastically reduce waiting times for our drivers, giving them more time to run their subsequent tour and easing the space situation at the ramp considerably”, Dennis Kniebel, IT Project Manager at Henri Benthack, summarizes the advantages of the solution.

Another positive effect of the arrival monitor is the space gained in the staging area, as now only the building materials immediately scheduled for the next loading are placed there. In the past, order pickers had often lacked guidance on the handling priority of the orders scheduled for that day. “The great benefits of the arrival monitor will make this investment pay for itself within a few weeks,” states Managing Director Carsten Mandrys.

The high level of transparency is the result of the end-to-end digitization of all processes between order entry and delivery. At Henri Benthack, delivery orders are transferred from the ERP system to the Opheo transport control station and compiled into optimized tours in the dispatcher’s dispatch cockpit. These in turn prioritize the orders in the connected warehouse management system ProLogistik and specify the picking sequence. The tours are sent to the Samsung tablets mounted in the truck via mobile radio and carried out by the driver.

Over the course of this year, the last 8 of the total 30 vehicles in the Benthack fleet will be equipped with the tablets along with the Opheo Mobile telematics app installed on them. Drivers receive order data and delivery addresses via Opheo so they can be guided to their next destination using the integrated truck navigation. Every shipment status reached is documented at the touch of a button and transmitted to headquarters, as is the current position data. With this information, Opheo can calculate the arrival time at the customer’s location for each shipment, the expected end of the tour, and the time of each driver’s return.

At first, back in 2011, Henri Benthack had only deployed Opheo at its headquarters in Hamburg. After this pilot location, the subsidiaries in Hamburg-Lurup, Neumünster and Grevesmühlen followed successively. “We were surprised how smoothly and quickly the rollout to the new locations went,” says Dennis Kniebel. He is therefore also optimistic about the upcoming software rollout at the Lübeck and Syke locations. By October, the project should be completed. “In the future, our ten dispatchers will be able to cover for each other across locations without having to leave their usual workplace,” Kniebel says about the company’s plans. With this in mind, absences due to illness, vacation, etc. can be better compensated for without increasing personnel expenses.

Henri Benthack GmbH & Co. KG is a traditional Hamburg-based construction materials retailer with over 300 employees. Founded in 1930, the company operates its own fleet of trucks with over 30 vehicles and stocks a range of 8,500 products. Operating from six locations in Hamburg, Lübeck, Grevesmühlen, Neumünster and Syke, the company is active in four Northern German states. For more information, please