Use technology to drive a reliable, efficient and profitable transport business
The African transport and logistics industry is an ever-changing environment characterised by cost pressures, new players, advancing globalisation, increasing regulations and swift digital transformation. Globally, companies are achieving international growth through acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances, which is reshaping the transport and logistics industry. The emergence of a global village has also lead to a decline in trade barriers, which has enabled many new competitors to join the same route.
Africa, in particular, is one of the most complex business environments to operate in. There is a wide range of factors for transport and logistics that need constant attention and need constant monitoring to ensure compliance, adhere to safety guidelines and maintain a competitive edge.
- Accelerate transactions and improve cash flow: Automate everyday financial tasks and integrating them with other business processes
- Enhanced decision-making: Compile up-to-date financial statements to support business decision making by reducing the time it takes to draw financial reports or close your books at the end of every period.
- Financial legislation: Comply swiftly and fully with the legal requirements of each country where you do business.
- Analysis & reporting: Satisfy the financial analysis and reporting requirements of your business and make better top-level strategic decisions with powerful analytics.
- Cost per kilometre (CPK) and profit per kilometer monitoring: The Shipping Order allows businesses to collect all the expenses and revenues on a trip for accurate and quick cost assessment.
- Customer billing: Shipping Order allows for the update of additional services rendered e.g. load adjustment, waiting for charges before closing the trip, etc.
- Driver, route, tour, and vehicle financial monitoring: Businesses are now able to monitor the profitability for all these parameters. Decision- making is made easier by having access to updated and accurate financials.
- Dispatch planning/routing: Shipping wizard shows vehicle status and next available date, how many job cards are open for individual vehicles, as well as the workload for each vehicle and driver during dispatch.
- Freight management: Tracks the ordered, dispatch, and delivered quantities. It also allows reference/lot numbers to be recorded against freight loads.
- Journey expenses management: Route definitions allow allocation of budget for individuals trips. Anything higher than the allocated budget is automatically sent for approval by a manager.
- Proof of delivery: A CMR consignment note allows customers to indicate the delivered quantity. A trip cannot be completed without indicating this quantity.
- Driver settlement: All cash paid out to drivers for a specific journey is recorded and compared against the route budget. The system can give an account of the driver’s financial standing with regards to awarding bonuses or if he/she needs to be charged for shortages.
- Freight tracking: Integration with Geotab GPS tracking allows businesses to automatically collect location details. It also allows security officers to manually update the locations and delays for each vehicle where necessary.
- Pre/post vehicle inspections: Integrated checklist functionality allows for detailed inspections. If required, the solution can automatically create a job card for the maintenance workshop should any work need to be carried out.
- Status of loads: Shipment status reports indicate what loads are out for delivery and what the DG classification is for that specific load.
Vehicle Maintenance Management
- Inspections: Force users to work through all items on a checklist and further add specific issues found during any vehicle walk-around inspection. Items identified during an inspection are transferred to a job card where the maintenance manager can allocate technicians to pick up the work the be completed – all within a single system.
- Job cards: The system allows for the creation of job cards both manually and automatically via inspection checklists.
- Security release from the workshop: Security staff at the exit gate are able to electronically check if the vehicle has been cleared the leave the yard.
- Inclusion of workshop staff: A simple to use the internal website is provided which is clean, easy to use and intuitive. It also does not require much end-user training. This feature has allowed many workshop staff to get familiar with technology, and more specifically computer systems.
- Fuel consumption monitoring: The system is intuitive enough to define the amount of diesel to issue to a specific truck which is scheduled to travel to a specific destination.
- Technician scheduling & monitoring: Worked performed in the workshop can be tracked through notes and time recording. These job cards become part of the vehicle’s maintenance history and is accessible at the click of a button.
Health, Safety and Environment Management
- Violations: Record incidents and prevent a driver from entering a vehicle if they have accumulated a certain amount of violations.
- HSE incidents: Traditionally, incidents with fatalities, serious injuries and near misses cannot be monitored or tracked in the workshop. With an integrated system, incidents can be recorded and monitored in 1 business management system via reports and analytics dashboards.
- Alcohol & drugs: Utilise the system as an operational risk management function to record and alcohol and/or drug violations. This feature of the system conforms to the Total Driver Points System (DPS).
- Hazards: Each route can have a risk assessment profile captured and a report printed before a driver leaves the yard so they can be aware of, and prepare for, any potential dangers on the route. Route risk assessments are traditionally maintained in Excel and manually printed for drivers during dispatch, which increases the chance of manual errors and increases administration time.
- Dangerous goods handling: Transportation businesses are required to monitor dangerous goods that are on the road based on specific ISO quality certifications, which can be difficult to track and maintain. Our integrated system allows transportation businesses to indicate the DG code on all materials being transported to alert others to dangerous good and adhere to safety regulations.
- Regulatory compliance: Currently, transportation businesses cannot reliably monitor and control the dispatch of drivers who have expired permits. In our solution, alerts and reports are standard that show permits e.g. heavy goods vehicle (HGV) driver licenses that are overdue. This feature of the solution conforms to Total/Puma and Engen standards.
- Recruitment & assessments: Allows for the recording of job candidates along with their qualifications and experience. The system automatically generates onboarding tasks e.g. issue employee handbook, first aid training, etc.
- Transportation and logistics businesses are required to, but struggle with:
- Showing the end-to-end process of recruiting new drivers.
- Recoding periodic physical assessments. These are usually manual and completed on Excel and are not tracked within a business management system.
- Standardising ways to orient new employees.
- Tyre Lifecycle: Captures the complete lifecycle of tyres from purchase to retirement, with a detailed reporting of tyre performance.
- Tyres as an Asset: Manage your tyres like an asset with individual serial numbers and cost centres. Capitalisation increases the value via repairs and re-treads and depreciation reduce the value through the travelled distances.
- Expense Tracking: All expenses incurred though internal activities of a maintenance department and external service providers are recorded.
- Depreciation & Cost per Kilometre: Accurate reporting of depreciation expenses on all vehicles that the tyre was fitted on as well as overall cost per kilometre.
- Side Wall Management: Keep track of individual tyre’s sidewall properties such as recommended air pressure, tread type and tread depth. Automatic notifications to maintenance when thresholds are reached thus improving the safety of the fleet.
- Tyre Use: Tyre usage can be done using a metric that suits your needs (e.g. distance, operating hours, lifespan etc).
- Tyre Maintenance Alerts: Automatic alerts when tyre rotations, inspections, re-treads, minimum tread depth are due.
- Tyre Wear Tracking: Closely monitor tyre wear in specific locations based on the wheel/axle layout configurations of each vehicle. It is now possible to see accelerated tread wear on a tyre and attribute it to low tyre pressure, or the steer or drive axle.
- Compile Centralised Repair Notes: Record maintenance activities on tyres such as reasons for repair and work accomplished. This ensures that a knowledge base is constantly being updated that can guide “toolbox meetings”.
- Stocktake: Each tyre is maintained as inventory, therefore you can perform a stock-take on them.
Technology adoption within transport and logistics businesses in Africa
In the age of instant gratification and immediate access to information, customers’ expectations have transformed. Customers are now demanding quicker, more reliable, accessible and more efficient transport and logistics solutions. Simple logistics companies have had to expand their service offering to now include services throughout the supply chain and not only the delivery of goods.
Introducing transportation management with SAP Business One
The SAP Business One Transport solution gives you the power to:
- Gain better insight and control over vehicle maintenance through integrated technology
- Increase profitability through accurate costing and improved processes
- Manage compliance with industry best-practices to improve fleet and employee safety
- Better control and manage drivers with integrated driver management
- Accurately track, cost and manage drivers, routed and loads in a single system