See how these Companies Use MaxLoad Pro to help them cut Shipping Costs
If you think there could have been several more items loaded on your truck or even your ship case, you could be right. Make your shipment more efficient and your savings bigger with MaxLoad Pro. With MaxLoad Pro you can be sure your loads are always optimized. Find not only the best container sizes to use for your mixed products, but also the best way they should be loaded onto pallets or into vehicles.
Bisley Office Furniture
The company is the largest manufacturer of office furniture in the U.K. and one of the largest in the European Union. It is generally regarded as having the most modern, state of the art factories in Europe and presently employs over 1,000 persons. At this time Bisley has two manufacturing facilities, in Bisley and Newport, which occupy 64,000 square metres. In addition, it has a showroom in Great Portland Street, London together with sales offices in France, Holland and Germany. In this article Graeme Winship, Director of Logistics at Bisley talks to us about how they have benefited from their MaxLoad Pro software.
Problem and Solution
Graeme comments: “Bisley Office Furniture provides steel storage solutions around the world and part of our efficiencies is to ensure we maximise vehicle fill/utilisation for all our customers. Following a review of the operations we realised that our planning processes were manual and that we often had vehicle overfill or underfill. We undertook a review of software available to assist in the process and came across the MaxLoad Pro software distributed in the UK by AutoLogic Systems. After comparing a number of different solutions we soon realised that this would fit our requirements and that we could up-date our planning process and more importantly provide greater accuracy to our loaders and for our customers. The software is currently used for a variety of applications. We can provide customers with accurate order plans so they can determine the best fill of vehicles, which allows us to manage down freight costs and maximise the vehicle fill. Further more, for multiple deliveries we can provide accurate loading plans to our warehouse staff so that we can reduce errors during loading and take away discrepancies on loads due to poor loading practices. On receipt of orders Bisley run the customer requirements through the software to reduce processing times and provide greater accuracy on planning.”
Graeme adds: “A key element and benefit of the software has been the improved accuracy on loading information within our business and for customers. We are now confident in the planning process and have managed down a number of costs. Significantly the vehicle utilisation has improved by 12% and our freight costs have reduced by 8%. We anticipate this increasing further as our data becomes more accurate and staff get used to the system and improved processes.”
Homebase, part of Home Retail Group plc, has been using MaxLoad Pro software for their load planning of festive stock. Homebase has over 300 large out of town stores selling over 30,000 products. The software has been used as part of an initiative to deliver festive stock, such as trees and decorations, direct to all stores in time for a universal launch and in a consistent shelf display sequence for ease of store handling. The process bypasses the Homebase distribution centres, with delivery direct to the stores from a consolidation centre in Southern China. Philip Mann, direct import operations manager at Homebase explains why they chose MaxLoad Pro:
“This initiative has grown to be both a complex but effective means of getting goods to stores for launch and bypassing our distribution centres at the very busiest time of the year for them. MaxLoad Pro has been fundamental in helping us to manage large amounts of product data for load planning and keeping to tight timescales.”
Problem and Solution
Homebase has over 300 Christmas articles in preordered quantities that have to be planned according to 13 particular range groupings keeping like items together such as trees, lights, floristry etc. This has to be completed in 3 different combinations for small, medium and large stores. The different ranges have to be placed in the order that they will be located in the store and display shelving.
Christina Kelly from the Homebase direct import team describes the process in more detail: “For bulky items we use pallets and for the smaller products, pallet boxes. MaxLoad Pro enables us to choose the most suitable option. The goal is to keep like articles together and to use the minimum number of pallets and pallet boxes, but still maintaining the correct order.
There was a large number of SKU’s to be uploaded as all articles are recreated each year. However, AutoLogic wrote an adapter to allow us to download the lists to the software directly from our own spreadsheets. This adapter also enabled the build of pallets according to a selected range of products, with a ‘cut list’ of unplanned items which could be added to the next grouping.
“The MaxLoad Pro step-by-step loading plans guide the consolidation centre on how to pick and pack a large number of SKU’s and how to plan the operation accordingly. It gives us an accurate estimate of how many pallet boxes to purchase and an indication of the number of pallets and boxes each store requires. “From this we can plan the best container fill and how the outbound volumes need to be staggered. It also allowed us to plan how store deliveries could be paired up and thereby produce a more cost effective delivery schedule.” Philip concludes: “All of these operations need to take place. If we had to wait for the actual physical builds to commence in the consolidation centre, we would encounter high risk to the shipping process and timelines may have been broken. This would affect space and equipment forecasts at origin. “MaxLoad Pro allows us to review our options and plan our deliveries in good time to assist the consolidation building. The results we achieved in terms of pallet box utilisation could not be bettered, even by an experienced consolidation team.”