- Published: Thursday, 03 March 2016 10:35
At V.V.T. Europa, our aim is for our organisation to be paperless. This not only reduces costs and boosts productivity, it also saves space, makes it easier to share documentation and information, keeps personal information more secure and – most importantly – helps the environment. Especially because communications made to parties outside of our organisation are paperless as well.
Paper manufacturing a big user of fossil fuels
Paper manufacturing is the third largest user of fossil fuels throughout the world. It makes a significant contribution to deforestation and man-made climate change, as well as producing greenhouse gases. Paper manufacturing also causes air pollution, as it releases nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). And printing inks and toners are not only very expensive, but also use volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and non-renewable oils, which are harmful to the environment.
The less paper we use, the better
Therefore at V.V.T. Europa, we believe we’re better off without paper. A paperless organisation provides a lot of benefits: easy storage, time savings, simplicity, accessibility, security, improved customer service and efficiency. And the nice thing is: the money we spend on automation is very cost-effective. It gives a great return on investment. Sometimes the cheapest solution is the best solution.
Our efforts so far to achieve paperless working
So far, we have switched to digital invoicing. From quotation to invoice, everything is handled within our Transport Management System (TMS). We send and receive digital invoices by e-mail. CMR notes are scanned in the lorries and e-mailed to our customers. And we use on-board computers to produce driver records. We are well aware that automation is an ongoing process. We realise there’s still a long way to go, but we feel we are on the right track.
Let’s go digital, starting with the CMR note
Our lorry drivers will use their on-board computer to scan the CMR notes and then e-mail them to our customers. It is turning the current paper process into a digital process, which is very convenient for everyone involved. The next step is the e-CMR. As soon as it is accepted in all countries in Europe, we want to use it. The e-CMR is the information carrier used by everyone in the chain to add information. And this information is shared among users in real time, so you can actually see when the load arrives, where the driver is and when the fee has been transferred.
The digital waybill gives shippers, carriers and receivers greater management and control of the logistics process. Each party can connect to the platform and share data from their own company software, convert digital signatures for receipt or delivery and track and trace the status of the consignment. This saves time and money and guarantees shipments.
The wide range of options offered by on-board and back office powered computers
An on-board and back office powered computer makes commercial drivers more productive and effective. Drivers are given an advanced Android-based tablet, which displays information or speaks messages in six different languages, enabling drivers to focus on the road. It gives drivers the best pre-planned lorry-friendly route to their destination at all times. Deliveries are faster and consume less fuel, driver time and empty kilometres. The tablet gives feedback to the drivers whilst they are driving, making them expert drivers. It ensures that they don’t spend in excess of the legal maximum time on the road. It can also scan barcodes and documents. Drivers can simply take the tablet with them during a scheduled break as their own personal device. And the back office managers receive accurate, real-time information on their fleet, which enables them to make effective decisions. To put it simply: computer-controlled driving is the future. And the drivers love it.
Our goal for 2016 is to connect all our clients to our Transport Management System
All processes, from quotation to invoice, are logged and processed automatically in our Transport Management System. This includes both internal processes, and the processes that take place during transportation.
TMS provides a lot of benefits. It allows us to place your orders in the system straight away. And because the system is connected to the terminals, we receive feedback on the status of the container, such as its documents, any exemptions that may apply and attendance at the container terminal. Drivers have access to the system via their on-board computer at all times. Messages are translated into the correct language automatically, such as from German into Hungarian, so there is no room for misinterpretations. Workflow & Messaging helps to ensure that the right documentation is signed, scanned and digitally transmitted.
TMS is hugely beneficial in terms of efficiency. It reduces communication costs by up to 80% and improves the utilisation rate of driver time by up to 10%. Our goal is to optimise all our clients’ business processes in 2016 by using this centrally managed system. This means that you can place orders in our system yourself and receive feedback on the status of your containers, for example.
We will organise a customer satisfaction survey soon to identify our customers’ requirements in relation to services and automation. In this survey, we would like to find out whether and - if so - how you want to be connected to our system.
If you would like to learn more about TMS, please don’t hesitate to contact Janet Vermeulen at V.V.T. Europa on telephone number: +31 (0)418 570 147.