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How to Improve the Efficiency of Floor Transport Load Planning with SAP Yard Logistics

Services: SAP development, SAP implementation, SAP integration

Solutions: SAP Yard Logistics 

Industries: Automotive

Thanks to the SAP Yard Logistics-based solution developed by the LeverX team, the client has improved the cargo planning, preparing, loading, and unloading. The benefits include transparent forklift routes, monitoring shipments from yard spaces to conveyor belts, and timely loading of floor vehicles with no failure and downtime issues.

Challenge

Our customer is a large truck manufacturer whose employees daily transport thousands of spare parts on their forklifts, from the warehouse to the long conveyor belt and back. Among the challenges our customer faced are the inability to solve incidents rapidly (spare parts aren’t available for shipping, the forklift is out of order, etc.), a time-consuming process to prepare shipping manifests, lack of transparency while monitoring the movement of forklifts, and others. 

To successfully deal with these and other issues that arise when supplying production lines with the materials, the company decided to implement a solution for floor transportation management.

The solution aimed to meet the challenges below:

Make the floor transport loading process more efficient by solving the tasks below:

  • Track and analyze the historical and dynamic data about forklifts’ work during a shift;
  • Reduce waiting time while loading/unloading a vehicle.

Improve shipping, loading, and unloading operations, as follows:

  • Prevent incidents, such as delay in loading materials;
  • Ensure efficient cooperation of managers and yard workers.

Monitor the task execution status and vehicle availability, including:

  • Track vehicle locations in real-time;
  • Optimize vehicle routes.

Streamline operations with shipping manifests and forklift workflow, in particular:

  • Fill in and keep electronic manifests;
  • Ensure efficient communication with yard workers (using mobile applications instead of phone calls). 

SAP Yard Logistics can solve all the requirements mentioned above.

Our Contribution

The LeverX team implemented, configured (after a thorough analysis of the client’s internal workflow processes), customized the SAP Yard Logistics solution, and integrated it with other SAP products and third-party software. 

Project Scope

Integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

The data about shipment orders are sent from the ERP system to SAP YL, which allows to set up a logistics plan for forklifts.

SAP YL receives the real-time notification of a manifest document generation in SAP ERP and creates a shipment order. 

Integration with Transportation Management (TM)

Integrating SAP YL with SAP TM ensured timely loading and unloading of trucks using several ramps within one freight order. 

Integration with a third-party GPS tracking solution

Integrating SAP YL with the client’s third-party solution helps to track the real-time locations of transportation units.

Developing mobile applications with Xamarin

Our team moved away from orthodox SAP Fiori apps and developed customized mobile solutions with Xamarin. 

Application 1: created for a forklift driver to update task statuses.

Application 2: built for a task manager — an employee who’s in charge of check-in and check-out shipment orders and creating tasks for forklift drivers. The solution allows them to create tasks for drivers automatically. 

Adding a new transportation unit ‘’tare’’ to create an accounting system

The tare is now registered via orders, which allows the client to monitor its workload status in the system when accounting is required. 

Building an application for vehicle routes that connect different storage bins

The LeverX teams developed a separate business object to maintain vehicle routes. The application offers an opportunity to edit, block, and join them in service areas. 

Building an algorithm to choose a forklift for specific tasks

To streamline the workflow of enterprise resources, we offered the algorithm to search for an appropriate forklift and services area. The system takes into account drivers’ availability, their workload, and real-time location (due to the integration with GPS) to choose an employee responsible for a task execution based on the three criteria.

Displaying route prompts in mobile applications for drivers

We transferred the plant’s physical map into a digital space to boost the training of new drivers. As a result, vehicle routes and a recommended sequence are displayed in mobile applications for forklift drivers.

Visualizing a transfer platform according to an up-to-date positioning of storage bins

Our team configured the plant’s map with SAP Visual Business, an out-of-the-box component built in SAP Yard Logistics.

Workload planning report

LeverX experts created a user-friendly report form that comprised the information about planned orders for tomorrow/next week/next week (or the specified period) based on the data collected from the ERP system. 

Thanks to the report, the manager can distribute forklift drivers within service areas and change positions based on their workload, optimizing the distribution of employees within the areas.

Technology Stack

ABAP, BOPF, FPM, FBI, OData, web services 

Results

An automated solution for yard management helps the client avoid unnecessary movements of forklifts and non-optimal routes. 

Instead of vehicle downtime or redundancy, the client received an optimized task distribution and strict adherence to shipment plans.

Due to ERP and TM solutions integrated, the customer has automated and boosted the transferring of shipment orders from third-party systems.

The implemented solution also takes into account shipment incidents as mobile applications solve shipment tasks and notify when repair or assistance is required.

The GPS feature helps to monitor shipping to a particular destination location, while an opportunity to select a forklift based on its workload and location ensures a systematic, optimized approach to task distribution. 

The customer can leverage the solution’s capabilities to improve performance resulting in increased business revenue. 

The client also plans to leverage the implemented system for driverless forklifts.