Introduction of SAP Transportation Management (TM) at AGRAVIS
21st May 2021
AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, with its corporate headquarters in Münster, is one of five main cooperatives in Germany trading in agricultural products and agricultural operating resources and managing the corresponding flows of goods. As of 31st December 2020, a total of 89 subsidiaries and 160 associated and affiliated companies belong to the Group. The main focus of AGRAVIS' activities is agribusiness with the business areas of plants, animals and technology. Further core business areas are markets and energy. In addition, there are activities in project construction. As a national agricultural trading and service company, the group is primarily active in Germany in an area between the Dutch and Polish borders. AGRAVIS understands itself as a 360° service provider, as an innovation driver for agriculture with a strong focus on digitalisation.*
The introduction of SAP Transportation Management (TM) in order to control transportation planning at AGRAVIS is part of the DOCK programme for the group-wide implementation of SAP S/4HANA to support the company's core merchandise management processes. In the future, SAP TM will completely replace the existing logistics solution, an in-house development.
Automated scheduling of transports
A core function of SAP TM is the automated scheduling of transports, i.e. only a few user interactions are required, which is a significant advantage especially for companies without an own forwarder.
After accessing the transportation cockpit, requirements, resources and possibly already existing freight orders can be transferred – selectively if necessary – to the VSR optimiser (vehicle scheduling and routing optimiser). Alternatively, background processing can be triggered from the backend, in which case a corresponding planning profile and a selection profile for the freight units come into play.
In the future, AGRAVIS will work on two tracks, with both automatic and interactive transportation planning. Currently, the focus is on interactive planning. The advantages of automatic planning are obvious.
With automatic planning, a route is planned under “optimal conditions” (best utilisation of the vehicles, most effective route incl. itinerary based on the customers’ desired delivery times). If parcel services such as UPS or DHL are commissioned, the system can be set so that a route is formed once a day and forwarded to the corresponding service provider – a considerable reduction in workload for the dispatcher. Automated planning as a tool in transportation management thus offers advantages for both logistics service providers and shippers.
Interactive planning via the transportation cockpit
The interactive planning uses the so-called transportation cockpit, which is based on various components that are freely configurable in their arrangement and thus enable optimal and effective planning of transports – including freight orders, freight units, maps, loading plans and the display of utilisation.
For example, the map shows customer orders that are in the radius of an already scheduled order and can be added to it. Or all customer orders in a region are displayed in order to plan the most efficient route possible. Interactive planning of a single truck is also possible to ensure the highest possible utilisation. This makes interactive planning a valuable route planning tool for logistics service providers as well as for shippers with or without their own transport fleet.
Following the SAP HANA migration and the introduction of SAP Customer Checkout (CCO), the third DOCK sub-project went live with SAP TM on 15th April 2021. The three AGRAVIS core warehouses and a forwarding warehouse have been working with SAP TM since then, and the next step will be to convert the technical sites. Only ten months passed between the start of the project under pandemic conditions and the first creation of a transport in the productive system – a record.
* Source: Annual Report 2020 of AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG (https://www.agravis.de/de/ueber-agravis/geschaeftsbericht/)
Photos: AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, Münster
From our competence centre Supply Chain Management & Manufacturing
Categories: SAP Transportation Management | Logistics | Digital Transformation