Flexware’s Truck Arrival & Departure System (TADS) helps suppliers to avoid detention charges, gives them a window into their shipping operations, and keeps historical shipping records that can be recalled later in reports. Originally built for steel suppliers, the TADS can be equally well applied to any supplier that has shipper’s trucks coming to their plants to pick up loads for delivery to customers.
The TADS has two separate and different interfaces for users – the truck kiosk screens and the shipping schedule screens. One of the truck kiosk screens is shown below.
The truck kiosk screens are normally displayed at an unmanned location, where the shipper’s truck driver logs in when first entering the plant. They collect basic information from the truck driver such as name, load id, trailer number, and maximum load weight allowable on the truck. The screens are designed to be extremely simple to use, even for novice users, and have extensive error checking and error messaging built in. Language can be selectable if so desired.
One of the shipping schedule screens is shown below.
The shipping schedule screens are normally displayed at multiple locations within the supplier’s facility, and sometimes at the shipper’s facility. They support all the remaining functions of the system including scheduling a load, adding staging and inspection information, displaying open and completed loads, showing all events associated with a particular load, and configuring reports.
- Supports multiple shipping warehouses and multiple locations (“doors”) within those warehouses.
- Number of shipping slots per hour at each location is configurable.
- Interfaces to the supplier’s ERP system to check the validity of Load IDs entered by truck drivers or the scheduler.
- “Staging/Inspection” screen allows shipping personnel to enter staging location, final inspection results, and optional comments for each scheduled load.
- “Open Loads” screen shows all trucks signed in and waiting to be loaded.
- System keeps track of the time a truck has been waiting on a load, and alerts shipping personnel when a delay (detention charge) is approaching, and while it is ongoing. Delayed shipments remain on the “Open Loads” screen until shipping personnel enter a reason for the delay (along with an optional comment).
- A subset of the shipping schedule screens can be made available to the shipper’s scheduler, in order to allow the shipper to schedule load pickups in free slots.
- “Completed Loads” screen shows a history, by location, of loads that have been shipped.
- “Audit Trail” screen shows a complete history, in chronological order, of all events associated with a given Load ID.
- When the ERP system prints a bill of lading, the TADS picks that up as an event, stops the delay clock on that load, and marks the load as shipped.
- A simple interface allows the user to configure reports by load, delay status, location, and time frame.