Maike Lehnart, standard and excellence in logistics at Papyrus since July 2013: “Our expectations have been fulfilled. (Image: Papyrus)
Long waiting times and stressed employees at the ramps? The paper wholesaler Papyrus Deutschland has declared war on the traffic jam at the ramp. The balance after one year with time slot management.
Who likes to wait? Time passes slowly, subsequent appointments burst and the mood tends towards zero. Time is money, and no economically oriented company can afford to waste time nowadays. It is therefore all the more surprising that Germany’s economy has endured the chaos at its delivery ramps for so long.
Not so the paper wholesaler Papyrus Germany. With 12 locations, the company is one of the leading paper wholesalers. In 2014, some 830 employees generated sales of 683 million euros and sold 824,000 tons of paper. The range includes around 8,000 articles, including graphic papers, paper rolls, packaging, envelopes and shipping bags.
TimeSlot management in Papyrus logistics
In order to optimize the processes at the incoming goods ramps, Papyrus has been using time slot management and the “TimeSlot” system of the Freiburg-based supplier Cargoclix at the locations Cologne, Langenhagen, Nuremberg, Heimstetten, Kelkheim and the head office in Ettlingen for over a year. The Internet-based timeslot management system (TSM) is widely used in industry and also by companies such as Daimler, Claas, Bosch, Müller Drogerie, MEG, Klöckner, Gerolsteiner, Würth and Deutsches Milchkontor.
The principle is very simple: Papyrus enters its free loading dates into the system and the logistics service providers and suppliers book their desired delivery time via the Internet. Cost: 50 cents. Since then, long handling times are a thing of the past, goods receipt is tidy and employees know in advance what to do and when.
Review of the pre-TSM period
A good year ago, however, things looked different. “The arrival of the trucks could not be planned. Sometimes not a single truck stood at the ramp at 8 a.m. and five at 11 a.m.,” says Maike Lehnart, who has been responsible for standard and excellence in logistics at Papyrus since July 2013, looking back. A state that Papyrus no longer wanted to accept and which led to the decision for a TSM system. “Flexibility, a practical and user-friendly system and the favourable booking price for customers and suppliers were the reasons why we chose Cargoclix,” says the project manager. In addition, the TSM system could be individually adapted to each Papyrus location and the introduction effort was manageable. From their point of view, one great advantage is that changes, such as the creation of a new ramp, can be easily done by the own employees themselves without having to use the service of Cargoclix.
Effects on processes and employees
An average of 80 trucks drive to the 17 ramps daily to be unloaded. Overall, the trucks are much shorter in the yard and the work processes can be better planned. As main advantages Lehnart mentions the better overview of the daily events and a larger temporal scope. Above all, however, the employees at Papyrus were also relieved by the introduction of TSM.
Efforts of Persuasion
However, time slot management has not been an automatic process. The fact that things are running so smoothly today is also the result of persuasion, responsible decisions and open communication – both internally and externally. The last doubters had changed their minds after their first practical experience at the latest: “We had a supplier at the Heimstetten location who booked a timeslot right from the start and also integrated this very well into his tour planning. He passed the queue of non-bookers at 7 o’clock in the morning and was immediately unloaded. There is no better way to demonstrate the advantages of timeslot management,” recalls the logistics manager. In the meantime, 100 percent of suppliers are booking. Lehnart’s summary after a good year with time slot management: “With the help of TimeSlot we have optimally integrated the ramp interface into our supply chain. Processes can be planned, bottlenecks are practically non-existent and soft factors such as customer, supplier and employee satisfaction have also improved. Our expectations have been fulfilled.”