It is a well-known fact that environmental protection starts on an individual level. Nevertheless, we often find it difficult to actually implement simple routines that benefit our environment in everyday life. Whether it’s sloppy waste disposal, printed notes or a drive to a nearby supermarket – comfort often prevails over environmental awareness. But it’s not just us as private individuals who need to make change, companies in particular are also responsible for reducing their emissions due to their high CO2 output. After all, 250 of the world’s largest corporations are expected to account for about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.
There are various ways of making corporate processes more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly, primarily through digitalization. In this way, companies can ensure a high level of competitiveness and long-term existence. Sustainability and how environmentally friendly the company is have long been among the reasons that consumers choose to buy a product or pay a higher price for it. In the B2B sector, companies may benefit from acting “green” due to some projects only being awarded to companies that meet certain environmental requirements and follow the company’s compliance regulations.
Let’s take an example from logistics. Most manufacturing companies – regardless of the industry in which they operate – have internal and external transports, for example to move materials or deliver goods. These processes are more complex than they initially seem. The right means of transport must deliver the right material to the right place at the right time to ensure stable production. Timely planning of all transports is vital and often causes headaches for those responsible. There is a lot of potential for optimization here – especially in terms of the environmental impact.
Go Green – minimize empty runs
Let’s start from the situation that the external and internal transports were planned in such a way that the production could take place in a reasonably smooth manner and on time. The planner is initially satisfied with their work, but from the environmental point of view, empty runs often remain as a result. Trucks leave the factory empty or forklifts drive to the next transport order without taking any new material with them. A situation that is unfavorable both for the company’s costs and for the environment. Intelligent planning with the help of software systems makes it possible to use resources such as employees or means of transport in a much more targeted manner saving time and costs. Efficient planning could result in, for example, the need for one less forklift in the factory or several less trucks in the fleet.
Transparency as the basis for efficient planning
The basic prerequisite for implementing efficient, resource-saving planning is transparency. Many companies often lack an overview of their transports and their status, which can quickly lead to congestion both in truck supply control and in internal transports. For example, the ramp is occupied, or material is lost.
By monitoring all transports, this creates clarity and therefore it is possible to intelligently coordinate different transports. In addition, it is possible to plan with foresight and flexibility. Unexpected events such as delays or urgently needed bottleneck material can be integrated into the plan in the shortest possible time and implemented in a new dispatch plan for the transports, taking into account all relevant general conditions. For optimized planning, special algorithms can be used to calculate the correct and efficient course of action.
Those who now only think of large corporations are mistaken. The use of intelligent planning systems pays off for a company fewer transports and means of transportation. For example, optimized transports in internal logistics can lead to efficiency gains resulting in the need for one less forklift.
We can all do something good for our environment, in small routines in everyday life or as a company by designing efficient processes. Intelligent planning of logistics processes leads to minimized empty runs, efficient use of resources in transport logistics and costs savings. Thus intelligent planning benefits the environment and the company’s success.
How do you plan transports in your company? How do you try to plan transports, so they are as environmentally efficient as possible?
Header photo: petrmalinak – shutterstock.com