VSCS

WHAT IS VSCS™?

VSCS™ is a software program designed to help managers in planning and controlling the utilization of all critical resources in order to increase their transportation department efficiency, improve delivery, enhance customer service, and, ultimately, reduce operating costs.

The two main systems involved with the planning and control functions managed by this  software application are FLEET and TRIP.

FLEET: all data are manually keyed into the computer to constantly update the system in order to satisfy our customers’ ever-changing requirements. The system can handle very diversified situations by changing the parameters involved. It manages all information related to truck/trailers and drivers, whether the resources are internal or external (independent contractors): i.e., company providing the transportation, driver, truck/trailer type (dimensions, weight capacity, number of axles, license plate, etc.), and so on. Every single piece of information is identified by a unique code: i.e., company no. 1 has code 0001, company no. 2 (any independent contractor) has code 0002, driver no. 1 of company no. 1 has code 0001-0001, driver no. 2 of company no. 1 has code 0001-0002, and so forth. Normally, each truck is assigned to a specific driver. If not, a different code is used. Each company has its own trucks and its own drivers, whether permanent or temporary/independent contractors. Once the fleet system is completely defined – all parameters and codes are assigned – it is connected to the trip system.

TRIP: some data are manually keyed into the computer. The remaining data are downloaded from customers’ own Warehouse Management System – i.e., client’s name, client’s facility location, point of departure shipping dock door, point of arrival receiving dock location, number of pallet loads, weight and cube of pallet loads, etc. Once this information is downloaded, the trip system allows management to instantly view what’s staged on the shipping dock, ready to be shipped to the client, and to know where this product is going, how many cases, how many containers, what is the total weight and volume carried, and whether the shipping location is part of a pre-determined route (single or multiple stops).

At this point, the VSCS™ module plans the shipping of all containers/product staged on the various docks of the facility. It has the capability of exporting and importing data to/from an automatic system for route calculation and optimization. It also has a built-in simulation capability that allows management to compare different scenarios in order to maximize trailer capacity for a specific point of delivery by volume, surface, or weight. Based on the outcome of this simulation process, management may decide to change one or more parameters in order to optimize transportation and reduce operating costs. Once the best trailer has been selected for a specific trip, management can still decide to utilize a different trailer, based upon new constraints emerged at the very last moment.

After the trailer to be used is decided upon, the VSCS™ module generates a Trip Assignment that contains all information the driver needs to complete his assignment. In case Engineered Labor Standards (ELS) were installed in your Transportation Department, the Trip Assignment will also contain the exact standard time for completing the trip.

The VSCS™ module also includes an “Administrative Module” that manages the cost of each specific trip. This is an extremely valuable tool that management can use to determine the cost of each trip, based upon a pre-determined system of cost calculation  (i.e., per mile, per case shipped, per container, per pound, per mile plus number of stops, etc.)

The Trip Assignment is completed after the trailer has returned to the point of departure and new information is available to be entered into the module for that specific trip, such as: arrival time at point of delivery, departure time from point of delivery, damage report, number of empty containers loaded at point of delivery, other returns, etc.

After the Trip Assignment is processed, the VSCS™ module has all the elements necessary to generate a statistical report in the desired format. In case you request a format that is not included in the normally provided ones, we can easily customize it to your specification.

Another valuable feature of this module is that it allows consolidating (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) all data necessary to analyze the transportation costs related to a specific period of time for each vendor – vendor meaning transportation company – before the invoices actually arrive at your Administration Department (AD). This is an important feature, because it allows your AD to double-check in advance vendor’s billing by matching VSCS™ module provided reports against vendor’s invoices. If discrepancies are detected, this module allows management to accurately track all trip assignments by driver and by trucking company. Incidentally, this attached administrative module can save the company a significant amount of money by identifying incorrect invoices. incidentally, for some unknown reason, the mistakes are always in vendor’s favor!

Furthermore, the administrative module provides management with added capabilities: 1) it continuously updates all parameters included in the VSCS™ module, such as: cube per mile, weight per mile, dollar per pound, dollar per mile, total expense per vendor, and so on; and, 2) it allows management to constantly monitor the financial aspect of transportation, particularly by keeping a close eye on its costs.

We believe that our VSCS™ module is fully capable of satisfying the general requirements of any transportation department. Nevertheless, our programmers have the ability to customize the existing system by adding new modules/parameters in order to satisfy the demands of the most sophisticated transportation operations.

The VSCS™ is successfully operating for many years at facilities of wholesalers and chain operators. The interest in this program is growing rapidly everywhere, because it reduces delivery costs like no other program, while at the same time providing vastly superior management tools.

FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES

  1. VSCS™ uses Engineered Labor Standards (ELS) based on accepted Industrial Engineering work measurement techniques and procedures. The data developed by us is applied to each driver’s outbound and inbound yard task, as well as to the loading and unloading activities. The ELS reflect the unique conditions and variables which exist in the yard and at each of the loading and unloading locations, including back-haul activities. The drivers accept the accuracy and thus fairness of this data.
  2. Our driver’s standards reflect changing weather conditions, topography, rush hours, city/highway/freeway driving, speed limits, scale stops, day or night driving, and other special conditions that affect travel time. The system even has the ability to apply different driving values and allowances to various segments of the road to reflect the unique conditions that apply to each segment;
  3. Routing sequences and delivery areas are established by defining the shortest driving distances between all delivery points. These sequences are then stored into the computer as part of the customer’s data base. This allows the computer to optimize delivery schedules based upon “least distance” parameters within each delivery location or route by delivery day.
  4. The program closely reflects the type and size of the mobile equipment utilized.
  5. The routing information, in conjunction with the other computer-based information and the standards files, allows management to determine the size and number of trailers required, delivery sequence, the yard, driving, and unloading standards for each route. This includes the combinations of partial loads from one route with those with neighboring delivery areas or routes. With VSCS™, solving complex variable routing problems involving multiple-location deliveries has become a relatively easy task. It no longer requires many years of experience and skill on the part of the router. This program handles in a practical way the daily “real needs” more effectively than the various fancy routing systems that have appeared and disappeared over the years, provides printouts of the Trip Assignment, in delivery sequence, and can accommodate both fixed and variable routing. The Trip Assignment shows the standard time allowances for all in-yard, driving, and unloading activities, including backhauls.
  6. VSCS™ provides a “Post-Trip” feature that allows “time” activities calculations for those delays that actually occurred but are unpredictable (for instance: pick up empty pallets, pick up returns, etc.) or other non-standard conditions that occur during the trip. This feature effectively handles these occurrences to make sure that the driver’s performance is not negatively affected;
  7. VSCS™ generates several operational reports to improve control over: scheduling, routing, equipment utilization, driver’s efficiency, wait time, and delivery labor costs. A description of the reports available is attached for your convenience;
  8. VSCS™ accepts and accommodates Incentive Programs.

 

REPORTS

VSCS™ provides not only dramatic delivery expense reductions, but also important management reports and great control tools. The following is a list of reports that management can use on a daily basis to streamline operations and reduce costs:

    1. DAILY LABOR PERFORMANCE REPORTA daily listing by route and driver of total delivery trip hours, off-standard hours, and wait/delay minutes at each point of delivery. It lists the actual and allowed standard hours by category of driving, unloading, yard, and other miscellaneous tasks. It provides the total measured performance ratio for the day. Incentive Hours earned are also shown, if applicable;
    1. WEEKLY LABOR PERFORMANCE REPORTA weekly summary of the above listing;
    1. WEEKLY PERFORMANCE ACTIVITY PERCENT REPORTweekly summary of all measured delivery activities by driver. This analytical report provides management with detailed performance ratios comparing actual and standard hours for the individual tasks of driving, unloading, yard, and other miscellaneous tasks;
    1. WEEKLY, MONTHLY, AND QUARTERLY REPORTSA summary report by driver for the displayed period, listing the actual hours on standard and standard hours produced. It provides operator’s ratio and incentive hours earned for the shown period;
    1. DRIVER WAIT MINUTES REPORTA daily or weekly summary by driver of the total occurrences and total wait minutes accumulated by day and for the entire week;
    1. WAIT REASONS REPORTThis report is issued for a given period listing by store or by driver, by date, route, and stop number, by the wait or delivery delay minutes. It further displays the store arrival and departure time, as well as the reason for the wait/delay;
    1. EQUIPMENT UTILIZATION REPORTThis report provides documentation for the tractor and trailer utilization for deliveries and backhauls. It displays the number of miles, road hours, and number of uses for each tractor and trailer utilized for delivery, for each month, each quarter, and year-to-date;
    1. DELIVERY EXPENSE REPORTThis report provides management with an objective tool to evaluate the effectiveness of its delivery charges and costs, by account or store. It compares the company’s assessed cost for labor, equipment, and operating cost per mile to actual mileage, to driving and unloading hours, and to units delivered. Hence, it provides the total delivery costs for each account and by the given unit denominator, such as: hundredweight, ton, or cube;
    1. ROUTE STANDARD HOURS SUMMARYThis report is printed after the computer routes customer’s/store orders and before driver trip assignments are generated. In addition to standard time summaries, it summarizes cube, weight, and other information for each route. This Report can be used for “fine-tuning” each route with accuracy, before the driver trip assignments are generated;
    1. CURRENT ROUTE LISTING REPORTIt displays arrival and departure time for each stop. It can be used as a basis for dispatching and customer service. Also, because the standard driving time is displayed, an instantaneous rescheduling during the delivery cycle can be accomplished in the event of equipment breakdown, customer/store requested changes, etc.

VSCS OPTIONS AND ENHANCEMENTS

    1. PROVIDES FOR BACKHAULS, PICK-UPS, AND DROP-OFFSVendor/store backhauls, pick-ups, and drop-offs are routinely handled by this program. Information related to these activities can be sent to the computer along with daily customer/store order information. Routing and scheduling, including standard time values, are then processed for the designated route;
    1. TRACKS REVENUE GENERATED FROM BACKHAULS AND PICK-UPSThis program trucks revenue generated from vendor/store backhauls and pick-ups, and generates reports of amounts due. These amounts can be taken “off invoice” or the amount can be invoiced to the vendor and tracked through an Account Receivable system, complete with Statements and Aging Reports;
    1. TRACKS SHIPPING CONTAINERS AND PALLETSThis program tracks pallets and shipping containers, such as tote boxes, crates, rollers, bins, cages, etc., as they are delivered to and returned from your customers/stores. The computer net balance for such items at a customer/store can be compared with the actual number of items shipped so that the customer/store can be billed for unaccounted items. Also, if an item is in short supply at the distribution center, the locations where the missing items are situated can be quickly identified and, therefore, management can schedule a pick-up for the return of these items to the distribution center in a short time;
    1. TRACKS EQUIPMENT LOCATION AND UTILIZATIONThis program tracks every piece of equipment, such as forklift trucks, tractors, trailers, reefers, etc., by facility and by cost center. It also tracks the movement of equipment between facilities and between cost centers, and generates a directory so that equipment can be quickly and easily located;
    1. TRACKS DRIVER LICENSE AND ACCIDENT INFORMATIONThis program tracks driver’s license expiration, medical certificate expiration, and citation information. The computer generates reports of those drivers whose documents are expired. It also tracks driver’s accident information by date, severity, and dollar amount. The accident history of each driver is stored in the computer and it’s available instantly;
    1. TRACKS FLEET MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTSThis program tracks the fleet of vehicles for their entire period of service. The tracking includes repairs, maintenance history, preventative maintenance, mechanic information, and spare parts information. It also tracks tire usage, fuel and oil consumption, miles per gallon, and other pieces of valuable information that can be used to spot problems in the fleet and prevent accidents and serious mechanical breakdowns from occurring;
  1. ACCEPTS AND MANAGES DRIVER INCENTIVE PROGRAMSIf management decides to install a driver Incentive Program in combination with the driver Engineered Labor Standards, this program can handle this task and generate daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports on driver’s performance for incentive calculation purposes as well as other management purposes.

For additional information on how we can help you to increase productivity from 25 to 45% while substantially reducing your operating costs, contact us today.


Testimonials

When it comes to a sophisticated approach to distribution and warehouse management, working with Applied Logistics was a natural. Their systematic approach saved us money and allowed us to run our distribution of nationwide products efficiently. Our partnership benefits all at Lowe's. Joseph Mabry; Executive VP of Logistics & Distribution As one of the largest food & drug retailers in North America, Safeway Inc. is an innovative company founded on a simple value philosophy: taking care of our customers is what Applied Logistics did for us. Reliable and safe distribution and management systems allowed us to maximize our revenue. Jerry Tidwell, Sr. VP Safeway Supply Operations Applied Logistics exemplifies the values of Snap-on. Their strong ability to demonstrate integrity, always respect the company in all situations, promote our teamwork, and listen to our inputs to suggested solutions, has made us value our partnership with Applied Logistics. Over the years our distribution, transportation and warehouse management efficiency has drastically increased due to their innovative software and management process. If you are not using it, you are simply wasting your money! Gary Henning, Operations Development