INFORM and ASB Logistics, a medium-sized company in freight forwarding business, developed a scalable IT solution tailored to ASB's processes. The new system offers continuous, real-time transparency of all transports, vehicles, components, personnel, and orders. In addition, intelligent algorithms based on operations research and artificial intelligence control and optimize operational processes in all phases of the storage, workshop, and transport process in ASB's 100-plus-employee operation.
ASB transports and modifies around 60,000 vehicles and vehicle parts every year. These include new and used cars, but also special transports of mobile homes, tractors, and boats, as well as construction and agricultural machinery, and even unusual special transports. "Our system schedules all known orders and puts the individual work steps into concrete, optimized sequences so that ASB can use its existing capacities to the best possible extent," says Hartmut Haubrich, director vehicle logistics systems at INFORM, explaining the system's main functions.
20 to 30 times faster processes
"INFORM helps us to better structure the processes and procedures in our logistics center with less organization," says Christian Binder, managing director of ASB Logistics for 14 years. "If an automobile manufacturer calls at 5 p.m. because they spontaneously want to place 1,000 new vehicles on a car terminal and possibly even have them refitted with additional components, we will have a solution the very same day. This flexibility is what sets us apart. In order to cope with our growing order load, I would have had to hire three new employees just to deal with the bureaucracy, which we now handle automatically. We are 20 to 30 times faster than before."
State Funding for Pioneering Work
The joint project was supported with a maximum grant of 50,000 € from the Digital Bonus of the European Union, which was approved by the state of Bavaria. This program promotes regional initiatives for digitization and thereby supports the long-term viability of local businesses. The development and application phase lasted a good year. Since November 2019, the overall solution has been in use at ASB with outstanding results. The digital bonus was paid out in March 2020, but the cooperation does not end there. In the future, the overall solution is to be expanded to include planning and optimization of all transports as well as machine-learning functionalities that will make planning even more precise.