The following benefits were achieved by GLS: “the solution provided significant improvements to the group, which ultimately resulted in the optimization of fleet performance. In terms of efficiency, one can highlight a reduction in the stoppage time of vehicles as well as reduction in fuel consumption. Road toll and communications costs were also reduced. Thanks to the system, the number of complaints went down and customer satisfaction level improved considerably to an estimated 85,6%.”
The Luís Simões Group
Grupo Luís Simões was founded in 1948 and is entirely owned by the Luís Simões family. Its business began with a single horse-drawn carriage, and today turns over more than 100 million euro per year.
Grupo Luís Simões currently employs 1300 people across 11 companies, within the following business areas:
- Iberian Transport: Transportes Luís Simões, Luís Simões Spain and Transportes Reunídos;
- Iberian Logistics: Luís Simões Distribution and Loalsa;
- Diversification: Socar, ISM, LS Maroc;
- Complementary businesses: Reta and LusiSeg.
The company’s strategy is to maintain its leadership in the transport flows between Spain and Portugal – towards this end it maintains a network of seven operations centres across the Iberian peninsula (Carregado, Gaia, Madrid, Málaga, Valencia, Seville and Bilbao), eight transport operations centres and eleven regional platforms.
The On-board IT Platform – The XTraN solution from Tecmic
This is an innovative global transport management project which provides information in real time on the location and status of vehicles and load, monitors routes and allows bi-directional communication to be established between vehicles and control centre.
Fully one and a half years before the required use of digital tachographs across Europe, GLS introduced a new and secure model to each vehicle.
These are a few key aspects of the “On-board IT project” – presented on the 12th December 2002 by the president of GLS, José Luís Simões, at the Carregado Operations Centre – which permits the integrated management of the entire logistics and transport operation, representing an investment of 2.5 million euro.
Designed by Tecmic in partnership with GLS, the On-board IT project integrates IT, electronics, telecoms and automatic vehicle location.
The integration of these technologies provides information in real time on status and location of vehicles, route monitoring, and allows bi-directional communication to be established between vehicles and control centres.
The XTraN unit, installed within the on-board computer, features high processing capacity and information storage, and forms the heart of the system. An activity assistant complements the basic hardware.
Concerning software and communications, the system includes an up to date map, the configuration of approximately 70 vehicles and integration of information with the back-office.
The Transport Production Cycle
Grupo Luís Simões sees IT as a business management tool; therefore, the installation of communications was implemented at various levels: vehicles, internal equipment, customer systems, etc, integrating in this manner information at all levels of the transport ‘productivity cycle’: from order to delivery of goods.
In this manner, once the order is received and entered into the business management system, the most appropriate available means are deployed, with a vehicle being suggested for responding to the order. This order is then sent to the vehicle, which later reports on the result of the operation.
The system provides improved customer service, through the following functionalities: a record of vehicles’ positions, management of waybills upon delivery of goods, analysis of delivery record (waiting, loading and unloading times), record of anomalies and resolutions and record of routes and distances.
Other important data for improving customer service are:
- Optimisation of planning of routes and lines based on more precise information;
- Improved security of transported goods;
- Monitoring of open doors with reporting to the control centre;
- Control over temperatures with reporting to the control centre.
Functionality for improving Operations Management at GLS:
- Knowledge of fleet position in real time, with vehicle position shown on a map;
- Notify approach to a desired location;
- Automatic calculation of distances and average speeds per journey,
- Improvement of preventative maintenance planning;
- Collection of data for managing driver activity.