SBI Software in Portland, Ore., has been working with growers to enhance the transportation logistics piece of its fully scalable and modular package. The SBI team worked with Kraemer’s Nursery, Leo Gentry Nursery, Bylands’ Nursery and Twixwood Nursery to reduce freight costs. This is especially important because freight has impacted the bottom line of so many operations due to rising fuel costs.
Transportation managers can now take large groups of orders with order criteria such as ship-to location, rack count or footage, first delivery request and delivery time request, and the system will automatically build orders into loads and routes. Taking the manual work out of load building and routing reduces freight expense, which flows right to the bottom line. A job that required multiple hours per day is reduced to under an hour with SBI. The result is more efficient loads and routes.
The SBI team has gone one step further and has integrated rack pickup from multiple locations as part of routing intelligence, which means rack inventory pickup can be included as part of return home routing.
Another improvement in transportation logistics within SBI is rack tracking. Racks can now be scanned out as they are shipped with a tablet PC using a barcode scanner or RFID (radio frequency identification) reader. When using Container Centralen (CC) racks, the destination of each scanned rack can be transmitted to the CC rack dashboard system.
This information is used to reduce the billing associated with CC racks. The more specific information that can be transmitted to the CC rack dashboard system, the lower the costs of using the CC racks. The same system is used for tracking grower-owned rack inventory and the locations of each rack. Racks can be scanned back into the facility releasing them from each specific location.
Rack building and optimization is another software area that has been enhanced. Workers can see rack estimates as they build orders in the SBI system, while customers can see shelf and rack quantity estimates as they build their own orders online.
At the time of load and route building, the racking system will produce labels that show how to build the racks, as well as the placement of inventory on the racks. Partial shelves of different inventory products are even allowed in the system. The time it takes to build and load racks is reduced because all the guesswork is removed. Freight costs are reduced because rack space is better optimized.