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Blog December 2022 Updated October 2023

Interview with Guido van der Zand, Product Owner Smart Dispatch - the new generation transport planning solution born in the Netherlands

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Henrik Lerke

Henrik Lerke

AMCS Transport Director EMEA

“I am proud that Smart Dispatch was born in the Netherlands, drawing both on our local expertise and collaboration with our customers and it is now proving itself across the globe.”

Guido van der Zand, AMCS Product Owner – Smart Dispatch Solution

Tell us a little about your background and your experience in the industry.

I spent almost 25 years working as a software developer and architect at PieterBas Automatisering before joining AMCS. I am proud to be a part of an industry that really makes a difference in people’s lives.

We’re all familiar with the phrase “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Well, I took that sentiment to heart and made it my mission to help waste and recycling companies improve their processes, thus reducing their costs and environmental impact.

I’m the father of three children, a volleyball trainer and coach, and chairman of the technical committee at my club.

Tell us about your current role.

I am the product owner for Smart Dispatch which is our core transport planning solution that manages the planning, resource management, dispatch , driver mobile and live monitoring of all transport operations.

What is the history and evolution of Smart Dispatch ?

Smart Dispatch began its life as a new product project at PieterBas, and a major investment has been made by AMCS to take the solution to the next level. We now have a team of over 60 AMCS staff worldwide working on our portfolio of transport solutions.

I am proud that Smart Dispatch was born in the Netherlands, drawing both on our local expertise and collaboration with our Dutch customers and it is now proving itself across the globe.

Smart Dispatch represents a re-imagining of the automation of planning for a more dynamic and agile transport world. It is the result of close collaboration with several key Dutch clients who we consulted with to understand in detail how they used our current solutions on a day-to-day basis and how they wished to improve the automation to boost productivity and service.

How did you analyze their actual planning process?

We employed a consultant to work alongside us so we could have an unbiased view of the actual process based on evidence and facts.

We learned by observation of planning in action, both at larger and small customers.

What did the research show?

It provided great insights in how planners across over 30 small and large companies worked on a daily basis, using both a mixture of automation support and manual planning.

We used these insights to drive the design and maximize the automation of all planning tasks.

Is there a difference between the planning process of large and small companies?

Planners in smaller companies are real multitaskers. They're flexible and strong communicators, close to execution and many are former drivers. Those in larger companies are usually organized, analytical and have more time to focus on the big picture and develop long-term strategies.

What has been the feedback to date from Dutch customers?

It has been very positive. We have showcased the solution at a number of or customer events and the feedback has been very positive on the user experience and the level of automation and control offered to planners. All customer feedback informs our product roadmap, so I welcome engagement with customers.

Which areas of the solution are you particularly proud of?

The world of transport is changing rapidly, and we are looking to help our customers move to a model where automated and agile planning is required to reduce costs, emissions and meet the increasing service expectations of their customers.

The design of the solution is based on increasing the productivity of the planner and driving outcomes such as maximizing the utilization of trucks and containers to deliver better customer service and financial outcomes. One example of this is the inbuilt distance and time calculator that helps a planner to accurately work out how long a multi-stage RORO job will take (e.g., pick up empty container, exchange with full, tip at third party site and then drop at another site). RORO container job will take.

The scope of SD is very comprehensive as it includes all aspects of transport planning, resource management, live monitoring, optimization, and an integrated driver mobile application. It also forms part of the AMCS Transport Management family, that offers a wider range of integrated solutions such as telematics, fleet maintenance, AI based exception monitoring etc. It is designed to manage both commercial C&I, C&D and recycling operations.

It has a modern SaaS architecture which offers a browser-based interface which is easy to use and makes it possible for any planner to use the system anywhere, anytime and on any device – critical now in the context of hybrid and mobile working.

We are embedding our optimization algorithms into SD so they can be simply used with a single click. This means that planners can rapidly and efficiently optimize routes for daily scenarios such as adding new orders into the optimal sequence on a route or re-balancing orders over different routes if there is a delay or a resource constraint such as a vehicle delay or breakdown.

What does 2023 promise for Smart Dispatch?

I look forward to SD delivering real business value for our Dutch and global customers as more of them go live in 2023.

In addition, I will be working with our team and customers to deliver on an exciting product roadmap that will future proof this solution.

I'm always happy to talk with clients about their needs. Please feel free to reach out and let me know if you're interested in collaborating or want to learn more about Smart Dispatch. My email address is [email protected]

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