Returpack is the biggest player in the Swedish deposit-refund market. They are responsible for the collection, administration, and deposits for 2,700 stores around Sweden. Sweden enforces a monetary deposit refund on all cans and bottles for the purpose of recycling them. From previously having external transporters planning, Returpack decided to handle the transport planning in-house. To assist with this change, AMCS has provided a solution for managing transport planning and optimization.
48Operating every day
Taking control of the transport
Historically, Returpack has relied on a total of 20 independent external transporters to plan and execute the transport and collection activity. Managing the collection operations in this way meant that Returpack lacked visibility of the day-to-day execution and control of the operational efficiency. So, to increase efficiency in the collection operation and ensure a high service level across all transport activities, Returpack decided to take over the transport planning themselves.
ChallengeFor many years, Returpack has worked with several external transporters, each of which has planned and carried out their own collection routes, as well as dealing with Returpack customers - the stores. Consequently, we felt we lacked control of the collection operations and customer contact, and lack of visibility into the route planning processes meant that they couldn't calculate transport costs. Read more
Taking control of the transport
Logistic Developer Joakim Andersson; "For many years, Returpack has worked with several external transporters, each of which have planned and carried out their own collection routes, as well as dealing with Returpack customers - the stores. Consequently, we felt we lacked control of the collection operations and customer contact, and lack of visibility into the route planning processes meant that they couldn't calculate transport costs."
As contracts with their external transporters came up for renewal, Returpack decided to restructure the entire operation so that they could regain control with a transport planning system. A suitable solution needed to comprise the daily operational planning, tactical development of master routes, and strategical perspectives, while the transporters should still carry out the operations. Returpack soon realized that this task would require an advanced system, to incorporate all planning steps.
They also needed strategic features within the system, to enable the collection and analysis of data. They wanted to be able to assess where Returpack’s terminals should be located, in order to be the most efficient and to enable them to constantly optimize the collection and deposit-refund processes. Returpack tested several systems in their search for the right one to meet their needs. Basically, Returpack needed a solution that would cover the entire transport planning horizon, including mobility and facilities for customers and transport self-billing.
SolutionWith the AMCS solution, Returpack has now regained control of their transport activities, and Logistics Developer at Returpack. With the AMCS solution, our entire transport chain is covered and we can plan on both a strategical, tactical, and operational level. We have gained control of every inch of the planning as well as new insights, for instance in which services the stores want. Read more
One solution to cover all transport planning
With the AMCS solution, Returpack has now regained control of their transport activities, and Logistics Developer at Returpack, Joakim Andersson says, “With the AMCS solution our entire transport chain is covered and we can plan on both a strategical, tactical, and operational level. We have gained control of every inch of the planning as well as new insights, for instance in which services the stores want.”
With the AMCS solution, Returpack has a suite of integrated modules. The master routes are planned in AMCS Route Planner and they are optimized based on recurring customer visits. The master routes are then transferred to AMCS Fleet Planner, where the operational planning, as well as the actual execution, is managed. The transport planners adjust the collection routes based on incoming ad hoc orders and changes to resource availability. Drivers and the central planning office communicate directly through AMCS Mobile, which continuously keeps everybody up-to-date and shows real-time changes in routes.
After execution, expected payments to each transporter are automatically calculated based on the agreed rates and delivered transport services. The transporters approve their invoices through the AMCS Web Portal and the solution fully integrates to Returpack’s existing systems, such as their self-developed customer register, their Business Intelligence, and the invoice management system. The solution has been configured to match the specific needs of Returpack to planning according to narrow time windows, rush hours, vehicle limitations, driver qualifications, and location of terminals are taken into account - to name just some of the key features.
ResultsWe experienced significant advantages right from the start. One significant advantage of implementing such a system is that Returpack is in direct contact with the stores. Direct communication improves the customer experience. Read more
Overview and savings
We experienced significant advantages right from the start. One significant advantage of implementing such a system is that Returpack is in direct contact with the stores. Direct communication improves the customer experience. “When the stores call us and want changes in the existing plan, we can test it and see the consequences of that directly in the system. That is a huge advantage for us”, says Joakim Andersson.
Some major benefits from implementing the system:
- Immediate reduction of the fleet by 2, from the previous approx. 48 trucks – larger reduction is expected in the first year of operation
- Better customer contact and service
- The better basis to assess bids from the external transporters in the tender process
- Better overview of and control of transport
- The possibility to calculate consequences of changes instantly set prices accordingly, and eliminate non-profit activities
If Joakim Andersson was to give advice to others who might want a route optimization system, it would be, “Know your company and keep the focus on your target. The system is so powerful that almost anything is possible and it is easy to get carried away. We prepared well and had our data ready, which really paid off during the implementation.”
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Read more on how Returpack have gained control of every inch of the planning as well as new insights
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