Today, says German-based software provider INFORM, it is impossible to imagine European food retailers without fresh foods like fruit and vegetables. To ensure that fresh foods are available in an ever wider variety all year round and on-demand, complex logistics solutions are required. It notes that grocers are increasingly moving towards reusable transport packaging (RTP) instead of one-way packaging for the handling of goods, stressing that a transparent and flexible closed loop recycling system is needed to organize the cleaning of the boxes, manage the international transport routes, and track RTP assets and stock levels along the entire supply chain.
Against this backdrop, Interseroh, a closed loop recycling management specialist, has developed in cooperation with INFORM a new pooling software for managing RTP. Interseroh controls the entire pooling service for its customers using the new software. Starting at the fully automated processes for cleaning and inspection in the depot, Interseroh provides the supplier structures in the supply chain with the required RTP. From here, they are further transferred to the RTP-customer before the loop is closed through collection by Interseroh. Unlike any open pool approach, the close integration of the service with the customer’s supply chain is vital to Interseroh’s closed pool approach.
To manage this service package, Interseroh is using INFORM’s software system SyncroTESS. The software ensures maximum synchronization of all pooling processes with maximum transparency along the supply chain. The integrated IT platform generates optimized planning and scheduling decisions in real time for both inventory management and transport scheduling. The efficient distribution of RTPs is triggered by Interseroh’s customer production program. The demand is compared with the RTP stock levels along the supply chain in demand of RTPs. The supply is determined, taking into account safety stocks and the forecasted stock outtake, and scheduled via the integrated Transport Management System (TMS). All pool transactions are processed in real time and can be viewed via the Internet-based IT solution 24/7. The pooling dashboard monitors all returnable movements and highlights any supply chain exceptions. The software solution ensures that the required units are supplied to customers as and when they are needed. The required data such as the number of units, loading capacity or size, location or standing time, can be captured directly in SyncroTESS or interfaced from an ERP or WMS and tracking system.
The integrated IT platform is attuned to the tempo of the supply chain. The assets are distributed automatically and optimum stock levels are monitored continually. Each pooling participant sees his pooling transactions in real time. All he needs is his password. “It’s as simple as that,” says Thomas Möller, Managing Director Interseroh Pool-System GmbH.