Route Accounting Solutions

Why Should You Use a Load Order Optimization Tool?

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Local distributors have to do one thing and do it well: Get a retailers order to their location on time and undamaged. And the savviest of distributors use a specific tool to help them do the job right – a load order optimization tool. If you’re not familiar with this tool and how it can help you decrease costs and increase efficiency, read on.

TORONTO, ON – JUNE 17 – A pallet of empty bottles begins the refilling process on the depalletizer conveyer at Molson Breweries. The depalletizer removes the cases of empty bottles one row at a time and is the first stage of the refilling process. The Star followed this pallet of bottles from a Beer Store in Brampton that were recycled and back on the shelves at another Beer Store on the same day. June 17, 2013. Randy Risling/Toronto Star

What Are Load Optimization Tools?

When you’re loading a truck, you want load pallets that are stable, and place them appropriately on the truck to ensure cargo space is maximized, weight distribution is appropriate and it will simplify the driver’s job at time of delivery. A good load optimization tool will do all of that – and more.  Here are some of the ways these tools can help to ensure your trucks are loaded as safely and efficiently as possible.

Pre-Load Logistics

Once an order has been submitted by a salesperson, that order is sent to a load screen so technicians can confirm that it’s in stock and get a pallet ready to load. Our Orders to Load system takes the guesswork out of the process and ensures that after the order is committed, the remaining processes goes smoothly.

Pallet Planning

Building a pallet takes time and effort to ensure that you use the space most efficiently. But a load optimization tool, such as Palletization by eoStar, does the work for you. It helps you pre-plan the pallets and load build so everything is organized and stable before the loading begins. The beauty of this program is that once you set it up for a specific product and customer, you won’t have to do it again. It is truly a set-it-and-forget-it system.

Load Planning

Once your pallets are stacked, a load optimization tool will help you load the truck in a way that makes the best use of the cargo area. The tool will also ensure that the cargo is evenly distributed and in the order of delivery sequence. You will have access to graphs and charts that show you where every container is located. Load order errors will tell you if the bay and/or truck capacity is exceeded or if the balance is off.

Is Palletization Customizable?

Every local distributor works with those clients who demand that specific pallets are used or have other requirements that won’t work with a one-size-fits-all type of software. Luckily, our load optimization tools take all of that into consideration.

Here are some of the ways the tools offer customization:

Pallet Variety

Chances are when you load a cargo area, you will have more than one size pallet. The Palletization Tool takes that into consideration and supports multiple sizes. That means you can simply match the product sizes with the pallet size of your choice and let the software do the hard work.

Customer-Driven Sizes

When setting up a lot of pallets for one customer, you can choose to assign it a default pallet size. That way, every time you load pallets for that manufacturer, the system will automatically use that pallet size when configuring the pallet load.

Bulk or Aggregate

You can use the software for bulk or aggregate loads. Bulk loads will assign items from an order onto one or more pallets and will be sorted by pick sequence. Aggregate loads will contain products from a number of orders and will be organized based on pick groups. These pallets will also be sorted by pick sequence.

Manual Override

If there is a special requirement to the load, you can always override the bay-by-bay assignments and customize them to your needs at that time.

Load Optimization Tools Help You Work Smarter

You know the saying: Work smarter, not harder. These tools will help you reduce damage in your shipments by ensuring that the loads are stable. They can also help increase your efficiency with palletizing patterns and load planning capabilities at the push of a button.

If your goal is making loading pallets simpler, having a load plan that helps maximize cargo space, and easier loading according to delivery sequence—all with customization options, eoStar is your answer. 

Route Accounting Solutions

What Is Dunnage and How Can You Prevent Its Loss?

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Beverage Industry Dunnage And Types?

When looking for a dunnage definition, it depends on what industry you serve and whether you want shock absorption, the restraining of loose material, or you need plastic bracing. For instance, the dunnage materials you would use to protect a fragile item, such as bubble wrap, Kraft paper, and air pillows, won’t necessarily be used in the beverage industry. Some types of dunnage utilized within the beverage industry include plastic or wood pallets, hard cartons and empty kegs.

Back in 2014 when MillerCoors, now Molson Coors, decided to stop using disposable dunnage such as corrugated paper and began loading its products onto reusable dunnage, it saw a cost savings of $8 million a year. But since then, we’ve learned that switching to reusable dunnage is only part of the story. By transitioning to an electronic management process, you can ensure that all the dunnage you ship is tracked and returned.

Lost Dunnage Equals Fewer Profits

As a local distributor, you know all too well how costly it is when you have to call a manufacturer and report that their floor dunnage or other packing components are lost or are held at the store. It’s your responsibility to prevent damage to dunnage, to protect and follow its movement, and to make sure it gets back to the warehouse. If all of these things don’t happen, it negatively affects your bottom line.

What’s the Answer to Lost Dunnage?

Custom dunnage solutions, such as retail tracking, can take away the burden of manual tracking by automating the system. In a word: Dunnage retail tracking is a solution that not only saves you money by ensuring the dunnage is tracked and returned, but it can save in other ways, too.

Ensure you are tracking dunnage for the duration of its life cycle from the time you receive it from a supplier until the time you return it to the supplier.  This means your system will need to also be aware of what dunnage is used in the fulfillment process, meaning deliveries that you are sending to retail.  At any point in time, you should know what dunnage a retail account has so that you can actively manage the account to ensure its timely return to your warehouse.

At eoStar, we understand the value of the dunnage in your possession and how it can affect your bottom line.  Our fully integrated warehouse and mobile sales and delivery solutions provide you the ability to track dunnage throughout its lifecycle in your warehouse and its time at retail through our underload tracking functionality. 

Stop Profit Loss With the Right Dunnage Retail Tracking System

It doesn’t matter if your freight is being loaded onto cargo ships or driven just down the road, the dunnage it carries must be returned or you will be out-of-pocket. And today’s manufacturers have come to expect that local distributors have taken the steps to protect their assets.

Sure, you could outsource the procedure, but the cost of the service may eat up the savings you get from tracking and retrieving all of that dunnage. Instead, why not use in-house software that was designed specifically to help distributors like you maneuver the process yourself and keep the extra profit to grow your business? Be sure to connect with our sales team to discuss how to save on dunnage.