Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 54

MANUFACTURING
Streamlined Process
Zekelman Industries recently took big steps toward
meeting its goals of attracting drivers to its facilities and
increasing the efficiency of its operations. An addition to
the company's proprietary transportation management
system - which it calls TMS Plus - enables faster and more
secure driver check-in at its facilities.
The check-in system, developed by Zekleman Industries
and put into place last year, provides carriers with a bar
code, known as a loading pass, which works in a manner
similar to an airline boarding pass. "Our TMS Plus system
allows carriers to send the bar code to the driver's e-mail,"
Shulman says, noting the bar code can be accessed on the
driver's smart phone and includes information such as the
load number, the weight of the load, origin and destination,
and other loading and safety requirements. "We know that,
when the driver checks in, that he will be picking up the
right load; this allows the driver to check in faster and in a
more effective way."
The bar code is scanned when the driver checks in,
enabling shipping department personnel to check to ensure
accuracy of the driver's appointment, the carrier and the
load number. The shipping department is responsible for
pressing a "start load" button, signaling the start of the
loading process. "Checking drivers in by name gives us
the benefit of being able to make a personal connection,"
he adds, noting information such as birthdays can also be
included on the loading pass.
During the loading process, a shipping department
representative takes pictures of the load, which are sent to
a database accessible to Zekelman Industries. "Having this
information as well as pictures of the load helps us to resolve discrepancies between us and the carrier," Shulman
notes. "We now have a full understanding if anything were
to have happened with a load."
The check-in system was developed in response to one
of the most frequent questions posed by the company to its
preferred carriers. "One question that has come up during
the carrier meetings we've had for the past five years is
'how long should it take to load a shipment?'" he says. "The
answer we received from our drivers is that they will be
happy if they are loaded within two hours."
To meet this metric, Zekelman Industries' divisions
display the check-in time and total load time in real-time
on screens throughout their facilities.
"This check-in system keeps holds our shipping departments and carriers accountable," Shulman says. "No one
wants to go over that two-hour threshold; having this has

54

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017

Table Of Contents
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - 1
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Table Of Contents
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Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover3
Transportation & Logistics International - Spring 2017 - Cover4
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