In episode 18, hear Barbara Roos, supply chain planning and optimization expert from DELMIA’s partner, Ab Ovo, along with Donna Davis, DELMIA Business Development share their insight on transportation planning. Don’t miss our latest podcast "Ab Ovo Smart Routing: Transportation Planning."
00:06 Therese Snow
Hi and welcome to our DELMIA podcast, Global Operations on the Go. I'm your host Therese Snow. Today I'm here with Donna Davis, DELMIA Business Development, along with one of DELMIA’s partners Barbara Roos from Ab Ovo. Our guest Donna has spent her career supporting companies in delivering business value. She's been with Dassault Systèmes since Dassault acquired Quintiq.
Today, DELMIA Quintiq is an integral part of the DELMIA brand and brings world-class planning and optimization to our customers. Our second guest Barbara is a supply chain planning and optimization expert. She started the Ab Ovo subsidiary in the USA in 2016. And the Ab Ovo group started in 1997 in the Netherlands, and has since expanded to support their global customers. So, welcome Donna and Barbara. Thanks for joining our podcast. Before we start a discussion on smart routing transportation, let's fill our listeners in a bit on Ab Ovo.
01:04 Barbara Roos
Thanks, Therese. It's great to hear and great to be here. Ab Ovo’s mission and goal is to support supply chain and logistics companies to work more efficiently, make better decisions and be sustainable by leveraging the power of data. To unlock the potential of AI, Ab Ovo is not only combining the analytical proficiency with in-depth industry knowledge, but also supplying the smart AI solutions. Ab Ovo has been a strategic partner, and that's so great, for 20 years of Dassault Systèmes, and supporting the DELMIA brand for just as long.
01:46 Donna Davis
And to add to what Barbara said, both Ab Ovo and DELMIA have worked together at many large companies in the transportation and logistics industry. And we've really helped them by delivering solutions that help them plan, optimize and deliver business value really around driving efficiency in their operations. We've also helped them with any sustainability goals that they may have.
02:11 Therese Snow
It seems that DELMIA and Ab Ovo have been working together for a long time. So what's new between the two companies?
02:18 Donna Davis
Right, Therese. As you said, our joint companies have been providing transportation and logistics solutions for quite some time, actually over 20 years. And our customers have been really large companies over a billion dollars in revenue. But over the last year, we've expanded our partnership to package a solution that really delivers the same great value and ROI for companies under a billion dollars in revenue as well.
02:42 Barbara Roos
Therese, love this question. As Donna already mentioned, we've been working together for such a long time. And for both of our companies, the customer success is the largest asset. And so we're very excited that now we're able to bring the cost savings that we, you normally realize at these large customers, also to smaller companies. And to do this, Ab Ovo decided together with Dassault to create the Smart Routing solution, based on the Dassault Systèmes technology, to help these transportation companies solve their daily planning puzzle.
And with our expertise, we're providing the Smart Routing solution to the transportation companies. And to simplify the offering, we've also decided to offer this as a managed software as a service instead of what we normally do is an on-premise solution. So, putting it out as a managed software as a service makes it actually a solution easier to deploy, and it will deliver a quicker ROI.
03:50 Therese Snow
My understanding is that transportation and logistics is quite a large market. Which companies are you particularly focusing on?
03:58 Barbara Roos
Yeah, great question. We are focused on transportation companies with their own assets, like trucks, trailers, vans, box trucks and so forth. And they need to be able to plan them and actively manage these assets. So, of course, it could be a combination, so they don't need to own all the assets that they manage. But it could also be some are leased or owned by other companies, but they actually plan it. So, the other aspect is that our customers also could include a full truckload or less than truckload, and they could basically transport any product, even bulk or liquid.
Lastly, we also deal with optimization of the loads into different compartments. And that's very important and we also, what lately has become a large area of focus, and especially in the last two years of being in COVID, the last-mile planning, because of all these small parcels that need to be transferred in the last mile, that is very interesting for us too. We support our customers with an end-to-end visibility of the entire network, even over different modalities.
05:24 Donna Davis
And just to add to what Barbara mentioned, we're really focusing now with smart routing on companies with revenue of a billion dollars or less.
05:33 Therese Snow
You mentioned an ROI. But what kind of savings are we talking about?
05:37 Donna Davis
Really good question, Therese. We provide customers anywhere between 5 to 8% reduction in transportation costs. And that really comes from mileage reduction, both total miles as well as empty miles. We're able to reduce the total miles because we can plan optimized routes and save mileage there. But in addition to that, we also match pickup and deliveries so that we're not having trucks driving around with no goods in them and therefore reducing empty miles. And our experience shows that we can reduce mileage by up to 10 to 15%.
06:19 Barbara Roos
Yeah, and Donna, when you mentioned these reductions, it makes me so proud that we're actually able to do this. Because don't forget that we can also continuously optimize the plan to make sure that the best plan at the start of the day continues to be the best plan as conditions change, which we always know that they will, conditions will change. So, continuous optimization will also take into account the driver regulations, loading and unloading time restrictions, and make sure that the loads arrive, of course, on time. And it's good to know that our customers see their investments that they make in these solutions that it pays off in six to nine months.
07:06 Donna Davis
That's great. Another benefit that I would mention is that customers have much better arrival information. So, in this day and age of increased customer demand, it's really important to be able to provide accurate ETAs to customers and keep them happy. And that therefore increases the business of our customers because they'll get repeat business if they're able to deliver on time. So I think that's another benefit of the solution that we should also mention.
07:40 Barbara Roos
Yeah, Donna, to add to this, more efficient plans means that it's easier, an easier schedule for the driver. You need, in this day, you need solid plans for the customers to meet the promised pickup and delivery times. And we always ask, why is this important? But what we see in the market is that there's a driver shortage. You see this very good right now is that every transportation company is recruiting and is trying to, recruiting drivers. But it's also trying to keep their drivers. And another way, if you don't want to recruit more drivers is that you need to make sure that they don't leave. So companies, nowadays, what we hear is their trying to find so many ways to increase the satisfaction of the drivers.
And what we've seen with our solution is that the drivers receive this driving plan that has also, it not only takes into account their own driver preferences, but it also gives them the visibility to see any potential disruptions earlier. And this makes it easier to keep the promise pickup and delivery times and be still in time at home. But what we also understand is that if you give the driver more visibility, and if they have also more choices towards the driver preferences, they'll be less likely to jump ship to another company. And of course, this is a win-win, as we all know that recruiting is costly. And, but it's also important to not lose any time because new drivers need to get familiar with the new company, the routes and also the restrictions at the customers that they go to.
09:37 Donna Davis
Barbara, you mentioned a driver shortage and certainly that is, you know, everyone is well aware of the driver shortage and the challenges related to that. But I would also add that the same goes for planners and recruiting new planners is not easy. So, I think having a solution that enables planners to be successful and really supports them will also help with retention of planners and less need to recruit in that area as well.
10:03 Therese Snow
Yeah, no, that definitely makes sense.
10:14 Therese Snow
So, you said that you support transportation of different types of products? Why is this an important consideration?
10:22 Barbara Roos
Yeah, Therese, any of these products have all kinds of restrictions. And we need to make sure that we do something with these restrictions, right. So, for example, if we talk about liquid bulk, we need to ensure that multiple products that might be transported together, are compatible and meet all the safety regulations. Additionally, cleaning might be required after delivery. And the system helps you plan this, and this goes the same for dry bulk. Now, another example for cold transport, it's important to do the compartment planning well, for example, one part needs to stay refrigerated, one part cold and the others are not.
So what you have to keep in mind is all these constraints for all these loads, and we are able in the solution to plan multiple temperature zones on a truck, and also plan the optimal sequence for loading and unloading according to this. And another example on hazarded loads, you might have to take road restrictions into account. And planning any of these scenarios manually is pretty complicated, even if you only have a small number of constraints. And so, with our solution, the constraints are taken into account and are also shown to the planner. And the most optimal plan is created with a push of a button. I'm only mentioning these couple of examples. But we support, of course, many more in the Smart Routing solution.
12:03 Donna Davis
I would also say that, if we look at our clients and their transportation operations, we do see a lot of overlap, but also really completely different products that they transport. And it's great that Smart Routing can support such a wide variety. The capability is available out of the box with a solution, and it's easily configured to support different company requirements. Our customers include customers in industries such as retailers, vehicle transportation companies, less than truckload, full truckload transporters. And we also support companies who manage inventory levels at their customers. So, we ensure that products get picked up and or dropped off in time. And that's really important in industries like agriculture, dairy, oil and gas, where pickup and delivery times are really time sensitive.
13:00 Therese Snow
So, from what I've heard in the market, it seems that companies are looking for cloud solutions. Is that what you offer too?
13:09 Barbara Roos
Yes, Therese. We offer Smart Routing, oh, yeah, it's a cloud solution. And it can be accessed from within your own company or your own network or from anywhere else. And this gives maximum flexibility for our customers to scale up in the future without extra cost of hardware. And the great thing also about this step, we also maintain the solution. And that certainly takes off the pressure from an internal IT team. And the other great thing is it's not only a cloud solution, but it's also a managed software as a service solution. And this allows your company to get the benefits from a cloud solution, but also combined with the advantages of configuring the solution to some of your specific needs to gain and maintain your competitive advantage in the market.
14:12 Donna Davis
Certainly, over the last couple of years, we've seen more and more companies move towards the cloud. And we're really happy with Smart Routing to provide this. I think a managed software solution provides the best of all worlds. It's easily accessible, it's easy to maintain, in fact, we maintain it for you, and it delivers value in a short amount of time, which is what all companies are looking for.
14:35 Therese Snow
Oh yeah, absolutely. So, if I'd like to understand a bit more of what the steps are to deploy this at my company, for example, what can I expect?
14:46 Barbara Roos
Yeah, you can easily deploy it at your company. And the implementation time is actually a matter of weeks. And I would love to discuss this further in detail with you. It of course, depends on the quality of the data. But we also offer support with that because data is at the basis of what the solution comes back with. But in case you're interested, yeah, don't hesitate to call or email us. The Smart Routing solution is designed to deliver value quick. And I'm confident that for your company, we will also see the cost saving and additional business benefit immediately after the implementation, just like with our other customers.
And I'm also, and that's so great, because I'm happy to report that the planners actually, that use the solution day in and day out, love the fact that the immediate data insight, and the results of their actions is at their fingertips, so they can actually make better decisions. Lastly, the customers of you. So, your own customers will also benefit from smart routing. Because by doing the planning more efficiently, and making sure that you meet these delivery and pickup times, you're actually providing better customer service to your own customers. So that's a great benefit too.
16:26 Therese Snow
Oh, yeah, certainly, certainly is. So, honestly, this sounds like a really exciting offer for the transporters to improve their efficiency and reduce transportation costs. So, thank you both for sharing your insight on this.
16:40 Barbara Roos
Yes, we're happy to be here. And thank you for being able to provide this information in this podcast.
16:50 Therese Snow
Absolutely, my pleasure. To learn more, check out the Ab Ovo website at ab-ovo.com and search for Smart Routing. You can also contact Barbara directly at Barbara.Roos@ab-ovo.com. This information will also be posted on our DELMIA podcast page. So, thanks again for being our guests today, Donna and Barbara. Thanks to our listeners for tuning into DELMIA’s podcast, Global Operations on the Go.