Stow is one of the leading providers of static storage and racking systems, with a focus on the development and production of high-quality racking systems. Stow is an international player with 10 production sites and supplies products and services in more than 40 countries worldwide.
- Belgium, Dottenijs
- June 2020
“Inbound and outbound have increased tremendously in recent years, which has resulted in unsafe situations. The initial request was therefore to do something about the access control for trucks, particularly in the context of the safety of our employees”
Bram Van Coillie, Warehouse Manager of the Stow Group, has worked for Stow for 7 years and has witnessed the company's growth firsthand. The site in Dottignies, too. "In the initial years, we shipped about 95,000 tons of coils per year from Dottignies. By comparison, today we ship around 160,000 tons annually. The number of inbound and outbound trucks has therefore increased enormously, resulting in unsafe situations and many trailers. The parking lot is limited in size, but expansion plans are in the works. The initial request for Peripass, 4 years ago, then still under the name Behind The Buttons, was therefore to do something about the access control for trucks, mainly in the context of security and in light of the growth."
Creating a safe environment for employees and drivers
Safety is the main motivation for Stow to implement Peripass at the site. "Our primary goal was to protect our staff by keeping down their numbers between the trucks. It used to be that people would go and meet the drivers in the parking lot, walking back and forth, to inform them personally about who could or could not drive in. The implementation with the installation of barriers and the Self-Service Kiosk was rolled out and access control was fine-tuned according to Stow's wishes. By automating access, we were also able to improve our employees' efficiency.
"It used to be that people would go and meet the drivers in the parking lot, walking back and forth, to inform them personally about who could or could not drive in."
"The current process is not yet completely autonomous, but that is a deliberate choice for the simple reason that we still wanted to hand over and check the papers ourselves. For inbound they want to receive a signed delivery note; this is done at the quays. For outbound, this is done in the office, at the logistics information point. In the initial phase, we did not want to make changes to this yet."
How the registration process works
"The trucks arrive at the site, at which point the drivers register on the Peripass platform. They receive a PIN code to access the site through a turnstile and barriers. They register at the information point and receive the necessary papers. Then they return to their truck and are notified by SMS when they can drive in and where to go. Drivers can enter the site with the PIN code they have received. When they drive back out again, the papers have to be signed off and in some cases, there has to be an extra check on the securing of the material or a check of the delivery note. They can leave the site with the same PIN code that was generated by the Peripass platform."
"Drivers register on the Peripass platform and receive a PIN code to access the site."
Implementing new developments in Dottignies
"In the meantime, our needs have changed, which means that many new developments are in the pipeline. The registration process is not yet fully automatic. By using Peripass we gained a better sense of the needs. We want to shift to a system where physical contact between reception staff and truck drivers is no longer required."
"By using Peripass, new needs have become clear and new developments are in the pipeline."
"In many companies, rapid steps will now be taken to completely eliminate contact. Stow also has a need to eliminate the initial interpersonal contact. Not only because of Covid-19 and health reasons, but also because we are confronted with 12 to 14 different languages. Because we still maintain personal contact, despite the use of the Self-Service Portal, this is still leading to communication problems, sometimes resulting in frustrations and heated discussions. We want to get rid of that completely."
"We want to communicate with the drivers more through text, but preferably through images. There is now a solution for this: all information will be presented visually on the Self-Service Portal and must be checked off. Safety regulations and/or general instructions for entering the business park: Releasing air suspension when you drive in, to avoid hitting the overhead crane is a typical example. By digitizing operational instructions and safety guidelines, we get better tracking of who has accepted our guidelines."
"Now all the guidelines are only provided on paper, but nothing is signed. In the future, we will therefore be much better covered, because the checked off list can be shown to the carrier himself. In the event of dispute, we will be able to demonstrate perfectly that drivers did in fact agree to our required guidelines. This is now all in the pipeline and we just need to get it done quickly so that we can work more in this way."
Additional optimization for truck dispatching
"What we also want to roll out in the short term is setting up separate dispatch dashboards for the various locations on the site. All logistics activities are currently displayed on one dispatch dashboard, with a physical person doing the dispatching between the different loading and unloading docks manually. We want to split this up and provide a separate dispatch dashboard per gate: every operator or employee will manage a gate or loading dock and can see and manage their own registered trucks. This will allow us to avoid the role of 'subdispatcher'."
"We are currently not yet working with inbound planning, but in the future we want to use Peripass for that: we want to use the platform to monitor the distribution and occupation of the loading docks."
"We are currently not yet working with inbound planning, but in the future we want to use Peripass for that: we want to use the platform to monitor the distribution and occupation of the loading docks. Or by working with standard exports, with pivot tables in Excel or directly in Peripass. To do this, we still need to prepare the drop-down menus for the Self-Service Portal internally."
"We notice that when we let drivers fill in text freely, names and names of carriers get spelled in all kinds of different ways, so that no clear lists can be made for reporting. By working with a drop-down menu, with pre-filled information, which only has to be checked, it will be possible to analyze the data much more quickly and easily. We also want to incorporate this into the next upgrade that is currently underway."
Preparing a link between Peripass and SAP
"In addition to the content, the link with SAP also needs to be prepared. Right now, we are rolling out the current version of SAP across all sites in the group in order to be able to work in a uniform, automated way. We will then upgrade all the sites to S4Hana, the most recent version of SAP. We are looking at how we can free up the necessary resources to make the real connection between the two platforms, together with Peripass."
Next steps, new features
"The next steps are currently being discussed with the Peripass Customer Success team: the ongoing project integration with SAP, avoiding physical contact at reception, further automating access control and setting up separate dispatch dashboards. New sessions are being planned to see what Peripass can do, but also according to the resources that are available in Stow's SAP team. Reexamining the product in detail to see what else we can use has proved worthwhile for us. It brings us closer to an autonomous registration process."
"Reexamining the product in detail to see what else we can use has proved worthwhile for us."
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