Achieving these goals requires tight coordination
with shipping companies and supply chain partners - especially in the
future, when transportation planning will involve sharing transportation
resources to reduce costs, regardless of whether or not you have your
own fleet or rely on carriers. New trading communities, using Internet
marketplaces that replace traditional EDI transactions, will be the venue
in which partners, customers, and suppliers collaborate.
As a result, transportation management
will become a vital link between these partners in peer-to-peer environments,
as well as in private or public exchanges.
To support the required functions and processes
in these deeply integrated organizations, the need is growing to enhance
An Introduction to mySAP SCM Transportation Planning/Vehicle Scheduling
The mySAP SCM transportation planning
engine, Transportation Planning/ Vehicle Scheduling (TPVS), is designed
to provide transportation planners with the services necessary to manage
their logistics: inbound, outbound, intra-company, and inter-company.
With TPVS, customer orders, as well as deliveries, stock transfer orders,
scheduling agreement call-offs of a delivery plan, or purchase orders
can be consolidated into a single shipment.
TPVS provides transportation planners with
a user interface that integrates these tasks. From this interface, planners
can automatically consolidate orders into a shipment using an optimizer,
interactively change a shipment, select the carrier for a shipment automatically,
and collaborate with the service provider by tendering and scheduling
a shipment. Finally, the shipment can be released to mySAP SCM's Transportation
Execution functionality or any other execution system.
TPVS is designed as an integrative engine
within mySAP SCM, and communicates and interacts synchronously with all
mySAP.com solutions, including mySAP Customer Relationship Management
and mySAP Business Intelligence. TPVS can also be used as a transportation
planning engine for other Internet-driven solutions, to ensure efficient
logistics services in marketplaces or private exchanges.
Underneath its user-friendly interface,
the TPVS Workbench offers highly sophisticated algorithms. This combination
provides transportation planners with the shipment, order, resource, and
status information they need, along with all loading, transit, and unloading
activities for each specific shipment (see Figure 1).
||TPVS User Interface
Decision support services combined with
simulation capabilities are provided by the TPVS optimizer (or "VS optimizer,"
shown in Figure 2). Utilization of transportation resources is
improved by meaningful consolidation of orders, taking into account constraints
such as time windows, resource handling (e.g., the resources needed to
unload a truck), and compatibilities between products and transportation
types, to name just a few.
||mySAP SCM TPVS Optimizer
With the optimizer, you can determine the
best route, even with multiple pick-up and delivery shipments.
Transportation Planning Over the Entire Supply Chain
mySAP SCM TPVS exploits the opportunities
in the total supply chain network - something a manual process could never
do. Its breadth of func- tionality supports planners in selecting the
optimal combination of transportation modes:
- Carrier selection assists in analyzing opportunities to keep trucks
in motion. By keeping carrier assets highly utilized, you have an opportunity
to lower your transportation rates. The carrier selection feature allows
you to create continuous moves, combined with various other strategies,
to select your carrier. Supported strategies are freight costs (the
freight cost database features a wide variety of rating data structures),
contractual agreements with carriers, carrier priorities, capacity limits
of the carrier (see Figure 3), and assignment based on business
- Cross-docking capabilities are also supported. The TPVS Workbench
offers real-time visibility of the planned shipment schedule in a tabular
or graphical layout. This helps provide faster and more informed responses
to inquiries. With its easy-to-use interactive change capabilities,
the TPVS Workbench cuts costs and order cycle time, especially compared
to offline sheets and traditional paper forms.
- Shipment forecasting provides transportation planners with the ability
for longer-term forecasting, to plan for assets needed in the upcoming
weeks. With these shipment forecasting options, transportation planners
can plan for both short-term and mid-term horizons.
||Shipment and Capacity Overview
Short-Term and Long-Term Forecasting for You and Your Partners
Using advanced planning books, you can
adjust and calculate the number of assets you need over the next weeks
or even months. Transportation planners can use historical and time series
data from mySAP Business Intelligence to adjust the number of expected
shipments for specific transportation modes (train, ships, or trucks).
Based on the actual forecast of supply chain demands, they can create
a clear picture of the number of vehicles needed.
This planning data is also accessible via
the Internet, which allows planners to communicate directly with carriers,
and collaborate with them to determine the best carrier for each shipment.
SAP also includes TPVS in its business
collaboration blueprint for carrier selection, tendering, and billing,
as shown in the Shipment Tendering C-Business Map (Figure 4), available
||C-Business Map Using TPVS
Short Response Times and Efficient Shipment Schedules Mean Better
Of course, the best plan is of no use
if you cannot execute it. But if an optimal plan can be executed easily,
it reduces labor costs and delays associated with correcting infeasible
plans. With the tight integration between modules within mySAP SCM, transportation
planners can better execute shipments based on an optimal loading and
routing plan. And at execution, the focus can be on last-minute changes,
quality service, and improved responsiveness - making all operations more
With the ability to simultaneously optimize
transportation plans, execute all transportation moves, and measure execution
performance, planners can constantly revise and improve schedules and
contracts for upcoming periods. mySAP SCM - together with other mySAP.com
solutions such as mySAP Business Intelligence - helps companies make the
best use of their resources.
Bernd Mosbrucker is Business Development Manager in the GBU SCM at SAP, and was previously Product Manager for Transportation Management. He has conducted trainings on SAP's ATP, PPDS, and TPVS modules.
Before joining SAP, he was in sales and consulting with IDS SCHEER AG from 1992
to 2000, and worked as a software and implementation consultant for SAP's Supply Chain Management solutions in several industry sectors, including the automotive, paper, and process industries.