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TransFollow, the digital consignment note.
How do I connect with TransFollow?
1. Gather the chain partners together
The first step is for you to get together with all other parties concerned to learn what the TransFollow platform can offer and to decide which technical amendments will be necessary for connection. It is important to involve all parties in the supply chain at this stage, because TransFollow is a real chain solution. Therefore, organise an information session and invite representatives from the sender, transporter, recipient and perhaps the software suppliers concerned. For instance the sender’s ERP supplier, the transporter’s TMS and/or board computer supplier and the recipient’s WMS supplier. The information session can be held at TransFollow in Nootdorp, near Den Haag.
2. Determine the business case
Having a business case for the whole chain is important to get an insight into the advantages and disadvantages of implementation for all parties. The second step is therefore to create a mathematical model in which the process of the paper consignment note is weighed up against the digital consignment note. This is best carried out using the three following elements:
- Direct costs linked to the consignment note
- Indirect costs linked to the consignment note (Processing costs / delivery discrepancies)
- Implementation costs of TransFollow (Hardware / TransFollow products / software suppliers)
In this business case create a summary of the activities per party, so that you can list the advantages and disadvantages. For example the sender buys the consignment note, the transporter has high processing costs and the sender and recipient benefit from fewer delivery discrepancies.
3. Start by implementing the systems
Have you now agreed which logistics stream is to work with TransFollow? Then identify which system alterations are needed to allow connection. These alterations concern the software systems at the various parties. For instance the ERP system used by the sender to create and pass the consignment note to TransFollow. The transporter’s TMS, which he uses to communicate the driver’s planning and/or pass the consignment note to TransFollow. Or the recipient’s WMS that he wishes to keep up-to-date with the correct ETA. Connection to the TransFollow API is essential to make alterations to the system and it is therefore important to make clear arrangements with the different parties.
As soon as your software system is ready for connection to TransFollow, you can test whether it is working properly. To do so a partner environment is available, which includes mobile apps with which the sender and recipient can track and sign the consignment note. In the partner environment you can test both your adapted system and your first TransFollow-delivery in practice.
4. Discuss process implementation
Not only adapting the system but also digitalising the consignment note has an impact on the day-to-day business. The use of mobile applications when signing receipt of the delivery is a clear example. Therefore process implementation is something to be considered properly and with all parties concerned. Focus on the operational side: which activities are necessary to support the logistics process? But collaborate together on the planning: which logistics stream starts with TransFollow, which organisations and people are concerned and how should they be informed?
5. Involve the remaining employees
The final step is to inform those companies who until now were only indirectly involved with TransFollow. When you start up, explain to the employees at those companies what will change compared to how it was before. You may want to go into detail in the personal role of those involved in the new situation. It is important not to forget the recipient. TransFollow is new for them too. For example you can let the recipient know you’ll be using TransFollow by telling them when you confirm the assignment.