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Enhancing Operational Efficiency in First/Middle Mile Logistics with a Connected Asset Platform

Problem Statement

One of the biggest problems that plagues an organization with on-field assets is the inability to get a good grip on its operational efficiency.

Transportation and Logistics make up the backbone of Indian industry. Be it the petroleum sector, cement, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, beverages, yeah, you name it! – all these sectors rely heavily on transportation and logistics to manage their day-to-day activities. While there’s such huge dependence on using transportation backbone it’s actually surprising to note that most of the industry does not have an objective metric to get a handle of the operational efficiency of its lifeline – it’s fleet.

Without a concrete handle on the problem and quantifying the problem statement, these industries cannot work towards enhancing their operational efficiency and henceforth improve the bottomline.

This white paper picks a specific usecase of a Plant<->Dealer working model in a petroleum usecase and explains how Enmovil solutions helps its customer get to the next level of optimized fleet management.

HPCL

HPCL Gas Bottling plants (Anantapur/Kondapalli) deploy LPG cylinders from the plant to authorized distributors across various districts, towns and cities. The plant operates more than a hundred trucks on a daily basis to transport cylinders across towns.

This transportation has three key stakeholders, viz, the plant supervisor that controls deployment and the destination, the transporter/owner of the fleet and the distributor who receives the shipment.

While the plant’s daily operations rely on the fleet operating to the highest efficiency, they did not have an objective metric to analyze and improve the same. With multiple stake-holders in the mix, it becomes a very hard problem to have everyone aligned on the sources of in- efficiency and work together towards fixing them.

Background:

A typical loading/unloading cycle of LPG cylinders from plant to the distributor has various aspects involved in it:

  • A truck loaded with empty cylinders enters a plant.
  • The empty cylinders get unloaded and filled up cylinders are loaded to the truck.
  • The truck is then assigned a distributor where the cylinders need to be transported.
  • The truck takes off from the plant and reaches the distributor.
  • The godown where the trucks get unloaded are the authorized godowns that meet safety requirements.
  • The cylinders get unloaded and the empty ones from the distributor get loaded back into the truck.
  • The truck starts its route back to the plant.

Essentially, there are various stages involved in a complete operational cycle. This part of the logistics that involves transportation of goods from the origin or a fulfilment centre to a godown or dealer is typically classified into the first/middle mile logistics in the industry. Contrast this with the “last mile” problem that involves shipping/transporting the goods from the dealer/godown to the end-consumer.

A plant can operate at its full efficiency if each of its vehicles optimizes its usage every step of the way. So, it is only obvious that a plant would like to understand and improve in all of the following areas:

  • The time it takes for a truck to unload and load a new lot in the plant.
  • The distance travelled and the time consumed to travel to destination. And how it compares against the expected times.
  • The destination where the commodity is actually unloaded. If it is different from an authorized location, it needs to be escalated to highlight any possible safety concerns with an unauthorized unloading point.
  • The time it takes for a truck to finish the unload/load cycle at the distributor. • Time consumed for the truck to reach the plant.

Each step above needs to have a complete record and compared against an expectation. This expectation can either be defined from an existing database or built up over time based on data that is collected. This cycle is what ensures that a plant operates at its maximum efficiency.


enAlytics from Enmovil:

Enmovil’s enAlytics platform empowers our customer(s) to transform his operational model and provide objective insights to fix operational efficiency issues and continuously evaluate the impact of enhancements.

HPCL’s Anantapur plant, one of our customers, has seen an overall increase of 20% in its operational efficiency by adopting Enmovil’s solution.

Briefly, About Us:

Enmovil solutions delivers a Business Intelligence Platform based off a connected asset ecosystem to enhance organization’s operational efficiency.

Our solution involves indigenously built hardware that drive data to the cloud where our sophisticate analytical and machine learning algorithms perform a “soak, rinse, repeat” sequence on the data to extract first and second order information that makes sense to the management in an organization. The picture below gives a brief idea of how our remote satellites (entrac, entracPlus, enkonect) interface with our analytics platform to cater to customer requirements.

enmovil

Solution:

In the specific scenario, HPCL deployed our enAlytics solution with entrac™ as a complete logistics solution. The very baseline solution that entrac provides is a GPS tracker that ensures that the organization is always “fleet-aware”. But that’s only the entry point to our solution. This is essentially where most of the industry’s offerings end and where Enmovil starts off.

With our proprietary algorithms running in enAlytics, HPCL now gets a complete breakdown on their fleet’s usage model. An example report like the below shows a complete utilization summary with how the plant’s fleet has been utilized through the day.

enmovil

The report essentially summarizes every aspect of a truck’s round-trip journey including all the prescribed (and un-prescribed) stops, the expected time/distance to be consumed by a truck in its journey and the deviations from exception. This seemingly benign and innocuous report is a tremendously useful platform to get all the key stakeholders, the plant, transporter and distributor in sync on the source of problem and collaborate towards fixing the same.

While the above table gives a bottom up information, another important piece of information is a top-down perspective that the plant is very keen on looking for. This is Enmovil’s executive dashboard that provides an instant utilization summary of its fleet.

enmovil
enmovil

As one can observe, the above platform fits as a drop-in solution to all the industries that have a plant/distributor model used in logistics.

Enmovil’senAlytics also provides many more sensible objective metrics that are extracted from the data it gathers from its remote satellites. For example, an instant look at the below report shows information on driving patterns that highlight repeated violations of a given guideline. This is much more useful than highlighting a random behavior that doesn’t have a particular trend/analysis defined. This helps an appropriate in-charge to take educated corrective action.

The above chart is just an example of one of the many objective insights that the analytical engines can derive and help the management take corrective actions. Enmovil is able to educate organizations on the value proposition it brings in and we see a strong positive response amongst customers that have reviewed our solution.

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