Consider the following scenario. You are a planner at a transportation company, responsible for onward transportation of air cargo. You must plan for unloading five containers from an airplane that lands at Frankfurt and their transportation to various destinations within Europe. Everything seems to be in order, but then you receive a phone call that your plane has landed to Brussels airport, due to weather conditions at Frankfurt.
You now need to find new transportation capacity near Brussels, which usually involves calling your partners, because all your own resources are already busy. You need to inform your clients, the resources that originally did the transportation, the handling agent, and many others, that the plans have changed. Finally, you need to find new transportation orders for the resources that were originally planned at Frankfurt. All this requires looking up transportation schedules, looking up transportation orders in your system, making phone calls to many different people, and searching and comparing many different information items, such as schedules, loading and unloading windows, transportation orders, partner properties and telephone numbers.
No surprise that transportation planners experience stress. They face the constant challenge of trying to keep an overview of all the transportation orders that are assigned to them. At the same time, they are never quite able to catch up with the current situation. Because as soon as they have collected all the information that they need, it has become outdated and they can start all over again.
To reduce that stress, planners should be provided with the technology that provides them with a quick overview of all relevant information. Such transportation ‘control tower’ software should provide them with information on their transportation orders, as well as a map that shows the geographical position of the relevant transportation resources, along with other relevant information, such as weather conditions, road conditions, and delay warnings.
When properly supported by software, transportation planners can do their work better and faster, while experiencing less ‘information stress’.