Guid.New and TRUDI: Increased efficiency through the digitization of logistics processes
- 11. November 2021
- Posted by:
- Category: Blog Category, sensor technology, smart city
TRUDI digitizes the last mile in combined transport.
Bernd Hirschmann, co-founder Guid.New
- ASP.NET Core
Tasks and Goals
- Requirements analysis
- Productive system operation
- Maintenance and further development
Silicon Alps partner Guid.New has been engaged in working on a revolutionary system in logistics called TRUDI App, a web-based tool that is used to process around 100.000 container transports per year by over 100 subcontractors and drivers. It fulfils tasks in the digitization of order management for the last mile in combined transport. This includes the planning, control and tracking of container transport.
Guid.New was responsible for the review of the code architecture of the system. They were able to minimize costs after an analysis of requirements, architecture, implementation, products systems operation as well as maintenance and further development.
Digitization of order management for the last mile in combined transport. This includes the planning, control and tracking of container transports. Development of a web-based tool that is used to handle around 100,000 container transports per year by over 100 subcontractors and drivers.
TRUDI is a neutral platform for the entire logistics industry with the aim of promoting the sustainable digitization of the last mile in container traffic.
Company: CN Logistics and Service Group GmbH
We have asked Bernd Hirschmann, Co-Founder of Guid.New and project lead for TRUDI for a Techtalk Interview.
Bernd, how did the project/ the cooperation come into existence?
Like any other forwarding agency, our customer, Roland Spedition, faced the challenge of digitization. Nikolaus Hirnschall (managing director of Roland Spedition and initiator of the TRUDI app) wanted to make truck transports in the last mile more efficient by digitizing the process steps, ensuring more transparency communication and ending the error-prone chaos of paper.
Due to the change of transportations in the logistic chain, the combined traffic sets high requirements on the administration. Without digitization, the processes would be intransparent, and error-prone chaos of paper would follow. Order data are transferred and edited via different media (e-mail, SMS, telephone), making the working steps very costly. Misunderstandings, transmission errors and lost documents caused additional expense for dispatchers and long waiting times, especially for drivers on the terminals – valuable working time was wasted.
Photo: Bernd Hirschmann ©Wolfgang Hummer
What were the concrete steps for the project?
The client began to develop a prototype. This was already productively applied with a few partners in a restricted range of functions. Then he recognized that it was too costly to lead the development by himself and very hard to recruit people. That is why he was searching for a competent partner in long-term cooperation and implementation of the project, so he contacted us.
Our first step was an analysis of the existing prototype. We observed and analyzed the architecture and the code; decided what we could work with, what needed to be revised and what we could develop in a new way. A special request from Nikolaus Hirnschaal was also the reduction of costs of the cloud. Here, we also performed an analysis and found many cost-saving options.
The second step was to take on the development of the software. For doing so, we set up an automated CI/CD pipeline and established several test environments. In this way, we could ensure that we always had a functioning code stand and that changes and new functions could be tested and verified soon by the client. In the next step, we revised and optimized the existing code. Since the previous version was a prototype, we now focused on making the code maintainable and easily scalable.
I the last step, we enlarged the team and began to implement new features. The first steps were carried out by only a few people, to avoid getting in each other’s way during the major revisions. It was also crucial to first establish a solid basis before enlarging the team. Only in that way, high quality can be guaranteed if different persons work on one software simultaneously.
Which obstacles did you have to overcome?
The focus of the prototype was to find a solution as fast as possible. Code quality, architecture and performance were minor issues in this phase. Before we could develop new functions with a bigger team, it was clear we had to ensure a stable fundament. As with any other prototype, we were faced with the question of whether to revise the existing code or rather start completely from the beginning. After the analysis of the code and architecture and because of the fact that the system was already in productive operation, we decided to revise the existing prototype. We gradually revised the system and did effective releases over and over again. Of course, it was a challenge to revise the whole system without restricting the productive operation. For a while, for example, parts were operated in an old and new version at the same time until a complete changeover was finally possible. Looking back now, it was the right decision, despite the challenges. During the gradual changeover, we were also able to fix reported problems and incorporate smaller features. With the completely new development, we would still have had to continue maintaining the old system and make small changes. In that way, we could concentrate on one system.
So in summary, which major contribution did Guid.New make to TRUDI?
Guid.New was responsible for the review of the code architecture of the system. Furthermore, we optimized the cloud services to save costs. Our tasks also included an analysis of requirements, architecture, implementation, products systems operation as well as maintenance and further development.
What are the concrete areas of application of the product/project – which problems does it solve (even for society)?
TRUDI- a web-based, central communication tool for forwarders, hauliers, terminals and authorities ensures clarity. The entire order data is administrated centrally and can be viewed by everyone involved. The resulting improved communication and complete documentation increase process efficiency. Transports are assigned and tracked by dispatchers and subcontractors via the web interface. Drivers receive orders and instructions via the mobile app. Feedback such as pick-up, drop-off and stopovers are provided by the driver. The integrated slot booking is used for coordination with the container terminals. The developed software solution can be easily connected to existing IT systems thanks to well thought-out interfaces.
Thanks to the TRUDI app, the last mile is now handled smoothly – efficiency increases, costs decrease. Transparent communication and tight processes make order processing easier to understand for everyone involved in the process. Misunderstandings, transcription errors and lost papers are a thing of the past. The app ensures a better workload of freighters and drivers, stores important documents, and minimizes lead times with slot booking at the terminal.
So in the bigger picture, is there a main benefit for society?
Combined transport is the ideal concept to achieve climate protection goals and at the same time allow goods to be transported. The main run, i.e. the longest route, takes place in combined transport on the rail – the truck is only necessary on the last mile. As a result, enormous amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases can be avoided, especially if the railway is powered by electricity from renewable sources. If the trucks can be operated “green” in the future, one approaches the completely climate-neutral transport of goods very closely.
Do you plan further developments? If so, in which direction?
We are currently working on features such as the “billing and cost overview”. These will further simplify the day-to-day work for freight forwarders and carriers. With the planned integration of the “digital consignment note”, we are taking a further step towards paperless processing of the last mile in combined transport.
What does the future look like? What are the further goals of the project?
We have achieved a lot, but this is just the beginning.
After a year of working together on TRUDI, we have created a tool that has permanently changed the last mile in container traffic. What has actually improved ?! Thanks to transparent communication, the process has become more understandable for everyone involved. Misunderstandings and transmission errors are now a thing of the past. Important documents are now administrated directly within the app. Thanks to the slot booking function, we can reduce lead times at the same time. In addition, there is a better workload of hauliers and drivers.
Of course, we won’t be standing still – for us, this is just the beginning. We are currently working on features such as the “billing and cost overview”. These will further simplify the daily work for freight forwarders and hauliers. With the planned integration of the “digital consignment note”, we are taking a further step towards paperless processing of the last mile in combined transport. In addition to the further digitization of the supply chain, the focus is on expanding the partner network. In the near future, customers will be able to use the advantages of the TRUDI app at other terminals in the DACH region.