App Automates Shipper Scheduling

Elogex's new Appointment Scheduling software automates the scheduling of pickup and delivery appointments between suppliers, receivers and carriers.

Elogex Inc. next week will round out its collaborative logistics suite with the announcement of its Appointment Scheduling software.

The Appointment Scheduling solution, offered as a hosted service, automates the scheduling of pickup and delivery appointments between suppliers, receivers and carriers primarily in the grocery and consumer goods industries.

Currently the majority of appointments and subsequent adjustments are confirmed by phone or fax, according to Elogex officials, in Charlotte, N.C. The Appointment Scheduling application reduces that manual contact by creating a shared online appointment book that provides shipment status and real-time notification of appointment changes on a full-time basis.

The application is configurable so that complex scheduling can be modeled to fit a particular business needs. The appointment time window is dynamically calculated based on the supplier, order size and loading method to increase utilization of dock and warehouse space.

Each calendar – which can be viewed by the shipper, receiver and carrier – can be configured for length or appointment, maximum capacity and scheduling cutoffs. Specific dock doors can be configured by shipping and receiving hours, reducing the amount of time a carrier sits at a dock waiting to unload at a warehouse – a persistent problem in the transportation industry, according to Gene Tyworth, chairman of the department of business logistics at Penn State University, and a member of the Elogex advisory board.

Specific functionality of the Appointment Scheduling service include:

Instant Access to Status information – which synchronizes information with the current status of shipment and appointments for shippers, receivers and carriers,

Real-time Notification – which provides immediate notification via subscribed alerts for significant events in the life of the appointment, including re-schedules, cancellations and order amendments,

Direct Order Integration – which advises suppliers of product requirements in advance of scheduling through integration with purchase order systems,

Compliance – which monitors carriers and vendors for compliance with prescribed delivery dates.

The Appointment Scheduling service will be generally available Feb. 1 as either a stand-alone application or as part of Elogex Network product suite.

The Elogex Network suite consists of four components that automate inbound transportation, outbound transportation, monitoring and enterprise asset optimization.

Pricing for Appointment Scheduling was not available.