Z-Trail: ERP-system for shipping company

“Z-trail” – ERP-system for shipping company

"Z-trail" is an information system for transport business. The most important potentialities of the system are the following:
  • Dealing with customers
  • Control and optimization of productive capacity
  • List of services and cost management
  • Forming of rules for route building for each service
  • Processing of requests (automatic transport control center)
  • Forming and closing of waybills
  • Salary accounting
  • Data analysis

The main feature of the system is online route optimization (less than one minute for each request).


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Forming of rules for route building

The system is universal due to the rules of route building. Each request received from the customer must be connected with only one freight service. The list of freight services is defined by the user on-stream. The set of typical route points must be determined by the user for each freight service. For example we shall view a typical service called “container replacement”. In extreme case (the waybill consists of one request) the route will be the following:
  1. A truck without a container moves from the garage to the storage of containers.
  2. Then the truck with an empty container moves from the storage of containers to the customer’s site. The customer’s container is filled with waste.
  3. The truck with a full waste container moves from the customer’s site to a waste-processing center. The empty container is left to the customer.
  4. The truck with an empty container moves from the processing center to the storage of containers.
  5. The truck without a container moves from the storage of containers to the garage.
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Thus we have determined the rule for a typical service called “container replacement”. If the waybill has more than one request, the “Z-trail” system will arrange the rules and remove unnecessary points.

The list of freight services is determined by the user on-stream. However the system has the basic set of rules for freight service:
  • “loading” – a truck with an empty container is loaded without installation of the container at the customer’s site
  • “installation” - an empty container is installed at the customer’s site
  • “waste removal” – a truck with a full waste container moves from the customer’s site to a processing center, then delivers empty container back to the customer's site
  • “evacuation” – a truck removes full waste container from the customer’s site
  • “replacement” – a truck replaces a full waste container with an empty container installed at the customer’s site
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Each request must be indicated with type of waste to find a processing center for this type of waste with minimum request implementation time.

On-stream the system user manages the information about processing centers on his own. Each processing center must be indicated with the list of waste types, working hours, and other information available. For example:
  • processing center 1: Wood, Building Materials including Gypsum Board, 24/7
  • processing center 2: Clay Roof Tiles, Glass, Plastic, Food waste, 8/5
The user can add new waste types at any time. However the request for new waste type service may be added into the waybill only in case one or more processing centers receive this type of waste.

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The company can use more than one type of containers. The “Z-trail” system provides each type of container with an individual rule and individual list of vehicles.

Business accounting

For each type of agreement the system user must define plan of invoices. According to the defined plan the system automatically forms invoices for each agreement. According to the information in waybills the system computes sum of invoices. As soon as the customer receives the invoice the user can not delete or make any corrections in the invoice or other documents.

According to the plan of invoices the system forms invoices for a period. For each service the system defines an actual tariff and for each type of agreement the user defines discounts. Forming another invoice the system checks the customer’s balance. For each customer the system also forms detailed acts of services performed and other documents.

Applications for top managers allows them to control the process of forming, receiving of invoices and their payments.

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Control and optimization of productive capacity

The information about productive capacity is the basis for control center functioning. The main aim is to control the efficiency of vehicle and container use online. Most part of freight services is connected with container usage. The system provides the user with full information about location and motion of each container. For each type of vehicle the system user must determine: type of container, container capacity, etc.

The control center functioning is based on production plan designed for each shift, for each working day. For example, on 2007/03/12:
  • Shift from 9:00 to 17:00, vehicle type: MAZ MSK 10-02, vehicle items - 2
  • Shift from 14:00 to 21:00, vehicle type: MAZ MSK 10-02, vehicle items - 1
The control center has an opportunity to receive a request on 2007/03/12 only according to this plan.

Forming a new agreement (agreement positions) the system displays information about new customer’s sites. To have the customer’s new sites serviced the user must activate new site service and enter into the system time information between processing centers and new sites. This time information is important for the first requests from new sites. Then on the basis of closed waybills this time information will be corrected.

The routing statistical information is the basis for waybill design and optimization. In simple case (without GPS information) the source for routing statistics is waybills. During data analysis the system constructs time dependencies for motion from site to site (certain mathematic methods). For example, information about motion between two sites:

00-01 01-02 02-03 20-21 21-22 22-23 23-24
20 min. 20 min. 20 min. 50 min. 30 min. 30 min. 20 min.

As it is seen from the example, motion time is computed for each hour. The system designs waybills (with optimization) according to this fact. A big deviation in new data from the previous one is the reason for manual intervention. For example (connected with the above example):

00-01 01-02 02-03 20-21 21-22 22-23 23-24
20 min. 70 min. 20 min. 50 min. 30 min. 30 min. 20 min.

In this case (70 min.) the system allows the user to correct this data. If the reason of this big deviation is a vehicle breakdown (for example), the user must ignore this statistics data. But if the reason of the deviation is objective, the user must confirm this statistics data.

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Processing of requests

The request for service is the basic notion in the system. The request is the basic for waybills, invoices, reports, etc. Only a call from the customer or agreement with time schedule is the reason for request. The request is performed only for a certain active agreement position. The main attributes of request are:
  • Time interval
  • Type of service
  • Type of load (waste)
The request processed successfully gets in the system estimated time. After the waybill is closed the system provides the user with information about request result and its fact time.

The process of request receiving is the following:
  1. The dispatcher finds the necessary agreement position (by agreement number, site address, customer’s name, etc).
  2. The dispatcher selects a vehicle from day’s plan (for example: from 9:00 to 17:00, vehicle type: MAZ MSK 10-02).
  3. The dispatcher selects type of service from record list. The system offers types of services available for the situation. For example, if a container is not installed on the site, the service with type “uninstalled” will not be present on record list.
  4. The dispatcher selects type of waste (if necessary).
  5. If the customer wants to have the request performed during a certain time interval, the dispatcher enters this interval into the system.
  6. The request is computed in the system.
  7. The dispatcher reads the system report (whether the request can be performed successfully during the required time interval or failed stating reasons).


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Forming and closing the waybills

All waybills based on requests. Some time before shift the dispatcher lost opportunity for work with one. This time interval mean for creation and printing of waybill. Then steps of waybill creation are following:
  • Define the vehicle
  • Define the driver
  • Define some information (mileage, fuel and others).
For each waybills the system automatically creates the application. This application contains detail information about route points, customer of each points number of containers and others.

The closing of waybills consist of the following main steps:
  • Information about mileage, fuel and others
  • Information about results of customer services and exact actual time for each route point
  • Information about ID for all containers, that was moved during waybill

Dealing with customers

All actions in the system concerning customer’s requests are available only for agreements signed. The agreement contains information about the customer, bank details, contact people, etc. Each agreement includes information about customer’s sites served, type of containers needed and quantity for each type. Each agreement may have one or more positions, for example:
  • 12, Park Road: 2 containers (capacity 6 cubic meters)
  • 56, Lenin street: 1 containers (capacity 27cubic meters)
For each position of agreement the system allows to perform customer requests only for services from the list of services according to the type and quantity of containers.

The agreement may have service schedule. In this case service requests are done automatically.

The type of agreement must be defined for each agreement. This type determines the following:
  • text of documents for printing
  • account system
  • discount system
The first status of agreement is “project”. To get status “active”, certain operations must be performed: input information about payment (for certain types of agreements), input technical information about customer’s sites, etc. While the agreement is not “active”, service request is not available.

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Salary accounting

The system user can define the rules of bonus accounting for each type of employees. For example: dispatchers, drivers, mechanics, managers and other employees

All rules of bonus accounting are based on (for a period):
  • Quantity of services performed
  • Quantity of incoming requests for services
  • Quantity of waybills
  • Quantity of vehicle
  • Quantity of containers
  • etc.
The system of bonus accounting is based on relations between employees and all actions in the information system. For example:
  • each incoming request for service processed by the dispatcher
  • each waybill includes the name of a driver, operator, doctor, etc.
  • each agreement processed by the manager


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Developers and distributors LLC «I-Set»
Contact us:
Russia, Moscow city, Velyaminovskaya str., 6/1, 135       
tel.: (495) 369 20 76
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