Software development company Dariel Solutions has developed a new enterprise software, currently named WBX, to increase the efficiency of managing the goods receiving and goods dispatch processes.
The development of the software, which started in August 2009, first went live with Dariel Solutions’ first client, a bulk manufacturer, in October. A steel manufacturer and a mining company have also bought the product, and the enterprise software is expected to go live in January 2011.
“Weighbridge software has never been a subject of focus and we recognised a strong need within businesses that operate weighbridges to be able to manage their goods receiving and dispatch operations in a more professional and efficient manner,” says Dariel Solutions exec- utive director Greg Vercellotti.
Previously, weighbridge software only had a few functions, in that it only displayed weight on a screen, printed a weighbridge ticket, stored the information and could print a report. Weighbridge software has always been a program that comes with weighbridge equipment so that the user can read the weights from it; however WBX software is compatible with all weighbridge equipment.
The older software does not meet the needs of logistics officers or materials managers as the software is outdated and it is written in an outdated version of the Visual Basic computer language that is no longer supported by Microsoft programs, the company states.
This results in individuals not being able to access information from the weighbridge software and integrate it into enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which is a large interrelated software package that manages the flow of information in ordering, warehousing, dispatching, accounting and reporting in a large organisation.
“The reason our weighbridge software is generating such inter- est is that the large ERP systems, such as JDE, Oracle and SAP, do not have a weighbridge module. That means any company that wants to automate the weighbridge process cannot do so. Our system integrates the weighbridge information with the ERP system. This closes the gap in an organisation’s processing capability,” says Vercellotti.
The logistics officer needs to be able to link the purchase order, weight, product delivery, goods received note, haulier and the driver. “Only once all the information is linked, does it become relevant. Currently, different individuals handle different sets of information, which leaves the end individual to try to locate all the pieces of information to make an invoice,” explains Vercellotti.
“We have not only designed a software, but have tried to completely change how the business process works, which is to bring all the processes to one point at the weighbridge,” he adds.
A feature of the program is that it is an online/offline application, which means that even if the network is offline, the weighbridge station will continue to operate, receive and dispatch trucks independently.
When the network goes back online, the programme will communicate with the home base, because all systems will have a centralised database, where all the weighbridge information is stored, and give management the option to check the status at any time.
Meanwhile, Vercellotti says: “Many companies face a massive fraud issue; for example, some companies lose R150 000 to R200 000 worth of products each month. Because the old software is basic, the weighbridge operator can manipulate the software and change the delivery status while the truck is, in reality, in a different place offloading the goods into another vehicle,” he adds.
To deal with this challenge, WBX has been linked to CCTV cameras at the weighbridge. When the transaction takes place, all the data from WBX is taken and overlaid onto the video of the CCTV footage so that individuals are able to quickly locate the footage with the information on a search engine.
Other features of the software enable the supplier to be linked to the receiver, as all relevant information will be sent from the supplier to the receiver through the Internet to ensure that, when the truck arrives, the receiver knows what to expect.
Because the system is integrated, it enables a company to load information for the next day so that the weighbridge operator only has to click on the correct information pertaining to the delivery, which results in pro- cesses moving faster and information being accurately captured.
“The software will also ensure that the legal elements of goods received and dispatched are met because drivers and trucks can be blacklisted. “The program will also weigh each axle individually and alert the operator if the axle is above the regulation limit. “It protects the roads and road users, as well as the company involved,” says Vercellotti.