The milk run was first coined in the USA; a reference to the milkman who would go from door to door to collect empty bottles and leave full ones in their place.
In modern industry, this efficient principle is applied by organising transportation that collects materials and parts from suppliers, predicting the average needs of production lines and optimising supply processes. This ensures the efficiency of the routes is enhanced, and transportation schedules are aligned with production schedules, thereby avoiding sending out vehicles for just a handful of goods and wasting resources.
In the Belluno and Treviso area, one common example is the transportation of semi-finished products between a number of local companies.
In planning the milk run, it is also necessary to bear in mind the collection areas, the amounts to be transported, the amount of time for which the materials to be collected/delivered are available, and any other information needed to create a standard pick-up/delivery round.
A clear-cut, measurable logistical improvement
Taking all these variables into account, our dispatch office rationalises supply flows: small loads from a number of suppliers are used to fill the vehicle completely, whilst at the same time ensuring all the parts needed for the various production stages reach their final destination.
This generates a virtuous circle, reducing the number of vehicles on the road and distances covered, as well as cutting storage costs. By ensuring production only receives the parts needed until the next delivery round, the size of stock tends to fall.
Lastly, there is also a reduction in transport and logistics costs: every journey is optimised and is generally made with a full load. By reducing the number of trips, the logistical costs involved in storing and maintaining the goods are also cut.
The most evident results afforded by this service are:
- Increased service quality
- Reduction in transportation costs
- Reduction of warehouse stock
- Turnover of stocks
The milk run enhances the advantages of a coordinated transportation and logistics service to the very maximum.