New routes in logistics at BMA: improved loading thanks to self-built app

Team’s own initiative for digitalised workflows and greater efficiency

At BMA we are always on the move – and not only when it comes to engineering services or the manufacture of equipment and plants for the sugar industry. Digitalisation plays a major role in our everyday work, helping us streamline our processes and making them faster and smarter. One perfect example is our self-built app, which takes logistics at BMA to the next level.

Accurate documentation of each consignment

At BMA, the loading of plant components for the construction or upgrade of sugar factories and refineries is a complex and responsible task. Every day, our loading team faces the challenge of ensuring the safety, quality and efficiency of loading vehicles such as an HGV. Accurate documentation plays a key role: for each consignment, its destination and how it is packaged and secured must be documented. 

The objective: reducing errors in logistics 

The loading process was previously documented on paper only – but this had a number of drawbacks. In the worst case, notes would be illegible, become damaged or even lost. A camera was required to take pictures, which had to be stored separately. In a nutshell: the analysis and archiving of logistics data was time-consuming and error-prone. 

Employee commitment – the key to the logistics app 

René Baumann from BMA saw this situation as a challenge: over several weeks and using Microsoft PowerApps, he developed a special logistics app that would make work easier for his colleagues. All the more remarkable because René had no previous experience of programming. He was highly motivated to acquire all the knowledge he needed to successfully digitalise the loading workflow at BMA. 

At a glance: all loading details in one app 

With the app, the loading team now needs only a BMA smartphone to handle the entire documentation process, even the necessary photos: the logistics app automatically assigns them to the relevant loading order and then stores them. Benefits for the loading team include a clearly structured overview of the goods at all times – and the seamless documentation of every consignment. 

Legal safeguards on the road: documenting the condition of the consignment 

Digitalisation and the logistics app have improved the documentation workflow at BMA. They also provide significant legal safeguards. The app guides the loading team through the process, prompting them to document details of how a load is secured – such as the number of chains or ratchet straps used – and the condition of the transport vehicle. All necessary data are digitally confirmed in the app by both the loading team and the drivers. This shows clearly that the consignment was in proper condition at the time of loading. 

Saving time and paper – gaining quality and control 

At present, four members of the BMA team have the app installed on their smartphones, to permit efficient documentation of the loading process. All documented processes are stored safely in a SharePoint list, which is accessible to our logistics department at all times. This makes the app an extremely useful tool for BMA: it significantly improves the logistics process and our loading team’s workload. The app saves both time and paper, as well as enhancing data quality and reliability. In addition, it permits better control of the loading process at BMA. Overall, the logistics app is an excellent example of how our company can benefit from digitalisation. 

A series of insights: digitalisation and automation at BMA 

The logistics app developed by us marks the start of a series that presents digitalisation and automation projects at BMA. Look out for our next articles, which show how we are actively shaping the digital change.