Future-proofing returnable asset management

Exploring poolers’ independent, trusted platform for simplifying supply chains

Efficiency. Cost- effectiveness. Optimized customer service. Sustainability. These are common aims in the pooling sector, for which an end- to- end overview of transport flows and returnable asset locations is key. Yet with so many perspectives involved in pooling supply chains, gaining this accurate overview is no easy task. Drivers, carrier companies, contractors, producers, manufacturers, end customers, and poolers themselves all have unique ways of working, business models, and objectives to reach. In addition, regulations on hosting and sharing data change from country to country, as do ways of working and preferred software.

Whether each of these stakeholders interacts with others directly or indirectly, their operations create a ripple effect that ultimately impacts the full returnable asset ecosystem around them. As a result, the fastest route to saving on time, costs, and emissions — as well as optimizing performance for end customers — is for all the stakeholders involved in returnable asset supply chains to gain end- to- end insights.

For poolers, a reliable, data- driven overview of this ecosystem is especially crucial. Each operating within their silo, their optimizations can only extend so far. Pooling data for wider insights, however, enables far- reaching evolutions to boost time- and cost- efficiency, service delivery, and emissions reductions across the sector.

In this whitepaper, we’ll explore the barriers currently preventing poolers from accessing these vital insights. We’ll also introduce TrackOnline: The independent software solution designed to support poolers to revolutionize their returnable asset flows, for long- term business advantage.

Data silos are holding the pooling industry back

We hear from our pooler clients that the lack of an end-to-end overview is holding their business back, limiting them from providing the optimal, efficient, and sustainable service they want to offer their clients.

Key pain points include:

1. Time-consuming multiple logins

On average, poolers’ end customers are accessing 5 to 6 different software systems to place their returnable asset orders.

With multiple sets of login credentials to store and remember, the risks of security breaches and forgotten details multiply. Overall, this wastes resources: Time, energy, and money.
However, a single, standardized interface — where pooler’s end customers can place orders with multiple companies at once — would be a game-changer.

2.  Inability to track returnable assets

Whether you’re tracking assets via balance confirmation or manual counting, the potential for delays, discrepancies, and manual error is significant.

Resolutions and recoupments can drag on for months – even years- as poolers struggle to follow up on misplaced assets while keeping ongoing daily business operations on track. Costs can climb into the millions. Digitizing the process, however, provides much- needed solutions:

  • Eliminating error- prone physical paperwork
  • Enabling automatic notifications for periodic counting
  • Enabling real- time location updates
  • Increasing transparency and accountability
  • Saving time, stress, and cost in returnable asset tracking

3.  CO2 emissions from underfilled trucks

Individual poolers may not practically be able to ensure their trucks are at full capacity each time they make a trip. A customer may have ordered a full vehicle load of returnable assets, for example, then retain 50% of the order for longer- term use, so the truck travels back just 50%full.

But what if there were two pooling companies in the same situation, each with roughly 50% of a truckload of returnable assets to be picked up from the same location?
If the carrier company could liaise with both those poolers, they could pick up both sets of assets and complete the return journey with a full truckload. Reducing carrier costs, reducing driver time and congestion on the road, and reducing CO2 emissions from the transport.

Independent, centralized data insights for poolers

Providing a single exchange platform for sector- critical data, TrackOnline provides both the centralized streamlining and customizable adaptability required to drive the pooling sector forward.

1. Independence and data integrity

As an independent software company, we’ ve been a trusted partner for poolers for over 20 years. Our priority is ensuring our clients’ data remains secure, with firewalls and stringent protocols in place.

Our clients are welcome to utilize the TrackOnline Exchange platform for their own insight and information, without sharing their data with fellow sector players.

Ultimate efficiency in time, cost, and emissions, however, comes from end- to- end, sector- wide overviews. TrackOnline provides the toolset for poolers looking to share their data with fellow operators in pursuit of ultimate process optimization, always at the individual pooling company’ s discretion.

2. Access centralized data, with freedom to build custom applications on top

TrackOnline’ s logic provides a ready- to- use, adaptable interface for poolers to access the underlying TrackOnline Exchange data: Tracking movements, routes, carriers, products, and so on.

Poolers who prefer to use or build proprietary third- party software to interface with TrackOnline Exchange data are also free to do so. This enables poolers to add additional details as needed, laying data- driven foundations for optimizing their company, supply chain, and per- transaction operations.

3. Time-saving single login

TrackOnline offers a single platform for poolers’ end customers to place orders from various returnable asset suppliers, no matter what type or combination of returnable assets they are ordering.

This standardized user experience eliminates time-consuming logins across multiple systems. Intuitive, accessible, and easy to use, TrackOnline’s interface is designed with users in mind.
Customizable for each user account, the TrackOnline dashboard provides information on a clutter-free, as-needed basis. Drivers, for example, can view transport routes and timings, without associated billing information irrelevant to their role.

4. Increased efficiency

TrackOnline enables parties throughout the returnable asset chain to access just-in-time information. Available directly after delivery, even across national borders.

With this centralized digitization, parties throughout the sector can reduce paperwork, minimize information delays, and enhance decision-making with real-time updates on returnable asset availability.

5. Enhanced sustainability

With TrackOnline, stocks from individual poolers no longer need to be a black box. By sharing data on a secure, need-to-know basis, leading sector players can strategize, combine, and co-create routes, ensure vehicles are transporting returnable assets at full capacity, and reduce CO2 emissions.

6. Improved end customer experience

TrackOnline’s personalizable interfaces also ensure an intuitive, accessible user experience for poolers’ end customers.

Based on logic provided by poolers themselves, location options and the returnable asset types available can be configured on tailored order screens for each end customer. This facilitates both the customer’ s ordering process and the pooler’s service provision, ultimately aiming to enhance end customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

7. Efficiency- driving  automations

Customizable automations enhance clarity, minimizing errors and delays in asset delivery, usage, and returns. TrackOnline automations include:

  • Bespoke order flow triggers Carrier pick- up notifications
  • Sending and sharing balance checks Automatic definition of asset ownership
  • Preset instructions for assets post-use (storage at destination, immediate retrieval)
  • Predictive ordering

The independent software solution designed to meet pooler’s needs

TrackOnline is the only data exchange platform that provides poolers with the end- to-end overview required for future-proof success. Designed with over 20 years of software solution experience, its flexible plugins set a new industry standard for strategizing efficient, collaborative, and sustainable returnable asset usage.

As an independent software company, we are a trusted partner for poolers across multiple industries.
To find out more, don’t hesitate to contact our team.